We're all in quarantine. We're all trying to make the best of it, and to that end, I've been prone to going down some rather long youtube rabbit holes lately. Today it was music videos. I started out with some 80's videos and before too long found myself face to face with this man:
Sussudio wasn't the first song that came on, no, that was Easy Lover. A classic 80's jam if there ever was one. A strange music video to be sure, as it stars Phil Collins and Philip Bailey making the music video. Collins is dressed in his "British Dad" outfit, white button down, blue sweater vest and khaki pants. But still, a solid song.
From Easy Lover I graduated to Sussudio. Now it's a song that I've heard hundreds of times in my life and never really put any thought into. It's got a nice little rhythm to it, but what the hell does it mean? So I gave it a couple of deep listens. It sounds like he's in love with a woman named Sussudio, but that's definitely not a name. Not even a weird British name like Gareth or something. It's pure nonsense. And honestly, I find it quite distracting. Why couldn't he use a real name? Upon googling I found a genesis fan site, I confirmed my suspicion that it is entirely made up by Collins.
According to Phil Collins, when he was on VH-1's Storytellers, Sussudio is an imaginary girl's name. The song is about having a crush on someone when you are young. He used Sussudio as a name to encompass any girl.
Now, I've heard women referred to by lots of pet names or shorthand in my life, but to use the word "Sussudio" to encompass any girl is just bizarre. Then there's the music video, which is Collins performing in a pub somewhere, wearing a full suit and tie. Throughout he stands at the front of the stage and, I can't call it dancing, sways while he performs. Watch the video once or twice, and tell me that son of a bitch doesn't get stuck in your head all night.
This got me thinking about Phil Collins in general. He might be one of the most unassuming "rock stars" (I'm using that term loosely) in decades. Number one he was a drummer in Genesis. There aren't a lot of drummers that turn into lead singers. Don Henley and Levon Helm certainly could sing, but Collins made himself a whole other career post-Genesis.
When I looked it up it kinda surprised me the guy sold over 150 million albums in his career. That is an absolute shit load of albums from a guy who not only was a drummer, but did not have the typical look of a solo artist. Nowadays that matters less, but I feel like in the superficial 80's, the dorky Brit might have been a tougher sell. Overall not the worst rabbit hole I've ever gone down, although one of the more unexpected ones I've had in a while.
Either way, congrats to Phil Collins on a hell of a career which he accomplished, dare I say, "against all odds"?