As the 1990s reached their climax, Noel Gallagher had a mission for what his legacy would be. After grunge had come and gone with the death of Kurt Cobain, Noel wanted to turn Oasis into a band big enough to take over England with songs that were more authentic to what was happening on the streets of Manchester. Noel’s mission had a definite agenda, and artists such as Phil Collins were not part of it.
In the early days of Oasis, Noel liked to talk about how no other band could match his new clothes and singled out Collins as the music currently killing the charts. Even before Noel released a record like Certainly, maybe he went after Collins’ head, mentioning in the documentary supersonic, “We’re going to get rid of Phil Collins and Sting – junk food, McDonald’s music – we’ve got to get on the charts and eradicate them. I want Phil Collins’ severed head in my fridge by the end of this decade. And if I don’t, I’ll be a loser.”
One head of Collins per stake was not enough, so Noel called him the Antichrist during several interviews. When Collins found out about this, he wasn’t thrilled that the Britpop icon had pulled him out of the mud, saying later on television, “They’re just terrible guys. They are rude and not as talented as they think. They keep attacking me, which I find strange.”
Although Collins has claimed to enjoy music, he has said that their attitude is a major obstacle for him, remarking in an interview, “They make good music if you can stomach their behavior. I like the Beatles and what they do is a tribute to that. I liked music long before I knew what these guys were doing.”
The hostility eventually subsided… a little
After Oasis’ time in the sun stopped in the 2000s, Noel seems to have changed his mind. Although he toned down his intensity, he refused to take back everything he said about Collins, telling Zane Lowe, “That was a flippant comment about being the Antichrist. I admit they look bad in print. I probably gave a balanced view of Phil Collins that day, but what looks good is that he was the Antichrist. But Phil Collins knows he can’t say anything about me because I’m bullshit. And the fact that he is bald.
During his solo career, Noel became increasingly warm towards Collins. When asked on his YouTube channel about the song he loves sung by an artist he hates, he singled out “In the Air Tonight” and also called “Another Day in Paradise” “fucking crap”. Despite his sour opinion of the man behind Tarzan soundtrack, Noel defended his love for Genesis, explaining, “I don’t mind Peter Gabriel-Genesis. They have good melodies. But when Collins took over, I wasn’t in it.”
Although Collins mentioned in his book a chance encounter with Noel while he was on vacation, not a single olive branch has been handed over in the last few years. Collins may have genuinely loved pop music, but Noel’s tolerance for pop music was limited, and songs like “Sussudio” fell short of that trait.