Do you like Phil Collins? I've been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke. Before that, I really didn't understand any of their work. Too artsy, too intellectual. It was on Duke where Phil Collins' presence became more apparent. I think Invisible Touch was the group's undisputed masterpiece. It's an epic meditation on intangibility. At the same time, it deepens and enriches the meaning of the preceding three albums. Christy, take off your robe. Listen to the brilliant ensemble playing of Banks, Collins and Rutherford. You can practically hear every nuance of every instrument. Sabrina, remove your dress. In terms of lyrical craftsmanship, the sheer songwriting, this album hits a new peak of professionalism. Sabrina, why don't you, uh, dance a little. Take the lyrics to Land of Confusion. In this song, Phil Collins addresses the problems of abusive political authority. In Too Deep is the most moving pop song of the 1980s, about monogamy and commitment. The song is extremely uplifting. Their lyrics are as positive and affirmative as anything I've heard in rock. Christy, get down on your knees so Sabrina can see your asshole. Phil Collins' solo career seems to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying, in a narrower way. Especially songs like In the Air Tonight and Against All Odds. Sabrina, don't just stare at it, eat it. But I also think Phil Collins works best within the confines of the group, than as a solo artist, and I stress the word artist. This is Sussudio, a great, great song, a personal favorite.
I'd certainly count myself a Phil Collins fan. Since it came out, Face Value (1981) has always been in my top 10 album list; right up there with Thriller (1982), Revolver (1966), or What's Going On (1971). It's gratifying to hear you call Invisible Touch their masterpiece; the album has aged exceedingly well. As your tastes (and mine) mature you/we may come to (re)discover and appreciate their other albums more and more. It is an amazing phenomena when that happens.
It's funny, when Peter Gabriel left the group many people thought they would never recover. If you are a fan, you probably already know the story of how the group auditioned literally hundreds of potential singers to replace Gabriel. They didn't like any of them. Out of desperation they decided to give Phil a try (who was already in the group paying instruments). It was a perfect fit. There is a powerful lesson there.