If all you’ve ever heard of the band Genesis are the pop hits from the Phil Collins-led era, watch this and prepare for your brain to explode.
And then watch this next video, and observe that rarest of things — someone who somehow managed to transition from prog rock to insane mainstream music stardom without stripping their work of any of its depth or meaning. The idea of a phone booth that does what this one does to Peter at the end of the song is, I think, a simple but brilliant metaphor for the inability to communicate with someone who’s right in front of you. And Manu Katché is a beast on the drums.
(Side note: check out Manu’s solo work if you want to hear some really good modern jazz.)
As much as I think Phil Collins is also a hell of a drummer and has written some great songs (I’m not kidding; “Please Don’t Ask” from Duke is such a nakedly honest song about the dissolution of a marriage, it’s hard to believe it was written by the same guy who gave us catchy nonsense like “Sussudio”, while “Mama” has a psychotic energy about it that’s weirdly effective), Peter is on a whole different level.
Phil has admitted it himself, saying of his former bandmate, “He writes songs I wish I’d written.” If Phil hadn’t already earned my respect for his drumming on Peter Gabriel’s 3 (aka Melt), Brian Eno’s Another Green World, John Cale’s Helen of Troy, and John Martyn’s Grace and Danger, he’d get it just for that bit of humility. It kind of helps to balance out the way he took the drum sound created on Melt and appropriated it for his own far less adventurous music. That’s always seemed a little sketchy to me, even if it doesn’t quite qualify as musical theft.
Oh yeah — this blog turned four years old a few days ago. It’s the first birthday I’ve missed so far. It completely slipped my mind. Apologies, and happy belated birthday, blog of mine. I hope you like the socks I got you.