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Welcome to Forgotten Videos, GRAMMY Winners Edition. For some these videos are forgotten, for others simply filed away, and for still others a brand new discovery. Our goal is to take you on a little trip down memory lane or introduce you to new music, GRAMMY style.
“Against All Odds (Look at Me Now)”
Today, Phil Collins is a retired father (or not, I’ll talk about it later…) who leads a quiet life in Switzerland. But back then (almost the entire decade of the ’80s), he was a fixture on radio and MTV (and to some extent at the GRAMMYs, given his 27 nominations and eight wins).
How did it all happen? Even Collins can’t quite explain it. “No one was more amazed by my solo success than me,” he told the Daily Mail in 2010. “It took me completely by surprise. Everything I touched turned to gold in that moment.”
Among Mr. Midas’ hits was “Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)”, a song from the sessions of his 1981 solo debut. Nominal valuebut that it became this #1 theme for Taylor Hackford against all oddsa love/hate story starring Rachel Ward and Jeff Bridges (previously The Dude and Bad Blake).
In fact, “Against All Odds” – which won Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male GRAMMY and was also nominated for Song of the Year – really set the stage for a number of Collins ballads that would follow, including “One more nightand “Separate Lives (Love Theme From White Nights)”, which, with its divine omnipresence, would ultimately lead to critical blowback.
But back to the ’80s, a period of uninterrupted hits for Collins, including “Against All Odds” and its accompanying video, which, like many film-themed clips of the time, essentially served as a trailer. For the movie. In it, an impassioned Collins sings interspersed with scenes from the film (a bit of love here, fights there, a high-speed car chase…).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the video was directed by Hackford (who was paid $20,000 to essentially promote his own movie, according to Wikipedia).
Collins’ biography is familiar to most. He was a child actor who had a small role in the Beatles A hard day’s Night, but rose to musical fame after being selected as a replacement drummer for Genesis. After the departure of band leader Peter Gabriel in 1974, Genesis turned to Collins as lead vocalist. His first solo album was released in 1981 and was a bigger hit than any previous Genesis record. By the late ’80s, Collins’ inordinate level of success had arguably been his downfall, the result of being everywhere all the time and constantly on radio rotation.
“In the 80s, there was an awful lot of vitriol that happened to me,” he told the Daily Mail. “Some of the reviews were hurting and I was responding by writing letters and phoning reporters to talk to them about it. [In] Looking back, I can see that I was hypersensitive. But I felt like I was hated for the wrong reasons, reasons that often had nothing to do with the music. There are still people who hate me for reasons that have nothing to do with the truth.”
It was then that Collins decided to retire… Well, not exactly. In 2011, it was reported that Collins was quitting music due to hearing loss, a dislocated vertebra and nerve damage in his hands, but his rep was quick to say People magazine, “It is not, [and] has no intention of retiring.”
Yet his most recent album, 2010 Flip, a record of Motown and classic soul covers, feels a bit like a career coda. Again, artists such as Michael McDonald and Rod Stewart extended these career codas to new careers. Meanwhile, there seems to be a reassessment of Collins going on.
“Recently I was with Genesis in New York where we were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” Collins said. “Iggy Pop came up to me to pay my respects and I was like, ‘Iggy Pop!? The godfather of punk! This wouldn’t have happened 10 years ago.'”
Do you think a return of Phil Collins is against all odds? Have forgotten video recommendations? Leave us a comment.
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