Noah Lennox, otherwise known as Panda Bear in the band Animal Collective — and as a solo artist — plays art rock and experimental pop music. But it’s still pop, and when the Onion A.V. Club asked him to set his iPod to “shuffle” in October 2007 as part of its Random Rules feature, one of the songs that came up was Phil Collins’s 1985 hit “Sussudio.”
Lennox said, “I feel like the way people react to music is the same way they react to people; you either respond to the person and trust them, or you don’t. I can’t put my finger on it, but I get into guys like S.E. Rogie or Phil Collins — even somebody like George Michael — whereas there’s a lot of similar music that I won’t get into for whatever reason. It’s really difficult to for me to say why. The fact that [Collins] is really into what he’s doing comes through somehow, and that resonates with me very well.”
Collins, of course, was a hugely successful solo artist in the ’80s as well as the lead singer and drummer for Genesis, which made its name with progressive rock in the ’70s but shifted its focus to radio-friendly pop the following decade, scoring five top-ten hits alone with its 1986 album Invisible Touch. Collins has taken his fair share of abuse over the years for the earworms he’s created, with “Sussudio” showing up on many “worst songs of the ’80s” lists.
Why all the hate? Because rock stars aren’t supposed to be short and losing their hair, that’s why! It makes them too much like normal people, and we all know normal people suck. And rock stars apparently aren’t supposed to use a nonsense word like “Sussudio” for the title of a hit song that you’ll be singing for the rest of the day whether you like it or not. But for artists and fans like Panda Bear, Collins is king because he knows who he is, and the world is a better place for it. Don’t blame him for the fact that no matter where you are in the world at any given moment, one of his songs will be on the radio.
The following bootleg is a bit of a cheat: it’s an audio rip of Genesis’s Live at Wembley Stadium DVD, recorded in London in July 1987. But “Sussudio” is nowhere in sight, so those of you with a preexisting earworm infection can rest easy.
“The Domino Principle”
Land of Confusion
[Introduction of Daryl Stuermer and Chester Thompson]
Tonight, Tonight, Tonight
Throwing It All Away
“Communication With the Other World”
Home by the Sea/Second Home by the Sea
Turn It On Again [Medley]