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Phil Collins: Marching To A Different Beat

Phil Collins: Marching To A Different BeatPhil Collins has enjoyed huge success both as a frontman for Genesis and then in his solo career with hits like You Can't Hurry Love and In The Air Tonight.

For his latest album, Going Back, which has just reached number one in the charts, he revisits Motown and other soul classics that appealed to him as a young man.

But Collins also told Sky's Adam Boulton how he has now lost the feeling in his fingers and has to strap drum sticks to his hands.

Surprisingly, he says he doesn't miss playing that much.

"No, I mean I'd prefer to be able to play but life is strange. I'm 59 and bits start to wear out," he says.

Pointing to his hand he adds: "This bit's worn out. It's been a good servant to me. And I'll just do something else."

Asked where the inspiration for his song In The Air Tonight came from he says: "Divorce will do it.

"That whole period was really trying to occupy myself and keep myself away from the pub long enough while the other guys finished their solo records. Then someone heard it and said it ought to be a record.

"In The Air was improvised. I remember it like yesterday... I played a few chords - D minor - the saddest chord of all. I played all these things and it sounded nice. Then I started singing and that's what came out. I only wrote the words down later.

"A lot of the music I write on my own is like that - spontaneous."

Collins likens his new album to an "unexpected baby in the family". "This is the one that popped along and you never expected it."

And he revealed it could be his last.

"I wasn't in a hurry to do an album at all," he says. "Retirement is too strong a word but I just want to do nothing. My manager seems to think it's bad for me - that I'm just vegetating in Switzerland, which I'm not.

"I'm writing a book on Texas history. It's not going to sell 100 million copies, I can assure you, it's very train-spottery. But it's something that interests me, and something away from music."

© Sky News Online, by Andy Jack

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