Are Paul McCartney and Phil Collins friends

Phil Collins: Sorry for being so successful

Despite the bad criticism, he is one of the busiest and most successful pop stars of all. Phil Collins is now celebrating his seventieth birthday.

Phil Collins made another comeback last August. This time mainly on social media. The reason for this was the YouTube channel “Twinsthenew Trend”, on which the 22-year-old African-American twins Tim and Fred Williams use to show how they react to a song they do not know. This time, the two hip-hop fans Phil Collins ’" In The Air Tonight "had their hands on. The two seem to be deeply impressed by the soulful singing for three minutes, only to fall completely into ecstasy when the drums crash.

The clip has now been clicked 8.35 million times. It's not the first time that the American hip-hop scene has shown its love for Phil Collins. Ol ’Dirty Bastard, Kelis, Pharrell Williams and Lil’ Kim recorded the tribute album “Urban Renewal: The Songs Of Phil Collins” twenty years ago, which also made it into the Swiss Top 20.

Loved and ostracized

In stark contrast to this, hardly any other successful artist has been treated with as much malice as Collins in the European mass media and especially in the rock music press. In the interviews that accompanied the release of his last studio album, “Going Back” (2010, a collection of soul covers), the strange contrast between the huge success (150 million records sold) and the disrespectful criticism was often discussed.

As always, Collins responded with good-naturedness. "My problem was that my music could be heard non-stop, so that they would have wanted to strangle me," he told the British magazine "Word". He was asked whether there could be too much success. "I don't know," he replied. “Like it or not, those records were really extremely successful. I am very sorry about that. I can honestly say that this was in no way intended. "

As a child, Phil Collins was as charming as he was talented, and the environment loved to give him a chance. He got his first toy drum at the age of three, and two years later a family friend made him a mini drum kit that fit in a suitcase. In piano lessons he was able to remember everything the first time he listened to it, so that he never learned to read music, not even later.

Thanks to a friend of his mother's, he was allowed to switch from a conventional school to a theater school at the age of 13, and months later to play a leading role in the musical "Oliver!" In London's West End. to take over. As a convinced mod, he later played in rhythm & blues and rock bands. But he also admired Ringo Starr, the Byrds, Buddy Rich and Count Basie. As long as he was allowed to sit on the drums, he was happy.

Accordingly, he took it easy when he went to the Gabriel family's country house in the summer of 1970 to rehearse for the band Genesis, which had just released their second album. Just the way he sat down on the drums showed him that this was the man for the job, Peter Gabriel is said to have said. Although Genesis progressive rock was new to Collins, it settled in quickly.

Phil Collins ’appetite for music and work bordered on the limitless. With his stupendous technique and flexible demeanor, he was considered a "Musicians’ Musician ", a musician whose arts were highly respected among his own kind. In addition to the intensive work with Genesis, where he had now replaced Peter Gabriel as singer and songwriter, he still found time for a second band, the jazz-rock ensemble Brand X. He also worked on albums by Brian Eno and Robert, among others Fripp and John Martyn with.

He was neglecting his family because of the sheer desire to work. When his first wife left him, he happened to be underemployed - he threw all his worries into a repertoire of songs that he immediately recorded himself. When Ahmet Ertegun, the head of the American record company Atlantis Records, presented a few of his own songs in addition to the new Genesis album "Duke", he was enthusiastic.

Musically tireless

With the release of his first solo album, "Face Value" (1981), and hits such as "In The Air Tonight", Collins got into a vortex of success that was to last for almost twenty years, including not only his solo career, but also that of Genesis was recorded. Apparently his melodies and the heartfelt lyrics touched the audience, he said. Furthermore, Phil Collins ’services as a drummer were used - by Robert Plant as well as Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Adam Ant and Paul McCartney. Without worrying about the consequences, he just kept saying yes.

The work rage has meanwhile cost him three marriages, has left him with considerable damage to his health (including his restricted alcoholism) and has not always done his reputation good. The marathon was widely interpreted as showing off. It was only too easy to forget that you were dealing with a passionate musician. The friendship with the old Genesis members has remained intact. After Phil Collins had already canceled his resignation announced in 2010 five years later with the “Not Dead Yet” tour (his son Nic on drums), a tour with Genesis is now on the program for the coming autumn. Long live Phil Collins, so one may hope.