How was Phil Collins’ solo work a departure from earlier Genesis music album? The answer lies in the fact that Collins has never been one to shy away from expressing his opinion, even if he has used these opinions in the past in terms of public criticism. He has always remained open to listening to other musicians. Even in his absence, he made frequent guest appearances on other artist’s records.
When he took up the guitar in the late eighties, Collins made some attempts to collaborate with other artists. However, his association with Hawk Jimenez and John Butler ended badly, as these bands did not agree to record any of their material. It was in this context that Collins moved from his role as a vocalist to a solo player and finally to the creation of his self-titled album. With each new album that he released, the styles and concepts which he used would alter slightly, but always maintain a strong tone and sound that would stay with him throughout his career.
One song that stands out amongst all of his work is “Waters Edge” from Mojo So Dope. This song remains in the top ten of many listeners’ lists and is well worth listening to just to hear the guitar and singer/songwriter go at it. Collins sings about the loneliness and dissatisfaction which come with living alone and the lack of social interaction which he finds this way. The singer has his own idea of a Utopian life, one in which people are free to express themselves creatively without the fear of persecution or reproach. It is a dream that seems so far away but which, in reality, has already found its way into reality for Collins. The song is about finding a new way of looking at the world.
A very poignant and personal song, “Give Me The Reason” describes the way a breakup has changed the lives of those left behind. Collins has always mentioned the influence which his musical influences had on his thinking and his songs have always contained a sense of hope and a longing for a return to a previous stage. He speaks about the need to listen to and respect the music of other artists as a means of discovering new life and ways of creating music that would not be dominated by commercial and political concerns. While his band’s tried to create an independent sound and style, he always remained open-minded towards other musical tastes and new musical directions.
In the last few years, the focus has become firmly placed on his live performances and his solo work. His live shows are widely hailed as being among the finest showcases of his career and have even won him numerous Grammies and had him nominated several times. His performances were often described as soulful and his audience often referred to his sound as raw, spontaneous and very individual. For someone who has never been particularly interested in recording or performing music, these were innovative times and these were moments when he found the inspiration to create his own music and to create his own sound.
The first track on his final album, Places I’ve Been, is a perfect example of how was Phil Slosky a departure from previous albums? It is called “We Real Cool” and contains no vocals whatsoever. Instead we get a quiet, soulful piano melody and a gentle but noticeable acoustic guitar picking that pervades the entire song. Throughout the entire song there are only a handful of lyrics, yet the listener is greeted with a gentle, yet soulful message of hope and redemption. An emotional and yet catchy track, this is one of the most impressive and yet unappreciated sounds of the twenty-first century.
Following the highly successful release of this album, he signed a contract with Island/EMM, and from there he was able to work with some very notable clients, including Bon Jovi and David Bowie. Though not particularly popular amongst contemporary artists, his work was highly praised, and many critics have stated that his music was more interesting and had a sound all its own. The elusive guitarist from Leeds who worked in conjunction with another band called Joy Division also managed to score himself a major breakthrough in the world of music. His work from that era is widely considered to be amongst his best, and the band’s success and reputation have since faded somewhat
Although Slosky’s work, like that of many other artists from the early years of the decade, was not widely appreciated at the time, his influence has certainly spread into the mainstream and has had major ramifications. In fact, his image as a guitar hero who played purely for the fun of playing has become synonymous with the whole genre. From covers of We Are Moon to the Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”, his image and work have transcended its welcome and went on to become something a lot more than just a novelty. So the question – How was Phil Slosky a departures from previous albums?
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