How Phil Collins and Brian Eno Met in Genesis ‘Payback’ Plan
Phil Collins recalled how his working relationship with Brian Eno began because Genesis owed the Roxy Music co-founder “payback” for a guest appearance.
The resulting partnership is among those featured on Collins’ upcoming box set, Plays Well With Others, which also features Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant and many others.
Asked about his first meeting with Eno during Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway recording sessions, Collins told Rolling Stone, “He was upstairs doing Taking Tiger Mountain and we were downstairs doing The Lamb. Peter [Gabriel] and some of the other guys were big Roxy fans. I didn’t count myself in the Roxy Music camp, but when it came to calling him down to sort of put some vocals through his synth, I got sent back up as payment to play on a track on that album of his. I guess we got on very well since I got lots of calls from him to do Another Green World, Before and After Science and Music for Films. They were great sessions to do, very informative as to a new and different way of working. It was a long way from Genesis.”
The four-disc Plays Well With Others set is arranged more or less chronologically, so it starts with early music that fans may never have heard. “Good luck to them,” Collins laughed. “Some of it is pretty dated, but I had to include the stuff that sounds dated, as well as others. There were some things in the 1970s which I remember doing, like an album by Colin Scot, the stuff that John Anthony, the Genesis drummer in the early days, he hired me to do lots of that stuff. That probably stands out less. But for me, I think CD two, three and four stand up better than CD one. But it’s all there. If you don’t like it, skip it.”
Collins’ return to action includes a U.S. tour later this year, but he said he was turning his thoughts to a new album. “I will have to,” he noted. “Someone said yesterday it’s been 16 years since a new album. I didn’t realize it was that long at all. I do have a little studio in my house. … I make notes. I’ve got lyrical ideas. I make notes and I keep them in a place that at some point I’ll get to them.”