Ah yes they all want me: the best of Phil Collins

Proof that Phil Collins has become accepted: WordPress did not auto correct “Sussudio”!

Omitting Genesis songs means a Collins Preservation Society would have little trouble rounding up fifteen good solo tunes, most of which were recorded after Genesis started shipping platinum, he divorced his first wife, and channeled the spirit of those John Martyn albums he produced. The spare synth workouts on Face Value like “This Must Be Love” have a limpidness we’d never hear again, and never again would he interpolate the Earth Wind & Fire horns with the syncopation demonstrated in “I Missed Again” and the rerecorded “Behind the Lines.”

Collins’ dominance of the pop charts between 1983-1993 gives one pause: solo album followed Genesis album, with the occasional movie soundtrack theme. The story that his managers begged MTV in the late eighties to stop playing him lest they hurt his sales might be apocryphal; it didn’t hurt his sales. Even Both Sides and Dance into the Light didn’t reduce him to John Martyn-esque obscurity. After those Eric Clapton hits, radio stations consigned Collins’ generation to A/C, VH-1, and the Walmart rack unless Disney needed a cheapo movie anthem. Before Bill Clinton put his hand on the Bible our Phil was on the outs, though: the walloping drum sound was like malaria on pop radio, the vehement singing had devolved into barking (“Something Happened on the Way to Heaven”), and the ballads weren’t written with anyone in mind except A&R men (“Everyday). Finally, in his videos only Paul McCartney and Neil Simon matched him for crossing the cutes and mawkishness.

1. This Must Be Love
2. In the Air Tonight
3. Easy Lover
4. Droned
5. Long Long Way to Go
6. Against the Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)
7. Two Hearts
8. Behind the Lines
9. I Don’t Wanna Know
10. I Don’t Care Anymore
11. If Leaving Me is Easy
12. Sussudio
13. I Missed Again
14. Do You Remember
15. Take Me Home
16. We Said Hello Goodbye

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