Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, April 21st

On this day in 1982: Clash front man Joe Strummer disappeared for three weeks, which resulted in the group canceling a tour. The singer was found living in Paris, France.

On this day in 1984: Phil Collins started a three week run at #1 in the U.S. singles chart with the theme from the film ‘Against All Odds’. It was Phil’s first U.S. #1.

‘Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)’ is a power ballad in which its protagonist implores an ex-lover to “take a look at me now”, knowing that reconciliation is “against all odds” while considering it worth trying. The single reached #2 in the United Kingdom, while it peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, the first of seven U.S. #1’s for Collins in his solo career. “Against All Odds (Take a Look At Me Now)” also topped the charts in Canada, Ireland, and Norway.

Collins was approached to write the title song to the film ‘Against All Odds’ while it was still in its “rough cut form”. At the time the soundtrack was being completed, Collins was on tour with Genesis. Director Taylor Hackford flew into Chicago to see one of the band’s concerts. Collins watched the movie on a VCR in his hotel room and agreed to appear on the soundtrack.

Originally titled “How Can You Just Sit There?”, the song was initially from the sessions for Collins’ debut solo album ‘Face Value.’ Collins wrote the song, while arranger Arif Mardin produced it. The piano performance is by New York musician Rob Mounsey. Piano, keyboard bass and a string section arranged and conducted by Mardin were recorded at RCA Studios, New York, while Collins recorded vocals and drums in Los Angeles.

Collins has said that the song was inspired and written shortly after the breakup between him and his first wife. In the interview he says that the divorce transformed him from being a musician into also being a lyricist. “Against All Odds” was created explicitly for the movie, although it was based on that earlier unreleased song Collins had written in 1981.

Here’s a look at the complete Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1984:

1 2 AGAINST ALL ODDS (Take A Look At Me Now) –•– Phil Collins (Atlantic)-9 (1 Week at #1) (1)
2 1 FOOTLOOSE –•– Kenny Loggins (Columbia)-13 (1)
3 4 HELLO –•– Lionel Richie (Motown)-9 (3)
4 8 HOLD ME NOW –•– Thompson Twins (Arista)-11 (4)
5 6 MISS ME BLIND –•– Culture Club (Virgin)-8 (5)
6 5 AUTOMATIC –•– The Pointer Sisters (Planet)-13 (5)
7 3 SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME –•– Rockwell (Motown)-13 (2)
8 13 LOVE SOMEBODY –•– Rick Springfield (RCA)-7 (8)
9 7 HERE COMES THE RAIN AGAIN –•– Eurythmics (RCA)-13 (4)
10 14 THEY DON’T KNOW –•– Tracey Ullman (MCA)-9 (10)

11 15 YOU MIGHT THINK –•– The Cars (Elektra)-7 (11)
12 9 ADULT EDUCATION –•– Daryl Hall & John Oates (RCA)-10 (8)
13 19 TO ALL THE GIRLS I’VE LOVED BEFORE –•– Julio Iglesias & Willie Nelson (Columbia)-8 (13)
14 10 JUMP –•– Van Halen (Warner Brothers)-15 (1)
15 12 EAT IT –•– “Weird” Al Yankovic (Rock ‘N’ Roll)-7 (12)
16 17 GIRLS –•– Dwight Twilley (EMI-America)-10 (16)
17 11 GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN –•– Cyndi Lauper (Portrait)-19 (2)
18 20 TONIGHT –•– Kool & The Gang (De-Lite)-9 (18)
19 21 DON’T ANSWER ME –•– The Alan Parsons Project (Arista)-8 (19)
20 22 HEAD OVER HEELS –•– The Go-Go’s (I.R.S.)-6 (20)


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