Phil Collins, ‘Tomorrow Never Knows': Terrible Classic Rock Covers
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Phil Collins – first drummer, then lead singer for Genesis – put out his now-classic 1981 solo debut Face Value at the conclusion of a messy divorce. The album featured one of the dopest ’80s songs too: “In the Air Tonight,” which just about everybody has played air drums to one time or another. Everyone from Eminem (in his rap hit “Stan”) to the world’s greatest U.K. commercial have paid homage to “In the Air Tonight.”
The project’s most forgettable moment, however, is the closing track – an absolutely atrocious cover of “Tomorrow Never Knows,” the Beatles’ ode to the mind-bending hallucinogenic effects of LSD from 1966’s groundbreaking Revolver. (It was that album’s closer, too.)
Why Collins thought it was necessary to lay such a giant turd on an otherwise awesome album is beyond us. (Maybe it was his ex-wife’s least favorite tune?)
Using a similar electronic drum-machine effect as the one used at the beginning of “In the Air Tonight,” but now mixed with live drums, the cover is a mess from top to bottom. The singer even does that Collins-on-Collins double-tracked harmony (see Genesis’ Invisible Touch album) halfway through the song, with twinkling, overproduced ’80s keyboards taking the place of the backwards, tape-looped effects and feed-backing guitars used in the original version.
In other words, Collins saw us drowning and made sure not to lend a hand.
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