Only an “act of God” will keep Phil Collins from fulfilling his duties this time around.
At last year’s gala fundraiser for his Little Dreams Foundation at The Fillmore, the music legend was forced to disappoint attendees by bowing out at the last minute due to health issues. The former Genesis frontman turned solo superstar has an added boost: By the evening of Dec. 12, he should be fully recovered from back surgery he underwent at the University of Miami Spine Institute earlier this month.
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The gala is just one of many things on Collins’ plate. The 64-year-old is on the verge of a comeback.
As part of the “Take a Look at Me Now” campaign, all eight of the prolific singer-songwriter’s solo albums starting with his 1981 debut Face Value will be remastered and reissued as part of a new catalog deal with Warner Music Group. Originally set for November, the campaign is now slated to start in late January due to Collins’ operation.
The singer of such timeless classics as Sussudio, Something in the Air Tonight and Against All Odds says he was “iffy” about the reissuing idea at first but now is quite pleased with the outcome.
“I didn’t want my fans to have to buy everything all over again,” he says. “But you’ll be getting different sounds. There’s a variety of stuff — every album will have a second life with rare versions of songs or demos and new artwork. This is something I’ve got my fingerprints all over.”
Amazingly, it seems the ever humble Collins is just now starting to understand just how important his music is in the grand scheme. “Well, you know some of these young artists are citing me as an influence, which is very brave of them,” he snickers.
“People like Lorde, Pharrell, apparently listened to me while growing up. So this is a good time to rediscover me, if you will.” Die-hard Phil aficionados will also get to rediscover Collins with a forthcoming, as yet untitled autobiography due out in October 2016 published by Crown Archetype, which is owned by Penguin Random House.
Despite all the projects, Collins makes time for his Little Dreams Foundation, which he launched with his ex-wife, local jeweler Orianne Collins Mejjati, 15 years ago.
“I kept getting letters from kids who wanted to break into show business — not necessarily music, but arts, dance, sports, whatever,” Collins explains of starting the foundation. “I didn’t know what to tell them: That it’s really difficult? To stick with it anyway? It’s expensive? So I thought, ‘Let’s come up with an idea to realize a dream. Let’s help you up the first rung of the ladder.’ It’s just a way of encouraging people, taking them under our wing and seeing if they have real talent or it should be best left as a hobby.”
For more information, visit www.ldf.cc.