Favorites Month: Phil Collins
All this month, Quirky T will be conducting the Guitar Train to stop at each of her all time favorite musicians. The second destination is Phil Collins.
First Stop (The First Time I Heard His Music)
I first became aware of Phil Collins in 1985 with the release of his third solo album, “No Jacket Required”. This album is a great mix of fast songs, “love” songs, and angry songs. The album starts with “Sussudio” http://youtu.be/r0qBaBb1Y-U which is just a fun song, not meant to be very deep. In 1985 and still now, I am interested in hearing songs other than the typical happy-in-love songs so that’s why I connected with Phil Collins’ music. I liked the fact that the “love” songs on this album are more realistic and contain confusion such as “Long Long Way To Go”, “One More Night”, http://youtu.be/zKVq-P3z5Vg “Doesn’t Anyone Stay Together Anymore”, and “Inside Out”.
Two of my favorite songs from this album, “Don’t Lose My Number” and “Take Me Home”, also have great and memorable music videos. The music video for “Don’t Lose My Number” http://youtu.be/B7Z-eUmR2bM deconstructs a music video as it is a video about what they should include in the video. Phil Collins appears in several scenarios which parody movies and other music videos as they decide what this video should be about. The result is a funny and entertaining video. I always liked the video for “Take Me Home” http://youtu.be/sRY1NG1P_kw which shows Phil singing all around the world with great background shots.
“No Jacket Required” also contains the angry songs that I need to hear to know that I’m not the only one who is not always happy. It deepens my connection to Phil Collins. The songs “Only You Know and I Know”, “I Don’t Wanna Know”, and “Who Said I Would” all have the amount of venom I need to hear.
The album ends with my all time favorite song and it’s available only on the CD of “No Jacket Required”. The song is “We Said Hello Goodbye.” I bought a CD player just so I could play this song over and over. It is such a beautiful song filled with many optimistic lyrics that have become my personal catch phrases to help me get through life. If it was the only song that Phil Collins ever wrote and sang, I would be eternally grateful to him but lucky for me, there’s a whole album of great songs that made me a Phil Collins fan for life.
Second Stop (What I Did Next)
I then listened to his work with Genesis, especially 1986’s “Invisible Touch”. Since I was playing catch-up, I was confused when I heard Phil Collins singing on the radio as to whether it was a Phil Collins solo song or a Genesis song. Remember, this was before Shazam and being able to look up anything on the Internet. I learned that Genesis songs generally have a harder edge than Phil Collins solo songs with the exception of the solo songs such as “Do You Know, Do You Care?” and “I Don’t Care Anymore” http://youtu.be/xLpfbcXTeo8 which are two of the angriest songs I have ever heard. Both songs appear on Phil’s second solo album, 1982’s “Hello, I Must Be Going”.
Repeated Destinations (Favorite Song and Album)
For Phil Collins solo, my favorite album is the first of his that I heard, “No Jacket Required”. I can listen to it over and over and never get sick of it. I still get excited to hear those songs and feel the connection I feel to Phil’s lyrics. As I wrote before, my favorite song is “We Said Hello Goodbye”.
My favorite Genesis album is also the first one I heard, “Invisible Touch”. My favorite song is “Turn It On Again” from the 1980 album, “Duke” followed closely by “That’s All” from the 1983 self titled album, “Genesis”.
Now Departing (What Non-Fans Say about Him)
Throughout my life, I have been made fun of because I am a Phil Collins fan. I never understood why people did not like him. The most common complaint is that he ruined Genesis by making them record only shorter, hit songs. That’s not true as even after he became the lead singer of Genesis, they still recorded long, heavily instrumental songs. Some examples of these are “Home by the Sea/Second Home by the Sea” (from 1983’s “Genesis”), “Domino” (from 1986’s “Invisible Touch”), and “Driving the Last Spike” (from 1991’s “We Can’t Dance”). They did also make shorter songs which became hit songs but that doesn’t make them bad songs just because they were popular.
As with anything, it’s easier to just join the haters bandwagon then to actually listen to the albums and have an educated opinion.
Conducting This Train (Why He Will Always be My Favorite)
It never really bothered me to be made fun of for liking Phil Collins because I really enjoy his music. I wasn’t going to not listen to what made me happy so I could be considered cool. Plus, I wasn’t the only one at his solo and Genesis concerts in New Jersey in the 1990’s and 2000’s. I was joined by thousands of other happy (cool) fans.
Between his solo work and Genesis, Phil Collins has created songs that endure and are my go to songs when I want to hear something great and familiar. I could relate to many of his songs and that connection helped me through hard times in my life. I’m very sad that he’s not making any more new music. I will never again have the pleasure of hearing a brand new Phil Collins song.
All Aboard (Why I Wish Others Would Listen to Him and Where to Start)
I would like people to listen to Phil Collins songs instead of automatically disrespecting and dismissing him. For his solo songs, I would recommend listening to the CD “No Jacket Required”. For Genesis, as a starter, I recommend some compilation CDs: “Turn It On Again: The Hits”, “Live The Way We Walk Volume One: The Shorts” containing shorter songs, and “Live The Way We Walk Volume Two: The Longs” containing longer songs with extended instrumentals.
Guitar Train passengers, when did you first hear your favorite musicians and how did the music make you feel?