Since Phil Collins announced his retirement this week, let’s take a look back at some of his hits. To me, his music could be polarizing. Overall, I loved his music. After all, I did rank him as the #1 ’80s solo artist who had been in a successful ’80s band. But, some of his music was way way way overplayed. I pretty much love all of his Genesis work.
So, I present to you my list of the best and worst solo hits.
We’ll start off with the Bad:
This song was the first single released off of Collins’ third album, No Jacket Required. I did like it when it first came out. But just the name of the song started to irritate me. What the hell does it even mean?! It’s not even a friggin’ word! Even trying to find out what it means is irritating. Some sources say that it was just a word Collins used to fit the rhythm of the song, then ended up leaving it in. Apparently, other sources say that Collins said on VH1 Storytellers that “Sussudio” is an imaginary girl’s name. The song is about having a crush on someone when young. He used “Sussudio” as a name to symbolize any girl. So, maybe it’s a combination of both answers. Your guess is as good as mine. I already spent too much time and energy on it. So here’s the video:
4. Another Day in Paradise
This 1989 song was the first single off of Phil’s …But Seriously album. But Seriously, this song was on the radio and MTV constantly. It was too boring for me, and it was getting shoved into my ears. Ugh!
3. I Wish It Would Rain Down
This was the second song off of …But Seriously. See above. Eric Clapton plays guitar on the song, so I guess I’m suppose to like it. But, I don’t so I guess I don’t know anything about music. So, here is 8:35 of magic:
2. In The Air Tonight
This was Phil Collins’ first hit. This is another song I’m suppose to like – but don’t. When it comes on, I actually forget that it’s playing. The quick little drum part 3:16 into the song wakes me up – then I fall back asleep. Collins wrote this about the anger he felt after divorcing his first wife Andrea in 1979. He did not witness somebody drowning. It is an urban legend. Here is a quote from Phil Collins:
“I don’t know what this song is about. When I was writing this I was going through a divorce. And the only thing I can say about it is that it’s obviously in anger. It’s the angry side, or the bitter side of a separation. So what makes it even more comical is when I hear these stories which started many years ago, particularly in America, of someone come up to me and say, ‘Did you really see someone drowning?’ I said, ‘No, wrong’. And then every time I go back to America the story gets Chinese whispers, it gets more and more elaborate. It’s so frustrating, ‘cos this is one song out of all the songs probably that I’ve ever written that I really don’t know what it’s about, you know.
1. Two Hearts
This song came from the 1988 Phil Collins movie Buster. In my opinion, when it came out, this was the most overplayed song in the history of music. Well, at least out of all Phil Collins music. When it first came out, I actually bought the 45. I may have only had to play it once. Then it was on nonstop on the radio and on TV. I am still sick of it 23 years later!
A Groovy Kind Of Love
This one is in between for me. This song was overplayed, but I didn’t get sick of it too much:
And here are my favorites:
5. Easy Lover
I love this song, which Phil Collins sings with Earth, Wind and Fire’s Philip Bailey. It is a fun song, and they sound good together. The song appeared on Bailey’s solo album Chinese Wall.
4. Don’t Lose My Number
This song came off of Collins’ No Jacket Required album. I like the pace of the song. It’s not annoying like “Sussudio”. Everybody says that the drums are greatin “In the Air Tonight”, but I think they are even better here.
Against All Odds
I guess I’m kind of contradicting myself here as far as overplayed songs are concerned. But, for some reason I never got sick of this one, and I still like it. Here is Phil’s Live Aid performance:
2. Separate Lives
This is probably one of my favorite duets ever. This 1985 song that Collins performed with Marilyn Martin came from the White Nights soundtrack. It sounds just as good today as it did 26 years ago.
1. Disney’s Tarzan songs – Strangers Like Me/Two Worlds/You’ll Be in My Heart
I know – sacrilege – these aren’t ’80s songs! But I do love these songs – especially “You’ll Be in My Heart”. After what seemed like an eternity between solo projects, Phil Collins wrote the songs for this movie. It just feels like he put a lot of heart into these songs. It’s too bad he didn’t continue on with this success.
Phil, you will be missed! But, your music will live on forever.