Known Johnson

April 30, 2008

Duke’s End

Filed under: Music — Tom @ 7:16 pm

So Phil Collins announced his “musical retirement” this week. First: we’ll see. I think we’ve all gotten pretty jaded about retirements after seeing just about everyone retire and then stage a major comeback a few years later. I have few doubts that, should Peter Gabriel offer to tour Genesis one last time Phil would jump at the chance – but my guess is that Phil’s retirement was spurred on by exactly the opposite of that. I had my suspicions that the final installment in the remix/surround-sound box-set treatment of the Genesis catalog would be followed by a short tour involving Peter Gabriel, since that is his material and it has been held off for last – and delayed multiple times – but Peter Gabriel rarely looks back. My guess is that Phil got a final “no” from his old friend Peter and that sealed the deal for him.

Second: a hearty “shove it” to all you snotty little indie wankers who are celebrating. Like this retirement means anything to you anyway. Phil Collins is a fantastic drummer – maybe you never cared enough to pay any attention or dig into the old Genesis catalog, but there’s some incredible stuff going on in there. If all you know of Phil Collins is Disney soundtracks and “Sussudio,” you are painfully shallow. Not to mention his voice – it’s an icon. Maybe what it came to represent in the late 80s and through the 90s was adult contemporary pap, but through the 70s and early 80s, Collins was the man. I love his voice, and I’m not ashamed to say it. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of his solo career, but I’m a Genesis fan, through and through.

I don’t know what prompted this. That’s not true. I guess it’s just three days of seeing all the gloating by idiots who really have nothing to say but just want to jump on the bandwagon. Never underestimate the attraction of an easy target for small-minded morons.



  1. Maybe what it came to represent in the late 80s and through the 90s was adult contemporary pap, but through the 70s and early 80s, Collins was the man.

    If I’m not mistaken, it sounds to me like you’re saying he hasn’t been relevant in roughly 25 years. If so, shouldn’t his retirement be a reason to celebrate?

    You know I don’t speak for “snotty little indie wankers,” and I agree wholeheartedly that from, oh, Selling England By The Pound through Abacab, Phil showed mad skillz on the writing and performing fronts. Way back when, I was a big fan, and those early Genesis albums rock mightily. But if he’s just churning out Disney pap and adult contemporary snoozefests nowadays, I’m all for this particular career move.

    Comment by Chris — May 1, 2008 @ 7:59 am | Reply

  2. I think the guy was a pretty good songwriter and wrote pleasant pop songs even after the early ’80s Genesis. I like some of those songs. Sure some of them were too sugary and silly, but even some of those “AC” songs were well-written pop tunes. Is it vital? No. Is it compelling? Not particularly. He has some cringe-worthy stuff, but not all of it was all that bad. He’s an easy target and he deserves some of the flak, but he gets more than he deserves.

    Comment by Josh Hathaway — May 1, 2008 @ 9:43 am | Reply

  3. I guess I didn’t explain that well enough – his voice was a symbol for that sound, but, with Genesis, at least, he still put out some decent stuff. We Can’t Dance is half of a great album . . . and half-pap. Same goes for Invisible Touch and the self-titled album. I took it as material to fund the stuff they really wanted to do – the more involved, prog-like stuff. Whether that’s true or not, I can’t say. But I like to think that way.

    As for the attitude toward him, it is dismissive of his entire career, not just the past 10-15 years, and that’s what pisses me off. I realize prog is ridiculously uncool, but it’s tiring to see praise heaped on artists that really can just barely play (ahem – Meg White) while someone like Phil who could not only play but do it incredibly well and sing (at the same time) really well is treated as a joke. I don’t get it.

    Comment by Tom — May 1, 2008 @ 9:47 am | Reply

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