In which I attempt to distill the music of my most formative years down to five artists, and one record per artist that, to me, most personify their music.
Phil Collins, Hello I Must Be Going
Hello I Must Be Going was not my first Phil Collins record (and in the mid-80's records were "tapes"), however, one of my first tapes was a Phil Collins record: his third, No Jacket Required (which does contain a couple of my favorite tracks of all time, Take Me Home and Inside Out).
Released in November of 1982, Hello I Must Be Going was Phil's second solo record. It was produced by Hugh Padgham, who might make multiple appearances in this series. I was introduced to two tracks from the record in my drum lessons of the mid-to-late '80s: I Cannot Believe It's True and It Don't Matter to Me.
Of course, Phil Collins began his music career as a drummer. And he's always been amazing. It was the groove-oriented tunes from his early solo career that really grabbed me, though. (Genesis might make a top 10 list but will be left out of this top five list.) These two tunes I had as part of my drum lesson material also featured a lot of horns, and of course, I was playing a lot of jazz and fusion at the time (The Brecker Brothers were another groove and horn-infused drum lesson artist). I was also in school jazz and marching bands, and my older sister was a trumpet player.
It wasn't just the grooves on those two tunes, though. The guitar riff at the beginning of Like China and the intentional accent on the vocal and the guitar effects on the solo felt like another world to me. Do You Know, Do You Care? is better and angrier than In The Air Tonight ever was (also I can't listen to the latter without thinking about that Miami Vice scene). The West Side, an instrumental from an era when even pop artists put instrumentals on their records. I miss that era.
I would later get into more Genesis, Brand X, and other projects involving Chester Thompson (Phil's touring drummer, who performed a drum clinic at my high school) like Fire Merchants. But it was Hello I Must Be Going that got me going down that road to begin with. My appreciation for Phil's solo catalog ended with 1989's ...But Seriously, but those first four records have probably had more musical influence on me than any other such collection of work.