Philip David Charles Collins, plus connu sous le nom de Phil Collins, est un musicien rock et pop et un acteur de cinéma britannique né le 30 janvier 1951 à Londres.
Philip David Charles Collins (born January 30, 1951 in Chiswick, London) is an English singer, songwriter, drummer, and actor. He is best known as the lead singer and drummer of progressive rock group Genesis and as a Grammy and Academy Award-winning solo artist. He is also an actor, having starred in numerous films.
Il débute sa carrière très jeune en tant qu’acteur enfant et modèle. En 1971, lorsqu’il rejoint le groupe Genesis, il est déjà connu en tant que batteur. Il a un frère, Clive, qui est illustrateur et une sœur, Carol, qui est patineuse professionnelle.
En 1975, lorsque le chanteur principal Peter Gabriel quitta le groupe, Collins en prit la tête en tant que chanteur. Genesis connut ses plus grands succès durant cette période et, en 1986, le titre Invisible Touch culmina en tête des ventes. En 1996, Collins a annoncé qu’il quittait Genesis.
Durant les années 1970, Phil Collins jouait également de la batterie dans le groupe de jazz fusion Brand X. Au cours des années 1980, il a aussi joué avec Robert Plant et le groupe Tears for Fears, et collaboré avec des musiciens très connus comme George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Mike Oldfield, et quelques autres.
En 1981, tout en poursuivant sa carrière dans Genesis, Collins a débuté une carrière solo avec l’album Face Value, numéro 1 dans les charts britanniques dès la première semaine de sa parution (Face Value restera 6 ans dans le Top 75). Avec le titre In The Air Tonight, il invente un nouveau son en incorporant à de la batterie traditionnelle de la batterie pré enregistrée (Drum Machine). Cette technique a été maintes fois copiée depuis par d’autres compositeurs. En 1985, il fut l’une des figures marquantes du concert Live Aid durant lequel il traversa l’Atlantique en Concorde afin de participer aux deux concerts du programme (Royaume-Uni et États-Unis). Il continua parallèlement sa carrière d’acteur en jouant dans le film Buster (1988) dans lequel il jouait le rôle de Buster Edwards dans l’attaque célèbre d’un train en 1963.
Ses ventes records ont diminué considérablement à partir de la sortie de Both Sides en 1993. Les sorties suivantes n’atteindront jamais plus les niveaux de vente atteints par ses albums des années 1980. Les ventes totales mondiales des albums de Phil Collins, y compris ceux sortis par Genesis, atteignent approximativement les deux cent millions.
En 1999, Collins collabore avec Mark Mancina et le célèbre Nicolas Faramia sur la bande originale de Tarzan. Phil Collins chante en cinq langues certains titres de cette bande originale, il reçoit un Oscar pour la chanson You’ll Be In My Heart.
En 2003, Disney a de nouveau engagé Phil Collins pour composer la bande originale d’un autre film d’animation, Frère des ours.
Phil Collins ne lit ni n’écrit la musique de façon conventionnelle, mais utilise son propre système de notation. Il a reconnu ces dernières années perdre partiellement l’ouïe d’une oreille et a annoncé, en 2003, qu’il effectuerait une tournée d’adieux. Depuis, Il a rejoint Genesis en 2007 et a embarqué sur une nouvelle tournée en été en Europe et cet automne au États-Unis et Canada (The Turn It On Again Tour).
De ses trois mariages, il a eu cinq enfants dont son fils aîné, Simon Collins, qui est aussi musicien et qui a publié deux albums. Il a aussi une fille adoptive, Joely, qui est une actrice renommée au Canada, Lily, qui est modèle, Nicolas et Mathew, ses fils cadets.
Il habite Féchy, dans le canton de Vaud, en Suisse.
* 1981 : Face Value
* 1982 : Hello, I Must Be Going
* 1985 : No Jacket Required
* 1987 : 12″ers
* 1989 : But Seriously
* 1990 : Serious Hits… Live!
* 1993 : Both sides
* 1996 : Dance into the Light
* 1998 : Hits
* 2002 : Testify
* 2004 : The Platinum Collection
* 2004 : Love Songs: A Compilation… Old and New
* 1964 : Quatre garçons dans le vent (A Hard Day’s Night) (figurant)
* 1966 : Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
* 1967 : Calamity the Cow (Mike Lucas)
* 1986 : Princes Trust Birthday Party (téléfilm)
* 1988 : Buster (Buster Edwards)
* 1989 : The Who Live, Featuring the Rock Opera Tommy (téléfilm) (oncle Ernie)
* 1991 : Hook ou la revanche du Capitaine Crochet (inspecteur Good)
* 1993 : Les soldats de l’espérance (film) (Eddie Papasano)
* 1993 : Frauds (Roland Copping)
* 1994 : Calliope (Jackson Dover)
* 1995 : Balto chien-loup, héros des neiges (voix de Muk et Luk)
* 2003 : Le Livre de la Jungle 2 (voix)
* 1977 : Genesis: A Band in Concert
* 1984 : Contre toute attente (chanson)
* 1988 : Buster (chansons)
* 1990 : Phil Collins: The Singles Collection (vidéo)
* 1993 : The Who’s Tommy, the Amazing Journey (chanson Drum Duet)
* 1999 : Musterknaben 2, Die (téléfilm)
* 1999 : Tarzan (chansons)
* 2001 : Moulin Rouge ! (chanson One More Night)
* 2002 : Paid in Full (chansons)
* 2003 : Go’ røv & go’ weekend (série télévisée)
* 2003 : Frère des ours
Collins sang the lead vocals on eight American chart-toppers between 1984 and 1989; seven as a solo artist and one with Genesis. His singles, often dealing with lost love, ranged from the drum-heavy « In the Air Tonight« , to the dance pop of « Sussudio« , to the political statements of his most successful song, « Another Day in Paradise« .
His international popularity transformed Genesis from a progressive rock group to a regular on the pop charts and an early MTV mainstay. Collins’s professional career began as a drummer, first with obscure rock group Flaming Youth and then more famously with Genesis.
In Genesis, Collins originally supplied backing vocals for front man Peter Gabriel, singing lead on only two songs; it was not until Gabriel’s departure in 1975 that he became the group’s lead singer.
As the decade closed, Genesis’s first international hit, « Follow You, Follow Me« , demonstrated a drastic change from the band’s early years. His concurrent solo career, heavily influenced by his personal life, brought both him and Genesis commercial success. According to Atlantic Records, Collins’s total worldwide sales as a solo artist, as of 2002, were over 100 million.
Early life and career
Collins was given a toy drum kit for Christmas when he was five. Later, his uncle made him a makeshift one that he used regularly, and his drumming skills improved. As Collins grew they were followed by more complete sets bought by his parents. He practised by playing alongside the television and radio, and never learned to read and write conventional musical notation; instead, he uses a system he devised himself.
Collins looked for every opportunity to perform. His professional training began at fourteen when he entered Barbara Speake Stage School. He began a career as a child actor and model, and won his first major role as The Artful Dodger in a London production of Oliver!. He appeared in The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night as one of hundreds of screaming teenagers during the climactic concert sequence. Although only an extra in this sequence, Collins receives a close-up all to himself: his mother was hired to cast the extras in this sequence, and she arranged for her son to receive a brief close-up in the film. He also auditioned for the role of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (1968).
In 1970, the 19-year old Collins played percussion on the George Harrison song « The Art of Dying« ; Harrison credited him in the liner notes to the remastered CD version of the album released in 2000. In addition, Collins was among the last three finalists for the role of « I.Q » on the classic children’s American television show The Bugaloos. He lost out to English actor/musician John McIndoe.
Despite the beginnings of an acting career, Collins continued to gravitate towards music. While attending Chiswick Community School he formed a band called The Real Thing and later joined The Freehold. With the latter group, he wrote his first song titled « Lying Crying Dying ».
Collins’ first record deal came as drummer for Flaming Youth, who released a single album, Ark 2 (1969). A concept album inspired by the recent media attention surrounding the moon landing, Ark 2 failed to make much commercial success despite positive critical reviews. Melody Maker featured the album as « Pop Album of the Month« , describing it as « adult music beautifully played with nice tight harmonies ». The album’s main single, « From Now On« , failed on the radio. After a year of touring, band tensions and the lack of commercial success dissolved the group.
In 1970, Collins answered a Melody Maker classified ad for « …a drummer sensitive to acoustic music, and acoustic twelve-string guitarist ». Genesis placed the ad after having already lost three drummers over two albums. The audition occurred at the home of Peter Gabriel’s parents. Prospective candidates performed tracks from the group’s second album, Trespass (1970). Collins arrived early, listened to the other auditions while swimming in Gabriel’s parents’ pool, and memorised the pieces before his turn.
Collins won the audition. Nursery Cryme (1971) was released a year later. Although his role remained primarily that of drummer and backing vocalist for the next five years, he twice sang lead vocals: once on « For Absent Friends » (from Nursery Cryme) (1971) and once on « More Fool Me » (from Selling England by the Pound) (1973).
In 1974, while Genesis were recording the album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Brian Eno (who is credited with « Enossification » for electronic vocal effects on the track « Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging« ) needed a drummer for his album Another Green World. Collins was sent to fill the gap, and played drums in lieu of payment for Eno’s work with the band.
In 1975, following the final tour supporting the concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Gabriel left the group to pursue solo projects. Collins became lead vocalist after an unfruitful search for Gabriel’s replacement. In the short term, the group recruited former Yes and King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford to play drums during live shows, although Collins continued to play during longer instrumental sections. Bruford’s drumming can be heard on the track The Cinema Show on the live album Seconds Out. He was soon replaced by ex-Frank Zappa band member Chester Thompson, who became a mainstay of the band’s live line-up. The first album with Collins as lead vocalist, 1976’s A Trick of the Tail, reached the American Top 40, and climbed as high as #3 on the UK charts. Said Rolling Stone, « Genesis has managed to turn the possible catastrophe of Gabriel’s departure into their first broad-based American success. »
Collins simultaneously performed in a jazz fusion group called Brand X. The band recorded their first album, Unorthodox Behaviour, with Collins as drummer. Since he put greater priority on his career with Genesis, there were several Brand X tours and albums released without Collins. He credits Brand X as his first use of a drum machine as well as his first use of a home 8-track tape machine.
As the decade closed, Genesis began a shift from their progressive rock roots and toward pop music. Although their 1978 album …And Then There Were Three… contained progressive rock influences, it also featured their first UK Top 10 and US Top 40 single, « Follow You, Follow Me« .
In the 1980s, the group scored a string of successful albums, including Duke (1980), Abacab (1981), Genesis (1983) and Invisible Touch (1986).
This last album’s title track reached number one on the American Billboard charts, the only Genesis song to do so. The group received an MTV « Video of the Year » nomination in 1987 for « Land of Confusion« , another popular single from the album, although ironically they lost to Gabriel’s solo hit, « Sledgehammer« . Reviews were generally positive, with Rolling Stone’s J.D. Considine stating, « every tune is carefully pruned so that each flourish delivers not an instrumental epiphany but a solid hook. »
Collins left Genesis in 1996 to focus on his solo career; the last studio album with him as the lead singer was 1991’s We Can’t Dance. He and Gabriel reunited with other Genesis members in 1999 to re-record « The Carpet Crawlers » for Genesis’s Turn It On Again : The Hits.
When in the mid-2000s discussions of a possible Genesis reunion arose, Collins stated that he would prefer to return as the drummer, with Gabriel handling the vocals. Eventually Turn It On Again: The Tour was announced for 2007, with just the Collins/Rutherford/Banks lineup.
An early theme in Collins’ music, although never specifically mentioned in his albums, involved his then-recent divorce. Two songs he wrote on the Genesis album Duke (1980), « Please Don’t Ask » and the Top 20 hit « Misunderstanding« , dealt with failed relationships.
One year earlier he’d produced and played drums on his friend John Martyn’s Grace and Danger (1980), an album whose main theme is also marriage breakup. With the recording of his first solo album, Face Value (1981), Collins attributed his divorce as his main influence.
Collins’ marital frustrations formed the bulk of his first solo album as well as his second album, Hello, I Must Be Going! (1982). With songs such as « In The Air Tonight » and « I Don’t Care Anymore« , Collins’ early albums had a dark presence, usually heavy on the drums.
Regarding Face Value, he says, « I had a wife, two children, two dogs, and the next day I didn’t have anything. So a lot of these songs were written because I was going through these emotional changes. » There were occasional poppier influences – Face Value’s « Behind the Lines« , for example, was a jazzy remake of a Genesis song he co-wrote.
Face Value was a critical and multi-platinum success, and saw Collins’ profile increase further. However, despite a UK #1 cover of The Supremes’ « You Can’t Hurry Love« , on Hello, I Must Be Going!, Face Value‘s follow-up was seen as overall disappointment by some critics but the album went triple-platinum in the States like its predecessor and the Supremes cover was Phil’s first Top 10 US hit (it also hit the Top 10 of Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart). The album also reached #2 on the UK album chart, spending well over a year there.
A turning point in Collins’ musical style came when he was asked to compose the title track for the film Against All Odds, a song which he re-worked to become « Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) » from an original Face Value session out-take entitled « How Can You Sit There?« .
The emotionally charged ballad was an instant classic and shot to #1 in the US but #2 in the UK, unable to get past Lionel Richie’s « Hello« . It is seen by many critics as the beginning of Collins’ move away from his earlier darker and more dramatic material and towards a more pop-friendly, middle of the road, electronic-driven style.
In 1984, Collins garnered attention when he produced Philip Bailey’s Chinese Wall album. He performed a duet on one of the album’s tracks, « Easy Lover » which went to #2 on the U.S. pop chart and spent four weeks at #1 in the UK. Collins worked with the horn section of Bailey’s band, Earth, Wind & Fire (later known as the Phenix Horns) throughout the 1980s, both on solo and Genesis tracks. By the end of 1984, Collins participated in Bob Geldof’s Band Aid charity project, as well as, playing drums on the Band Aid single « Feed The World (Do They Know It’s Christmas)« , a drum part he laid down in one take (while being filmed).
In 1985, Collins was invited to perform at Live Aid, Bob Geldof’s charity concert, at both Wembley Stadium in England, and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia in the U.S. He accomplished this by performing earlier in the day at Wembley as both a solo artist and alongside Sting, then boarding a Concorde to perform his solo material, and drum for Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton in Philadelphia. (It is rumored that pop artist Cher was also on the Concorde that day and thought all the pomp and circumstance awaiting Collins upon arrival was for her.)
Also around this time, Phil worked with Howard Jones on a single. Howard Jones re-recorded his song « No One Is To Blame« , off his Dream into Action album, and it featured Phil Collins as drummer, backing vocalist, and producer. He has also played drums on singles for Robert Plant and Tina Turner on their respective albums. He also produced and played drums on the Eric Clapton album Behind the Sun as well as the follow-up, « August ». His solo success, as well as his concurrent career with Genesis, led to a 1985 cover story in Rolling Stone, with the tag reading « Phil Collins Beats the Odds ». It has been the only time Collins has been featured on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Collins released his most successful album, No Jacket Required, earlier that same year. It contained the hits « Sussudio« , « One More Night« , « Don’t Lose My Number » and « Take Me Home« . The album featured Sting, Helen Terry and ex-bandmate Peter Gabriel as backing vocalists. He also recorded the successful song « Separate Lives« , a duet with Marilyn Martin, and an American number one, for the movie White Nights. Collins had three American number one songs in 1985, the most by any artist that year. No Jacket Required went on to win several Grammy awards including one for Album of the Year.
No Jacket Required received criticism that the album was too safe despite its upbeat reviews and commercial success. A positive review by David Fricke of Rolling Stone ended, « After years on the art-rock fringe, Collins has established himself firmly in the middle of the road. Perhaps he should consider testing himself and his new fans’ expectations next time around. » « Sussudio » also drew criticism for sounding too similar to Prince’s « 1999 », a charge that Collins did not deny. Nevertheless, the album went straight to #1 in the US (selling faster than « Thriller ») and UK.
« Don’t Lose My Number« ‘s B-side, the ballad « We Said Hello Goodbye« , was rediscovered in 1987 by some Midwestern radio programmers who began playing it, and it soon became a nationwide radio hit. It would later be included on the No Jacket Required CD.
In 1988, Collins starred in the movie Buster about the Great Train Robbery, which took place in England in the 1960s. The movie generated good reviews and Collins did three songs for the movie; « Two Hearts » – which he co-wrote with legendary Motown songwriter, Lamont Dozier – « A Groovy Kind of Love » (originally a 1966 hit for The Mindbenders; lyrics by Toni Wine, and music by Carole Bayer Sager, but with the melody of the Rondo section of Muzio Clementi’s « Sonatina in G major, » op. 36 no. 5.), and thirdly he did the lyrics and music for the song « Loco In Acapulco« , performed by the legendary Four Tops.
In 1989, Collins produced another successful album, …But Seriously, featuring the anti-homelessness anthem « Another Day in Paradise« , with David Crosby on backing vocals. (Collins later went on to co-write, sing and play on the song « Hero » on Crosby’s 1993 album Thousand Roads.) Another Day in Paradise went to Number 1 on the Billboard Charts at the end of 1989 and won Collins a Grammy for Record of the Year (1990).
In the process, it became the last #1 US pop hit of the 1980s. The album « …But Seriously » became the first #1 US album of the 1990s. He received criticism for the song, though, as he was telling others to give money in order to help the poor and unfortunate while enjoying his millionaire status.
Other songs included « Something Happened on the Way to Heaven« , « Do You Remember? » (US release only), and « I Wish It Would Rain Down » (the latter featuring long-time friend Clapton on guitar). Songs about apartheid and homelessness demonstrated Collins’ turn to politically-driven material. This theme recurred on his later albums. A live album, Serious Hits… Live! (1990), followed.
Collins’ record sales began to drop with the 1993 release of Both Sides, a largely experimental album which, according to Collins, included songs that « were becoming so personal, so private, I didn’t want anyone else’s input ». Featuring a less studio-polished sound and fewer uptempo songs than his previous albums, Both Sides was a significant departure. Collins used no backing musicians, performed all the vocal and instrumental parts at his home studio, and used rough vocal takes for the final product. The album was not well received by radio. Its two biggest hits, « Both Sides of the Story » and the more radio-friendly « Everyday« , were relatively minor successes compared to the previous commercial success he had enjoyed.
Collins attempted a return to poppier music with Dance into the Light, which Entertainment Weekly reviewed by saying that « even Phil Collins must know that we all grew weary of Phil Collins. » It included minor hits such as the title track and the Beatles-inspired « It’s in Your Eyes« . Although the album went Gold in the US, it sold considerably less than his previous albums. Only the title track made a brief appearance on Collins’ then forthcoming Hits collection (1998). Despite this, its subsequent tour, Dance into the Light, regularly sold out arenas.
In 1996, Collins formed The Phil Collins Big Band. With Collins as drummer, the band performed jazz renditions of Collins’ and Genesis’s hits. The Phil Collins Big Band did a world tour in 1998 that included a performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
In 1999, the group released the CD A Hot Night in Paris including big band versions of « Invisible Touch« , « Sussudio« , and the more obscure « The Los Endos Suite » from A Trick of the Tail.
A Hits album released in 1998 was very successful, returning Collins to multi-platinum status in America. The album’s sole new track, a cover of the Cyndi Lauper hit « True Colours, » received considerable play on the Adult Contemporary charts while peaking at #2. Some of Collins’ earlier hits (e.g. « I Missed Again », « If Leaving Me Is Easy », etc.) and other successes were left off of this compilation.
Collins went further with his next single, « You’ll Be in My Heart« , from the 1999 movie Tarzan. The enduring hit spent 19 weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart – the longest time ever up to that point – and Collins obtained an Oscar, though critics pointed to strong entries in that category by Aimee Mann, Randy Newman, and the South Park film (whose creators then lampooned Collins in the « Timmy 2000 » episode). It was his third nomination in the songwriters category, having been previously nominated in 1984.
Such popular satirizing reflected a more widespread criticism of Collins’ work, criticism that began with the success of « Follow You Follow Me » and which continued throughout his career, as Collins continued to define himself as a middle of the road pop musician.
Metacritic’s roundup of album reviews found his most recent studio album, 2002’s Testify, to be the worst-reviewed album by the time of its release, though it has since been « surpassed » by three more recent releases. The album also failed to make much impact on the mainstream charts, although its emotional stand-out track « Can’t Stop Loving You » (a Leo Sayer cover) was yet another #1 Adult Contemporary smash hit for Collins. Testify sold only 140,000 copies in the United States by year’s end, although a successful worldwide tour followed despite poor album sales.
The hip-hop group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony recorded a remake of the song « Take Me Home » titled « Home » on their album Thug World Order. The song features verses by the group, with the chorus sung by Collins. Though the BTNH-Collins collaboration was highly criticized in the United States (for example, VH1 rated it #9 on its « top 20 least hip-hop moments in history), it received so much positive reception in the UK that Bone Thugs decided to name Collins an honorary member under the moniker « Chrome Bone ».
Collins reported losing his hearing in one ear, and in 2003 announced his last solo tour. He called it the « First Final Farewell Tour« , a tongue-in-cheek reference to the multiple farewell tours of other popular artists. Collins wanted to complete one last large-scale tour internationally before spending more time with his family. He continued touring through 2006 while working with Disney on a Broadway production of Tarzan, a musical which received generally poor reviews. In 2007, Collins reunited with his Genesis bandmates for a tour of Europe and North America. He accepted an invitation to drum for the « house band » celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. He has played drums for Paul McCartney, Ozzy Osbourne and Cliff Richard.
* 1981: Face Value
* 1982: Hello, I Must Be Going!
* 1985: No Jacket Required
* 1989: …But Seriously
* 1993: Both Sides
* 1996: Dance Into the Light
* 1999: Tarzan: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
* 2002: Testify