It’s been a while since I’ve posted any cover songs, so let’s see what we can find from Phil Collins.
Phil Collins is another favorite artist of mine. The drummer of Genesis for over twenty years, he started his solo career in 1978 with Face Value. I’d listened to Genesis off and on, mainly via singles on the radio. I picked up on his solo stuff in the 80s, not necessarily because of “In the Air Tonight” and its 1984 appearance in the pilot of Miami Vice though.
“In the Air Tonight” is probably Collins’ most iconic song. Even if you don’t know it’s Phil Collins, you know the song, and people air-drum to it the way they play along to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It’s also more than a little difficult to cover, because the drum part is so much a part of the song. He’s probably most famous for playing it at both LiveAid concerts, taking advantage of the Concorde to play it first in London, then Philadelphia. By the way, I’ve heard the rumors about the “story behind the song” since the 80s, and they’re not true.
Chris Daughtry has what I think is my favorite version of this song, one I’ve linked to in the past.
Sierra Eagleson has a lovely cover of the song. Collins himself played a piano version at Live Aid. Eagleson has a similar version, but I think does it a little more soulfully than Collins.
Blacktop Mojo does an acoustic cover in a distillery in Dallas. The link starts the video where the music begins, but you can rewind to learn more about the place if you like. The acoustics of the building and Matt James’ voice do wonders for the song. –
Lorde applies her unique flavor to the song.
I can’t find much about Corvyx, but his voice on this is fantastic, although if you don’t like snakes, you’ll probably want to just listen instead of actually watching the video.
Flutetastic has a beautiful version of the song, played on a Native American Flute to a conventional backing track. But the flute he plays it on I think fits the mood of the original lyrics incredibly well.
Barenaked Ladies appeared on AV Undercover doing a folkish/bluegrassy version.
“In The Air Tonight” is not his most commonly covered song though. According to SecondHandSongs, that honor belongs to “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now),” his love song from the movie Against All Odds, covered by 100 different artists. Glee, Bonnie Tyler, Barry Manilow, even Straight No Chaser have all covered it.
Of course, he’s covered a few songs himself. Ten years ago, he covered Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.” I think though my favorite is his 1982 cover of The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love.” It’s not that he does anything special on the song, I think, but more because of the video.
Check out his listing at SecondHandSongs and tell me what your favorite song or cover is.
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