How Grandmaster Flash influenced Phil Collins and Genesis for “Mama”

“Mama,” the first single from Genesis’ 1983 self-titled album is one of my fave songs from the group. It was a bit of a shock hearing for the first time. Its harsh drum machine introduction composed by Mike Rutherford, leading into minimalist synthesizer lines in minor keys and finally Phil Collins’ reverb-laden voice is as far as you can get from “No Reply At All.” It remains the band’s most successful single in the UK, reaching No.4 on the UK Singles Chart.

In the clip above, starting at about 2:45, Phil Collins talks about how Grandmaster Flash, of all people, influenced the song. Once you hear him exclaim the hook, you’ll never hear one without hearing the other.