March 09, 2011 at 09:29 PM EST

Image Credit: David M. Benett/Getty ImagesI suspect the news that Phil Collins is retiring—at least temporarily—from music will have been greeted in many quarters with the clink of champagne flutes and hearty cries of, “Thanks god we’ve gotten rid of that bald bastard at last.”

Certainly, the Genesis drummer and solo superstar has been responsible for some terrible music in his time, and I remain amazed that his hellacious 1989 single “Another Day In Paradise” never became the subject of some kind of war crimes commission. But, personally, I’ve always thought Phil Collins was fairly awesome. Here’s five reasons why:

1. As a child actor, he was cast as an extra in A Hard Day’s Night

Okay, so even Collins says he’s never been able to spot himself in the movie—and one assumes he’s looked harder than most. But how many Beatles movies have you been cast in? Exactly.

2. He’s an amazing drummer

He really is. This is the guy who made Genesis funky. Seriously, Genesis!!!

3. Face Value

Collins recorded his terrific debut solo album following the disintegration of his first marriage, and the set still stands as one of the great all-time break-up records, albeit an often nicely swinging one thanks to the contributions of Earth, Wind & Fire’s brass section, the Phenix Horns.

4. He performed “In The Air Tonight” on British TV next to a paint can

Which doesn’t sound that amazing, until you know that the aforementioned disintegration of Collins’ marriage involved his wife running off with a decorator. The drummer would later claim, rather unbelievably, that the presence of the paint can was a coincidence but admitted it was “a fantastic coincidence. And of course the phone rang the next day: ‘What the f—!'”

5. This

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