Phase 2: Phil’s a Grower, Not A Show-er
Peter Gabriel of course was the lead singer of Genesis until 1976. You could also say he was the weirdest frontman Genesis ever had, only because Phil Collins wasn’t really weird at all. I’m racking my brain – nope Phil was like a 1 to Gabriel’s 10 in “what-the-fuckness.” In any case, Phil was chosen as the new lead singer after their touring duties commenced in support of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. With Phil having a greater role in the band’s musical progression, it was was a decline of the ‘prog’ and an incline of the pop. I was searching for something that rhymed better with ‘prog’ but pop will have to do.
My social life in high school was on a steady decline for the first 2 years which as sad as it kind of was, I look back with positive reflection as the more time to myself became time to love music even more. I would get off the school bus and for hours and hours I’d listen to the alternative rock radio station whose call letters and frequency shall remain unnamed. It’s not important now, but the station itself and its disc-jockeys meant the world to me. We had a sturdy receiver and a cassette-deck hooked up to record, and I probably ran through enough tape to lasso the moon. Even when I didn’t know what would be played next my finger would be on REC + PLAY (because you had to press both) in case the next jam would be something I’d want to have for future listens.
Even though I was taping all of this music for free (minus the cost of the TDK-90’s), they were simply a musical shopping list of what I needed to go out and get as soon as I had more money for allowance, and eventually I had “real” jobs to even further my collection. By the end of freshman year, I probably had around 150 purchased cd’s of bands I liked and can still say that I still enjoy now and 25+ mix-tapes to myself. Every now and again I’d make a dub of an album for someone, but highly doubt that copy made it further than the recipient.
I was a Sham-Wow of alternative music. For high-school days, I also subscribed to Rolling Stone, Spin, and Alternative Press which gave me an even broader source to find new bands based on the reviews & pictures alone. I’d be a very tired slacker on Monday Mornings after staying up the night before to watch 120 Minutes on MTV. I also lived and breathed indie rock as my musical tastes and the years progressed and started to gain new friends that were going deeper than just Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins. Weekends were mostly spent just going around to used record shops & the local independent record chain to buy stuff and asking other friends what they were getting and sometimes getting jealous they got the last copy in stock. The more I bought music, the more socially empowered I felt. It certainly didn’t make me popular to be one to pay so close attention to the underground, but it didn’t matter because that’s what felt right.
Back to the hero of our tale – Phil Collins. It wasn’t until Genesis’ 9th studio album until they had a Top 20 hit in the U.S. and it certainly wasn’t prog-rock tinged in the slightest, but Phil got them the hit. And then on the next album he provided another hit. So they had 2 measly hits after almost 10 years of many folks not giving a damn about them. In 1981, they toured in support of Abacab (which also yielded their 3rd hit) and their setlist material featured mostly newly-crafted pop songs. This alienated their die-hard fans from way back when and Genesis even faced some jeering – but that didn’t seem to matter so much as they felt the need to “do something different.” They were losing a few fans but gaining a shit-ton by being part of the mainstream.
Phase 3: In which Phil gets his oats…Coming Soon!