One led Genesis through its proggiest weirdness. The other took them to the top of the charts. In their own ways, these same storylines are mirrored in the solo careers of Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel.
Gabriel always took more chances, while Collins for many years simply transferred his canny ear for a hit from one discography to another. Eventually, Gabriel wrangled his unruly muse, helping 1986’s So and 1992’s Us to 6 million in sales in the U.S. alone. That was still half of what Collins’ blockbuster 1985 album No Jacket Required sold.
Collins reeled off seven Billboard chart-topping singles between 1984-89 while adding another handful Top 5 hits through 1990. If anything, he became utterly ubiquitous and that led to the inevitable backlash.
The more idiosyncratic Gabriel was really an album-cut guy. He dominated for a while on Billboard’s rock charts, while Collins rarely appeared there. But Gabriel boasts just four career Top 40 U.S. hits on the main chart, capped by his No. 1 smash “Sledgehammer.”
They didn’t always stay confined in these comfy stereotypes. Early in his solo career, Collins wasn’t shy about expressing very edgy emotions about failed relationships. Gabriel went Top 10 in the U.K. with “Don’t Give Up,” a touching ballad duet with Kate Bush.
More often than not, however, they remained so fundamentally different – whether with Genesis or without – that deciding on which was your favorite often simply came down to larger musical preferences. We tried anyway. Below we look back at solo albums by Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel, ranked worst to best.
Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel Albums Ranked
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