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Phil Collins Tag

There are two kinds of people in this world: those that say Phil Collins is a doughy, ineffectual frontman who ruined the prog-rock outfit Genesis (and then his own concurrent solo career) by introducing the broadest pop music ideas into their sound, and those who

The winter of 1978 was a particularly brutal one in the northeast. The early part of the year brought two record-breaking blizzards. For me, that winter was spent working as road manager for a great NJ band with a somewhat unfortunate name — the Stanky Brown Group.

The band was working on its third album for Sire Records at A&R Studios in New York City. For us that meant driving into the city from our suburban NJ homes each night at 6:00, and driving home 12 hours later. The recording went on for six weeks without a night off. One of those blizzards that I mentioned happened while we were in the studio, and the drive home that morning was an adventure to say the least. But I digress.

In May 1982, Genesis was on their way to becoming superstars. Phil Collins had just stepped out to great success, one year earlier, with the Face Value album. The band secured hits with “Turn It On Again,” “Misunderstanding” and “No Reply At All” (from Duke and Abacab, respectively) and proven that, beyond more than a decade as prog rockers, they were ready for the Top of the Pops.

Released as a three-track EP, 3X3 appeared in the UK before the release of the band’s live recording Three Sides Live. That album would include, on the fourth record side, all three songs from the EP plus two others, “Evidence of Autumn” and “Open Door,” b-sides recorded years earlier with producer David Hentschel.

The single appeared in the US with “Paperlate” as the single side and “You Might Recall” as the backing b-side. Why Atlantic, or other US labels for that matter, was so reticent about singles including more than two songs, I do not know; I do know that it was an extremely rare occurrence though. One assumes they believed offering three of the five “new to you” tracks would undercut sales for the album.