Mel Collins photograph

Mel Collins

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Gender Female
Age 75
Date of birth September 5,1947
Zodiac sign Virgo
Born Isle Of Man
Music groups King Crimson
GenresProgressive Rock
Jazz Fusion
Job Session musician
Movies/Shows Willie and the Poor Boys
21st Century Schizoid Band: Live in Japan
Listen artist
Groups King Crimson
Albums Islands
SongsSongsEverybody Wants to Rule the WorldSongs from the Big Chair · 1985 ShoutShout · 2005 Woman in ChainsThe Seeds of Love · 1989 View 25+ more
ListEverybody Wants to Rule the WorldSongs from the Big Chair · 1985
Date of Reg.
Date of Upd.
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Mel Collins Life story

Melvyn Desmond Collins is a British saxophonist, flautist and session musician. Collins is perhaps best known for his work in progressive rock, having been a member of King Crimson on two occasions and having played with Camel, the Alan Parsons Project, Roger Waters and Chris Squire.

Melvyn Desmond Collins (born 5 September 1947, Isle of Man) is a British saxophonist, flautist and session musician.

Collins has played in several progressive rock groups, having been a member of King Crimson on two occasions (the first from 1970 to 1972 and the second from 2013 to the present day) and having played with Camel, the Alan Parsons Project, Roger Waters and Chris Squire. He has also worked in a wide variety of contexts ranging from R&B and blues rock to jazz.


Collins was born into a family of musicians. His mother was a singer while his father was a saxophonist and session musician who toured with Judy Garland and Shirley Bassey.

Collins has worked with a large number of notable recording artists, including 10cc, Alexis Korner, Alvin Lee, Clannad, Eric Clapton, Bad Company, Pino Daniele, Dire Straits, Bryan Ferry, Roger Chapman, Marianne Faithfull, The Rolling Stones, Roger Waters Gerry Rafferty, Tears for Fears, Go West and Joan Armatrading.

He was a member of progressive rock bands King Crimson, Camel, and The Alan Parsons Project. For King Crimson he was Ian McDonald's replacement, playing on the Lizard (1970), Islands (1971) and Earthbound (1972) albums, and was a session musician on the In the Wake of Poseidon (1970) and Red (1974) albums. He played on the Crimson Jazz Trio's second album, The King Crimson Songbook, Volume Two, released in 2009.

Collins played the saxophone solo on The Rolling Stones 1978 hit single, "Miss You", and played with Dire Straits on their live album, Alchemy. He was one of the members of Kokomo with Tony O'Malley, Neil Hubbard, Paddy McHugh, Frank Collins, Dyan Birch, and Alan Spenner, and is a frequent performer with Tony O'Malley.

In 1983, Collins played the saxophone solo on the hit single "Private Dancer", the title cut on Tina Turner's album by the same name. His solo was recorded in England at the Wessex Studios.In 1984, Mel Collins played saxophone in Pino Daniele’s album ’’Musicante‘’, having previously toured with the Neapolitan blues man. In the same year, Mel Collins toured with Roger Waters to support the album The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking.

In 1985 Collins was part of the supergroup 'Willie and the Poor Boys' appearing in their video with Bill Wyman and Jimmy Page. He toured again with Waters on a second leg of the 'Pros and Cons' tour. That same year, he also appeared on the album Songs From The Big Chair by Tears for Fears, playing saxophone on "The Working Hour". In 1986 he was a musician on the animated film When the Wind Blows. He worked again with Waters in 1987, appearing on both the album Radio K.A.O.S. and the subsequent tour and in 1988 again with Daniele in the album ’’Bonne Soirée’’ and the subsequent tour.

In 2006 a band member on Die Harald Schmidt Show.From 2002–07 Collins was a member of the King Crimson offshoot group 21st Century Schizoid Band, with other former Crimson members.

In May 2008 Kokomo was reformed temporarily. With Collins were Tony O'Malley, Neil Hubbard, Mark Smith, Adam Phillips, Andy Hamilton, Paddy McHugh, Dyan Birch, Frank Collins, Bernie Holland, and Glen Le Fleur.

Collins played woodwinds on the 2011 King Crimson ProjeKct 7, A Scarcity of Miracles, appearing on a King Crimson related album for the first time since 1974. In September 2013, Robert Fripp confirmed that Mel Collins would be a member of King Crimson again, the band being referred to as King Crimson VIII.

Collins was also a member of Pete Haycock's reformation of the Climax Blues Band in 2013, prior to Haycock's death in October 2013.

Selected discography


Saxophone Ballads (1987)

as Band Member/Sideman

Circus: Circus (1969)

The Alan Parsons Project: Eye in the Sky (1982); Ammonia Avenue (1984)

The Byron Band: On the Rocks (1981)

Camel: Rain Dances (1977); A Live Record (Live, 1978); Breathless (1978); Pressure Points (Live, 1984)

Dire Straits: Alchemy (Live, 1984)

Jakko Jakszyk and Mel Collins: King Crimson's Night (Live, 2006)

Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins: A Scarcity of Miracles (2011)

King Crimson: In the Wake of Poseidon (1970); Lizard (1970); Islands (1971); Earthbound (1972); Ladies of the Road (1971–72, issued 2002); Red (1974); Live at the Orpheum (2015); Live in Toronto (2015); Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind (2016); Live in Chicago (2017); Music is our Friend: Live in Washington and Albany (2021)

Kokomo: Kokomo (1975); Rise & Shine (1977)

Alexis Korner: Live on Tour in Germany (1973); The Party Album (Live, 1980)

Alvin Lee: In Flight (Live, 1974)

The Rolling Stones: Some Girls (1978)

21st Century Schizoid Band: Official Bootleg V.1 (2002); In The Wake of Schizoid Men (2003); Live in Japan (2003, CD and DVD); Live in Italy (2003); Pictures of a City – Live in New York (2006)

Session Work

Collins has done session work for many different artists, among them Joan Armatrading, Bad Company, Camel, Jim Capaldi, Clannad, Bryan Ferry, Alexis Korner, Alvin Lee, Phil Manzanera/801, Anthony Phillips, Chris Squire and Gerry Rafferty


Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle - Dana Gillespie (1974)

Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley - Robert Palmer (1974)

Pressure Drop - Robert Palmer (1975)

Let's Stick Together - Bryan Ferry (1976)

Slowhand - Eric Clapton (1977)

Show Some Emotion - Joan Armatrading (1977)

In Your Mind - Bryan Ferry (1978)

Wet Dream - Richard Wright (1978)

The Bride Stripped Bare - Bryan Ferry (1978)

Snakes and Ladders - Gerry Rafferty (1980)

Celebration - Sally Oldfield (1980)

Tilt - Cozy Powell (1981)

Walk Under Ladders - Joan Armatrading (1981)

Playing in the Flame - Sally Oldfield (1981)

Sleepwalking - Gerry Rafferty (1982)

The Philip Lynott Album – Philip Lynott (1982)

Common Ground - Richie Havens (1983)

The Key - Joan Armatrading (1983)

Strange Day in Berlin - Sally Oldfield (1983)

Private Dancer - Tina Turner (1984)

Gone to Earth - David Sylvian (1986)

Cocker - Joe Cocker (1986)

Radio K.A.O.S. - Roger Waters (1987)

Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby - Terence Trent D'Arby (1987)

Swamp - Phil Thornalley (1988)

North and South - Gerry Rafferty (1988)

Big Boy - Dana Gillespie (1992)

On a Wing and a Prayer - Gerry Rafferty (1992)

Taxi - Bryan Ferry (1993)

Over My Head - Gerry Rafferty (1994)

Another World - Gerry Rafferty (2000)

Life Goes On - Gerry Rafferty (2009)

Bands by years

Eric Burdon; saxophonist:1965;1980

Phillip Goodhand-Tait and the Stormsville Shakers; saxophonist 1966

Circus; saxophonist, flautist 1967–69

King Crimson; saxophonist, flautist, keyboardist and backing vocalist 1970–72, 1974, 2013–present

Alexis Korner; saxophonist 1972–82

Kokomo; 1973–75

Alvin Lee; saxophonist 1973–2000

Bad Company; saxophonist 1974–82

Snafu; saxophonist 1974–75

Humble Pie; saxophonist 1974–75

Uriah Heep; saxophonist 1975

Chris Squire; saxophonist 1975

Phil Manzanera; saxophonist 1975–87

Bryan Ferry; 1976–93

Eric Clapton; saxophonist 1977

Small Faces; saxophonist 1977

Streetwalkers; saxophonist 1977

Camel; saxophonist 1977–84

Joan Armatrading; saxophonist 1977–83

The Rolling Stones; saxophonist 1977–78

Richard Wright; saxophonist and flautist 1978

Ian Matthews; saxophonist 1978–79

Roger Chapman and the Shortlist; saxophonist 1979

Gerry Rafferty; saxophonist 78–94

Anthony Phillips; saxophonist and flautist 1977-80

Sally Oldfield; saxophonist 1980–83

Jim Capaldi; saxophonist 1980–88

The Byron Band; saxophonist 1981

Marianne Faithfull; saxophonist 1981

Caravan; saxophonist 1981

The Alan Parsons Project; saxophonist 1982–84

Cliff Richard; saxophonist 1982–83

Dire Straits; saxophonist 1983

Wang Chung; saxophonist 1983 (alto sax solo on the hit single "Dance Hall Days", from the album Points on the Curve.)

Tears for Fears; saxophonist 1983–85

10cc; saxophonist 1983

Eberhard Schoener; saxophonist:1983

Roger Waters and the Bleeding Heart Band; saxophonist 1984–87, and played on the last shows of the 2000 In the Flesh tour.

Go West; saxophonist 1985

Clannad; saxophonist 1985, 1994–98

21st Century Schizoid Band; saxophonist, flautist, keyboardist and backing vocalist 2002–04

Legacy; saxophonist 2020

External links

Mel Collins's full discography on

Mel Collins Live with Kokomo – video.

Mel Collins' page on

Mel Collins Photos

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