Iconic entertainer Phil Collins sits down with legendary newsman Dan Rather in an all new episode of The Big Interview, airing Tuesday, March 1st at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT on AXS TV. In the episode, the celebrated singer-songwriter opens up about his historic career, which includes one Oscar, eight GRAMMYs, a spot in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, and countless hits such as “In The Air Tonight,” “Sussudio,” “Another Day In Paradise,” and many more. The pair touch upon a variety of topics during the interview, including Collins’ choice to release re-mastered versions of his classic albums, and Collins’ meeting with chart-topping superstar Adele—whom he had never heard of prior to meeting her.
In January 2016, Collins kicked off his Take A Look At Me Now campaign of remastered material, starting with his debut album, Face Value, and his fifth LP, Both Sides. Opening up about this process, Collins says, “It’s basically like having something at home you’ve never polished, and you give it a polish and it looks like something else, it looks new… We [added] a second CD for every album, so Face Value has a second CD with it, which has got live material, and rare demos the people won’t have heard. I re-shot all the cover art, so it’s the same picture, but it’s me now. I thought that would tell people that I’m involved with this, and it’s not just a marketing ploy.
Collins is excited about the albums reaching a whole new audience, whether they’re old fans who missed out on them the first time around, or new listeners discovering him for the first time. He says, “The idea, from my point of view, is to surprise people… [make them] say, ‘Where was I when that came out?’ ‘Cause there’s an album, Both Sides, which has come out with Face Value, where it’s my best album, I feel. My favorite album. And it sold very well, but a lot of people missed it. Also, a lot of artists—like Adele, and Pharrell Williams, Beyoncé —have listed me as an influence, and I think, maybe, some of these kids that are fans of theirs, would say, ‘Well, who is Phil Collins?’ So they go out and discover me for the first time. It’s nice to sort of have the music still alive.”
Collins was first presented with the prospect of collaborating with Adele while she was recording her sophomore album, 21. As Collins explains, “This is hard to believe, but I didn’t know who she was, because for a few years I lived under a rock… She just happened when I wasn’t listening. So, I did my homework, you know. I kind of did a crash course on Adele. And we met in London, and she sat down in my hotel room and she said, ‘I would like to write with you.’ She had a bit of music and she played it to me… and she said, ‘I’d like you to finish it.’”
Collins continues, “It was a strong selection of a bit. It was, like, three really strong bits, and I tried to add to it. I was tryin’ to get ahold of her to get some feedback, and she was very difficult at that point to get ahold of… She had a baby, and she was moving, and so she said, ‘I think we better forget about it for now.’ I was worried that I’d failed the audition, you know? … But, she’s recently come out and said it was a little too early for her, which is nice, because I know that it’s still a lovefest, you know?”
Although nothing ultimately came from the collaboration, Collins was enthusiastic when asked if he would like the opportunity to work with her again, saying, “Oh, there’s every chance… As an artist, if you have a huge success with the first record, the second record is a mountain to climb. She did it hugely successfully… So, there’s more pressure. And, for someone like her, she kinda wants to stand back and do it properly, which is the only way to do it. But, I can understand how long it took. So, I’m not gonna hold my breath for the fourth album, but if she calls me, of course I’ll be there.”