Phil Collins: My Life in 15 Songs

The singer on the critics who hate him, the rappers who love him and why he's also a little sick of "Sussudio"

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Genesis, "Follow You, Follow Me" (1978)

I was a drummer. I sang in my school groups in the mid-1960s, but I really didn't want to be a singer. I took over after Peter left because I had the voice. But I had nothing to do with "Follow You, Follow Me." It was written around a guitar piece by Mike. Tony wrote the words, which I didn't hear until the day I went in to record them.

It was our first real hit. Genesis had been trying desperately to write pop singles for a long time. Everybody was a fan of the Beatles and the Kinks and the Stones, but we didn't have a very good editor in the band — it was hard to write songs shorter than 10 minutes. But "Follow You, Follow Me" was a game-changer.

Because I had become the singer a couple of albums earlier, I was given the blame [for the band's new pop direction]. Suddenly, there was this guy that not only can sing and play drums, but he's been to drama school! Fans thought, "He's probably Mr. Showbiz and he's pushed Pete out." It wasn't like that at all, but it makes a better story. The truth is, we grew up. We matured.

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