Deep Tracks: Phil Collins – “Hand in Hand” and “The West Side”

Hand in Hand (1981) and The West Side (1982)

Phil-Collins-8-©Philip-KaminI have sort of cheated here and included two songs in one day. These are both instrumentals and are typically an ignored part of Collins’ work. Both are these songs are excellent examples of Collins’ musical talent. As expected, Collins is on the drums for both of these songs – and he is good. These songs are clearly highlighted by the horns that are featured. Collins included plenty of horn work on many of his songs and he did so against the advice of many. In the documentary Classic Albums, Collins discusses his love for American R&B music and how he wanted to incorporate that sound into some of his songs – hence the horns. This sound would continue to have a strong presence on all of Collins’ albums in the’ 80s. For Face Value, Collins used the EWF horns who played with Earth Wind and Fire. For his second solo album, Collins established the Phenix horns who would record and tour with him throughout the decade. Collins also started using Daryl Struemer on guitar who would also remain with Collins recording and live through the ‘80s. In fact, if you check out the video for “Don’t Lose My Number”, Collins mentions the guitarist’s name when the video producer asks who is playing the solo. The horns, the percussion, the keyboards, the bass – all of them are artistically blended into two great songs. They are both catchy, superb examples of talented musicians who want to push the limits of what we expect to hear from typical pop/rock music. One of the best ways to fully appreciate instrumentals is through a live performance. So saying, both of the links are to concert footage and they are fantastic. Note: The great touring drummer for Phil Collins and Genesis is Chester Thompson – here is a bonus link to some solo drumming by these two. Do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to watch this:

Hand in Hand

The West Side

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