Phil Collins / Plays Well With Others

4CD box set of work Collins has undertaken with other artists

This September, Rhino are to release a new four-CD box set that shines a light on the collaborative work of Phil Collins. Plays Well With Others features an incredibly broad array of music from a diverse range of artists including Brian Eno, John Cale, Eric Clapton, Tears For Fears, Howard Jones, Paul McCartney, Adam Ant and more.

The 59-track collection has been compiled by Collins (we know he likes to get ‘hands on’ after his album reissues) and he has this to say about it:

“Some would say I’ve lived a charmed life. I’ve done what I wanted for most of it, and got paid  well for doing something I’d have done for nothing. Playing the drums. During that time I’ve  played with most of my heroes, most have become close friends. Over these 4 CD’s you’ll find a  mere smattering of those moments. I thank the artists for letting me put this CD together, no easy  task! Love, PC”

Plays Well With Others certainly presents a rather disparate group of artists and recordings – with Collins as the common thread – but the work collected here is mightily impressive, when you consider that Collins would effectively do this work in his spare time, while not being in Genesis or having massive solo success with his own albums and singles!

The discs are split into eras, with the first CD covering the 1970s, more or less. The second disc represents most of the 1980s. Some of these collaborations are bound to come as a surprise to some fans. I had missed the fact that Collins plays on Adam Ant‘s Puss ‘n’ Boots, although his work on the single version of Howard JonesNo One Is To Blame is fairly well known. Collins’ jibe at Paul McCartney (he called him a ‘fuck’ on the eve of the publication of his book in Oct 2016) hasn’t stopped him including Macca’s Press To Play album track Angry (with ‘our little Phil’ on drumsand it’s nice to see Tears For FearsWoman In Chains remembered.

The ’90s and the ‘noughties’ work (on CD 3) is likely to be less familiar and includes collaborations with artists such as John Waite, David Crosby and Lil’ Kim. The one Genesis selection – No Son Of Mine from 1991’s We Can’t Dance – is a curious choice.

The final disc concentrates on live performance, and ends with four tracks from Party at the Palace in 2002 – the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebration. A reminder that from the mid ’80s onwards Collins was synonymous with The Big Concert Event, where ‘supergroups’ would form and perform, for charity or otherwise.

Plays Well With Others is released on 28 September 2018. This is CD only (for now).

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Phil Collins

Plays Well With Others - 4CD box set


DISC ONE: 1969 – 1982

“Guide Me Orion” – Flaming Youth
“Knights (Reprise)” – Peter Banks
“Don’t You Feel It” – Eugene Wallace
“I Can’t Remember, But Yes” – Argent
“Over Fire Island” – Brian Eno
“Savannah Woman” – Tommy Bolin
“Pablo Picasso” – John Cale
“Nuclear Burn” – Brand X
“No-One Receiving” – Brian Eno
“Home” – Rod Argent
“M386” – Brian Eno
“And So To F” – Brand X
“North Star” – Robert Fripp
“Sweet Little Mystery” – John Martyn
“Intruder” – Peter Gabriel
“I Know There’s Something Going On” – Frida
“Pledge Pin” – Robert Plant
“Lead Me To The Water” – Gary Brooker

DISC TWO: 1982 – 1991

“In The Mood”‘ – Robert Plant
“Island Dreamer” – Al Di Meola
“Puss ‘n’ Boots” – Adam Ant
“Walking On The Chinese Wall” – Philip Bailey
“Do They Know It’s Christmas (Feed The World)” – Band Aid
“Just Like A Prisoner” – Eric Clapton
“Because Of You” – Philip Bailey
“Watching The World” – Chaka Khan
“No One Is To Blame” (Phil Collins version) – Howard Jones
“If Leaving Me Is Easy” – The Isley Brothers
“Angry” – Paul McCartney
“Loco In Acapulco’ – Four Tops
“Walking On Air” – Stephen Bishop
“Hall Light” – Stephen Bishop
“Woman In Chains” – Tears For Fears
“Burn Down The Mission” – Phil Collins

DISC THREE: 1991 – 2011

“No Son Of Mine” – Genesis
“Could’ve Been Me” – John Martyn
“Hero” – David Crosby
“Ways To Cry” – John Martyn
“I’ve Been Trying” – Phil Collins
“Do Nothing ‘Till You Hear From Me” – Quincy Jones
“Why Can’t It Wait Til Morning” – Fourplay
“Suzanne” – John Martyn
“Looking For An Angel” – Laura Pausini
“Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End” – George Martin
“In The Air Tonite” – Lil’ Kim featuring Phil Collins
“Welcome” – Phil Collins
“Can’t Turn Back The Years” – John Martyn

 DISC FOUR: LIVE 1981 – 2002

“In The Air Tonight” (Live At The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball) – Phil Collins
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” – George Harrison
“You Win Again” – The Bee Gees
“There’ll Be Some Changes Made” – Phil Collins and Tony Bennett
“Stormy Weather” – Phil Collins and Quincy Jones
“Chips And Salsa” – The Phil Collins Big Band
“Birdland” – Phil Collins with The Buddy Rich Big Band
“Pick Up The Pieces” (Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival 1998) – The Phil Collins Big Band
“Layla” (Live At Party At The Palace, 3 June 2002) – Eric Clapton
“Why” (Live at Party At The Palace, 3 June 2002) – Annie Lennox
“Everything I Do (I Do It For You)” (Live at Party At The Palace, 3 June 2002) – Bryan Adams
“With A Little Help From My Friends” (Live at Party At The Palace, 3 June 2002) – Joe Cocker

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“easy lover” (bailey) and “it’s in the way that you use it” (clapton) were glaring omissions.

Matthew Legg

Bad that they got the writing credits wrong in the booklet. Watching The World (a Mr Mister song but recorded by Chaka Khan) was written by John Lang, Richard Page and Steve George, NOT Richard George!!!


Just bought it today at a Fnac branch. Surprised to see it is not a boxset, but a regular CD- sized digibook: less lavish but more practical and cost-effective.

Daniel Blanchet

You guys are never satisfied, whatever an artist, a musician or a band gives us, some of you will always find a reason to complain. This song or that song is not on that boxset, so I’m not happy about it. It reminds me of a concert that Genesis gave years ago, after almost three hours of music with the band, we were getting closer to the end but the crowd wasn’t willing to let them go, so Phi Collinsl said : ”Come on you guys, we gave you almost three hours of music and you’re still unsatisfied, what more do you want, blood?”…

Paul Stevens

gives us? they charge money, we’re customers, we can complain although in music the customer is not always right :)


No tracks from Bruce Hornsby’s Harbor Lights album in 1993 ?

Tim in Miami

Still waiting for Phil’s “Life Is A RatRace” from his Miami Vice episode


Wasn’t that a remake of one of his b-sides ‘The Man With The Horn’?

Michael D

His drum duet with his son Simon from U-Catastrophe would have served as a more modern day collaboration. Given his sense of humour he should have thrown in Old MacDonald from Comic Relief as a hidden bonus.


Thanks for the info Paul, too many missing tracks (oldfield, café Jacques, Ronnie Caryl solo carreer…) but it’s a must buy.


He did some great work on the Café Jacques debut album, “Round the Back (Epic, 1977). Far as I’m aware, a one-off. And wrote the sleeve notes by way of introduction:
“I was upstairs at Trident one balmy evening (it’s always barmy at Trident) with the rest of the Genesis boys when I decided to relieve myself. On my way I was assaulted by the intrepid Rupert Hine [producer]. “Would I tap my metal and plastic on a recording he was making of a ‘new’ group called Café Jacques?” Being known for a bit of this and that I of course obliged. Listening to some of the material they were putting finishing touches on I was violently impressed. In the days of three chord tricks it comes as a surprise to see a ‘new’ band pursuing their own course and not digressing for a quick quid. This band you see have some great melodies. Each track has its own identity and each is beautifully honed by Mr. Hines and Mr. Kelsey.
Anyway I wanted to write these little scribblings to lend any weight I can because i think the band is good. In spite of the little contribution made by the small unspectacular bearded perscussionist. PHIL COLLINS (GENESIS)”

Excusing the weak grammar, it’s typically self-effacing Collins; at least from the earlier days.
I have no association with the band but always admired the musicianship on this album. Any track from Side One would stand up well next to his other contributions on the Vol. 2 compilation

Phil Morris

Collins is also on their 1978 album, International.

Paul Murphy

Can’t resist sticking in my wish for Volume II – ‘Get Back’ from the Prince’s Trust, 1986.

CJ Feeney

What I think should be in- some Anthony Phillips, Steve Hackett, Mike Oldfield, Bruce Hornsby.
The live tours he did as Eric Clapton’s drummer – especially the version of Layla used on Clapton’s South Bank Show (that was a great band).


You mention “includes collaborations with artists such as John Waite”, but I can’t see which song this is one disc three.
Any fellow John Waite fans able to help me out?

Mark Franklin

If there’s a volume 2, I hope Lamont Dozier’s The Quiet’s Too Loud is included. This set is pretty decent.


I agree with many of the other people posting on here, in that there is an awful lot left out. This could easily have been an 8-CD box set, so let’s hope for a second volume! Would like to have seen something from “Peter & The Wolf” included. This rock version of Prokoiev’s masterpiece was released in 1993, produced by Jack Lancaster, Robin Lumley and Dennis McKay. The album was narrated by the late great Viv Stanshall and the instrumental interpretation of the characters provided by such luminaries as Gary Moore, Stephane Grapelli, Brian Eno, Phil Collins, Cozy Powell, Bill Bruford, Jon Heisman, Gary Brooker, Manfred Mann, Chris Spedding, Alvin Lee, Robin Lumley, Jack Lancaster, Keith Tippett, Julie Tippett and the English Chorale – what a line-up!
Would also have been nice to have seen something from Phil’s other collaboration with Jack Lancaster, on the “Wild Connections” album, released in 1987. This album also had a stellar cast, including Phil Collins, Gary Moore, Robin Lumley, Mick Rogers, Clive Bunker, Rick van der Linden and Rod Argent to name just a few!

Phil Morris

Peter & The Wolf was first released in 1975, although there have been several reissues since. Likewise, the 1987 Wild Connections album was a re-release from the previous decade, capitalising upon Collins’s profile in the 80s.


Also he played drums on Tina Turner’s 1987 album Break Every Rule on Typical Male and Girls, the latter would have been a nice inclusion.


I would imagine Tina’s “Girls” was a licensing issue…since the song itself is better than most songs on this compilation and Phil’s drumming is brilliant IMO.


Tony of Material has not been included, but he tried to cover evrything relevant he played on…

Drumwise, “Amsterdam” with John Martyn had been a much better choice.
No Track from Brand X-like Wilding/Bonus Album from 1978.

Also missing the Track he did with Rapahel Rudd called “Homage”

Same old Blues from Claptons “Behind the Sun” Album is a great one…

Yeah, much stuff left off…Hope fro Volume II

elliott buckingham

still hoping on a definitive 12″ collection a remastered version of 12″ers would be nice

Neil Kelly

Was looking to see if we got Adam Ant: Puss N Boots 12″ version to make it’s CD debut. No such luck. The industry as a whole just doesn’t seem to be releasing much to satisfy an 80’s fans appetite. Guess that’s a complaint for another thread so i’ll stop there!

Nick Love

As a huge Zombies & Argent fan it’s always been a glaring omission to me that Argent’s Counterpoints and Rod Argent’s Moving Home albums never made it to CD. At least I now know the tapes and licensing is there if a track from both made it to the compilation.

Fre Nieuwenhuis

For those people who miss a lot of tracks: if this one sells good, there probably is going to be a volume 2 :-)


Would have been a neat little trick to include one or two of the songs he did with Sting at Live Aid. That was a nice little interlude. Forget the debacle that was Led Zeppelin, for obvious reasons.

No Easy Lover?? Glaring omission. Perhaps Phil figures everyone has that one.

Geoff G.

This is a great idea. He has done so much work with others. Obviously I knew of the easy ones like Frida, Robert Plant and Eric Clapton, but I was unaware of quite a few of these. I’m eager to listen to this!


Nice to see that Phil chose “Intruder” over the obvious “Biko” from his collaborations with Peter Gabriel. The guy seems to have taste after all.


Band aid 30? why not put the original one on?


Going through the track listings i thought it was the original Band Aid version.


… probably because that’s what Amazon (at least in Europe) have it erroneously listed as!


Sounds like the Band Aid b side to me from the title, which is more drum heavy.


“I Know There’s Something Going On” Frida – great track.


I agree. Was going to say the same thing. I still play that song. I have that album on vinyl.


Same Old Blues – Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Jools Holland, Ray Cooper
Hey Jude – Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Elton John, Sting
Royal Albert Hall, September 15th 1997
Music For Montserrat
Where??? :(


It would have been nice if his first ever written and recorded song “Lying, Crying, Dying” would be on this. He recorded it with The Freehold in 1968 before he joined Flaming Youth.
It’s not that special but for Collins fans an important piece of musical history.
I bought the track 2 years ago and i am happy to have it in my collection.


Very cool idea, I like this concept a lot.
I’d like to hear a Vinnie Colaiuta or Adrian Belew version of this too.

Joseph Colone

That is a brilliant idea! Adrian Belew has played with everyone. Did Phil and Adrian ever end up in the studio together?


Had they warned me 25 years ago that they would be releasing such a compilation, I would have saved a fortune, hahahaha


Great to see the beautiful ‘North Star’ with Robert Fripp and Daryl Hall. A gorgeous song.


Easy lover is on The Singles 3cd/2cd

Gis Bun

Phil did a lot of session work. So no way they could include everything especially since he was on drums for at least 2 Clapton albums let alone others.
Unsure [as others mentioned] why he included a single Genesis track let alone some of his solo stuff such as The Big Band or 3 studio tracks listed as him as the sole artists [excluding the Secret Policeman track as it wasn’t release on any of his re-issued 2CD albums.

Stephen Leigh

Hero, Woman in Chains, Golden Slumbers and Intruder and In The Mood all on one set… Enough right there to make me spend money on this.


A surprisingly (to me at least) diverse selection. The Genesis track inclusion is a bit odd, like anyone in the market for this wouldn’t be aware of his Genesis connection?!


@craigH : it’s probably to give a share of profit to comrades Banks and Rutherford,
even though they don’t need it

if not, Phil must simply REALLY like this song ; drumwise I would have chosen
…In That Quiet Earth or Down and Out from the Genesis catalogue

CJ Feeney

An obscurity like “Inside and Out” or “Do The Neurotic” that was hard to get outside the now expensive box sets would have been better than a song available on the greatest hits collections.

Chris Squires

It looks an interesting selection, well the first two discs anyway.

In the spirit of “why wasn’t this included” there is nothing from his collaboration with Mike Oldfield on QE2. Some extremely “Collins” drums on there, particularly with Hentschel producing too. Sheba would have been a nice, different, inclusion.
You could have been blindfolded and chucked a stick and you would have still hit a world class drummer on that album.


Shame there’s no Anthony Phillips tracks from the Geese and the Ghost album as they are really lovely.But not a bad compilation overall.


Oh yeah… great shout. Forgot about that!!


And also Star Of Sirius from Steve Hackett’s Voyage Of The Acolyte

Simon Long

A shame it doesn’t include some of the work he did on Mike Oldfield’s “QE2” album.

Chris Squires

Blast, you beat me by 9 minutes Simon. Mainly because I had to go downstairs and just check exactly which tracks Phil was drumming on with QE2. Areal MO fan would have known without checking…


Sheba, wonderful track indeed


Great selection. Can’t really think of anything missing… might have included Adam Ant’s Strip instead of the Genesis track…but other than that seems pretty great to me…think the price might come down a bit, but not much as it can’t have been cheap putting this together. I do remember he mentioned this in passing in an interview a while back and I had been waiting on it coming for some time now. Good to see he hadn’t forgotten!!

Steven Mclaren

No Led Zeppelin from live aid then?


Ha! I see what you did there.

Gis Bun

LZ was never released on DVD to start off with because of “issues”. You’d think Phil would get it?


Have you read Phil’s autobiography? Good summary of what went wrong that day, and why Led Zep keep the audio/video well under wraps.

Mark Vick

don’t have the autobiography, care to share a link online to the LZ debacle? i’m unaware but interested….