Friday, June 28, 2013


Tabathia! Congratulations and I'll be sending you an email with info on how to claim your dress. Thanks to everyone who entered and I hope to hold another giveaway soon.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Photo vis ThinkNice
Phil Collins seems to be a pop culture conundrum to me--in the grand scheme of music history, is he terrible...or terrific? 

It's a question I've struggled with ever since the 1980s, when I first became aware of who Phil Collins was. On the one hand, he's a tremendous drummer...and I know at least one drummer who admires his skills, particularly on projects outside of Genesis such as Brand X, which was a jazz fusion group active in the mid-70s and later again in the 1990s. On the other hand, Collins can be downright irritating--his sappy solo hits evoke strong emotions and usually not of the sympathetic variety; he's been called "The Most Hated Man in Rock and Roll." I found his 1989 hit "Another Day in Paradise" among a blogger's worst songs ever written list, who so aptly described the reasoning for his choice with five poignant words: "Shut the f*** up, moron." 

So this post is my half-assed attempt at determining if Collins is painfully uncool...or coolly...er...painless? You know what I mean. No offense to the Collins fans out there; this is purely my opinion. Here we go.


Terrific: He appeared as an extra in A Hard Day's Night. That's pretty cool, right? He was 13 at the time and is sitting in the audience during the television concert sequence, and also narrated and added commentary to the documentary You Can't Do That: The Making of A Hard Day's Night.

Terrible: "I Can't Dance." Collins' whiny vocals in this song really grate on my nerves ("'Cause IIIIIIII can't dance, IIIIIIII can't sing") as does the "dancing" by the group--they just look like dorks. And seeing Collins on a beach with a pink tank top, baggy jeans and long hair (despite a receding hairline) is really unsettling. I don't care if it was the early 90s--this is just awful. 


Terrific: A little 1988 movie starring Collins called Buster. Buster was about Buster Edwards, a petty crook who was involved in England's Great Train Robbery of 1963. I was truly prepared to hate this movie and thought that it would be yet another misguided attempt to turn a singer into a movie star. Surprisingly, it's not all that bad and costars Julie Walters. 

Terrible: "Sussudio." What does su-su-sudio mean anyway? Collins admitted in the 80s during its release that the word has no meaning. And yet it manages to stick in your craw all day like lint to velcro. So. Damn. Annoying.

Terrific: "In the Air Tonight." No need to go into much detail why. It will forever be associated with Miami Vice.

Terrible: "Illegal Alien." Without a doubt, one of the worst pop/rock songs ever written, accompanied by an awful racist video. Collins tries to sing the song with a Mexican accent and the band wears mustaches and sombreros. One verse in particular was so controversial that it was omitted for radio play and from the video:

"Keep your suspicions, I've seen that look before
But I ain't done nothing wrong now, is that such a surprise?
But I've got a sister who'd be willing to oblige
She will do anything now to help me get to the outside"


Yeesh. Phil, what the hell were you thinking? Can you imagine if they tried to release this song today? 

Terrible: "Don't Lose My Number." This song makes about as much sense as a gorilla wearing a ballerina costume. The lyrics throughout are addressed to some dude named Billy--who the hell is Billy anyway? It's as if Collins assumes we should know. The video is even worse, mixing Western and Mad Max themes. 

Terrific: The video for "Land of Confusion." Featuring the puppets of Spitting Image, this one will give you the heebie jeebies. Creative and unsettling.  

Photo via A Blumes With A View
Terrible: This photo. Something about his baldness and shorts reminds me of George Costanza's Art of Seduction pose from Seinfeld

Terrific: "Easy Lover." I love this song. 

Well I guess the conclusion we've come to here today is...Collins is both terrible and terrific!

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