“From Gabriel To Collins - A Revelation” By Ted Sayers.
He never really wanted to get out from behind his drum kit!! Singers have to “wiggle their bums”. Obviously, Phil didn’t fancy doing that. He had been content to bash the skins and do the odd harmony - even lead vocals on two early songs; For Absent Friends and More Fool Me. But really when you consider Mr Collins’ early career; actor, group comedian etc, he was obviously destined to “wiggle his bum” (his words) for Genesis.
Phil’s voice was always there from the first album he recorded with Genesis ( Nursery Cryme). His voice blended with Peter’s almost perfectly. So well in fact that you could hardly hear the join.
When Peter left the band, Genesis were written off by all and sundry - “great band but… Oh well, these things happen”. To many people Genesis WAS Peter Gabriel. When it said on the LP credits “all titles by all” it obviously meant that Peter Gabriel wrote ALL the songs (?). Peter was the focal point of the band and looking back now it is easy to see why Genesis were written off - nobody bothered to look beyond Peter.
Meanwhile, Genesis (Tony, Mike, Steve and Phil) were saying “wait, no; look we’re recording a new album. We’re NOT finished!” While recording A Trick Of The Tail they were looking for Peter’s replacement. Many were auditioned, and some surprising names were linked with the band (Nick Lowe to mention one).
The deadline for the album’s release was imminent and so Phil agreed to sing on the LP but when the tour came up, they would have to find somebody else. The album was released and still no singer! Phil accepted the mantle of “bum wiggler” for the band and he hasn’t looked back since. He has consistently gone from strength to strength and his drumming hasn’t deteriorated either! Witness the sheer power of Los Endos live and you will know what I mean. Phil’s voice was even compared to Peter’s and it was said that he sounded more like Gabriel that Gabriel did himself!
He even began composing songs himself - a process previously left to Mike and Tony and in 1980 his first two solo compositions appeared on the Duke LP; Misunderstanding and Please Don’t Ask. Since then the band have reverted to an “all titles by all” format but solo composition is given greater scope in the individual recording efforts of all the band members during their “holidays” from Genesis.
Without doubt, Phil’s solo career is by far the most successful to date, showing just how far he has come since the early days behind the drums. Honestly, anyone would think he was shy!