'GOING BACK...' - A PHIL COLLINS TIMELINE
Phil Collins is born in Chiswick on 30th January.
Phil makes his first main screen acting appearance in the Children’s Film Foundation production, Calamity The Cow.
Phil joins Flaming Youth as drummer. Their album, Ark Two, is released.
Leaves Flaming Youth in August to replace John Mayhew as drummer in Genesis.
Genesis play the Reading Festival for the first time. The Nursery Cryme album is released, including Phil’s first lead vocal performance, on For Absent Friends.
Genesis’ first overseas tour starts in Italy. Their Foxtrot album is released, featuring the classic 22-minute epic piece, Supper’s Ready.
A big year for Genesis: They tour the USA for the first time, headline a tour of Europe and release their first live album, Genesis Live. This is followed by the studio album Selling England By The Pound, featuring the classic Firth Of Fifth and Phil’s vocals on More Fool Me. The album reaches No. 3 in the UK chart – the group’s highest chart placing to date. Phil also plays a gig with a new band of his own, Zox and the Radar Boys.
Genesis’ first hit single, I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) reaches No. 19. The double album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is released.
Peter Gabriel leaves Genesis at the end of their Lamb tour, to be replaced as vocalist by Phil Collins. Phil also joins fusion band Brand X and features on Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett’s debut solo album, Voyage Of The Acolyte.
Genesis release their first album as a four-piece, A Trick Of The Tail. Their first gig with Phil as lead vocalist takes place on March 30th in Ontario, Canada. The Brand X debut album, Unorthodox Behaviour, is also released.
Genesis release the Wind And Wuthering album and begin their first World Tour. The tour is followed by the release of the live double album, Seconds Out. Brand X also release their albums Moroccan Roll and Livestock, both featuring Phil.
Following Steve Hackett’s departure, Genesis release …And Then There Were Three… which concludes with their first top ten UK single, Follow You Follow Me. The group embarks on its biggest World Tour to date, which includes a headline gig at June’s Knebworth Festival.
Brand X release their Product album. Phil plays drums for Peter Gabriel on his third solo album.
Genesis release Duke, which includes the live favourite and top ten single, Turn It On Again. The album becomes the group’s first No. 1 in the UK chart. Brand X release the album Do They Hurt?. Phil works on what is to become his first solo album, and releases the classic In The Air Tonight, which reaches No. 2 in the UK singles chart.
In February, Phil’s first solo album, Face Value, in released. It reaches No. 1 in the UK chart and No. 7 in the USA. Genesis release the Abacab album, also a number one, and the title track becomes a top ten single. Genesis spend the last three months of the year touring.
In September, Phil’s second solo album, Hello, I Must Be Going, is released, and reaches No. 2 in the UK chart. The first single from the album goes one better though – the cover of The Supremes’ You Can’t Hurry Love becomes Phil’s first No. 1 single in the UK. Phil drums on Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant’s debut solo album, Pictures At Eleven and on the new Brand X album, Is There Anything About?. Genesis tour the USA and release the double live album Three Sides Live. On October 2nd, the current Genesis live line-up is joined by former vocalist Peter Gabriel for the Six Of The Best reunion gig at Milton Keynes Bowl. The following month, on November 21st in Holland, Phil performs his first solo gig.
Robert Plant’s The Principle Of Moments album is released, featuring Phil on drums. The album includes Plant’s biggest hit, Big Log, and Phil also drums on a two-month tour of the USA and Canada to promote the album. Genesis return with a self-titled studio album which again reaches No. 1. A single from the album, Mama, becomes their highest charting single in the UK, reaching No. 4.
Genesis complete their Mama Tour in February. A song that didn’t make it on to Phil’s Face Value album is re-worked and becomes the theme song for a film – Against All Odds is released as a single and becomes Phil’s first US No.1, also reaching No. 2 in the UK. The performance also wins Phil his first Grammy award in the USA for Best Male Performance, and the song is also later nominated for an Oscar. Phil is also an integral part of Bob Geldof and Midge Ure’s Band Aid project in aid of African Famine. He plays drums on the multi-million selling single Do They Know It’s Christmas?.
The year which sees Phil achieve super stardom on a global scale. February sees the release of Phil’s third solo album, No Jacket Required. The album goes to No. 1 in both the UK and the USA - his first US No. 1 album. This year sees unprecedented success in the singles chart for Phil. Sussudio and One More Night both make it to No. 1 in the USA. Two duets also make it to No. 1 – Easy Lover (with Phil Bailey) in the UK, and Separate Lives (with Marilyn Martin) in the USA. Phil hits the headlines by being the only artist to play in both London and Philadelphia during the record-breaking Live Aid concert on June 13th. He plays a solo set at each gig, and joins Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John-Paul Jones as drummer for a reunited Led Zeppelin in Philadelphia. The No Ticket Required World Tour sees Phil play 60 concerts in a four-month period. Phil also wins three Grammy awards – No Jacket Required is the Album of the Year, Phil wins in the best Male Performance category and he and Hugh Padgham win Best Producer.
Genesis release Invisible Touch. The album is another No.1 hit on both sides of the Atlantic and the title track is released as a single and also makes it to No. 1 in the USA. The group embarks upon its biggest ever World Tour in September. Earlier in the year, Phil finds time to drum on and produce Eric Clapton’s August album. There are also some live dates as part of Eric Clapton’s band, with Nathan East and Greg Phillinganes. With Phil’s solo success of the No Jacket Required project still fresh in the minds, he wins A Brit Award for Best Male Artist.
Genesis’ Invisible Touch World Tour ends with a record-breaking four-night stay at Wembley Stadium in July. The Genesis video for the hit single Land Of Confusion – famously featuring the Spitting Image puppets – wins the group a Grammy award for the Best Concept Music Video. Phil also resumes his position as drummer with Eric Clapton’s band during his April concerts.
Phil stars with actress Julie Walters in the film Buster, about train robber Buster Edwards. Phil also contributes four tracks to the film’s soundtrack album: Two Hearts is a US No. 1 single which also wins Phil another Grammy Award (Best Song for a Film), and his cover version of Groovy Kind Of Love is a No. 1 in both the UK and the USA. A remixed version of In The Air Tonight also makes it to No. 4 in the UK singles chart. Genesis perform a medley of hits at the Atlantic Records 40th Birthday concert in New York in May and Phil also plays live again with Eric Clapton.
Phil releases his fourth studio album, …But Seriously. It goes straight to No. 1 in the UK album charts and spends a total of 15 weeks there, becoming what is still today Phil’s best-selling solo album. It is also a No. 1 hit in the US album chart. The first single from the album, Another Day In Paradise, makes it to No. 1 in the USA and No. 2 in the UK. Phil also contributes drums to both Eric Clapton’s and Tears For Fears’ albums this year. Two more Brit awards come Phil’s way this year – Best Male Artist and Best Soundtrack, for the previous year’s Buster album.
From February to October, the …But Seriously World Tour is Phil’s largest and most successful tour to date. Three more singles from the album are Top 20 hits, including I Wish It Would Rain Down, featuring Eric Clapton on guitar. Phil wins his second consecutive Best Male Artist Brit Award (his third in all), while Another Day In Paradise wins Phil a Brit for Best Single, a Grammy for Record of The Year and a prestigious Ivor Novello songwriting award. In June, Phil stops off at Knebworth to play a solo set as part of the star-studded Silver Clef charity concert. Phil’s band are joined by Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford for a short Genesis set too – the only time that Phil’s solo band and Genesis have performed together live in concert. Just before the end of the year, Phil releases his only live album to date – Serious Hits…Live!
Five years after their previous studio album, Genesis reconvene to release We Can’t Dance. The album is yet another No. 1 hit in the UK and US, and two singles from the album – No Son Of Mine and I Can’t Dance – are both top ten hits on both sides of the Atlantic. Phil and the Serious Band contribute a version of Burn Down The Mission to the Two Rooms tribute album to the work of Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin.
Genesis embark upon their three-month We Can’t Dance World Tour, which culminates in another gig at Knebworth in August. The tour results in the release of the live album The Way We Walk – The Shorts. Invisible Touch is released as a live single and reaches No. 7 in the UK chart. After a short break, Genesis return to play a short tour of smaller venues across the UK during October and November, including six nights at London’s Earl’s Court. The tour ends on November 17th at the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton – it turns out to be Phil’s final Genesis concert for a quarter of a century.
In January, Genesis release the second volume of The Way We Walk, this time subtitled The Longs, which reaches No. 1 in the UK album chart. In September, Phil joins Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Queen’s Roger Taylor to perform at the star-studded Cowdray Ruins charity concert in Oxfordshire. In November Phil releases his fifth studio album, entitled Both Sides, on which for the first time Phil plays all of the instruments. The first single from the album, Both Sides Of The Story, is a top ten hit in the UK while the album is another No.1.
In April Phil begins his Both Sides World Tour, which again becomes his longest and most successful to date. Playing over 110 concerts in 15 countries, the tour concludes in December with six nights at London’s Wembley Arena.
In March, Phil takes his Both Sides tour to the ‘Far Side’ – playing concerts in South Africa, Singapore, Thailand and Australia.
On March 29th, Genesis announce that their “20 year experiment” has come to an end – Phil Collins leaves Genesis, to later be replaced as vocalist by Ray Wilson. The Phil Collins Big Band makes its debut this year, playing a mixture of traditional jazz standards along with instrumental versions of Genesis’ and Phil’s solo hits. The show on July 11th at London’s Royal Albert Hall is attended by Queen Elizabeth II and South African President, Nelson Mandela. In November, Phil releases Dance Into The Light. In the UK charts, the album reaches No. 4 and the title track is a top ten single.
Phil spends the majority of this year touring with his Dance Into The Light album. The tour visits the USA and Canada from February to April and then goes around Europe from October until the end of the year. The Dance Into The Light tour ends with four nights at London’s Earls Court.
A year which highlights both an extraordinary past and an intriguing future. Genesis members past and present convene at Heathrow on May 11th to launch the release of the Genesis Archive 1967 – 1975 Boxed Set. The set includes previously unreleased material from the era and a full live recording of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, from the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium. Phil releases a Hits ‘best of’ album which reaches No. 1 in the UK chart, featuring all of Phil’s solo successes - from In The Air Tonight to a cover version of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors which is recorded for the album and itself becomes a hit single in the UK. Phil contributes vocals to a version of the Beatles’ Golden Slumbers…Carry That Weight…The End for the album In My Life, a tribute to Beatles’ producer Sir George Martin. Phil also takes his Big Band out on tour again, first to the USA and then to Europe, during June and July. In between all of this activity, he becomes involved in what will become a rather successful collaboration with the Disney Corporation….
The first album from Phil’s Big Band, A Hot Night In Paris, is released, featuring the highlights from the Paris gig of the 1998 Big Band Tour. Genesis release a Greatest Hits album, entitled Turn It On Again, which reaches No. 4 in the UK album chart. The album features all of the group’s hit singles, from 1974’s I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe), to the 1998 single Congo, featuring Ray Wilson on vocals. In between are 15 tracks featuring Phil on vocals, from 1978’s Follow You Follow Me to 1992’s Jesus He Knows Me. The album ends with a new recording of The Carpet Crawlers, a track from The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway – featuring both Phil and Peter Gabriel on vocals. The Disney animated film release of Tarzan features original songs by Phil, and proves to be a huge success. Apart from the film’s success at the box office, the feature track You’ll Be In My Heart wins Phil an Oscar at the Academy Awards in the Original Song category. The track is released as a single and is a hit both the in US chart and in the UK, where it reaches No. 17.
A second Boxed Set is released by Genesis, this time Archives Volume Two: 1976 – 1992, featuring the period of the group’s history with Phil on vocals. The set includes rare B sides and remixes, plus a wide variety of live recordings from the period.
An uncharacteristically quiet year for Phil, although he does spend time writing for a new album. However, his music as a solo artist is re-interpreted by contemporary artists for an R ‘n’ B tribute album, entitled Urban Renewal. Phil does re-join Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford to promote the DVD release of Genesis’ The Way We Walk, a recording of the We Can’t Dance Tour show from the group’s stay at Earls Court in 1992.
The year of Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee, and Phil is heavily involved in the Jubilee Pop Concert, which takes place in the grounds of Buckingham Palace on June 3rd. Phil is the drummer for the ‘house band’ which backs a range of recording artists whose careers spanned the 50 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Amongst those performing are Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney and Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen. Phil also takes to the microphone to perform his first solo No. 1, You Can’t Hurry Love. Later in the year, Phil releases his seventh studio album, Testify, which reaches No. 15 in the UK album chart. The first single from the album, a cover of Leo Sayer’s Can’t Stop Loving You, is a hit across Europe. Due to a viral ear infection, Phil announces that his touring days are over, although he does perform a showcase gig in London to promote the album.
On June 12th, Phil is inducted into the prestigious Songwriters Hall Of Fame at a ceremony in New York. The BBC screen and later release a documentary on Phil’s life, entitled Phil Collins – A Life Less Ordinary. US rappers Bone Thugs-N-Harmony release a single which features Phil singing the refrain from his 1985 single Take Me Home – Home reaches number 19 in the UK. It is a busy end to the year – Phil releases his second Disney soundtrack album, for the animated film Brother Bear. The album is preceded by the film’s title track, Look Through My Eyes, being released as a single. The Seriously Live in Berlin concert from 1990 is re-mastered and released as a DVD. And then comes the news that Phil will, after all, play some more live gigs: The First Final Farewell Tour dates begin to be made public and sell out within hours at most venues across Europe.
Phil takes his First Final Farewell Tour across Europe and North America, featuring his full repertoire of solo hits and reuniting him with Chester Thompson and Leland Sklar on stage for the first time since 1992 and 1990 respectively. The Paris show again forms the live DVD concert release later in the year. There are two album releases this year too: The Platinum Collection is a repackaging of three classic albums (Face Value, No Jacket Required and …But Seriously) and reaches number 4 in the UK album charts; the Love Songs compilation includes some previously unreleased tracks alongside classic ballads and makes it to number 10 in the UK just prior to Christmas. As if that weren’t enough, Genesis also releases a DVD of its promotional videos from over a quarter of a century, entitled The Video Show. The accompanying release of The Platinum Collection by Genesis sees the band collate their classic moments on a 3-CD set which also makes it to number 21 in the UK album chart.
The First Final Farewell Tour continues with visits to places such as Lebanon, Dubai, Vilnius and Tel Aviv. There is work on the stage version of Tarzan plus the Tarzan 2 DVD release, and with the summer Live 8 concert celebrating the 20th anniversary of Live Aid, Phil lends his support in looking back to the events of 1985 for various TV and radio documentaries. Returning to Europe, the First Final Farewell Tour closes in Prague on November 24th.
Phil spends the first part of the year concentrating on the stage musical version of Tarzan, which premieres on 10th May on Broadway. And then, on November 7th, confirmation that 14 years of rumours were finally coming to an end: Phil Collins is to reunite with Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford to play a series of concerts in 2007. Genesis will, after all, Turn It On Again.....
After almost 15 years, Phil returns to the Genesis fold full-time for the Turn It On Again Tour, which begins with a show at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki on June 11th. Genesis begin the Live Earth show at the new Wembley Stadium on July 7th before playing two shows in the UK - Phil's first Genesis concerts since the We Can't Dance UK Tour ended in Wolverhampton on November 17th 1992. The Turn It On Again - The Hits album is reissued as a double CD to encompass every Genesis single release from The Knife to the 1999 re-working of Carpet Crawl. The latter is the closing song to the new Genesis show - a show which truly represents the group's history and includes music from 11 of their studio albums. The whole show forms a new album release, entitled Live Over Europe 2007. In addition, the Genesis story is told Chapter And Verse by the band members in an official book, while box sets of their studio albums (1976 – 1982 and 1983 – 1998) are also released. And this was also the year when a certain gorilla’s performance in a chocolate advert results in another top 20 position for a re-released In The Air Tonight.
This is a year in which Phil Collins is recognised for both his solo and group activities. Following their successful reunion, Genesis receives a lifetime achievement award from Mojo magazine, and Led Zeppelin singer and former collaborator Robert Plant presents Phil with the prestigious International Achievement Award at the Ivor Novello Music awards. In May, the Genesis live DVD When In Rome is released – a recording of the band’s free open-air concert from the previous year’s Turn It On Again Tour. Finally this year, in November Phil’s drumming is showcased with the release of the Genesis 1970 – 1975 Box Set, which completes the re-release of the group’s back catalogue of studio albums.
In September the Genesis Live 1973 – 2007 Box Set is released, comprising all of the band’s live concert releases.
Genesis are inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in March. In September, Phil releases a new album which pays his own special tribute to the Motown label. Going Back features some original Motown musicians, plus long-time band members Chester Thompson and Daryl Stuermer. The album goes to number one in the UK and is another worldwide hit, with a live DVD performance of the material released at the end of the year.
On March 9th, Phil Collins announces his retirement from the music industry.