Genesis was fronted by singer Peter Gabriel. They had achieved a moderate level of success in the U.K. and the U.S. with elaborate concept albums, before Gabriel abruptly left in 1974. Genesis auditioned 400 singers without success, then decided to let Collins have a go. The result was a gradual simplifying of Genesis’ sound and an increasing focus on Collins’ expressive, throaty voice. And Then There Were Three… went gold in 1978, and Duke was even more successful.
Collins made his debut solo album, Face Value, in 1981, which turned out to be a bigger hit than any Genesis album. It concentrated on Collins’ voice, often in stark, haunting contexts such as the piano-and-drum dirge “In the Air Tonight,” which sounded like something from John Lennon’s debut solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.
During the ’80s, Collins was enormously successful in balancing his continuing solo work with his membership in Genesis. In 1992, Genesis released We Can’t Dance and began an extensive tour. Upon its completion, Collins released Both Sides in 1993, and the record became his first album not to produce a major hit single or go multi-platinum. In 1995, he announced that he was leaving Genesis permanently. The following year, he released Dance Into the Light. Although the album didn’t chart highly, its subsequent supporting tour was a success. The Hits collection followed in 1998, and a year later Collins made his first big-band record, Hot Night in Paris. The song cycle Testify arrived in 2002, and his next studio-recorded solo release was 2010’s Going Back, which saw him revisiting the Motown hits that so influenced him and featured three of the surviving Funk Brothers — guitarists Eddie Willis and Ray Monette, and bassist Bob Babbitt.
After some time spent out of the spotlight, much of it spent recovering from physical ailments, Collins returned in 2014 to play a couple of songs at his sons’ school and to write songs with Adele. Soon after he began work on reissuing his solo albums, sorting through the archives for demos and live recordings to flesh them out. Beginning in early 2016, Warner Music Group began releasing the discs in pairs, with new portraits of Collins on the covers in place of the original images. While rumors of autobiographies and world tours swirled, Collins did actually return to the stage in March of 2016, performing at Little Dreams Foundation Benefit Gala in Miami.
Sourced by MTV.com
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