Phil Collins was born in London, England back in 1951 and during his youth became very interested in music and learned how to play the drums. He first achieved fame as the drummer of Genesis also becoming their vocalist when Peter Gabriel decided to leave in 1975.
Two years later the guitarist Steve Hackett also decided to leave the group and Mike Rutherford, who until then was the group’s bassist, also started playing the guitar in the studio. So the band became a trio and their sound started to change, becoming less Progressive and more accessible for the radios and MTV, for example.
At the same time Genesis was getting bigger, Phil Collins was also becoming a huge solo act since he had many successful solo records released in the 80s. He quickly became an important artist in the music business that also produced a lot of records from other musicians, including Eric Clapton. But before they worked together, Clapton made many different albums and not all of them were a success. Collins even talked about those records, mentioning one saying it was “lame”.
The Eric Clapton album that Phil Collins said that was lame
Eric Clapton is six years older than Phil Collins and started his musical career a few years before the Genesis frontman. He first achieved fame as the guitarist of The Yardbirds and also was a praised member of John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers. But he really became a famous Rock star after he created Cream alongside Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. The power trio is considered the first supergroup in the history of Rock and Roll.
After the band came to an end he also was part of Blind Faith and Derek and The Dominos. It was after those projects that he really focused more on his solo career. By the time he worked with Phil Collins as a producer, Clapton already had 8 solo albums out. It was around a time he wanted to try something different. So his friend Collins ended up being one of the producers of “Behind The Sun” in 1985. Clapton himself was also a producer alongside Ted Templeman and Lenny Waronker.
In an interview with Consequence in 2016, Phil Collins recalled that work with Clapton, also talking about his previous records. It was in that conversation that he said that in his opinion, Clapton’s 1983 album “Money and Cigarettes” was “lame”.
“I was grateful to get closer to Clapton. I mean, we were great friends in England even before I produced two albums for him. (So) I kind of felt like I brought him into this era. Because sometimes some of his earlier albums. I’m not talking about Dominos or Cream or even his early solo years. But ‘Money and Cigarettes’ was a little lame. I think he was on automatic pilot. I kicked him out of that and made him start writing.”
“I’m not a full-blooded record producer. If someone asks me to do things, there has to be a reason for them to ask me or for me to do it. I don’t work with anybody that I didn’t want to work with or didn’t know. I mean, Adam Ant came to meet me and pitch me the idea before I thought it was a good idea (For Ant’s album). There’s always a reason why I go into the studio. I want to be sure that I could add something,” Phil Collins said.
The record mentioned by Collins didn’t have many hits. One of the most famous tracks is “Slow Down Linda”. At the time of its release, the album reached number 16 on the United States Billboard 200.
After “Behind The Sun”, Collins continued to work constantly with Clapton. He played and was one of the producers of his 1986 album “August”. Also played the drums on the hit “Bad Love” released by Clapton on his 1989 album “Journeyman”.