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The Genesis song that Phil Collins didn’t like to play live

Phil Collins
Photos from Matthias Fengler and Genesis' Instagram


The Genesis song that Phil Collins didn’t like to play live

Genesis was formed in 1967 and had many different eras in which the band not only changed the line-up but also transformed their sound. They first achieved fame as one of the pioneers of Progressive Rock when the vocalist Peter Gabriel and the guitarist Steve Hackett were still members alongside Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks.


But once Gabriel left and two years later Hackett also decided to leave, the band became a trio formed by Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks. They started to mix even more the band’s sound with a more commercial approach. That era consequentially became their most successful one, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. They have sold and estimated amount of more than 100 million records worldwide.

Even though Phil Collins loves almost everything he did with the band, there is one song that he revealed to Modern Drummer in an interview in 1997, that is one of the reasons why he left Genesis in the 90s, because he didn’t like to play that track.

The Genesis song that Phil Collins didn’t like to play live

“It’s a cruel thing to say. But (‘Burning Rope’ from ‘…And Then There Were Three…’ – 1978) it’s a song like this that made me leave Genesis. Tony Banks will never talk to me again after this is published. This is one of his songs. But to me this song is a period piece. It doesn’t make it in the twentieth century. I know there are people who like this music. But i just couldn’t get up on stage and play or sing this kind of material anymore”.

“I had a lot of tom-toms back then. The fill just keeps going down, and down and down. I think I played this kind of thing back then because I didn’t like some of the material. I was trying to come up with ways to make it interesting,” Phil Collins said.

According to Phil Collins, the famous Jazz Fusion group Weather Report loved the album’s single

In an interview for the Box Set “Genesis 1976-1982” (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) released in 2007, Phil Collins talked about the album “…And Then There Were Three'” and said that it was another step on Genesis’ evolution. He also recalled that he later discovered that the famous Jazz Fusion group Weather Report used to listen to one of the singles of that record all the time.

“It’s just another step on that ladder, you know, that made us a bigger band that we were before. You know, playing to more people, more interest, playing more on the radio, suddenly a few girls in the audience.”

“When Chester Thompson joined the live band playing drums he said that on the Weather Report bus they always used to play that song (‘Follow You Follow Me’). I thought: ‘All right! God, we’ve done something right. If Weather Report like it, if Wayne Shorter and Josef Zawinul often listen to this and say ‘This English stuff is cool’, I thought we’ve done something right,'” Phil Collins said.

The album

“…And Then There Were Three…” was released in 1978 and it was the first album released by the band as trio. Tony Banks recorded the keyboards, Phil Collins the drums and vocals, and Mike Rutherford who was before mainly the group’s bassist, recorded the bass and the guitar.

The last track of the album “Follow You Follow Me” is still one of the band’s most famous songs. Since it’s release was present on almost all their setlists. At the time the album received mixed reviews but was able to peak at number 3 on the United Kingdom albums Chart. Also number 14 on the United States Billboard 200.

Phil Collins Departure and reunion

Collins left Genesis in 1996 to focus on his solo career and also on his Big Band project. Rutherford and Banks then recruted Ray Wilson who recorded the band’s final album “Calling All Stations” (1997). But the band disbanded in 2000.

Even though that was the group’s final album, Collins reunited again with the band two times. One in 2007 and for the last time from 2020 to 2022, when the band did their final concerts.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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