Tegan and Sara’s Sara Quin on Phil Collins

Aug 02, 2010 Issue #32 - Summer 2010 - Wasted on the Youth
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Born in 1980, Sara Quin was too young to experience the juggernaut that was Phil Collins during the mid-1980s. As a solo artist and the lead singer of Genesis, Collins became a persistent hit-maker and pop culture presence, from his chart-topping theme song to the 1984 film Against All Odds and his 1985 transatlantic Live Aid performances, to the use of “In the Air Tonight” on Miami Vice, and the Genesis track “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” in Michelob commercials.

Quin didn’t fall for Collins’ music until circa 1989, when she saw him performing “Groovy Kind of Love” on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

“If I was really being truthful about how I discovered Phil Collins, and what really resonated with me as a kid, it was definitely not what would be ‘cool’ Phil Collins,” Quin confesses. “That would have been when it trickled into my world, which was the suburbs of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. And I was like a nine-year-old. That would have been the time when I was also listening to New Kids on the Block. I would have had the whole spectrum of kid music but also would have gravitated toward the pop songs of somebody like Phil Collins. But, definitely, I’ve gone back and discovered the old Phil Collins stuff that’s genius. He’s a great pop writer. I’ve actually tried to cover Phil Collins before, and I find it really challenging. I love covering Bruce Springsteen and really love to cover Prince, but, for whatever reason, I’m not able to cover Phil Collins. There’s just something about his songs; they’re too progressive for me.”

“I have this really embarrassing memory of a couple years ago, being in Australia, and we were on tour, and we were in a private karaoke room, and it was all of our band and crew,” Quin continues. “I got up thinking I was so cool and I was gonna impress all these people, and I tried to sing ‘Groovy Kind of Love,’ and I remember looks of horror on people’s faces. Usually, I’m the fun one at karaoke; I’ll do the whole Bon Jovi catalog, but Phil Collins, for whatever reason, is just outside of my range.”

Quin’s parents, who came of age in the ’70s, loved serious rock music and acts such as Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, and Steely Dan, but their tastes were broad enough to include The Police and Phil Collins as well. As a kid, Quin found an approachable quality in Collins. “I thought Phil Collins was goofy and fun,” she recalls.

For Christmas 1989, Sara and her sister Tegan received a cassette tape of Collins’ 1989 album …But Seriously. “Tegan and I would fight over the Phil Collins cassette; we both had little boom boxes in our room,” Quin remembers. “There were songs on there that I really played the heck out of. ‘Another Day in Paradise’ comes to mind.” Perhaps due to the power of TV, Quin’s favorite Collins song at the time remained “Groovy Kind of Love,” a 1960s composition that he didn’t write but took to #1 in 1988. “Tegan and I, we probably overplayed that song,” she says. “I’m sure my parents wanted to strangle us.” (www.teganandsara.com)



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John
February 10th 2011
7:35pm

Phil Collins didn’t write “Groovy Kind of Love”, just for the record.

John C.
February 10th 2011
7:37pm

Didn’t Wayne Fontana or some such act write it? The Mindbenders or summin’?