Judge me if you will, but in the last week I have been positively obsessed by everything Phil Collins. I was reading a blog post about divorce and breakups and it led me to this episode of This American Life, which I highly recommend you hear. In the episode, there’s a section that involves Phil Collins and it got me all intertwined with this song.
I am currently so consumed with this song that I need to lie down every time I hear it. When I am roaming through my day, I am singing it. The video is pretty incredible. It is absolutely terrible in one way. Cliched to bits with his 80s Nightclub Suit. Painfully literal interpretations of the lyrics illustrated with clips from the movie for which the song was written. But…but… around :40 Phil looks at the camera and talks about the vulnerability of “…and all I can do is watch you leave.” It’s touching and believable, but in the way that you think…”Wow…he’s a decent actor.” But then at about :50 he clumsily tries to look and not look at the camera to sing the lyrics “….we’ve even shared the tears” and I’m all Holy fuck…how can you be that real for the whole world to see?!
Clayton played this for me and it’s pretty awesome, too:
It’s a break up album for the most part (a topic that positively fascinates me) and is extra lovely because it’s more of a break-up concept album. There’s a story being told through the songs and a rarity that it was Genesis’ only (or one of the only) concept albums. Also one of their first big commercial successes** due to the fresh songwriting and vocals of Phil Collins. (Which is a good or bad thing, depending on who you ask.)
Phil went through a heartbreak and divorce around 1980 and it fueled a massive amount of songwriting for years. Some for Genesis, some for solo albums but all were stories of Feelings and Truth and experiences most of us have had, either as givers or receivers. Or both.
Anyway….I don’t remember where I was going with this. Just go listen to more Phil Collins because he is a brilliant pop songwriter and generally rad. The End.
Fun Fact: There are many Phil Collins Tumblr site. Enjoy.
**I won’t slide into whether or not Phil Collins ruined the Prog Rock foundation Genesis built in the 70s, but I am glad we got all those hits.