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Phil Collins Explains Why He Didn’t Work With Adele on Her New Album

Thomas Niedermueller / Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Thomas Niedermueller / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Two years ago, we learned that Phil Collins had signed on to write a song with Adele. A new interview with Collins finds him talking about why their attempt at collaborating never got off the ground.

“She sent me a piece of music that I began working on,” he told Billboard, “but then she was very difficult to find. She had a kid — all this [personal] stuff was happening to her, unbeknownst to me. I sent her an e-mail asking, ‘Am I waiting for you, or are you waiting for me?’ I found out she’s a bit of a ghost — [producer / OneRepublic frontman] Ryan Tedder told me that. You may not hear from her for a while. So nothing came of it.”

Last December, Adele admitted that she was the one who dropped the ball because their meeting was “well before I was starting the record […] I just chickened out of everything. I went, ‘Oh, I’m not ready’ […] I think he interpreted it that I decided I didn’t want to work with him, but actually I decided I didn’t want to write a record, period, at that point. But yeah, there’s no bad blood there, or certainly not on my half.”

While Collins could be justifiably upset that he missed out on being a part of 25‘s sales figures, he didn’t suggest it, and he’s glad that Adele has handled questions about the two of them with no small degree of class. “I was very pleased to hear [it],” he continued, “because she’s being asked about this with the release of her new album, that she said, ‘It was too early, and I was too scared.’ That’s better than ‘He was terrible.’ I was very grateful for her gentle way of looking at it.”

Although Collins is still hoping to come out of retirement with new music, the physical problems that have prevented him from playing the drums persist, and have even taken a step back. “My left arm has changed,” he said, “it’s a neural thing. The back surgery I had was great […] But then when I was recovering on crutches, I fell and fractured my foot. When I recovered from foot surgery, I fell again and fractured another part of the same foot. My right foot now is completely numb. It could be a year or three months to get feeling back — I have no idea. But my kids want me to do shows so they can brag to their friends. I intend on doing some things. I stopped going into the studio because I was sad, but now I’m getting a taste of it again.”

Reissues of 1981’s Face Value and 1992’s Both Sides were released yesterday (Jan. 29). Two more of his solo records, 1982’s Hello, I Must Be Going and 1996’s Dance Into the Light, will come out in remastered and deluxe edition formats on Feb. 26.

See Phil Collins and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the ’80s

Next: Top 10 Phil Collins Genesis Songs

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