Top Ten Songs by Phil Collins

There was a time, about fifteen years ago, when I could have easily compiled a list of the top tens songs by Phil Collins. Yes, I admit, in high school, I was a Phil Collins fan and my top ten list probably would have proudly displayed a list of live tracks, obscure B-sides, and other little known things we big fans knew (remember The Phenix Horns..?) But now, as I search my memory for a top ten songs by Phil Collins list, I find my list is very short, and I actually have to go check his website to remember a lot of his songs. I take this stroll down memory lane, and realize how little interest I had in any of his post, say, 1993, albums. I remember some of the songs I used to love with an added “What the heck was I thinking?” But there are some songs that remain, if not cool, at least decent, to me. Phil Collins, Oscar winner, Broadway composer, and baldheaded 80s-90s hitmaker, here’s to you: a simple opinion-driven list in no particular order of ten top Phil Collins songs.

1. One More Night. I know this Phil Collins song repeats its title over and over again at the end, but it’s still a pretty nice little tune where a guy’s asking his girl for a little patience “If I stumble if, if I fall, just help me backâÂ?¦” That’s good. (Also try: Everyday)

2. In The Air Tonight. I have to rank this Phil Collins song because it remains, decades later, his coolest most popular work, and something of a trademark. Teams of high school athletes no doubt still play this in the locker room. (Also Try: I Don’t Care Anymore)

3. Against All Odds. This song rates a place on the list for its 80s hit value, too. I mean, this was a big song back in the day. I think I came across it a few years after it was really a hit and I just loved the stuffing out of it. (Also try: Separate Lives) .

4. Find A Way To My Heart. This is on the But, SeriouslyâÂ?¦ album. It was one of only three songs I remembered from the album (the other two being Another Day In Paradise and The Way It IsâÂ?¦). Funny when I looked up the big hits on that album: Do You Remember, Something Happened On The Way To Heaven, Wish It Would Rain Down – they didn’t hold up as well in my mind’s ear as this one did. It’s sort of a soundtrack kind of song, without a movie. (Also try: All of My Life; Don’t Let Him Steal Your Heart Away)

5. Take Me Home. Yes, this song probably wins the prize for most repetitive lyrics once you run out of verse, but it’s also got some good lyrics in it too and builds with nice momentum. It’s the kind of song I’d listen to if it came on the radio, at least for a verse. I saw Phil Collins live twice, and he ends with this song and a little call and response thing. It sounds sort of cheesy, I know, but it worked. (Also try: Don’t Lose My Number)

6. The Way It Is. In the pantheon of social issue song writers, I don’t put Phil Collins at the top with say, Bob Dylan or U2 or Public Enemy. But you gotta give this guy credit for trying to talk about the world on his albums. While But SeriouslyâÂ?¦ boasted the big hit Another Day In Paradise about homelessness and the Africa-themed Colours, and the blah Heat on The Street (about ??) this song about war (at the time the war in Ireland) is the best of them. It’s a somber, evocative and oddly pretty song. Backup vocals by David Crosby (see, told you I knew triviaâÂ?¦) (Also try: Long Long Way To Go, Another Day In Paradise, Both Sides Of The Story)

7. Sussisdio. Don’t forget Phil Collins did a lot of work in the Dancin’ On The Ceiling 80s. No top ten of his songs would be complete without some mention of his up-tempo, love-related 80s songs from albums like Hello I Must Be Going and No Jacket Required. I personally don’t like Sussudio that much, but it’s kind of the best of the bunch, and that first line – “There’s a girl who’s been on my mindâÂ?¦” does kick in with the 80s energy. (Also try: I Cannot Believe It’s True; Who Said I Would, It Don’t Matter To Me)

8. I Wish It Would Rain Down. I remember someone saying this Phil Collins song was a rip off of a Pink Floyd song. But, I figure all those guys hung out together with Eric Clapton (who plays guitar on the songâÂ?¦) so it was all fine. Rain Down was overplayed to death on the radio, but remains one of Collins songs where the vocals, lyrics and Clapton’s guitar best come together.

9. Inside Out. Here’s a song that’s quiet, but upbeat, with some lyrics reflecting a kind of Average Joe defiance. Nothing fancy, but a good hook. Probably the best of the non Billboard-hitting songs on No Jacket Required. (Also try: I Missed Again)

10. You’ll Be In My Heart. Now, I put this song on the top ten not because I really like it, which I don’t, but because it sort of represents the contemporary Phil Collins, the one who writes for movies and Broadway. Collins’ albums in the last ten years have not been big pop successes, but he’s found a way to still do his thing, or some variation there of. (Also try: Can’t Stop Loving You; Dance Into The Light.)

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