Music History

How Phil Collins Accidentally Created the Sound of the 80s

Even though you may not know the technical name, you’ve heard the “gated reverb” sound a billion times, especially if you’re into the music of the 80s. It’s an intense, very punchy and sometimes crunchy percussion sound that was applied to many a rhythm track. A prime example is the sound of Tony Thompson’s snare on the Power Station’s 1985 cover of the T-Rex classic, “Bang a Gong.”

That sound infiltrated music for at least a decade–and it started as the result of a studio accident during a Phil Collins recording session.

(Via Vox)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38569 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “How Phil Collins Accidentally Created the Sound of the 80s

  • Hi Alan,
    Love your blog…just one thing in this instance though: it’s a Gabriel session during which Collins was the drummer. An accidental open console mic that led to the song Intruder. Never knew this—fascinating story.


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