Larry Hulst (Getty Images Entertainment) .
It’s not often that you put Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson and Phil Collins in the same sentence. But guess what? Like the other two legends in this epic trio, Collins has sold over 100 million albums worldwide both as a solo artist and a member of a band. Yup, the English singer-songwriter, who rose to stardom in the 70’s as the drummer/vocalist of prog-rock icon Genesis, and then parlayed his success into a mega solo career, is in a truly elite class. So in honor of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer releasing deluxe reissues of his 1989 solo album, But Seriously — which amazingly was released as a 24-Karat Gold CD — we’re honoring Phil Collins for this edition of Flashback Friday. .
Genesis – “Watcher of the Skies” .
While Phil Collins would go on to incredible success as a solo artist, it was his principal role in Genesis that paved his road to rock glory. And while he has remained a member of the band on and off for three decades, it was during the prog-rockers’ classic-lineup era, which included Peter Gabriel, that they rocked hardest. And “Watcher of the Skies,” the opening track to their fourth, and arguably most prolific LP, Foxtrot, was Genesis at its finest. The song was bold, daring, open-ended and large. Even crazier, the song, written by band members Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford, was written from the perspective of an alien visiting an empty Earth. . Genesis – Watcher Of The Skies
Rab | Myspace Video . Phil Collins -”In The Air Tonight” (1981) .
Haunting. Steely. Engulfing. Rad. However you want to describe “In The Air Tonight”, undoubtedly one of Collins most iconic songs, there’s no denying its place in the classic rock canon. Written amidst the angst of divorcing his first wife, the intensely moody, drum-heavy song was the first single to officially mark Collins as a solo artist. Featured on his solo debut, Face Value, “In The Air Tonight” would signal a poignant, hit-filled decade that would follow and lead Collins to pen more Top 40 hits than any other artist of the 80’s. .
. Phil Collins- “Against All Odds” (Take A Look at Me Now) (1984) .
Collins’ first Number One hit on the US charts turned out to be a power ballad written for a 1984 film of the same name. Collins, despite the song’s loving, emotion-filled essence, has often described this tune as the quintessential break-up song. But howwever you interpret its meaning, “Against All Odds” was landmark — it would go on to be both commercialy and critically successful, winning Collins the 1985 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. .
. Phil Collins – “You’ll Be in my Heart” .
Things began to get a bit rocky for Collins in the early 90’s; he started putting out highly-personal, experimental material (Both Sides) and then disbanded Genesis in 1996. In 1999 however, Collins recorded this cut for the Tarzan soundtrack. And believe it or not, it was his participation in this Disney affair that would garner the songwriter, three decades after his start, an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Per usual, the song was a commecial smash: “You’ll Be in my Heart” spent 19 weeks at Number One on the adult contemporary chart and was a Top 40 hit on the Hot 100. .