The legendary singer and drummer Phil Collins, who first achieved fame as a member of Genesis is one of the most successful artists of all time. He is one of the few who were able to sell more than 100 million records worldwide as a member of a group and as a solo artist.
During his career, the musician showed in his songwriting that he was influenced by a variety of artists. Over the decades he talked about many songwriters who influenced him and even mentioned one that in his opinion has written great songs.
The musician that Phil Collins said that has written great songs
Although Phil Collins was influenced by, for example, drummers who were already playing and recording years before he was even born, the bands that had the biggest impact on him were certainly the ones from the 60s. Born in 1951, Collins was lucky enough to have seen all the amazing British groups evolving and take over the world with their music.
But he also loved the American bands and he even mentioned the legendary Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson as an amazing songwriter. As pointed out by Wilson’s website, the Genesis frontman said that in an interview with BBC Radio in 2016.
“One forgets about The Beach Boys sometimes, the amount of great songs that Brian Wilson wrote, you know. But ‘Sail on Sailor’ got such a fantastic groove that I wrote ‘Misunderstanding.’ I wrote that because I love the groove of this. So it’s my nod to the Beach Boys. But it’s just a great melody and great feel,” Phil Collins said.
The song mentioned by Collins was featured on the Beach Boys album “Holland” released in 1972 and had Blondie Chaplin on vocals. Genesis’ “Misunderstanding” was recorded eight years later on their 1980 album “Duke”.
The Beach Boys are one of the most influential bands of all time and have sold an estimated amount of more than 100 million records worldwide. They were one of the first bands to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Their were inducted by Elton John in 1988, who said: “They are what America is, a very wonderful place”.
How Genesis ended up recording “Misunderstanding”
In an interview with John Edginton in 2014 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage). “‘Misunderstanding‘, I’ve played this stuff to Mike and Tony at my house in Guildford. (So) I said: ‘This is what I’ve been doing, you pick whatever you want.”
“I had written ‘Misunderstanding’ kind of based on ‘Sail On, Sailor’, with a Beach Boys kind of feel. I knew Tony liked The Beach Boys and Mike (also). But that kind of ‘ding, ding, ding, ding, ding… I sailed an ocean, unsettled ocean’. That was what was kind of built on and Tony felt for it. So I said ‘Ok, fair enough’. It’s not a tremendously personal song to me, so I like it very much,” Phil Collins said.
Besides being part of the album “Duke”, the track was also released as a single at the time. It reached the first position on the Canadian RPM Top singles chart. Also number 14 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Collins sang, played the drums and percussion, Tony Banks played the keyboards and Mike Rutherford recorded the guitar and bass. “Duke” was a really important album for Genesis’ career. The record also had another hit, which was “Turn It On Again”.