A classic rock drummer coming out of retirement? Reuniting with bandmates? Maybe so, says Phil Collins

phil-collins-taxCould it be true? In a recent interview with German media, Phil Collins has stated that he has been thinking about a return to the musical spotlight, including (gasp!) a Genesis reunion (although I doubt that means with Peter Gabriel).

“I have started thinking about doing new stuff,” Collins recently told German media. He made these comments at the Stuttgart premiere of Tarzan, a stage musical based on Disney’s Collins-soundtracked cartoon. “[Maybe playing] some shows again, even with Genesis,” he admitted to Bild am Sonntag. “Everything is possible. We could tour in Australia and South America. We haven’t been there yet”.

Collins, 62, hasn’t played live since 2010, and not with Genesis since 2007. He stepped away from the drum kit after suffering major damage to his spine and basically said he was done performing. So whats driving this possible comeback?  His kids. According to Britian’s The Guardian, Matthew, 8, and Nicholas, 12, apparently want to see him play, and while the artist has ignored the pleas of his manager, he has said he is motivated by his sons. Even the musician’s older children are enthusiastic: “[My father is] doing really well,” Simon Collins, frontman for the prog-rock band Sound of Contact, told Smashing Interviews. “He’s starting to write again actually and spending more time with family, myself included.”

Apart from a covers LP released in 2010, Collins’ last full-length was the 2002 record Testify. It was the only album of Collins’ solo career not to reach the top five.

Are you a Phil Collins/Genesis fan? I would say “definitely” to both. I didn’t catch Genesis on their 2007 tour but  did see them 30 years ago at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. Caught Phil solo a couple of times after that. All were great shows.

Check out this clip from Collins’ “First, Final Farewell Tour” from about a decade ago.

 

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My Saturday morning playlist. What are you listening to today?

springFinally. It’s finally starting to feel like maybe Spring will actually make an appearance soon. The last few days have felt more like late January than late March. Depressing weather. This morning the sun was shining, so I decided to take advantage of respite from the cold and head out for a walk. Stopped for a haircut along the way. Now I feel better. You’re wondering what I was listening to, right? Glad you asked. The last 15:
1. Born In The 50’s–The Police
2. Trampled Under Foot–Led Zeppelin (Celebration Day version)
4. Better Days–Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
5. Turn The Page–Bob Seger
6. Flesh And Blood–Solomon Burke
7. What If I Do?–Foo Fighters
8. 36 Inches High–Nick Lowe
9. Entangled–Genesis
10. Who Am I Telling You?–J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton
11. Sound of Your Voice–Barenaked Ladies
12. Erase/Replace–Foo Fighters
13. Hollis and Morris–The Trews
14. Wicked Rain–Los Lobos
15. Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves–Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin

It’s Monday. What songs are helping you get the week started on the right foot?

ipodAfter listening to a variety of albums over the weekend, I thought it was time for a shuffle reset on the iPod. So it’s back to square one. Or should I say, number one. Here are the first 15 songs, of all the songs on my iPod, that came up in the rotation. Hopefully there’s something in there you’ll like.

1. Some Kind of Wonderful–Grand Funk Railroad

2. Love Rollercoaster–The Ohio Players

3. River Knows Your Name–John Hiatt

4. My Rival–Steely Dan

5. Waiting For The End of The World–Elvis Costello

6. They Just Can’t Stop It (Games People Play)–The Spinners

7. Hold On, I’m Comin’–Sam & Dave

8. Anyway–Genesis

9. Stupidity–Solomon Burke

10. Radio Nowhere–Bruce Springsteen

11. Little Queenie–Chuck Berry

12. Somebody Knocking–Robert Plant & The Strange Sensation

13. Sour Suite–The Guess Who

14. Maybe That’s Something–Sheryl Crow

15. (I Believe) Our Time Is Gonna Come–REO Speedwagon

 

 

What are you listening to today? #nowplaying

ipodHere are the last 10 songs I listened to, in order, on my iPod in shuffle mode. No editing, no skipping. It is what it is.

1. Oliver’s Army–Elvis Costello

2. Lord Of The Thighs–Aerosmith

3. The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks–Eagles

4. Mean Disposition–The Rolling Stones

5. Fascination–David Bowie

6. Man On The Corner–Genesis

7. Birds–Elton John

8. Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours–Peter Frampton

9. What Do We Do Now–John Hiatt

10. Something Happened On The Way To Heaven–Phil Collins

Montreal gets lone Canadian date for Peter Gabriel mini-tour; new Bowie live disc

Peter Gabriel, whose new all-covers disc “Scratch My Back” hits stores mid-February, will be launching a North American mini-tour this spring in just three cities: Montreal, New York and Los Angeles. It actually comes as no surprise that Gabriel would choose Montreal as the city’s music fans have long had an affinity for the prog-rock sounds of Genesis, Pink Floyd, ELP and the like. Gabriel hits the Bell Centre on April 28th, followed by two shows on New York May 2nd and 3rd and an L.A. show on May 7th. No word on any further dates.

“Scratch My Back” is an all-orchestral covers album (as noted on his website, no drums and no guitars) and includes covers of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” Radiohead’s “Street Spirit (Fade Out)“, Neil Young’s “Philadelphia” and Paul Simon’s “The Boy in the Bubble”. There are also plans for a disc called “I’ll Scratch Yours” featuring covers of Peter Gabriel tunes by those same artists. Ticket info for the Montreal show has not yet been announced.

Gabriel’s cover of “Heroes ” can also be heard on Download To Donate for Haiti, a compilation of as-yet unreleased music with proceeds going to earthquake relief. You can hear “Heroes” and other tracks here.

And speaking of Bowie, his new live double-disc souvenir of his 2003 Reality tour hits stores tomorrow. It contains over 30 tracks including such hits as “Rebel Rebel”, “Changes”, “Ziggy Stardust”, the aforementioned “Heroes” plus selections from his “Reality” disc, which while not up to par with some of his earlier work is actually pretty good. Check out live clips here.

The “I just want to get to work already” Shuffle Report

ipod

The Shuffle Report: 10 songs I listened to, in order, on my iPod in shuffle mode at a given point in time. No editing, no skipping. It is what it is.

Nothing like a massive morning subway delay to end an already stressful week. Here’s hoping the weekend is better. Even had time listen to all 17 minutes of song #2.

1. I’m The Greatest—Ringo Starr (Photograph: The Very Best Of) [Fun John Lennon-penned track from 1973.]
2. Dogs—Pink Floyd (Animals) [Never was a huge Floyd fan, but always liked this album. Think it’s the longest song on my iPod.]
3. Little Queenie—Chuck Berry (The Chess Box) [A rock ‘n roll classic.]
4. Who Loves You—Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (The Very Best Of) [Mid-70’s hit from the powerhouse vocal group.]
5. One Gun—54-40 (Show Me) [Great Vancouver band.]
6. Monkey Wrench—Foo Fighters (The Colour and the Shape) [Kick-ass.]
7. Watchin’ You—Kiss (Alive!) [From the album that launched them into the stratosphere.]
8. Jesus He Knows Me—Genesis (We Can’t Dance) [From the last studio effort Phil and the boys released. A decent record.]
9. Saturday Night—Earth Wind & Fire (Greatest Hits) [70s funk at its finest. Not a single dud track on this compilation.]
10. Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby—Etta James (Rocks The House) [Excellent live blues recording from 1963.]

Please, not again.

phil-collins-tax

I’ve always liked Phil Collins in all his incarnations, as it were. There was Phil.1, the songwriter and drummer for the Peter Gabriel era of Genesis. Then there was Phil.2, songwriter, drummer and now lead vocalist of Genesis. That was folowed by Phil.3, hugely successful solo artist and ongoing member of Genesis. I saw Genesis in concert once (1983, Maple Leaf Gardens) and Phil solo twice (1985, Montreal Forum and 1990, Skydome). There’s no doubting the man’s prowess as both drummer and singer in a live setting.

Earlier this year, Collins had surgery to repair a dislocated vertebra in his neck. He recently told a German newspaper that this has resulted in a loss of feeling in his fingers, and he is unable to hold his drumsticks. He went on to say that that the only way he could play drums right now is if the sticks were glued to his hands.

Now, let me just say I wholeheartedly sympathize with his situation. For a musician of his calibre to be unable to practice his craft is tragic. However, my sympathies only go so far.

Just a couple of days ago, I wrote about how next week Rod Stewart is releasing his album of soul covers. Yet another in a long line of covers albums which frankly bring nothing new to the table, and only succeed in reinforcing my preference for the source material.

In the same German newspaper article, Collins has stated that while his drumming is on hold, his recording career is not. His next project will be….wait for it..a cd featuring Motown cover songs. The paper quoted him as saying “I want the songs to sound exactly like the originals.”

Sigh.

Then Phil, why bother? But seriously…(get it?), if I want to hear covers that sound exactly like the originals, then I will listen to the originals. I like Phil, sure, but I can’t help but feel that this is nothing more than an easy money grab by both himself (sorry, pal) and his record label to ensure his fans don’t forget about him. The whole idea just makes me feel…used.

No word yet on what songs Phil plans to cover, but of course he’s no stranger to Motown. An early solo hit from Hello, I Must Be Going was a cover of the Supremes’ You Can’t Hurry Love. For the record, while I have a number of Phil Collins songs on my iPod, this ain’t one of them. I prefer his original work, like this one: