What this does mean, unfortunately, is that with the two opposing camps of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway cheerleaders at the one pole and people who find that Lionel Richie to be a bit abstract and lyrically challenging at the other, the weird solo career-parallelling incarnation of Genesis where they sort of got a bit lost between Motown-inflected stadium rock, jazzy post-prog time signatures that were refusing to leave without a fight, and the opening theme from Only Fools And Horses, has fallen into a sort of musical No Man's Land where the only person who will touch That's All with a bargepole is Richard Allinson, shortly before proclaiming it to be 'great sounds there'. And yes, you've guessed it, it's time to do some pseudo-controversial 'shock' reclaiming. Don't all unfollow @outonbluesix on Twitter at once, will you.
So, which example of their post-And Then There Were Three pre-Invisible Touch battling-on-in-the-face-of-member-depletion-and-punk-rock phase material are we going to be waving an unlikely flag for here? The vaguely New Wave-aping rejoinder to soap opera addicts Turn It On Again? The preposterously titled Abacab? Nope, it's Paperlate.
You know, Paperlate. That one that always shows up on Top Of The Pops 2 and sounds somewhere between horn-honking seventies soul and mid-sixties guitar raga-riffing. And where you can't work out what in the name of sanity it's about. True, lyrical aimlessness cunningly disguised as lyrical obliqueness has always been a key armament in Phil's songwriting artillery - witness his desire that it would rain 'down', presumably as opposed to up, and the almost postmodern Sussudio which is actually literally about having to make up a nonsense word to fill an awkward gap - but this one really takes the biscuit. Honestly, what is Paperlate actually about? It could be a newspaper arriving late, or at a push some official 'papers' arriving late, but it then goes on to apologise for there being 'nobody on the line', then after jumping between media goes back to the start again to proclaim that 'no news is good news'. And just when we're all thinking it's about slow tabloid delivery and the local paperboy can expect a Beano-style pursuit down the road from an enraged Collins, but then it gets into all Stresses Of Modern Life stuff about living like clockwork and indeed living in a cold sweat, then there's something about 'computing your future' which presumably means we've now located to the Stock Exchange, then a load of Aspirational Speaking baloney about changing your life and moving upwards, and then you realise it sounds a a bit like Papers by Alan Price - the theme from ace-tastic Murdoch-baiting ITV sitcom Hot Metal - and we're back to errant newspapers again.
So what's it all about? Some kind of cryptic swipe at tabloid culture and press intrusion? None of the above? It is entirely possible, of course, that he had just sung the first load of unrelated nonsense that came into his head. But surely not.