Phil Collins needs little introduction to most music fans. The eight-time Grammy winner had already achieved stardom as the drummer and lead singer for British prog-rock giants Genesis before launching a solo career and attaining pop superstar status in the 1980s.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer attained instant commercial and critical success with his 1981 debut solo effort Face Value. Over the course of eight solo albums, the multi-talented performer would go on to notch seven chart-topping singles in the U.S. and earn more than 34 million in U.S. album sales and over 150 million in sales worldwide.
5. “In the Air Tonight”
Collin's eerie lead single from his debut solo album Face Values topped the charts in the U.K. and became his first top ten entry in the U.S. Noted for its use of gated reverb and spectacular drum arrangement, the song was pivotal in launching the pop-rocker's solo career and went on to become a setlist mainstay. The opening percussion and synth set up a feeling of foreboding, which is amplified further by the mystery and darkness of the lyrics in the opening chorus. The song's uneasy feeling is further amplified as the singer's anger toward an uncertain individual becomes more overt and is brought to an emotional crescendo when Collins thunders in on drums during the final round of choruses.
Collins wrote this power ballad for the 1984 film “Against All Odds,” which starred Jeff Bridges. It becomes the first of several chart-topping U.S. singles that the singer-songwriter would notch during the course of the decade. The singer's sense of desperation and intense emotion is enhanced by the lean piano and bass arrangement. A small string section helps the chorus take flight as Collin's comes to grip with the grim reality of losing the love of his life.
This hit song was the lead single from Collin's 1989 studio album ...But Seriously. The mid-tempo ballad helped the multi-platinum seller end the decade at No. 1 and became Collins' final U.S. chart-topper to date. "Another Day in Paradise" opens with a droning synth, which lends a dream-like quality to the song. The song's title and upbeat central keyboard riff belie the tragic circumstances of its central character.
2. “Easy Lover”
This 1984 single topped the charts in numerous countries around the world. Co-penned and performed by Collins along with singer-songwriter Philip Bailey, it represents one of many successful collaborative efforts by Collin's over the years. Ever wondered what a mash-up between Genesis and Earth, Wind & Fire might sound like it? Give this song a spin on your turntable and you have your answer. "Easy Lover" blends the rock and grandeur of Genesis with the funk and soul sensibility of EWF. The voices of Collins and Bailey blend surprisingly well on the chorus with each singer putting their unique stamp on the verses - unforgettable - much like the woman who inspired the song's lyrics
This signature number was one of four big singles from Collin's 1985 studio album No Jacket Required. The track became a chart-topper in the U.S. and is one of the artist's most popular songs - often used to wrap up live shows. "Sussudio" brings together Collin's talent for a catchy turn of phrase, funky rhythms and a powerful horn section. The beat is infectious and the song's stuttering chorus "Su-Su-Sudio" will remain branded in your brain long after the final bars fade out.