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Phil Collins

About the Artist

This former child actor has, in a comparatively short time, established himself as the world's premier singing drummer. His broad public appeal was not unlike that bestowed upon the Beatles in their heyday, and Collins also earned the respect of his fellow musicians as a technically brilliant drummer.

The appearance of Face Value in 1981, immediately confirmed Collins as a songwriter of note, outside of his existence as vocalist/drummer with the highly successful rock band Genesis. The record focused on Collins' distinctive voice, something that had previously been underrated and under-used. Collins, who had spent a number of years as their drummer had also recorded with Brand X. He came out from behind the drum-stool in 1975 and took over the vocals previously handled by the departed Peter Gabriel. Face Value contained such stand-outs as the melancholic "If Leaving Me Is Easy", the stark, yet beautiful piano accompanied, "You Know What I Mean" and the soulful "It Must Be Love". The album's main axis was the hauntingly powerful "In The Air Tonight". A song that slowly builds until it reaches a climax that explodes with such a clamour of drums that the listener cannot fail to be moved.

Collins continued with a gruelling schedule of work, which he managed to complete with enthusiasm and King Midas-like success. He became a highly successful record producer and session drummer, working with such artists as John Martyn, Robert Plant, Adam and the Ants, Eric Clapton, Brand X and Howard Jones. Additionally, his specially commissioned film soundtrack song for Against All Odds reached the top of the US charts and narrowly missed the top spot in the UK. He played drums on the famous Band Aid single, "Do They Know It's Christmas?", which spent the early weeks of 1985 at the top of the charts.

Collins made history on 13 July 1985 by appearing at the Live Aid concert twice, both at Wembley, and, following a dash to catch Concorde, in Philadelphia. Incredibly, he found further energy a few hours later to play drums with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Eric Clapton.

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