Innovative Drummer…Master of Rhythm & Beat

“Drummers have the best gig in the band…they sit at the back….they’re the backbone, the goalkeepers of the group…” –Phil Collins Interview with Conan O’Brien, 1997

The quote goes on to say “…while the singer is out front wiggling their bum and appealing to the girls.”
Well Phil has been successful on all counts, both with Genesis and on his own. His contributions in musical arrangement, songwriting, and of course as a drummer turned Genesis into one of the top progressive rock bands in musical history.

But that’s not what this is about…
Today’s blog focuses on the many signature drum and percussion arrangements Phil has done that earned him the reputation as one the greatest drummer in rock music. Though unable to properly read music, he has an uncanny ability to hear the melody and feel the rhythm and beat of the music. With impeccable wristwork and smoothness, Phil always made the most of his drum kit each and every time he played.

To celebrate Phil’s first love, I am sharing some of his best drum solos and duets from his solo career (which happen to be all of them)….

Drum Duet, Serious Tour 1990
This drum duet was incorporated at the end of the song, “Colours” in setlist. Phil and Chester carried the African drum theme from Colours into this duet. What amazes me is the speed and precision with which the two of them played to stay in synch with each other.

The opening drum duet from the Both Sides Tour, 1995
This drum duet starts off with Phil playing as per usual. But there is something different about the way his drum kit looks and sounds. Is Phil playing junky trash cans? Actually pretty darn close….he’s playing his “rubbishkit” as he affectionately calls it. A specially made drum kit to look like a pile of junk and sounds very metallic and streetlike. During Phil’s brief but intense solo, a crash is heard, and a man appears at the top of the stairs out of nowhere…it’s Ricky Lawson mysteriously playing drums on his chest & thighs. Actually, Ricky is playing electronic drum plates under his clothing (shhh, it our little secret….okay, maybe not.). But again, a truly amazing arrangement… 🙂

“Timbantocka”, Dance Into The Light Tour, 1997
In this high energy drum arrangement, Phil gets everyone into the act! Yes, everyone in the band plays a drum (with the exception of Andrew Woolfolk, who plays the tambourine) with full-on passion & joy! So much fun to watch!

And my final selection is…
“Drums, Drums, and More Drums”, The First Final Farewell Tour, 2004
Collins and Thompson together again behind the kit…’nuff said! 😀
Of course Phil took the classic Collins/Thompson drum duet one step further, turning it into a drum trio by adding the passion of energy of Luis Conte on percussion to create “Drums, Drums & More Drums”
Don’t need words for this, so I’m just gonna let this amazing arrangement speak for itself…enjoy!

So that’s it for now, my fellow Phil fans! Don’t forget to sign the online petition…

If you’ve already signed it….Thank you…thank you….thank you…a thousand times thank you!! 🙂


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