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Phil Collins: Another Year In Paradise

Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Here’s hoping the celebrated musician is enjoying his recent retirement at his home in Switzerland.  More on that in a minute.

First, belated birthday wishes to Phil, who turned 61 on Monday.  He was born in London on January 30, 1951.  Singer-songwriter, drummer, pianist, producer and actor, he’ll of course always be best known as the singer and drummer for Genesis, as well as a prolific solo artist.

Years ago I saw Robert Plant on tour in Hartford, Connecticut.  I didn’t know Phil Collins was on the tour with Plant (I should have known, but I didn’t).  Then I heard the distinct sound of his drumming (which surprised me, because I confess I tend not to notice drums to any significant degree).  I immediately knew it was Phil on the kit, and my respect for the man was set.

Collins released his most recent album, “Going Back” in September 2010, a record of his favorite songs–all tunes that influenced him heavily in his youth (including those of Dusty Springfield and The Ronettes).

On March 26, “Phil Collins Live At Montreux 2004″ will be released on DVD/Blu-Ray.  Pre-order it here.

Last March, Phil quit the music industry, citing health problems, as well as claiming the music industry focused too much on surface values (face value?) and that he no longer belonged in that world.  At least that’s what was originally reported.  Later, Phil clarified his reasons for retiring, saying he still feels loved, and the big reason he’s quitting is to be a full-time father to his two young sons.

It’s hard to imagine that the guy who once so dominated the music charts has quietly faded away, but we’re left with an impressive catalogue of music that won’t soon be forgotten.  Thanks for the good work, Phil and happy birthday!

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