Monday, May 31, 2010

No Comment


Gary Mills (AKA Admiral Greyscale) mounts a spirited defence of the indefensible with a paean to Phil Collins over at The Quietus, which seems to be doing quite a lot of this sort thing lately, what with Taylor Parkes' recent excellent homage to Paul McCartney's solo output an' all.

For my part Mr Mills' brave stance allows me to admit to a guilty liking of Genesis' Follow You Follow Me, something I've never previously admitted in public. His article also explains the disconcerting presence of Phil Collins on a few albums I really love including John Cale's Helen of Troy. Before becoming the most hated man in rock, Phil was an in-demand session musician playing on various Brian Eno tracks as well as John Martyn's Grace and Danger. I was going to cheat and post a link to Cale or Martyn but decided that the clip above - possibly the most nauseating piece of music ever performed - had to be shared.

The other genuinely, if pointlessly, innovative feat of Collins' career was, of course, playing at both Live Aid concerts. The Wikipedia entry for this cultural event runs like some demented Chris Morris sketch, with Collins helicoptered to Heathrow Aiport by Noel Edmunds before flying Concorde to JFK where he was due to play drums (very badly) for Led Zeppelin. On board Concorde he bumped into Cher (as you do) who apparently had no idea what Live Aid was but did allow him to eat the small, semi-frozen roll that came with her in-flight meal.

By the way, if anybody ever feels at all like commenting on anything written here then I really wouldn't mind at all you know. Everybody needs a little something to find the strength to go on. Sniff.

16 comments:

GCGM said...

I've been finding out just how fun comments can be myself this week, having witnessed the bilious outpouring provoked by the aforementioned article. In view of this, here's mine:

"Many thanks Charles."

By the way, I got about 30 seconds into that clip you linked, then had to go out and get some fresh air. 'Follow You, Follow Me' is lovely though.

Matt Tempest said...

Surely Phil Collins was put on this earth to provide Brett Easton Ellis with inter-chapter comedy material in "American Psycho"?

And btw - I've told you before - Fantastic Journal shows that architecture's gain is journalism's loss.

Matt Tempest said...

Phil Collins' role on this earth, Mark II:

He made Don Johnson and er...the other one, appear like classically trained thespians in an episode of "Miami Vice", once.

Murphy said...

hey! you have nice blog! link me pleeze?

joven said...

hi, you have nice blog.. u can view also mine..http://akoniwares.blogspot.com

ZoneStyxTravelcard said...

hey! you have nice blog!

Is it pedantic of me to observe that whoever titled that video on Youtube has a highly flexible definition of the word 'solo'?

anyway, this video has to be the final word on 80s drum solo excess - it's long but worth it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJD94O0Hw_I

HERE I FUCKIN COME TAKOMA!

Charles Holland said...

Aww shucks...I now know I have nice blog!

I was going to link to the scene in American Psycho where Bateman discusses the merits of early and late (Collins era) Genesis but it gets distinctly pervy halfway through and then thoroughly disturbing after that. Mind you, not much more disturbing than the drumming solo...

Zone, Yeah Tommy Lee wins. I like the bit when he's at 45 degrees best.

owen hatherley said...

Being a fan of the unpleasant grey area between prog and post-punk I liked the Phil Collins article a lot. Someone needs to do a similar thing for Simple Minds, whose cultural crimes in the mid-late 80s mostly obscure their earlier prog-electro brilliance - but who were, tellingly, big Genesis fans, even circa Empires and Dance and such.

...though in both cases it's cheating a bit, isn't it...if someone other than Patrick Bateman were to make a real case for 'Another Day In Paradise' or 'Belfast Child', that'd be more impressive...

owen hatherley said...

...but it is a bit tricky to listen sort of thing if you live in a shared flat. People might talk.

Charles Holland said...

Well, yes, New Gold Dream is fabulous and very odd (what were they on about?) although Belfast Child is nowhere near as disliked as anything off No Jacket Required.

I think you're the man for the job though.....

owen hatherley said...

I suppose there's some tentative acceptance that they were once good via Rip It Up And Start Again etc, but 'Alive and Kicking' approaches 'Invisible Touch'-like levels of appallingness.

...mind you, nobody seems to have noticed that the blog subtitle I've had for the last month is a quote from this.

Charles Holland said...

They were good up till and including Sons and Fascination. *Puts away Official Guide to Rock*. Actually, I liked them until Waterfront. After that - aside from the music - the lyrics stopped not making sense in a good way and started making sense in a bad way. I would be very keen to read about their earlier neo-classical euro synth era though

Anonymous said...

No no, Phil Collins is every bit as dreadful as people say. That said, I will admit to liking, for inexplicable reasons, a few songs by Peter Cetera. I'm so ashamed of this that I'm leaving my credentials anonymous.

Also, you really do have a nice blog! I wish there were more like it in architecture blog-dom.

Cheers

Charles Holland said...

Thanks Anon. Owen, I hadn't noticed, but that song has a fabulous synthesised steel drum sound.....

Grit said...

Lord Almighty, the Synth Rock (80s Division)Appreciation Society have finally come out of the dark ;)
The only thing I can love Phil for is the gated reverb drum sound that he & Gabriel came up with for late Genesis records. You could hear that big banging noise on almost any best-selling 80s record form there on. And I love it with all my heart.
Love that blog, too. ;)
Grit of nichtwinken.blogspot.com

Charles Holland said...

Thanks Grit. Seems to be an unlikely consensus forming on the importance of the gated reverb! Never thought I'd hear the day...