Phil Collins has long passed his prime of popularity, but the news of his retirement is meaningful to me. After his initial stint as lead vocalist for Genesis, he shocked the radio airwaves with In the Air Tonight. He did so by bringing drums to the forefront of a song, in a way that hadn’t quite been done before. His playing, though somewhat unique, was arguably overshadowed by the studio engineering and final mix of that track. Collins continued to release tracks on which drums were at the forefront and complimented by catchy grooves, horns and his impressive vocal range. I recall seeing him perform live in support of No Jacket Required. He and Chester Thompson started the show with the drum intro for I Don’t Care Anymore. To date, I can’t recall being struck by a live drum mix. It was in fact mesmerizing to the ears; but wasn’t until I saw him on tour and behind the drum kit for Robert Plant that I realized what a talented rock drummer he truly was. Whether or not we ever see him play, sing or record again, we can remember his mark on pop music and remarkable drum recordings.
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