‘The Phil Collins Effect’: Older Pop Stars Give New Hope With Former Genesis Singer’s Cultural Resurrection | Ents & Arts News
The “Phil Collins effect” was identified by academics after the former drummer and frontman of Genesis returned to popularity.
The highly influential musician, who seems to attract both admiration and derision, became one of the best-selling artists of all time during a hugely successful solo career in the 1980s.
But when the UK entered the Britpop era in the 1990s, the bald singer-songwriter came to represent the epitome of uncool.
Academics have since identified a phenomenon called “The Phil Collins Effect” (PCE) after a viral video caused the singer to surge in popularity among the younger generation last year, reports The Times.
The research, led by Andre Spicer, professor of behavior at the City, University of London, indicates that the PCE can be plotted in an N-shaped graph with each phase of popularity, or lack of popularity, lasting as long as ‘about 10 years.
In Collins’ case, this graphic follows his rise as the best solo artist in the eighties, his fall from grace in the nineties, and then a period from 2001 when his work was ” critically raised to an even higher status than during its history. peak commercial “.
Twenty-one-year-old twins Tim and Fred Williams from Gary, Indiana praise the classic Collins track In The Air Tonight in the search-sparking social media video.
In the clip, which has had nine million views, the brothers are seen shaking their heads as their facial expressions make it clear that they enjoy the music.
Collin’s legendary gated reverb drum fills up in about three minutes, then lifts the song up and the brothers are blown away.
When the song is over, Fred yells, “You killed him Phil!”
In The Air Tonight immediately went to number one in US college radio stations after the video.
The Guardian and The New York Times wrote tracks on the clip and praised not only the song, but Collins’ solo career as a whole.
Mr Spicer and his co-authors observed that the video led to media coverage and critical praise from Collins that was even greater than at its peak.
Mr Spicer told The Times: “The video of (the brothers) got me thinking about how when you go to a hipster bar in Hackney you now hear Phil Collins playing.
“That wouldn’t have been the case a few years ago. So I thought about what’s going on here?”
The observation that acts can fall out of favor before returning to popularity is not seen as particularly revolutionary, but Mr Spicer said it was his team’s analysis that pioneered.
He continued, “We are the first popular music sociological and business research team to identify this curve.”
The researchers say the PCE is a model of “cultural death followed by cultural resurrection.”
They added that the effect depends on three groups over successive generations – fellow musicians, critics and fans.
The authors said the phenomenon was in part fueled by the desire of new generations to shed the cultural baggage of their elders.
The researchers also said that an artist’s actions in seeking to continue or revive a career have little bearing on whether he would come back stronger after a decline in popularity, or simply disappear like the majority of acts.
The authors said Collins did himself a favor by not reinventing himself.
Mr Spicer said the Bee Gees were among other artists who have followed a similar trajectory.