Do you ever think “hard-edged” when you think of Phil Collins? Of course not, you think of stadium pop like “Invisible Touch” or “You’ll Be In My Heart”, maybe even the eerie-ness of “In the Air Tonight” or “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight”.
This is the reason I love “That’s All”. It’s a total deviation from the Genesis and Phil Collins sound. It’s angry. It’s frustrated. It’s mercurial. It’s fantastic. The song has so many great facets. The lyrics, are written with exceptional rhymes, and when Phil spits them, it’s basically a rap. It’s hard, it’s fast, and when you think about it, they’re essentially hip-hop verses. The piano, is easily a classic riff. It’s very prominent, and fits the Collin’s vocals with ease. The drums pound from the very start, and it’s just the last piece to the puzzle, forming this excellent song.
Is there any reason for the deviation, though? Well, the band started as a straight-up weird English progressive rock band with original vocalist Peter Gabriel. That experimental vibe continues through essentially all of their 70s work, and then when early 80s come around, Gabriel has left, Collins definitely wants to go a poppy route, but still stay true to that early sound. So, you get these split albums like Duke, Abacab, and in this case, Genesis, the 1983 LP mainly famous for this particular song. By 1986’s Invisible Touch, they had hit a full-on, stadium rock.
If you enjoy the thought of a more different Genesis song, try out “That’s All”.