Phil Collins, a maestro with a multifaceted career spanning from drummer to actor, embarked on his musical odyssey at the tender age of five. Initially captivated by the rhythm of drums, his early foray into drama school marked him as a versatile talent.
Little did the world know that Collins would ascend to fame as the lead singer and drummer for Genesis, ultimately carving out a triumphant solo career. Remarkably, he stands among the elite few who have achieved over 100 million records sold both as a solo artist and a group member.
Two years junior to Bruce Springsteen, Phil Collins commenced his musical journey in 1963, a year ahead of the American legend. Despite diverse backgrounds and influences, Collins expressed admiration for Springsteen in a 1986 interview, hailing him as the purveyor of “everyman’s music for everyman.” Reflecting on Springsteen’s work, Collins shared his appreciation for the iconic “Born in the U.S.A.,” describing it as fantastic with an unparalleled atmosphere.
In the tapestry of music, each artist weaves a unique thread. Phil Collins, recognizing the distinctiveness of Springsteen’s sound, commended the Boss for creating music that resonates universally. In a 1985 Rolling Stone interview, Collins emphasized that Springsteen’s work epitomizes his characteristic style. Comparing this with his own diverse range, Collins remarked, “I think I have too many styles to single one out.”
Born in Long Branch, New Jersey, in 1949, Bruce Springsteen’s solo debut in 1973 coincided with Collins already recording two albums with Genesis. Over the years, Springsteen’s fame burgeoned with iconic releases like “Born to Run,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” and “Born in the U.S.A.” He joins Collins on the list of best-selling artists, boasting over 71 million records sold in the U.S. and a global tally exceeding 140 million.
While Collins bid farewell to the stage in 2023 due to health issues, Springsteen continues to tour and record with the E Street Band. Yet, the passage of time and health concerns affect even these musical titans. Collins faced drumming constraints due to health issues, singing seated during his farewell shows. Similarly, Springsteen encountered a setback, postponing North American tour dates after a Peptic Ulcer diagnosis.
Bruce Springsteen’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame predates Genesis by over a decade, with U2’s Bono doing the honors in 1999. In contrast, Genesis received the honor in 2010, presented by Trey Anastasio of Phish.
A curious parallel unfolded in recent years as both Collins and Springsteen decided to sell the rights to their catalogs. Springsteen led the charge, striking a deal with Sony for a reported $500 million. Following suit, Collins and Genesis relinquished their catalogs to Concord Music Group Inc. for a sum exceeding $300 million.
In this symphony of careers, Phil Collins and Bruce Springsteen continue to resonate, each contributing a distinctive note to the enduring melody of rock and roll.