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.

 

Advertisements

What are you listening to today?

ipod-classic-accessories-3Beautiful Tuesday afternoon, letting the iPod do it’s thing in shuffle mode.

The last 15:

1. Crawl–Barenaked Ladies

2. Set Me Free (Rosa Lee)–Los Lobos

3. Mary Shut The Garden Door–Donald Fagen

4. Swingtown–Steve Miller Band

5. Moorie–Great Divide

6. Rock and Roll Music–Chuck Berry

7. Easy Lover–Phil Collins & Phil Bailey

8. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)–The Beatles

9. Don’t Let The Darkness In Your Head–Blue Rodeo

10. Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting–Elton John

11. The Boys of Summer–Don Henley

12. One Fine Morning–Lighthouse

13. Your Own Worst Enemy–Bruce Springsteen

14. Home Town–Joe Jackson

15. Trouble–Robert Palmer

One hit wonder Wednesday: A Tale of Two Phils

easyPhil Collins’ association with Philip Bailey, the Earth, Wind & Fire vocalist, goes back to Collins’ debut solo album, Face Value, released in 1981. On that and subsequent albums Collins made frequent use of the EWF horn section. When Bailey asked Collins to produce his own second solo album, 1985′s Chinese Wall, Collins not only obliged to take on the role of producer and drummer but also co-penned with Bailey (and bassist Nathan East) the single Easy Lover, which while technically a Philip Bailey single had Phil Collins written all over it. No surprise then that the single turned out to be a huge hit for Bailey, propelling his album to Gold status.

Outside of EWF, Philip Bailey has had a succesful career as a Gospel artist and he also released a couple of jazz albums. And of course, his work in EWF continues. But in the realm of mainstream solo success, it’s safe to say that Bailey’s one shot at the top took place back in early 1985 when he joined forces with a dimunitive English drummer for a great slice of mid-eighties pop.

Happy Phil Collins Day! Yes, that’s a thing.

phil-collins-tax

From the good folks at ultimateclassicrock.com:

What are your plans for Friday (Feb. 15)? You’re going to need to cancel them, because we’ve just been informed that it’s Phil Collins Day.

But seriously, Phil Collins Day is a real thing — it even has its own official website, as well as a daylong celebration, held annually in New York’s Rockaway neighborhood. In fact, it’s been going on since at least 2007, when attendees showed their Philpreciation by holding a ‘Face Value’ dance party. The following year, the theme was Post No Phils, with Jacket Required following in 2009, Come Get Your Phil in 2010, an amazing-looking Phil Collins Day Parade in 2011, and a ‘Testify’ confessional booth in 2012.

It might sound like a frivolous thing, but there’s actually a serious side to Phil Collins Day. This year’s theme, inspired by the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy last fall, is Take Me Home, featuring a come-one, come-all drum circle in which participants will “celebrate our survival while dancing by the sea.” As the festival’s organizer put it in an email to Gothamist, “We were, like the majority of the peninsula, hit pretty badly by the storm; house destroyed, lost all of my tools, garden, etc. And the past three months have been one of recovery and rebuilding. Rockaway is strong. And it is the resilience of this community that keeps us all together.”

In other Phil Collins-related news, the Australian duo Big Scary is celebrating Phil Collins Day this year with the release of their new single, the aptly titled ‘Phil Collins.’ 

What are your favourite Phil Collins tracks? He’s had so many hits it’s hard to narrow it down but here are a few of mine:

In The Air Tonight

I Don’t Care Anymore

Only You Know and I Know

Take Me Home

Colours

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

Phil Collins to hit NYC to promote upcoming Motown covers disc

About six months ago, I wrote about Phil Collins and his plans to release a disc of Motown covers. Well it looks like that disc is finally going to see the light of day. Titled “Going Back”, the disc will hit stores in September and will feature covers of such Motown classics as The Temptations’ “Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue),” Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight (Everything’s Alright),” and Martha and the Vandellas’ “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave”, plus some other 60’s hits that were a big influence on Collin’s career as a musician.

And in an effort to get the word out on the disc, Collins will return to performing when he plays a four-night stand at New York’s Roseland Ballroom June 22-25. While Collins will be backed by a 19-piece orchestra, including three members of the infamous Funk Brothers band that played on virtually every Motown hit you can think of (and re-introduced to a new generation of fans in the must-see documentary, Standing In The Shadows of Motown), don’t expect to hear any Phil Collins solo tunes or anything from the Genesis catalogue at these shows. It’s going be nothing but Motown and classic r&b gems.

So far these are the only live dates that Collins has announced for 2010. But if the NYC gigs prove successful, can a full-scale tour be far behind?

Here a few of the original versions that will be on the new disc, plus a trailer for Standing In The Shadows of Motown. Rent it.




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: