Phil Collins used to jokingly refer to himself as "ubiquitous." But that adjective is proving an apt description for the former Genesis front man this year. Collins is about to start his big band tour of North America, on which he will play mostly instrumental rearrangements of his biggest solo hits and of material he recorded with Genesis. He's also represented in the new box set Genesis Archive 1967-75. This fall, Collins will release his own greatest-hits album, one that traces his solo career, which began with 1981's Face Value."It's all the stuff you got sick of on the radio the last 15 years," Collins, who left Genesis during 1994, tells Wall of Sound. "Basically, all the hits are there." So is one new song a cover of Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors," which was produced by Babyface during April recording sessions in Los Angeles. "I've always loved that song," Collins says. "I wanted to choose a female cover, just because it makes it so hard to compare you to the original. I just fooled around with it in my studio and sent it to [Babyface], and he liked it. We're hoping to get it tied to a movie or something, but, anyway, it's going to be on the album." As of yet, however, the collection has no title. "I think I can come up with something more original than Phil Collins' Greatest Hits," he says.
Collins acknowledges that the "True Colors" collaboration helped test the waters for considering Babyface as producer for his next studio album. "I've done so many records on my own, and I've produced other people "I'm quite happy to move away from that now and not produce myself," says Collins, who, in addition to all this hoopla, has also found time to write songs for the 1999 Disney animated feature Tarzan. "I mean, I say this now, but it [self- producing] is difficult to do when it comes down to it. There's something about walking away from it and not getting too involved and possessive or obsessive about it. On the other hand, maybe that's what makes people who like my records like them, because it's me following through. "I've always said the only reason I do my own music is that it's a true reflection of me of where I'm at and what I want to do and not something seen through someone else's eyes."
by Gary Graff