CareerPhillips began to play professionally at the age of twelve in a dixieland band led by his father, Sid Phillips for 4 years. After his father's death, he started playing pop and rock and found work in a production of the musical '' Jesus Christ Superstar''. He worked as a session musician for cast members, and this led to other session work. Beginning in the 1970s, he worked with , , Stanley Clarke, Peter Gabriel, Pete Townshend, and Frank Zappa. Phillips was the drummer in the Phil Manzanera and Brian Eno supergroup 801 (band), 801 on their 1976 album ''801 Live''. He replaced Judas Priest drummer Alan Moore (drummer), Alan Moore to record on the band's ''Sin After Sin'' album (1977) and went on to record Michael Schenker's 1980 debut album ''The Michael Schenker Group (album), The Michael Schenker Group'', as well as in 's ''Smallcreep's Day (album), Smallcreep's Day''. In the early 1980s, Phillips formed part of RMS (band), RMS with session musicians Mo Foster and Ray Russell (musician), Ray Russell. He was the drummer for on their The Who Tour 1989, 1989 American reunion tour and appeared on solo recordings by band members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend. Around 1978, British guitarist Gary Boyle made an album called "The Dancer" featuring Simon Phillips. Phillips later also played on Evita where he contributed some fabulous grooves. In 1981, he formed Ph.D. with Jim Diamond (singer), Jim Diamond and Tony Hymas. The new wave outfit released two albums and five singles, including "Little Suzi's on the Up" and "I Won't Let You Down (Ph.D. song), I Won't Let You Down", before splitting up in 1983. In 1989 he recorded his debut album with the band Protocol. Wanting to make bigger changes in his music career, Phillips decided to move to Los Angeles in the 1990s.
TotoIn 1992, Phillips had recently completed the recording of an album in England when he was invited by Toto to fill in for after the latter died following the completion of the recording of ''Kingdom of Desire''. He became the band's only choice as Porcaro liked his style and that he toured with Steve Lukather and Carlos Santana on their solo tours. Phillips decided to settle permanently in Los Angeles on that matter and began rehearsals with the band. After the Kingdom of Desire tour, Phillips officially joined Toto. As the band began its 1995 Tambu tour, Phillips suffered from back problems and was unable to play on the first leg of the said tour; the band turned to Gregg Bissonette to substitute for him. When Phillips fell ill prior to the 2004 Night of the Proms concert, Bissonette was unavailable to take over his drumming duties, causing the band to invite Ricky Lawson instead. Phillips' last show with Toto was in 2013. He left the following year to focus on his solo career and was replaced by Keith Carlock.
Other venturesFive years later he led a band that performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival. In 2002 he recorded a jazz album, ''Vantage Point'', with trumpeter Walt Fowler, saxophonist Brandon Fields (musician), Brandon Fields, and pianist Jeff Babko. He has co-produced and engineered albums by , Derek Sherinian, and Toto. After leaving Toto, he became a member of a trio with Hiromi Uehara and bassist Anthony Jackson (musician), Anthony Jackson. Phillips has also worked with Big Country, Jack Bruce, David Gilmour, Big Jim Sullivan, and Whitesnake. In 2009, Phillips joined with keyboardist Philippe Saisse and bassist Pino Palladino in forming an instrumental jazz/funk rock trio: Phillips Saisse Palladino, PSP, which toured in Europe in 2009 and 2010. Phillips also performed on Joe Satriani's album ''Super Colossal'', appearing on multiple tracks. Phillips appears in Alan Parsons' ''Art & Science of Sound Recording'' educational video series, as well as the program's single "All Our Yesterdays". He played in the Michael Schenker Group album ''In the Midst of Beauty'' and took part to the band's 30th Anniversary world tour in 2010. Phillips is featured on Hiromi Uehara's 2011 album, ''Voice (Hiromi album), Voice''. He also toured with Hiromi and bassist Anthony Jackson (musician), Anthony Jackson as part of the Hiromi Trio Project. In 2019 Phillips was featured on the album ''Origin of Species''. In addition to playing drums and keyboards, he engineered, mixed, and helped produce. Phillips cites Buddy Rich, Tony Williams (drummer), Tony Williams, Billy Cobham, Steve Gadd, Ian Paice, Tommy Aldridge and Bernard Purdie as his main influences.
Awards and honors* In 2003, he was inducted into the ''Modern Drummer'' magazine Hall of Fame. *In 2015 at the 14th Annual Independent Music Awards, Phillips was the winner in the Jazz Instrumental Album category for ''Protocol II''. * In 2019 Simon was voted #1 in the Fusion category of the annual ''Modern Drummer'' Readers Poll. *In 2019 the Protocol 4 album was nominated for a GRAMMY Award in the Contemporary Instrumental Album category.
As leader* ''Protocol (album), Protocol'' (Food for Thought, 1988) * ''Simon Phillips'' (Manhattan, 1992) * ''Force Majeure'' with Ray Russell (musician), Ray Russell, Anthony Jackson (musician), Anthony Jackson, Tony Roberts (B&W, 1993) * ''Symbiosis'' (Lipstick, 1995) * ''Another Lifetime'' (Lipstick, 1997) * ''Out of the Blue'' (Victor, 1999) * ''Vantage Point'' with Jeff Babko (Jazzline, 2000) * ''Protocol II'' with Andy Timmons, Steve Weingart, Ernest Tibbs (Phantom, 2013) * ''Protocol III'' with Andy Timmons, Steve Weingart, Ernest Tibbs (In-akustik, 2015) * ''Protocol 4'' with Greg Howe, Dennis Hamm, Ernest Tibbs (Phantom, 2017)
As sidemanWith Duncan Browne * ''The Wild Places (Duncan Browne album), The Wild Places'' (1978) * ˈˈStreets Of Fire (Duncan Browne album), Streets Of Fireˈˈ (1979) With Asia (band), Asia * ''Aqua (Asia album), Aqua'' (1992) * ''Aura (Asia album), Aura'' (2001) With DarWin * ''DarWin 2: A Frozen War (2020)'' With Derek Sherinian * ''Inertia (Derek Sherinian album), Inertia'' (Inside Out, 2001) * ''Black Utopia'' (J.S.H.P., 2003) * ''Mythology (Derek Sherinian album), Mythology'' (Inside Out, 2004) * ''Blood of the Snake'' (Inside Out, 2006) * ''Oceana (album), Oceana'' (Music Theories, 2011) * ''The Phoenix'' (Inside Out, 2020) With Gary Moore * ''Back on the Streets (Gary Moore album), Back on the Streets'' (1978) * ''After the War (Gary Moore album), After the War'' (1989) With Gordon Giltrap *''Visionary (Gordon Giltrap album), Visionary'' (The Electric Record Company, catalogue no. TRIX 2) (1976) *''Perilous Journey'' (The Electric Record Company, catalogue no. TRIX 4) (1977) *''Fear of the Dark (Gordon Giltrap album), Fear of the Dark'' (The Electric Record Company) (1978) With 801 (band), 801 * ''801 Live'' (1976) * ''Listen Now'' (1977) * ''Live @ Hull'' (2009) * ''Latino'' (2013) * ''Manchester'' (2015) With Hiromi Uehara, Hiromi * ''Voice (Hiromi album), Voice'' (Telarc, 2011) * ''Move (Hiromi album), Move'' (Telarc, 2012) * ''Alive (Hiromi album), Alive'' (Telarc, 2014) * ''Move: Live in Tokyo'' (Telarc, 2014) * ''Spark'' (Telarc, 2016) With * ''There & Back (Jeff Beck album), There & Back'' (Epic, 1980) With Jack Bruce * ''How's Tricks'' (RSO, 1977) * ''Cities of the Heart'' (CMP, 1994) * ''Jet Set Jewel'' (Polydor, 2003) With Joe Satriani * ''Flying in a Blue Dream'' (Relativity, 1989) * ''The Extremist'' (Relativity, 1992) * ''Time Machine (Joe Satriani album), Time Machine'' (Relativity, 1993) * ''Super Colossal'' (Epic, 2006) With Jon Anderson * ''Song of Seven'' (Atlantic, 1980) * ''Animation (Jon Anderson album), Animation'' (Polydor, 1982) With Jon Lord * ''Before I Forget (album), Before I Forget'' (Harvest, 1982) With Judas Priest * ''Sin After Sin'' (CBS, Inc. (UK)), (Columbia (US)) (1977) With L. Shankar * ''Touch Me There'' (Produced by Frank Zappa) (1979) With Michael Schenker * ''The Michael Schenker Group (album), The Michael Schenker Group'' (Chrysalis, 1980) * ''The 30th Anniversary Concert – Live in Tokyo'' (In-akustik, 2010) * ''In the Midst of Beauty'' (In-akustik, 2008) * ''Temple of Rock'' (In-akustik, 2011) With * ''Crises (Mike Oldfield album), Crises'' (Virgin, 1983) * ''Discovery (Mike Oldfield album), Discovery'' (Virgin, 1984) * ''Islands (Mike Oldfield album), Islands'' (Virgin, 1987) * ''Heaven's Open'' (Virgin, 1991) With Nik Kershaw * ''Radio Musicola'' (1986) * ''You've Got to Laugh'' (2006) With Pete Townshend * ''Empty Glass'' (ATCO, 1980) * ''All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes'' (ATCO, 1982) * ''White City: A Novel'' (ATCO, 1985) * ''The Iron Man: The Musical by Pete Townshend'' (Virgin, 1989) With Ph.D. (band), Ph.D. * ''Ph.D. (Ph.D. album), PhD'' (Atlantic, 1981) * ''Is It Safe?'' (WEA, 1983) * ''Three (Ph.D. album), Three'' (Voiceprint, 2009) With Steve Hackett * ''Beyond the Shrouded Horizon'' (WHD 2011) * ''At the Edge of Light'' (2019) With Steve Lukather * ''Candyman (album), Candyman'' (Columbia, 1994) * ''Santamental'' (Favored Nations, 2005) With Toto * ''Absolutely Live (Toto album), Absolutely Live'' (Columbia, 1993) * ''Tambu (album), Tambu'' (Columbia, 1995) * ''Toto XX'' (1998) * ''Mindfields'' (Columbia, 1999) * ''Livefields'' (Columbia, 1999) * ''Through the Looking Glass (Toto album), Through the Looking Glass'' (EMI, 2002) * ''Live in Amsterdam (Toto album), Live in Amsterdam'' (Eagle, 2002) * ''Falling in Between'' (Frontiers, 2006) * ''Falling in Between Live'' (2007) * ''Live in Poland'' (Eagle, 2014) With Toyah (band), Toyah * ''The Changeling (album), The Changeling'' (1982) * ''Warrior Rock: Toyah on Tour'' (1982) With * ''Join Together (album), Join Together'' (Virgin, 1990) * ''Thirty Years of Maximum R&B'' (Polydor, 1994)
See also* List of drummers