I MISSED AGAIN – Phil Collins | ‘face value’ | meanspeed diagram, frequencies, performance |

This 31 year old song by Phil Collins – by avoiding a HUGE Phil Spector-esque “wall of sound” sounds like the old school Motown sound and, by irony, fresh and breezy. Or as Felix Unger would say, Happy, Peppy and Bursting with Love!

Phil-Collins--I-Missed-Again - meanspeed music tempo diagram
Brompton Oratory, Catholic church in London
Brompton Oratory, Catholic church in London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cover of "Face Value"
Cover of Face Value

The last song Phil Collins performed before IN THE AIR TONIGHT was released as a single and made Mr. Collins an “unlikely” superstar was “I MIssed Again.”

Phil-Collins-I -Missed-Again-Face_Value-meanspeed_music_diagram
Phil-Collins-I -Missed-Again-Face_Value-meanspeed_music_diagram
Phil-Collins--I-MIssed-Again - meanspeed music tempo diagram
Phil-Collins–I-MIssed-Again – meanspeed music tempo diagram

I was lucky enough to be in London with a high school class.  The New Jersey, United States to London trip was literally a trip as my friend James Teatro took me to downtown’s majestically sublime, huge, surreal Brompton Oratory.  We arrived at the Oratory at 10 PM and the Deacon at the time, I forgot his name, offered us the Eucharist that was spiced by “window pane.”  Turns out by 4 AM my friend and I realized we had unintentionally ingested ‘L.S.D.’  Had (or James T, not his real name) nor I not known we were experiencing psychedelic effects that were to be expected with that experimental [substance], the same one that the character Roger Sterling from the AMC station’s fantastic show ‘MADMEN’ took, we woulda freaked.  But knowing what to expect, it was fun (I never took that substance on purpose) beyond what I imagined that which the awaked mind was capable.  We felt like that Archbishop of Canterbury was going to come out with a bottle of port and we were going to go into a time machine.  Thanks to the late great Edward Fitzsimmons, the high school teacher who chaperoned 12 students to England during Christmas vacation, it serves as one of the weirdest and best memories ever.  According to the Deacon in London at the time, “Particularly in the Oratory, we were doing nothing *illegal*.”  That chemical is illegal outside the church though, so I let the memory serve as a place of peace in my life.

To lighten the mood back at the hotel room, we put on [BBC 2] radio and heard this solo effort by Phil Collins who had released his first solo song from his first solo record called Face Value.  The song did well.  The song Phil released after that was IN THE AIR TONIGHT, the best pop song recorded in 42 years: but who knew then?  No one.  It was all about vanity for people in 1981.  People kept saying: “But he’s going bald and he’s only 5’4″ – how can he possibly make great music?”  Now people shave their heads.  Go figure.  Imagine: people so superficial they they were judged on their hair first, their face second and *anything* else a distant third.  No wonder that 1980’s vanity ultimately led to the society of superficial creeps we have now – and that is just the United States Voyeur Perverts otherwise known as [REDACTED].

The song seen in these meanspeed tempo charts still holds up as a modern Motown song.  Thirty-one years old, yet what else coming out is better?  Justin Bieber?  Katy Perry?  Taylor Hicks?  Me no think so! Still: vanity rules today just as it did in the days when Ecclesiastes penned it: no matter how much you might like the classically great pop album by Collins, don’t admit it to your friends, don’t admit it.  Pick some unlikeable Mumford and Sons song.  It may not be musically in the same class, but boy will your friends think you are progressive.

Even Paul McCartney jumped on the Vanity Man bandwagon.  “Macca” as he is nicknamed in England said, “Well, yeah, man, right, I love Phil’s music – he played congas on our Hard Day’s Night record.  And yes, I’ve had a few face lifts.  But if I had Collins’ hair, no one would have liked me at all. How many bald male superstars existed in the 1980s?  Joe Jackson, who quit because, according to his own words, ‘People give me so much grief about not looking like Robert Plant I’m ready to trash music,’ which he did for twenty years, mate – thus it was not only me.”  Macca philosophy at its purest.

Question: who has sold more records since 1981: Phil Collins or Paul McCartney?  Yup, that’s right.  And no, I’m not counting the Beatles records or the Genesis records pre-1981.

Speaking of hair, Justin “Beethoven” Bieber said about Prince William’s balditude: “what the hell – don’t they have Propecia in this country?”  Not good karma for baby boy Justin – just saying.

Meanspeed®-Carlton Speed Summary

performer, composer=Phil Collins

song title=”I Missed Again”

average beat=0.56444 seconds

median expected tempo/mean speed=106.3 beat per minute

frequency as tone=453.55 Hertz, closest to a Bb4 on an equal temperament scale


intellectual property rights=Hit & Run® Music

bit rate=256 kbps

sample rate=44.100 kHz

album=FACE VALUE, ©1981

Matherton Schneider
June 23, 2013
Brenda Silverman Shore Club


Author: Schneider

Recovering from 5 brain operations, savage subarachnoid aneurysm. Member of New York bar, May 1991-peresent. "Nothing can stop the man with right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude" - THOMAS JEFFERSON