Phil Collins

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Phil Collins (2007) signature

Philip David Charles "Phil" Collins , LVO , CBE , (born January 30, 1951 in Chiswick , London , England ) is a British drummer , singer , songwriter , producer , actor and since 2012 also a book author . He became known both as a member of the rock band Genesis and as a solo artist. With over 150 million records sold (plus 150 million with Genesis), he is one of the most successful musicians in the world and is ranked 26th in the worldBillboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists.

In 2016, the Rolling Stone editorial team published a list of the "100 Greatest Drummers of All Time," on which he ranks 43rd. Today he lives in Miami Beach , USA .


As a child, Collins gained his first acting experience and was considered a humorous entertainer . He recorded seven number one hits in the US singles charts between 1984 and 1989 ; there is also a number one hit with Genesis ( Invisible Touch ) . Collins has won Oscar , seven-time Grammy and two-time Golden Globe awards, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010 and has been a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame since 2003 . His international popularity played a major role in the commercial success of Genesis, which, with him as the front man, changed from a progressive rock group to a pop rock band suitable for the hit parade.

In addition to his solo career and membership of Genesis, Collins was already looking for variety and challenges across styles in the early 1980s to work with other musicians more or less intensively on foreign projects. Over the years this has resulted in an exceptional workload and a whole range of productions, including with Eric Clapton , Frida , Robert Plant , Tina Turner , Phenix Horns , Philip Bailey , Brand X and many other well-known artists. He began to compose film scores very successfully and founded his own big band in the 1990s .

Collins' personal life is fraught with intense personal problems, particularly with his relationships, which he has five children. He was married three times, but none of his marriages were permanent. In addition, he repeatedly expressed that his career was overburdening and neglecting his family life and his children. He often made the personal experiences and precipitations of these episodes the subject of his songs and tried to process what he had experienced.

For years there have been speculations about the end of his musical career, which Collins has more or less ambivalent about . In an interview from 2010, he stated that as an artist who was not contracted, he could do whatever he wanted. In favor of his private and family life, he intended to significantly limit his musical activities and his enormous workload of the past decades, but not to give up completely. In December 2009, Collins had already commented on his poor health, which was misinterpreted as the announcement of the end of his musical career and was relativized a little later.

Collins' undisputed musical abilities and his enormous commercial success are up against a sometimes controversial, sometimes discrediting reporting and criticism, which is also blamed as a reason for his temporary withdrawal from the music business. While his outstanding virtuosity as a drummer was never doubted and his releases from the 1970s and early 1980s in particular were appreciated by most critics, he was often accused of producing shallow music for a mass audience, especially at the height of his solo career around 1990. Collins himself denied any connection and ironically stated that the person who was reported in this form by some journalists could not be him because they had absolutely nothing in common with him.

After another personal low, overcoming alcohol addiction and, above all, the reconciliation with his third ex-wife, Orianne, Collins announced in 2015 that he would be working on new titles and resuming his musical activities. After a complete remastering , he re-released all of his studio albums as complete boxes and wrote his autobiography, which was released in October 2016. In the spring of the same year he played his first solo concert after a 6-year break on the stage for a benefit show - together with his then 15-year-old son Nick on the drums of his accompanying band.

In the summer of 2017, Collins made his comeback with concerts in London and Cologne in spite of his visibly poor health, making reference with some irony to the title of his autobiography Not dead yet , published a year earlier . In 2018 and 2019, Collins toured the world again with a 14-member band, albeit with continued health problems. In March 2020 he announced that from November of the same year he would give several Genesis concerts in Great Britain for the first time since 2007 together with Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford as well as Nicholas Collins.

Musical work

Childhood and adolescence

Collins grew up as the youngest of three children with brother Clive and sister Carole in the London suburb of Hounslow . At the age of five, he was given a toy drum kit for Christmas. Then his uncle built him a makeshift drum kit, which Collins regularly played, improving his skills. When he was 12 years old, his mother paid 50% of the purchase price to buy a real drum kit, with Collins getting the other 50% by selling his brother's model railroad. He practiced by playing to the music on television and radio, but never learned to read or write conventional notation ; instead he later used a self-developed notation system. He is left handed .

Collins enjoyed working as an actor and used every opportunity to perform. At the age of 14, he attended Barbara Speake Acting School and then received Oliver! In the Westend production . as Artful Dodger, his first leading role. In the Beatles film A Hard Day's Night Collins is as Extra seen. He also auditioned for the role of Romeo in the movie Romeo and Juliet .

Despite these beginnings in an acting career, Collins continued to focus on music. While at Chiswick Community School , he formed the school band The Real Thing and later joined The Freehold , with whom he wrote his very first song, Lying Crying Dying . Collins received his first recording contract as a drummer with Flaming Youth . The concept album Ark 2 , released in 1969 and inspired by the moon landing , failed to achieve commercial success despite benevolent record reviews. Although Melody Maker named the work Pop Album of the Month and described it as "wonderfully played music for adults with beautiful, dense harmonies" , the single From Now On was not played on the radio and record sales remained low. The group went on tour for a whole year , then broke up due to band disputes and persistent failure.

Career with Genesis

Collins at the beginning as a drummer with Genesis ...

In 1970, Collins answered an ad in Melody Maker looking for "... a drummer sensitive to acoustic music" . The ad came from Genesis, who were looking for a drummer for the fourth time after two albums. The audition , in which songs from the second Genesis album Trespass (1970) were to be played, took place in Peter Gabriel's parents' house. Collins arrived early and made the most of the waiting time by listening to the other candidates and memorizing the pieces well.

The band chose Collins, with whom they released the album Nursery Cryme (1971) a year later . Compared to the more coloristic style ( excerpt from Looking for Someone ? / I ) of his predecessor John Mayhew , the group gained a lot of musical conciseness and clarity through Collins' punchy and rhythmic playing style. Tony Banks , keyboardist for Genesis, thought he was by far the best musician in the band. Although Collins acted primarily as a drummer for the next five years and only occasionally contributed background vocals , he sang the lead vocal on two songs: For Absent Friends by Nursery Cryme (1971) and More Fool Me by Selling England by the Pound (1973). Audio file / audio sample

Brian Eno was responsible for various sound effects while working on The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway , which Collins calls his favorite Genesis album , in 1974 . When he needed a drummer for his album Another Green World , Genesis showed appreciation for his work and let Collins take over this task.

... later as a singer and front man

After the following world tour, Peter Gabriel left the group to devote himself to his own solo career. The search for a suitable successor was unsuccessful for a long time, until it became clear that Phil Collins was already in our own ranks. He took on the position of lead vocalist, although he says he felt embarrassed by this appointment and initially didn't want to do the job. The band first hired former Yes and King Crimson musicians Bill Bruford as drummers for live performances , then replaced him with Chester Thompson , who had played for Weather Report and Frank Zappa . For longer instrumental pieces, Collins played on a second drum set, which Genesis made famous for their legendary drum duets. The first album with Collins as lead singer A Trick of the Tail (1976) reached the Top 40 on the US charts and entered the UK charts at No. 3. even this, the Rolling Stone :

"Genesis have managed to turn the supposed catastrophe of Gabriel's exit into their first major success in America."

In the late 1970s, Genesis began to change their style away from progressive rock and towards more commercial pop rock. Even if their album And Then There Were Three (1978) still contained prog rock elements, the pop song Follow You, Follow Me entered the top 10 of the UK charts and the top 40 of the US charts. According to Billboard magazine , Genesis lost in time with Collins as a singer

"... the European pomp of the progressive rock years and acquired a taste for American pop and African influences."

In the 80s, the group released a number of increasingly successful albums with Duke (1980), Abacab (1981), Genesis (1983) and Invisible Touch (1986). Synthesizer that primarily fulfills a rhythmic function crowd on these - patterns like in Abacab ? / i and Van Halen's hit Jump ? / i reminiscent keyboard - hooklines like in the title Invisible Touch ? / i in the foreground. On the album Duke the first use of a drum computer (Duchess) can be heard with the Latin American drums sound typical of Collins' solo albums and the electric piano sound known from In the Air Tonight or This Must Be Love . Audio file / audio sample Audio file / audio sample Audio file / audio sample

The band gradually changed their concept, significantly reduced the theatricality embodied by Gabriel in favor of an elaborate stage and light show and used a tighter composition technique. Collins told the Los Angeles Times about the change in Genesis music :

“Some of our songs were fragmented and not as well constructed as they could have been. I don't want to devalue our old material, but the new things are stronger, more concentrated, less piecemeal. These changes have nothing to do with Peter's departure. They are simply part of the development of our music. "

Phil Collins 2007 with Genesis at the Verizon Center, Washington, DC, USA, during the track "I Can't Dance"

From Invisible Touch the title song reached the only Genesis song number one in the US Billboard Hot 100. 1987 was the band a nomination for the MTV Video of the Year for Land of Confusion , another single from the album; the award was then given to Peter Gabriel's hit Sledgehammer . We Can't Dance (1991) is the last studio album with Collins as lead singer. In 1996 he announced his departure from Genesis to focus on his solo career and to have more time for his personal life.

A quasi-reunion of the original formation of Genesis took place in 1998 for the separately recorded new edition of the classic Carpet Crawlers on the compilation Turn It On Again - The Hits . In the new millennium, Collins repeatedly expressed his willingness to reunite Genesis. He stated that he would prefer Gabriel to take over the vocals and he would act as the drummer himself.

After numerous speculations about a reunion, Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford announced a joint world tour for 2007 at a press conference on November 7th, 2006 - just in time for the band's 40th anniversary.

Brand X

From 1976 to 1980, Collins was the drummer of the British jazz fusion band Brand X , and a singer on some tracks. Here he used the possibility of improvisation as a counterbalance to the work with Genesis and as an extension of his musical performance spectrum. He “recruited” the keyboardist Peter Robinson (formerly with Quatermass ), who later also appeared on his solo album Hello, I Must Be Going! can be heard. Collins' time at Brand X also saw the first use of a drum computer and his private 8-track tape recorder , with which he recorded demos at home, which he then used in the recording studio. In total, he worked on six Brand X albums.

Solo career

First successes in the early 1980s

A central theme in Collins' first compositions is his divorce at the time, even if this is not mentioned in the songs. The two songs Please Don't Ask and Misunderstanding , which he contributed to the Genesis album Duke (1980), are about broken relationships. His first solo album Face Value (1981) was largely influenced by his divorce, according to Collins, and on his second album Hello, I Must Be Going! (1982) focused on his marital problems.

Phil Collins 1981

His first single, In the Air Tonight , became a worldwide hit and stayed at number 1 in the German charts for a week and in the top 10 for another five weeks. The dark lyrics that led to the urban legend that Collins witnessed were the subject of conversation was how a person died by drowning. Collins stated, however, that he himself did not know what the text was about. Drum-dominated songs like I Don't Care Anymore and Do You Know, Do You Care? gave Collins' first albums a relatively dark mood. To Face Value he said:

“I had a wife, two children, two dogs, and the next day I had nothing. Many of these songs came about because I went through this emotional roller coaster. "

The Spiegel stated that Collins knew how to

“... to create an atmosphere full of tension with a threatening undertone. His opaque song lyrics are laden with subliminal suspicions, impending doom and the premonition of a passion that has built up so much that it could explode violently at any moment - although it never happens. "

Nevertheless, there was also more lively, more positively tuned music from Collins; Behind the Lines on Face Value z. B. was a jazzy remake of a Genesis song he helped write. Face Value received good reviews and was also commercially successful and thus contributed to the further profiling of the artist.

The follow-up album Hello, I Must Be Going! however, was by and large a disappointment in the eyes of many critics. Despite the number one hit You Can't Hurry Love , a cover of the Supremes hit, it could not build on previous successes. Although it did not produce any more hits, it reached number 2 on the UK album charts and was listed there for a good year.

Rise to world star

The years 1983 to 1991 marked the high point of Collins' career. His continued success as a solo artist and with Genesis led Rolling Stone to dedicate a cover story to him in 1985. In the same year his most successful album No Jacket Required was released , on which backing vocals by Sting and Peter Gabriel can be heard in some songs . The album immediately hit number one in the US, UK and Germany, and sold even faster than Michael Jackson's thriller . With Sussudio , One More Night and the off-album single Separate Lives , a duet with Marilyn Martin , he recorded three number one hits in the US, which no other artist achieved this year. No Jacket Required was awarded a Grammy for Album of the Year . Nevertheless, there were voices that the album was produced too smoothly and shallowly despite all the euphoric reviews and numerous record sales. The single Sussudio was also criticized because of its strong resemblance to the 1999 song by Prince , which Collins did not deny.

1989 followed with ... But Seriously Collins' most successful album. Decoupling Another Day in Paradise , Collins along with David Crosby had received, earned him a Grammy in 1990 for record of the year one. Another Day in Paradise reached number one on the US charts at the end of 1989, making it the last number one hit of the 1980s. Other hits were Something Happened on the Way to Heaven , Do You Remember? and I Wish It Would Rain Down , with longtime friend Eric Clapton playing guitar. With his songs about apartheid (Colors) , homelessness (Another Day in Paradise) and juvenile delinquency (Heat on the Street) , Collins expressed himself for the first time on concrete socio-political issues, which continued on his other albums. His first live album Serious Hits… Live! appeared in 1990.

The 1990s

Phil Collins at Umbria Jazz in Perugia (1996)

The new decade started promisingly for Collins, who released Genesis We Can't Dance in 1991, the most commercially successful of all the band's albums. But his solo album Both Sides , released in 1993, was not a big seller. Collins hadn't used studio musicians because the songs "became so personal and private that I didn't want anyone else to work on them." He played all of the instruments himself (using guitar and bass samples ) and used vocal recordings his home studio for the production of Both Sides . The reviews of the introverted album with only a few uptempo pieces were rather restrained. The two single releases Both Sides of the Story and the more radio-friendly Everyday were nowhere near the success of Collins songs of the 1980s.

In 1996, Collins, who had since left Genesis, attempted a return to catchy pop music with Dance into the Light , about which Entertainment Weekly magazine wrote:

"Even Phil Collins needs to know that we've all gotten tired of Phil Collins."

Minor successes were the title song and the Beatles- inspired It's in Your Eyes . Still, critics complained about a lack of innovation, fans about the lack of catchy songs. Although the album was gilded in the United States , it sold significantly worse than his previous albums. Only the title track was therefore included in Collins' first compilation ... Hits in 1998. Nevertheless, Collins was still a popular live musician, as the sold-out arenas on the subsequent world tour A Trip into the Light showed.

Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (since June 1999)

The only new song on the compilation … Hits was a cover version of Cyndi Lauper's True Colors , which enjoyed great popularity in the AC charts and moved up to number 2 there.

He then founded the Phil Collins Big Band , with whom he played as a pure drummer jazz interpretations of his own and Genesis songs. As part of a concert tour, the Phil Collins Big Band also performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1998 . In 1999, A Hot Night in Paris was released with recordings from the tour, including the big-band versions of Invisible Touch , Sussudio , Against All Odds and the idiosyncratic Los Endos Suite , originally a song from the prog rock era of Genesis.

Collins in the new millennium

Collins received an Oscar and a Golden Globe in 2000 for the song You'll Be in My Heart from the film Tarzan (1999) .

With his studio album Testify (2002), however, he achieved no notable success in the US and UK album charts, in the US only 140,000 copies were sold. Can't Stop Loving You (a Leo Sayer cover song) and Come with Me (Lullaby) reached positions in the AC charts. On the website, Testify was number 4 of the worst rated albums at the end of 2006.

In 2002 Collins was diagnosed with partial hearing loss in his left ear. A year later he announced his final solo tour:

“But while I still enjoy touring, I quit to do more than that. […] And I'll record another album because the pressure is gone to have to go on tour with it. I will basically continue as before, but I will do more from home. "

Collins and his band in Barcelona (2004)

He called it the First Final Farewell Tour , an ironic swipe at the repetitive "farewell" tours of other popular artists. Collins wanted to go on a big world tour one last time and then devote himself more to his family. However, in 2006 his third wife, Orianne, separated from him.

In 2007 he went on a farewell world tour with Genesis. After that, Collins fell ill with alcohol . When he almost died of alcohol in early 2013, he underwent rehab and has been dry ever since.

In 2009 Collins closed his official website and announced the end of his live career in October of the same year. After a cervical vertebra surgery in April 2009, the drummer had feelings of numbness in his hands, which meant that he could no longer play the drums.

On September 10, 2010, Atlantic Records released Phil Collins' 8th studio album entitled Going Back in Germany, which in the special edition contains a total of 29 cover versions of well-known theme titles . According to Collins, the project was always characterized by the nostalgia of the 1960s, which is why the album adapts the typical Motown sound 1: 1 and shows that it is true to the original. There were four concerts in advance in June. The single (Love Is Like A) Heatwave was released in advance . It is an adaptation of the 1963 hit Heatwave by Martha & the Vandellas , originators Holland – Dozier – Holland . Three members of the Funk Brothers played on the album .

On March 9, 2011, Phil Collins announced the end of his musical career again. After an initial denial of this announcement by his spokesman, Collins spoke up personally. "I want to try again to explain my reasons for breaking up," he wrote to his fans. “I'm quitting so that I can be a father to my two young sons around the clock every day.” This contradicts the reports previously spread in the media that he is resigning for health reasons. Collins emphasized that such statements on his part were easily made in interviews and never made headlines. "As a result, I sounded like a tortured weirdo ... who feels very sorry for himself and who is retiring, hurt by the bad press of the past few years," remarked Collins. "None of this is true."

Collins was puzzled by the article in the English men's magazine "FHM", which had triggered the resignation reports. "I haven't spoken to a press representative in the past few months," Collins continued. The former Genesis front man was therefore dissatisfied with his representation in the media and wanted to straighten the picture in his open letter. He didn't back down because of bad reviews or lack of fan support: "I know I still have a very large fan base that loves what I do." Collins also dismissed the portrayal that he believed he was in Music business an outsider. His current album Going Back had reached the top of the charts in Great Britain and sold very well worldwide.

According to Atlantic Records , Collins had sold over 100 million records worldwide as a solo artist by 2002; If you include the sales of Genesis, there are well over 250 million records sold. Despite all the reviews, he is one of the world's 20 most successful protagonists in the industry and, along with Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, is one of the three singers who have exceeded the 100 million mark in sold records as a solo artist and band member.

At the end of 2013, contrary to his earlier announcement, Collins announced in various interviews that he would be working on new, own material again. In October 2015, he spoke to Rolling Stone magazine about concrete plans to release a new album and go on tour again. After a period of personal problems, which was also associated with alcoholism , he had completely rehabilitated himself. He justified his return to the music business by being able to bring his children closer to their own musical work: “They want to see what their dad is doing.” […] “You love my music and I would like to take you with me so that you can enjoy it . “For health reasons, however, he is no longer able to play the drums.

Phil Collins then returned to the stage to mark the opening of the US Open on August 29, 2016 at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City . He sang two of his greatest hits, In The Air Tonight and Easy Lover (duet with Leslie Odom Jr. ). In the same year, Collins released a series of completely remastered editions of all Phil Collins albums under the title "Take A Look At Me Now" .

On October 17, 2016, in a live interview on his Facebook page, he announced 15 concerts for June 2017 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Lanxess Arena in Cologne and the AccorHotels Arena in Paris. On the Not Dead Yet Live - Tour 2017 with a 14-member band, he is accompanied by his then 16-year-old son Nicholas Collins on drums. by Daryl Stuermer (guitar) and Leland Sklar (bass). The very successful tour ended in March 2018 with concerts in South America. In total, tickets sold for over $ 14 million. That put Collins in third place of the most successful live artists this year behind U2 and Beyonce & Jay-Z . Further appearances followed in 2019, including in Germany.

Work as a producer and guest musician

Collins has worked as a music producer and guest musician for various well-known artists .

In 1980, Collins played at the tracks Taurus I and Sheba drums on the album QE2 by Mike Oldfield .

For the first English-language album by ABBA singer Frida , Something's Going On from 1982, Collins took over the production and drum parts. The hit I Know There's Something Going On, written by Russ Ballard , was released . The duet by Collins and Frida Here We'll Stay was released in an edit version without Collins as another single.

Also in 1982, Phil Collins drummed on six of the eight songs on Pictures at Eleven , Robert Plant 's debut solo album after the end of Led Zeppelin . In 2007 the album was re-released , supplemented by another song with Phil Collins on drums and a live version of the album track Like I've Never Been Gone , recorded on Robert Plant's concert tour the following year with Phil Collins in his touring band.

In 1984, Collins produced Philip Bailey's solo debut Chinese Wall and recorded all of the drums. The single Easy Lover , sung in a duet and jointly written for the album by Bailey, Collins and Nathan East , reached number 2 in the US charts, topped the UK charts for four weeks and was more than a million Times sold.

Eric Clapton (2005), for whom Collins produced two albums

In late 1984, Collins took part in Bob Geldof's Band Aid project and played on the single Do They Know It's Christmas? the drums. In the same year he re-produced Howard Jones' single No One Is to Blame from the album Dream into Action and was also active as a drummer and background singer. Collins also drummed on Tina Turner albums and produced Eric Clapton's successful Behind the Sun and August albums . He also worked as co-producer and drummer on the songs Puss'n Boots and Strip by Adam Ant and on Woman in Chains by Tears for Fears .

In the 1998's CD In My Life by George Martin , he interpreted in a medley several Beatles - cover versions .

For Lil 'Kim's remake of In the Air Tonight on the Phil Collins tribute album Urban Renewal Featuring the Songs of Phil Collins (2001), Collins sang the chorus anew. He did the same in the same year for the remake of Take Me Home by the hip-hop group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony on the album Thug World Order .

Collins is also a sought-after and often booked session musician for live performances , for example in 1982 as a drummer for Jethro Tull . In 1985, Bob Geldof invited him to perform at his charity concert Live Aid , which took place at both Wembley Stadium in England and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia , USA. Collins attended both venues. In London he performed with Sting , then flew with the Concorde to New York and by helicopter to Philadelphia. There he took over together with Tony Thompson (Chic) in the appearance of Led Zeppelin partly the part of the drummer John Bonham, who died in 1980, and also played drums for Eric Clapton.

On the occasion of the festivities for the golden jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2002, Collins was a member of the "house band" at the Party at the Palace and accompanied Paul McCartney , Ozzy Osbourne and Cliff Richard on drums.

Film music

Since the mid-1980s, Collins has worked as a musician and composer on film scores. Four of his seven number-one hits in the United States come from film soundtracks . He even received an Oscar for his composition work on the Disney film Tarzan .

Collins sang Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) as the theme song for the movie Against Every Chance (1984). He chose a song that he had written while recording Face Value , which has the working title How Can You Sit There? wore. The highly emotional ballad went straight to number 2 on the UK charts and number 1 on the US charts and became a real Collins classic. Many critics see it as the beginning of Collins' development away from the dark and dramatic material of earlier days towards a synth-pop- oriented, radio-friendly style. Against All Odds won a 1985 Grammy for Best Male Vocal Performance - Pop , and also received an Oscar nomination for Best Song in 1984 . However, Collins was the only candidate in this category not to receive an invitation to sing his song on stage at the Academy Awards. It is believed that despite the nomination , the Academy did not know exactly who he actually was. In a message to Collins' record company, TV broadcast co-producer Larry Gelbart explained the lack of invitation as follows: “Thank you for pointing out Phil Cooper [sic!] . Unfortunately, the places have already been allocated. “Collins, who was in the audience after he had planned his tour around that evening, instead had to watch the dancer Ann Reinking move her lips to his song (Bronson, p. 586). His horrified reaction, captured by the television cameras, is one of the most memorably delicate moments in the history of the Academy Awards. Years later he announced the song at his concerts with the words: "Miss Ann Reinking is not here tonight, so I think I have to sing my own song myself." The Oscar finally went to Stevie Wonders I Just Called to Say I Love You . It wasn't until 1998 that Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) appeared on a Collins album as part of the compilation … Hits .

Collins sang Separate Lives for White Nights (1985). The duet with Marilyn Martin was another number one hit for Collins in the US. Composer Stephen Bishop was nominated for an Oscar, which he then received for Say You, Say Me by Lionel Richie from the same film. Another Oscar nomination for Collins followed in 1989 for Two Hearts from the film Buster , in which he was also the leading actor.

Collins wrote the soundtrack for the Disney cartoon Tarzan . For his European fans, he decided to sing the German, Italian, Spanish and French versions of the soundtrack himself, which earned him positive feedback, especially in Germany. He won an Oscar for Best Song for You'll Be in My Heart ; In 1999 he sang its German version at Wetten, dass ..? .

The Tarzan soundtrack made it into the top ten in the US, the single You'll Be in My Heart , which Collins sang at the awards ceremony and during the half-time break of Super Bowl XXXIV , was the first Collins song to return to in five years Top 40 and in the Spanish version also the first and only Collins track to be featured on Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks . In 2003 Disney hired him together with Tina Turner for the soundtrack to Bear Brothers , the release of Look Through My Eyes was often played on the radio. The collaboration with Disney continued in 2005 when the song Welcome became the theme of the Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Disneyland . In the same year Tarzan 2 was released on DVD, for which he again wrote film music and two short vocal pieces. In 2006 Tarzan made his debut as a Broadway musical , to which Collins contributed eleven new songs and instrumentals and in whose production he had been heavily involved. In April 2007 the musical premiered in the Netherlands. The musical premiere will take place in Hamburg in October 2008.

The Collins song Sussudio and the Genesis piece In Too Deep were featured in the thriller American Psycho (2000), and in the novel the serial killer Patrick Bateman gives an extended monologue on how much he values ​​Collins' works.

Own accompanist

Chester Thompson, 2007, Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh

Over the years, a relatively permanent line- up of renowned studio and live musicians has emerged with whom Collins works. The Genesis Tour musicians Chester Thompson (drums) and Daryl Stuermer (guitar) are also permanent members of his live band, with the latter also co-composed some songs with Collins. The tours to Both Sides and Dance into the Light were exceptionally accompanied by Ricky Lawson as drummer. Collins' son Nicholas plays the drums on the tour "Not dead yet", which began in 2017. His childhood friend Ronnie Caryl, with whom he played in Flaming Youth in the 1960s , fills the position of rhythm guitarist. His favorite bass guitarists are Nathan East and Leland Sklar . Collins worked with the Earth, Wind and Fire blower section, then known as the Phenix Horns , throughout the 1980s. Various greats from the rock and pop scene have performed as guest musicians on his studio albums, including Eric Clapton , Sting , Peter Gabriel , David Crosby , Pino Palladino , Steve Winwood , Dominic Miller , Greg Phillinganes and Babyface .

Musical style

Collins' songs range from hard, drum-heavy numbers like In the Air Tonight to catchy pop arrangements ( Sussudio , You Can't Hurry Love ) to ballad- like songs like Another Day in Paradise , his most commercially successful song to date. He also taught himself to play the piano during his career , is considered a perfectionist in all artistic matters and sees himself primarily as a drummer, then as a singer, writer and producer. As a teenager he was very fond of Buddy Rich and Count Basie drummer Sonny Payne , who had just as much influence on his own drumming as Keith Moon from The Who and John Bonham from Led Zeppelin . Although his work as a pop singer and composer, despite sales of millions of records and several Grammy Awards for best singer and producer, sometimes finds controversial and ambiguous feedback, but because of his varied, complex and technically demanding playing technique and, above all, his ability, also with unusual time signatures (such as in Apocalypse in 9/8 ? / i of the Genesis piece Supper's Ready) to keep his groove , in professional circles and with the audience as an outstanding drummer. His unmistakably powerful-dynamic, but nevertheless melodic style and his drum sound - not least inspired by John Bonham - developed on the album Peter Gabriel III (1980) and then often copied, which consists of reverb, volume and compression effects and a sudden one Cutting off the reverberation as well as a time reversal of the acoustic event ( gated - reverb ) shaped the pop music of the 1980s and an entire generation of drummers. Audio file / audio sample

Collins' commercial success as a solo artist is based on the skillful combination of catchy ballads (One More Night , Another Day in Paradise , Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) , Do You Remember?) And up-tempo titles like Sussudio or Easy lover . The New Musical Express said that his music served as a "... blueprint for a new European league pop."

The chorus of One More Night is based on simple musical cadenzas with the three-time change between dominant and tonic and the minor chords of the second and sixth degrees . The warm sound of the DX7 - electric pianos , together with the discreet TR-808 -Percussions the maudlin framework for Collins' vocals.

In up-tempo songs like Sussudio, dry drums complemented by e-drums and a keyboard bass played in funk style form ? / i , as well as keyboard interjections, which primarily fulfill rhythmic functions, form the basis for the brass riffs that propel the song forward. These parts played by the Phenix Horns impress with their precision and deliberate slight rhythmic displacements of the wind instruments playing in unison and in quarters apart . Audio file / audio sample

Apart from these two “recipes for success”, Collins has successfully moved into historical rock genres with various recordings. His recordings of titles such as the psychedelic Beatles remake Tomorrow Never Knows , I Wish It Would Rain Down carried by Clapton's electric guitar , in the jazz and jazz rock influenced instrumental pieces The West Side and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning as well as the bitter-looking one , The Roof Is Leaking , based on empty fifths , cover a broad stylistic spectrum. With songs like Two Hearts , Heat on the Street and especially the Supremes cover You Can't Hurry Love , references to Motown music can be found again and again , and with Colors , Lorenzo or Wear My Hat ( drums, percussion and bass from Wear My Has ? / I ) African and Latin American rhythms dominate. Audio file / audio sample

Depending on the music to be played, Collins also regularly chooses different drums and cymbals as a sideman . Sets from Gretsch and Premier are often used, often using concert toms that do not have resonance heads. In earlier times he often used sets from Pearl and Ludwig , supplemented by a snare drum from Hinger . Today he still uses a Ludwig "Speed ​​King" foot machine for his bass drums and a hi-hat from the drum maker Slingerland . After using cymbals from Paiste and Zildjian over the years, he has recently preferred those from Sabian . As a left-hander , he sets up his drums the wrong way round.

Overall, Collins' oeuvre documents a considerable stylistic spectrum that can hardly be reduced to the commercially successful productions. His artistic commitment and the special skills as a drummer, singer and producer range from rock, jazz and jazz rock to swing, pop and soul to hip-hop and make him a "complete" musician. Despite this versatility, Collins' drumming and singing voice have a high individual recognition value . In 2012 he was inducted into the Modern Drummer ’s Hall of Fame .

Work as an actor

Collins' acting work is only a small part of his overall career. As a child, he appeared in three films, of which he only played an extra role in two. Collins received his first leading TV role in Calamity the Cow (1967). A scene in 1968 as a child in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) was excised. While still at school, he played the role of Artful Dodger in the musical Oliver Twist .

With Buster , a movie about the Great Mail Robbery in England , Collins came in 1988 to his first film role since the beginning of his musician career. The film critic Roger Ebert wrote that Collins played the role of Buster Edwards "with surprising effectiveness" ; Nevertheless, the soundtrack to the film was more successful than the film itself, and the three single releases placed high in the charts: Two Hearts , A Groovy Kind of Love, written together with Lamont Dozier (from the songwriting and producer team Holland-Dozier-Holland ) (Originally by the Mindbenders ) and the Loco in Acapulco, composed by Collins and Dozier and sung by the Four Tops .

In Steven Spielberg's Hook (1991) as an inspector and in the television film ... And Life Goes On (1993) Collins can be seen in a small supporting role. In 1993, Collins played insurance agent Roland Copping in his last leading role in the black comedy Ein weird Vogel . He was also a voice actor in the animated films Balto - A Dog with a Hero's Heart (1995) and Jungle Book 2 (2003).

A long-planned but never materialized project was a film with the working title The Three Bears , which he would have liked to make with Danny DeVito and Bob Hoskins . Collins mentioned this project several times, but a suitable script did not come about.

1986 Phil Collins was in an episode of Miami Vice (Phil the Shill , German title: Phil's Tricks) to see. He plays a little cheat there who gets away with it in the end. Collins himself contributed the song Life Is a Rat Race from this episode; however, this title was never released as a single. Several well-known Phil Collins songs were also used within the first seasons of the series, such as B. In the Air Tonight and I Don't Care Anymore . Collins was also several times in the British comedy show The Two Ronnies guest and had a Cameoauftritt in the sitcom Whoopi and 2006 PSP game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories .

He has also hosted the Billboard Music Awards twice on television .

Work as a book author

So far, Collins has authored two books.

The Alamo

Collins has had a great fascination with the history of the US state of Texas , the Texan Revolution of 1835/36 and especially the legendary Battle of the Alamo since early childhood . He collected countless objects, documents, illustrations and pictures and published them in March 2012 in his book The Alamo and Beyond: A Collector's Journey , a detailed historical outline of that time. It was developed in collaboration with a history professor from Abilene , Texas, Donald S. Frazier , and his passionate commitment not only made him the owner of the most extensive collection of historical artifacts and documents of the time, but also earned him an honorary doctorate from McMurry University in Abilene. In 2014, Collins donated the almost complete collection of over 200 individual pieces to the Alamo Museum and the people of Texas, thereby ensuring that the pieces returned to where they once came from. For this reason, he was made an honorary citizen of the state in March 2015 .


In October 2016, Collins published his autobiography under the title “Not Dead Yet” (German title “Da geht noch was - Not dead yet”).


Collins was married to Andrea Bertorelli from 1975 to 1980, whom he met in an acting class in London. From this marriage comes their son Simon (* 1976), who also works as a musician and was able to land a Europe-wide hit single with Pride in 2000. Bertorelli's daughter Joely (* 1973) was later adopted by Collins. She works as an actress. Collins dealt with separation and divorce in the Genesis song Please Don't Ask , which Collins himself described as his most personal song.

Collins has a daughter, Lily Collins (* 1989) , with his second wife, Jill Tavelman, with whom he was married from 1984 to 1996 .

After divorcing Tavelman in 1997, Collins moved into a villa in Begnins on Lake Geneva , Switzerland , where he married Orianne Cevey in 1999. At this point, the couple had been in a relationship for five years. They had two sons who were born in 2001 and 2004. Since the beginning of 2006, Collins and Cevey lived separately. On August 18, 2008, this marriage was also divorced. Collins paid the sum of £ 25 million for this divorce. To be closer to his family, he moved to Miami after Cevey after a serious crisis. In 2010 he said: “Orianne and I are still in love. And I don't know why we got divorced. ”Collins had been dating New York journalist Dana Tyler since 2008 . However, he ruled out another marriage. In 2015, Phil Collins and his ex-wife Orianne tried again to live together, including with their sons Nicholas and Matthew in Miami / Florida, which ended in a separation in August 2019. Nicholas Collins (* 2001) is also a drummer and has been a drummer in his father's band since the start of the “Not dead yet” tour in 2017.


Together with his then wife Orianne, Collins set up the Little Dreams Foundation in 2000 , which endeavors to promote the talents and potential of young people. He also supports PETA and in 2005 donated hand-signed drumsticks for the PETA campaign against Kentucky Fried Chicken .

Even if it is claimed again and again, there is no valid evidence of Collins' membership in the Freemasons . The London SOHO Lodge No. In any case, 3 does not exist.

Collins is interested in football and is a fan of Tottenham Hotspur , but also sympathizes with West Bromwich Albion .

He was the first celebrity to appear in the Grand Theft Auto series of computer games . In the game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories he plays himself and appears in some missions. From Mission In the Air Tonight you can visit his concert and listen to the song of the same name over and over again. The 2013 version of his song I Don't Care Anymore can be heard on one of the radio stations.

The second part of the humorous ZDF television series Die Musterknaben (1999) is about a fictional case of Phil Collins .

Collins repeatedly sang songs from comic soundtracks he composed himself in various languages, including Bear Brothers . Besides Japanese, he found German to be a great challenge.

In 2012 he was valued at $ 250 million as the second richest drummer in the world after Ringo Starr .

Collins's health has been severely restricted since 2009. After a cervical vertebra operation in April 2009, the drummer had feelings of numbness in his hands, which meant that he could no longer play the drums to this day. In addition, he has complaints and restrictions in his legs, which further reduces the possibilities of playing the drums. Nevertheless, Collins has been going on extensive tours again since 2017 and is again giving live concerts around the world, with his son Nicholas Collins playing the drums. He himself moves onto the stage with the help of a walking stick and, despite clear complaints, performs his two and a half hour concerts while sitting.


“I was convinced that I would have been the only real Keith Moon successor. I loved this band , thought that nobody understood them as well as I did. "

- Phil Collins : in an interview with Die Welt


Studio albums



  • 2006: Tarzan (New York City, USA)
  • 2008: Tarzan (Hamburg, Germany)


Awards as a solo artist

In addition to his numerous awards, Collins has received several honorary doctorates from various universities for his artistic work, including: that of McMurry University in Abilene and the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz . He is an honorary citizen of the US state of Texas. In 2016 Rolling Stone listed him as 43rd of the 100 best drummers of all time .

Halls of Fame

  • 2003: Songwriters Hall of Fame
  • 2010: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of Genesis)
  • 2012: Modern Drummer's Hall of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Ivor Novello Award

  • 2008: Greatest international success

Grammy Awards

American Music Awards

  • 1991: Best Album (Pop / Rock) ( ... But Seriously )
  • 1991: Best Male Artist (Pop / Rock) (... But Seriously)
  • 2000: Best Artist (Contemporary) (Tarzan Soundtrack)


Golden Globe Award

Disney legend

Brit Awards

  • 1986: Best British Album No Jacket Required ,
  • 1986: Best British Male Solo Artist
  • 1989: Best British Male Solo Artist
  • 1990: Best British Male Solo Artist
  • 1990: Best British single for Another Day in Paradise


  • 1991: international artist
  • 2011: international artist

German Radio Prize

  • 2010: Special Prize of the Advisory Board at the German Radio Prize

See also


  • Johnny Waller: The Phil Collins Story . Zomba Books, 1985, ISBN 0-946391-78-5 .
  • Isabell Ottermann: Phil Collins live… . edel Company, 1990, ISBN 3-927801-10-0 .
  • Phil Collins: Phil Collins Anthology . Hal Leonard Publishing, 2001, ISBN 0-634-02064-1 .
  • Andrew Renton, Caoimhin Mac Giolla Leith, Mitrovi Sinisa: Phil Collins - I Only Want You to Love Me . Photoworks, 2007, ISBN 1-903796-09-1 .
  • Ray Coleman: Phil Collins: The Definitive Biography . Simon & Schuster Ltd., London 1997, ISBN 0-684-81784-5 .

Web links

Commons : Phil Collins  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

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  2. Greatest of All Time - Hot 100 Artists ,, accessed May 5, 2017.
  3. The 100 Best Drummers of All Time, Rolling Stone March 31, 2016
  4. ^ Andy Greene, Andy Greene: Phil Collins Plotting Comeback: 'I Am No Longer Retired'. In: Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 28, 2015, July 15, 2020 (American English).
  5. Markus Kavka in a TV interview with Phil Collins ,
  6. stj / dpa: Pop music: Phil Collins stops. In: Focus Online . March 6, 2011, accessed October 14, 2018 .
  8. Sandra Zistl: Pop music: Phil Collins doesn't stop. In: Focus Online . March 8, 2011, accessed October 14, 2018 .
  9. Annoyed by the Review - Phil Collins Says Goodbye , n-tv, 2011
  10. RP-Online from June 12, 2017: Concert in Cologne - Phil Collins bathes in affection
  11. Süddeutsche Zeitung: Comeback in London - Phil Collins on tour: Hurray, we're still alive!
  12. Genesis comeback: Reunion and tour are confirmed! March 4, 2020, accessed on March 5, 2020 (German).
  13. Phil Collins: There's something else to come - Not dead yet . Publisher: Heyne, 2016, p. 45. ISBN 978-3-453-20121-7
  14. a b c d e Ray Coleman: Phil Collins: The Definitive Biography. Simon & Schuster Ltd., London 1997, ISBN 0-684-81784-5 .
  15. ( Memento from June 17, 2006 in the Internet Archive ).
  16. The Beatles - The Making of A Hard Day's Night at
  17. ^ Philip David Charles Collins - The Early Years . ( April 14, 2009 memento on the Internet Archive )
  18. ^ Genesis biography ( memento of March 10, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) on
  19. Phil Collins at
  20. Question: "On a more positive front then, what about the favorite albums that you did?"
    Collins: "I think The Lamb because The Lambs got a lot of music. You can't listen to it all in one go, well I can't but the fans do, but there is a lot of music that was improvised and I couldn't tell you what was going to happen next unless I listened to it three or four times. So in terms of listening to something and being surprised by it I think The Lamb would be my favorite. It might be the way it was recorded, it was a little rougher audio-wise. "
  21. [1] Interview with Phil Collins, Classic Rock, January 30, 2019
  22. Kris Nicholson: Album Review Trick of the Trail . ( April 4, 2009 memento on the Internet Archive ), May 20, 1976
  23. a b c d e Barry Graves, Siegfried Schmidt-Joos, Bernhard Halbscheffel: The new rock lexicon - Part 1 . Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH, Hamburg 1988, ISBN 3-499-16320-9 , pp. 208f.
  24. Philip David Charles Collins - The Solo Success , ( Memento April 25, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  25. Phil Collins in an interview with Jessica Schwarz ( Memento from October 22, 2007 in the Internet Archive ). On: , December 7, 2002.
  26. ^ Brand X. A Brief History, ( Memento of February 26, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  27. ^ A b c F. Bronson: The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. Billboard Books, New York 1997.
  28. .
  29. D. Thompson: Turn It On Again: Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, and Genesis. Back Beat Books, San Francisco 2004, p. 181.
  30. ^ J. Whitburn: The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books, New York 2000, pp. 143f.
  31. See the lyrics of … But Seriously on
  32. , accessed on January 30, 2021.
  33. , accessed on January 30, 2021.
  34. a b ( Memento of March 8, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  35. .
  36. Famous baby boomers with significant hearing loss and / or tinnitus at
  37. From an interview on June 11, 2004 in the backstage area of ​​the Berlin Waldbühne on .
  38. a b I almost died from alcohol
  39. Phil Collins in an interview with Hamburger Abendblatt , on October 19, 2009 on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the musical Tarzan in Hamburg.
  40.  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  41. Phil Collins presents new single  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as broken. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  42. Phil Collins Bio ( Memento of the original from May 10, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Atlantic Records, November 2002 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  43. Phil Collins is writing his own songs again . Welt Online , December 5, 2013
  44. Phil Collins back in business soon? n-tv, November 22, 2013
  45. Comeback of musician Phil Collins: "I am no longer retired" . Spiegel Online , October 29, 2015
  46. Sassan Niasseri: Phil Collins in an interview: "I do not go home and get angry!" . Rolling Stone, March 11, 2016
  47. There's something else to come - Not dead yet: The autobiography
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  49. Phil Collins Facebook page
  50. Phil Collins live is a hit. Retrieved October 29, 2018 .
  51. ^ Jethro Tull live with Phil Collins on drums, 1982
  52. Phil Collins You'll Be In My Heart LIVE | "Wetten dass ..." 11/13/1999 | COMPLETE INTERVIEW | TARZAN. Accessed November 4, 2019 (German).
  53. David Browne in Entertainment Weekly 1996 on Dance into the Light : "... even Phil Collins must know that we all grew weary of Phil Collins." At .
  54. Drum duet with Chester Thompson as MP3 file ( Memento from December 14, 2006 in the Internet Archive ),
  55. Interview by Sticks magazine with Phil Collins ( memento from October 22, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  56. Classic Tracks: Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" ( Memento from March 17, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  57. Magic of Earth, Wind and Fire's brass section, great melodic songs and Collins' soul-tinged vocals added up to potent package. in The New Illustrated Rock Handbook . Salamander Books Ltd., London 1986, ISBN 0-86101-248-8 , p. 48.
  58. From the Berliner Morgenpost , June 13, 2004: “Collins loves the constant, the grown and the familiar. Why experiments? He's as mainstream as his Stax and Motown soul-era idols were. “ Come on boy, come back soon! - Phil Collins says goodbye to his fans in the Waldbühne. But is he serious? ( Memento of September 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  59. ^ Interview with Collins in Sticks magazine in February 1998 ( Memento from October 22, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  60. ^ Archives of Modern> Drummer's Hall of Fame
  61. .
  62. , accessed January 30, 2021.
  63. ^ Collins interview with Glenn A. Baker. ( March 2, 2009 memento on the Internet Archive ) Penthouse Magazine , 1993,
  64. ^ Publishing information from State House Press
  65. a b McMurry doctorate a 'tremendous honor', Phil Collins says . In: ARNews Weekend . Retrieved May 12, 2012.
  66. Phil Collins Press Conference ( Memento of the original from September 28, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. The Alamo website @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  67. $ 100 million Phil Collins Alamo Collection in the Works , Rolling Stone
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  71. Ryan Reed: Phil Collins Promises He's 'Not Dead Yet' With New Memoir - Rolling Stone, June 15, 2016
  72. I am not so ambitious as I was . ( Memento from April 22, 2009 on the Internet Archive ) Radio Times November 2, 2002
  73. Simon Collins' biography at
  74. Genesis - The Story of a Band ( Genesis: Together and Apart ), documentary by John Edginton, 2014
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  82. Little Dreams - official website of the foundation
  83. News on ( Memento of February 16, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  84. ^ Wisdom Lodge List of Famous Freemasons . Wisdom Lodge # 202 Pasadena, CA. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  85. Phil Collins: List of Famous Freemasons . Archived from the original on September 29, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
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  87. ^ RP-Online of March 15, 2004
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  90. Lauren Duca: 11 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About 'A Hard Day's Night'. Huffington Post, June 2, 2014, accessed January 30, 2021 .
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  98. ^ Website of the German Radio Prize
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on February 5, 2007 in this version .