Phil recently made this comment in reference to his retirement from music: “I’m sorry that it was all so successful. I honestly didn’t mean it to happen like that. It’s hardly surprising that people grew to hate me.”
As far as the music is concerned…..What a career! I don’t know that I’m sympathetic towards his complaints about not being loved though. 13 hit singles, 7 Grammys, an Academy Award, and 2 Golden Globes tells me that he is loved by plenty. He is also one of only 3 recording artists, along with Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, to have sold over 100 million albums worldwide both as a solo artist and as the principal member of a band. I believe I watched him get inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010 as well. His list of accomplishments goes on and on. Genesis was very innovative, his solo releases were catchy to say the least, and he always seemed to come out with the right songs at the right times. Just try to get Sussudio out of your head and I dare you not to air drum that big fill in In the Air Tonight.
If Phil is bothered about critiques of his ability, the reality is that his line of work attracts controversial opinions. The more successful someone becomes, the more we are all watching and judging. He doesn’t have the IT factor that Mick Jagger, Robert Plant, and Eric Clapton have, but his accomplishments were made possible from the devoted fan base he consistently received praise from. After all, you don’t get Grammys by not selling records. Phil Collins was one of those guys who just had a knack for writing songs that stuck in your head. I can’t say I’ve gone out of my way to pay close attention to his career. I don’t admire him like I admire extraordinary talents like Chick Corea or Miles Davis, but I certainly respect his contribution to music and so should anyone who understands the difficult test of time very few have lived up to in the music business. Now is probably a great time to get out of it anyways. Who knows how bad Lil Wayne and Miley Cyrus are going to screw it up? Hopefully this rut passes so he can look past media criticism and truly appreciate his accomplishments like so many of us do.