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Phil Collins

Phil Collins' status as one of the most successful pop and adult contemporary singers of the '80s and beyond was probably as much a surprise to him as it was to many others. Balding and diminutive, the Genesis drummer-turned-vocalist was almost 30 years old when his first solo single, "In the Air Tonight," became a number two hit in his native U.K. (the song was a Top 20 hit in the U.S.). Between 1984 and 1990, Collins had a string of 13 straight U.S. Top Ten hits.

Long before any of that happened, however, Collins was a child actor/singer who appeared as the Artful Dodger in the London production of Oliver! in 1964. (He also has a cameo in A Hard Day's Night, among other films.) He got his first break in music in his late teens, when he was chosen to be a replacement drummer in the British art rock band Genesis in 1970. (Collins maintained a separate jazz career with the band Brand X as well.)

Genesis was fronted by singer Peter Gabriel. They had achieved a moderate level of success in the U.K. and the U.S. with elaborate concept albums, before Gabriel abruptly left in 1974. Genesis auditioned 400 singers without success, then decided to let Collins have a go. The result was a gradual simplifying of Genesis' sound and an increasing focus on Collins' expressive, throaty voice. And Then There Were Three... went gold in 1978, and Duke was even more successful.

Collins made his debut solo album, Face Value, in 1981, which turned out to be a bigger hit than any Genesis album. It concentrated on Collins' voice, often in stark, haunting contexts such as the piano-and-drum dirge "In the Air Tonight," which sounded like something from John Lennon's debut solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.

During the '80s, Collins was enormously successful in balancing his continuing solo work with his membership in Genesis. In 1992, Genesis released We Can't Dance and began an extensive tour. Upon its completion, Collins released Both Sides in 1993, and the record became his first album not to produce a major hit single or go multi-platinum. In 1995, he announced that he was leaving Genesis permanently. The following year, he released Dance into the Light. Although the album didn't chart highly, its subsequent supporting tour was a success. The Hits collection followed in 1998, and a year later Collins made his first big-band record, Hot Night in Paris. The song cycle Testify arrived in 2002, and his next studio-recorded solo release was 2010's Going Back, which saw him revisiting the Motown hits that so influenced him and featured three of the surviving Funk Brothers -- guitarists Eddie Willis and Ray Monette, and bassist Bob Babbitt.

After some time out of the spotlight, much of it spent recovering from physical ailments, Collins returned in 2014 to play a couple of songs at his sons' school and to write songs with Adele. Soon after, he began work on reissuing his solo albums, sorting through the archives for demos and live recordings to flesh them out. In early 2016, Warner Music began releasing the discs in pairs, with new portraits of Collins on the covers in place of the original images. Collins returned to the stage in March of 2016, performing at the Little Dreams Foundation Benefit Gala in Miami. He published his autobiography, Not Dead Yet: The Memoir, in October of that year, and the new double-disc compilation The Singles appeared during the same month. ~ William Ruhlmann
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Going Back

1. Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)

2. (Love Is Like A) Heatwave

3. Uptight (Everything's Alright)

4. Some Of Your Lovin'

5. In My Lonely Room

6. Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me For A Little While)

7. Blame It On The Sun

8. Papa Was A Rolling Stone

9. Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer

11. Do I Love You

12. Jimmy Mack

13. Something About You

14. Love Is Here And Now You're Gone

15. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever

16. Going To A Go-Go

17. Talkin About My Baby

18. Going Back

x

Track List: Love Songs: A Compilation... Old And New

Disc 1

1. Tearing And Breaking

2. Do You Remember?

3. One More Night

5. Can't Turn Back The Years

6. A Groovy Kind of Love

7. Everyday

8. Don't Let Him Steal Your Heart Away

10. This Must Be Love

12. Can't Stop Loving You

Disc 2

1. Testify

3. You'll Be In My Heart

4. If Leaving Me Is Easy

5. I've Been Trying

6. I've Forgotten Everything

7. Somewhere

8. Least You Can Do

9. Two Hearts

10. Separate Lives (Live)

11. My Girl (Live)

12. Always (Live)

13. The Way You Look Tonight (Live)

x

Track List: Testify

x

Track List: Dance Into The Light

1. Dance Into The Light

2. That's What You said

3. Lorenzo

4. Just Another Story

5. Love Police

6. Wear My Hat

7. It's In Your Eyes

8. Oughta Know By Now

9. Take Me Down

10. The Same Moon

11. River So Wide

12. No Matter Who

13. The Times They Are A-changin'

x

Track List: Both Sides

1. Both Sides Of The Story

2. Can't Turn Back The Years

3. Everyday

4. I've Forgotten Everything

5. We're Sons Of Our Fathers

6. Can't Find My Way

7. Survivors

8. We Fly So Close

9. There's A Place For Us

10. We Wait And We Wonder

11. Please Come Out Tonight

x

Track List: Serious Hits...Live!

1. Something Happened On The Way To Heaven (Live)

2. Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) (Live)

3. Who Said I Would (Live)

4. One More Night (Live)

5. Don't Lose My Number (Live)

6. Do You Remember? (Live)

7. Another Day In Paradise (Live)

8. Separate Lives (Live)

9. In The Air Tonight (Live)

10. You Can't Hurry Love (Live)

11. Two Hearts (Live)

12. Sussudio (Live)

13. A Groovy Kind Of Love (Live)

14. Easy Lover (Live)

15. Take Me Home (Live)

x

Track List: Hello, I Must Be Going!

1. I Don't Care Anymore

2. I Cannot Believe It's True

3. Like China

4. Do You Know, Do You Care?

5. You Can't Hurry Love

6. It Don't Matter To Me

7. Thru These Walls

8. Don't Let Him Steal Your Heart Away

9. The West Side

10. Why Can't It Wait 'Til Morning

x

Track List: Face Value

1. In The Air Tonight

2. This Must Be Love

3. Behind The Lines

4. The Roof Is Leaking

5. Droned

6. Hand In Hand

7. I Missed Again

8. You Know What I Mean

9. Thunder And Lightning

10. I'm Not Moving

11. If Leaving Me Is Easy

12. Tomorrow Never Knows

x

Track List: (Love Is Like A) Heatwave (Radio Single)

1. (Love Is Like A) Heatwave

x

Track List: Against All Odds

x

Track List: Testify (Deluxe Edition)

Comments

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Instability at its finest
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awesome Song��������
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jsporter67
Yeah!������
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lisadatz
Who writes these bios? He was almost 30 years old when he sold his first single. And?
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Phil remembers the alamo
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BEAUTIFUL
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❤️️❤️️❤️️❤️️
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laurenlegary
I love you the song you'll be in my hart but when I was four my only friend died�� now I'm eight and still cry but I know he's out there in my heart I have a place for him in my heart but this song reminds me that he'll be here but only at night to check on me from heaven. This song is great. L��ve this song
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distinctly differently smashing
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❤❤❤❤❤❤
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hey bro homey
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Good Song
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"I Can't Wait Forever..... "
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"Please give me One More Night"...
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Love this song slow then out with a bang love it:-)
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foxymomma77
You are a awesome singer
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My all time favorite male singer!!❤️️
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I love phil collins with man voice wonderful godbless and airtonight.
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sexyladies19 6 9 6 9
❤❤❤❤❤
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I JUST LOVE Phil Collins artist.His music gets into my Soul.
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I've all was been in love this guy
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lizabdiaz
♡♡♡
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I'm In the air tonight...ee e r y lyrics but the best...
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U are me and my 2yr old daughter favorite singer I have been listening to u since the mid 1980s
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I love your song in the air tonight
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Been rocking with this dude since ninth grade, still jamming!!!
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Hot
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Phil in my head...❤️���
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cherokeeprin c e s s 1 2 7
❤❤❤❤❤
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colling ray
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I've loved many women now there's, 1 my girl
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That is so true love hurts so much but we always do it to ourselves
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BRIAN YOU KNOW WHEN YOU HEARD ME PLAY IT WAS ECAUSE THOSE WERE THE TIMES I NEEDED YOU WITH ME THE MOST AND YOU PLAYED IT FOR ME SO I ALWAYS KNEW THIS WAS COMING FROM YOU TO ME !!!
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mysteriousst r a n g e r 5 4 5
❤❤❤❤❤❤
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That voice is distinct.
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It's so moving gives me shivers, love hurts so much why do we do it to ourselves for ??
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I really like this song��
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This song is so haunting. I love it, though. Phil's music is great.
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Not a word about his appearance in the Bone Thugz N Harmony video that sampled this very track?!?
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drew_sey
Phil has never sounded like Lennon, thank God! Not everyone loved the Beatles!
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Phil rocks. One of my all time favorite artists
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great on vinyl
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Some of his best music was included in the soundtracks of various episodes of Miami Vice; and it was PERFECT there !
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bdubbz808you n g z
Oh lord'
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He's an incredible musician...
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Love, love him!!!
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msg20026
You know what would be really cool is if he puts a collection together with Live recordings from All Tours. That should be one of the next things from Warner/Atlan t i c .
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The best!!!!!!
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davecarp9
Phil Collins GO!
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