Phil Collins is a name that instantly polarizes. Okay, maybe we’re not quite as vehement in our disdain of all things Phil as we were circa 1985-1990 when he was more ubiquitous than mosquitoes at Old Orchard Beach. Enough time has passed to appreciate and delineate Good Phil from Bad Phil. For example:
-His drumming, most any song.
-All Genesis songs from 1982 and before.
-The “Face Value” album.
-“I Don’t Care Anymore” and “Inside Out.”
-His participating on Brian Eno albums.
-Recruiting Bill Bruford to back him up for one Genesis tour, resulting in the greatest double-drummer lineup in rock history.
-His multitracked lead vocal on Steve Hackett’s “Star of Sirius.”
-“Something Happened On the Way To Heaven,” mostly because it was the theme song to the Weekend Scoreboard show on Channel 56 in Boston way back when.
-I’ll say it: “Easy Lover.” The greatest two-Phil duet in pop music history (thanks, Mr. Bailey).
-The following Genesis songs: “Illegal Alien,” “In Too Deep,” “I Can’t Dance.”
-His Motown cover (did this give Billy Joel the idea for the entire “An Innocent Man” album? Very Bad Phil.)
-Producing MOR pop-rock for an out-of-ideas Eric Clapton.
-That goddamned Disney song that shall remain nameless.
-“Su-su-su-su-suddio.” (Ok, guilty pleasure, but I know it’s crap.)
ANYWAY, ON WITH TODAY’S SIGIHT
Phil’s greatest solo moment, to my ears, was his 1986 hit “Take Me Home,” from his huge “No Jacket Required” LP. There’s something quite Genesis about this track (Peter Gabriel sings backup, after all), and the synthesized rhythm has always been delightfully hypnotic to me.
I spun this tune on the radio today, and damn, does it still sound great on a blowtorch FM signal, coming out of the studio monitors.