Well, that’s not entirely true: Phill Collins didn’t exactly ruin my life. But he did lead one of my favourite prog rock groups astray from the path of Prog Rock Geniuses to Pap Pop Peddlars, and also filled most of my youth with unremittingly awful covers like ‘You Can’t Hurry Love.’
You only have to listen to Collins and Chester Thompson, the second drummer on the live album Seconds Out, playing together to hear how good a drummer Collins was. There’s some deft work on early albums like Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot – both albums with Genesis at the height of their powers. Collins drums subtly, sympathetically, but with great craft and assurance, moving effortlessely through ever-changing time-signatures with great ease.
And then: Peter Gabriel left, followed a few years later by guitarist Steve Hackett, and Genesis went from Prog Rock geniuses to being Collins’ backing-band; then the group broke up, unleashing Collins’ solo career in the 80’s and a wealth of banal pop tunes and covers.
It’s a real shame, because Genesis were brilliant, and Collins’ contribution was an essential part of that. But to go from that to sixties’ covers of outstanding banality and some ultra-safe, middle-of-the-road album-making – unforgiveable.