(Slightly Belated) BATTLE OF THE BANDS: Gabriel vs. Collins


I want to apologize to Birgit, who thought that yesterday’s A to Z Challenge was also the Battle of the Bands. I had intended on getting this out, but spent a lot more time reading and commenting on blogs yesterday than I thought I was. So we’re a little behind on this, for which I also apologize.

The subject of yesterday’s A to Z post was Abacab, the eleventh studio album by the band Genesis. The lead singer for the band on that album, and for every Genesis studio album since their seventh (1976’s A Trick Of The Tail), was Phil Collins, also the band’s drummer. A friend of mine who’s a drummer said it’s hard to sing and play the drums at the same time (though not as hard as it is to sing and play the clarinet at the same time), so Phil is to be commended for that. He started a solo career, while continuing as a member of Genesis, in 1978, releasing the album Face Value in 1981.

The band’s original singer, the one who appeared on the first six albums, was Peter Gabriel, who left in 1975 and launched a solo career immediately after, finally finding huge success with his 1986 album So…. The biggest hit from that album was “Sledgehammer,” which won nine MTV Music Awards (in the days when MTV actually concerned itself with music) and remains the most-played video on that channel.

Anyway, after reading Birgit’s comments, I decided that this battle should pit the two Genesis singers against one another. I chose a couple of songs from roughly the same period of time, and your job will be to listen to them, decide which one you like better, and leave me a comment telling me which you liked better. Your choices are:

Peter Gabriel, “Sledgehammer”

Phil Collins, “Sussudio”

Voting is open to everyone, whether or not you’ve voted in one of these or done a Battle of the Bands yourself. Please cast your vote in the comments below, and if you feel the need to tell me why, be my guest. Then, I’m not sure how many on the list below are having Battles this month, but you might want to check their blogs and vote in their Battles as well…

* Stephen has the current list of participants on his site

I’ll announce the winners in next week’s “The Week That Was” post, so be sure and get your vote in before then. The lines are now open. Best of luck to Peter and Phil!

16 thoughts on “(Slightly Belated) BATTLE OF THE BANDS: Gabriel vs. Collins

  1. Hard choice, both talented, but Slegehammer gets my vote. I love So…and I love Gabriel. Add in the then groundbreaking video, that puts it over the top for me (sorry for the late entry….I’m behind in reading!)


  2. I seem to recall that the Collins tune was the butt of many jokes back when it was out. I reminds me a lot of the stuff Prince was putting out at the time. I like the music of Phil Collins, but over all I prefer Peter Gabriel’s music.

    In this pairing I’m going to go with “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


  3. First, I want to apologise to you! I am pretty sure I missed voting in your battle last time. My mother got a hip replacement, and it brought my life to a screeching halt! She is doing better now. Still requires lots of TLC, but much better.

    Never was a fan of Sussudio, while I loved Sledgehammer. I liked Big Time even more… Of course, there are some Phil Collins faves, too. Against All Odds and I Wish It Would Rain Down.

    Sledgehammer gets my vote.


  4. John,

    I know you’re up to your eyeBROWS with A2Zing, so no worries about the late entry to BoTB. I’m glad you have your recent posts listed in your side menu. That makes finding what I want to check out a snap! Thanks for taking my suggestion in adding to this feature to your blog.

    Both artists are brilliant but I like Phil Collins better, so give Collins my vote and whenever you get a chance, don’t’ kill yourself, you’ll find my April 1st BotB participation in my first #AprilA2Z Art Sketching Through the Alphabet Letter “A” (angels) edition. Have a good day!


  5. Phil Collins gets my vote. I’m old. The visuals on that Gabriel song are going to give me nightmares for a week!


  6. Oh wow, no fair!!!! How can you ask us to pick between two greats!!! Love them both, but I must pick Peter Gabriel for his theatrics. They’re the best!


  7. I recently watched a bunch of interviews with Phil Collins, and I learned that he really didn’t want to be the singer for the group. They had auditioned a number of people after Gabriel had left, but they just couldn’t find the ‘right’ person for the job. That’s when Collin’s stepped up and said he would do it.

    I recall when Sledgehammer first came out, that it was just a little too bizarre for my tastes. For some reason, I was really drawn to the Phil Collins sound. Now that I’m a bit older, and there’s been a few decades time to pass and give both an open mind, I don’t mind Sledgehammer as much.

    But as I have always been drawn to Phil Collins sound, I’m going to have to give my vote to him.

    Jingle Jangle Jungle


  8. Well, to be entirely honest, I dislike Genesis. Also, I have never liked ‘Sledgehammer’ nor ‘Chop Sussudio’. (The ONLY Phil Collins song I like is ‘Against All Odds’, but I flat-out LOVE that one!)

    In this case, I find ‘Chop Sussudio’ more tolerable than the ‘Sledgehammer’ to my head, so Phil gets my vote.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Check out my new blog @
    (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews…


  9. Kinda interesting that the Sussusio video shows someone’s hands playing a Sequential Prophet V, yet the studio credits list David Frank playing Roland, Moog and Oberheim synthesizers.


  10. I’m biased. I’ve enjoyed and composed more complex musical styles, bordering on jazz. When disco hit, I hated it. That’s where I’m coming from.

    On So, Peter Gabriel writes and arranges in a more musically-interesting way than Phil Collins ever did. Gabriel also refrains from shouting at me, while Collins exercises no such restraint. I would agree with Frank Zappa, who would likely say, “Strictly commercial!” If he heard Sussudio.

    My vote goes to Sledgehammer. I nearly wore out my copy of So when it was first released in 1986. Almost every cut exhibits interesting chord structure and arranging, with elements of jazz, rock, African and Brazilian music. (Still think the Muppets should have done a parody “Pig Time.”)


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