Saturday, April 21, 1984

Phil Collins hit #1 with “Against All Odds”

Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)

Phil Collins

Writer(s): Phil Collins (see lyrics here)

First Charted: February 25, 1984

Peak: 13 US, 13 CB, 14 GR, 14 RR, 2 AC, 11 AR, 2 UK, 14 CN, 3 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.6 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 123.81 video, 358.64 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Against All Odds” was Collins’ first of seven songs to top the Billboard Hot 100 and his first of six songs to hit that chart which he wrote specifically for a film soundtrack. WK It also hit #1 in Canada, Ireland, and Norway. WK Interestingly, it peaked at #2 in the UK, but two different cover versions made it to the pinnacle. In September 2000, Mariah Carey and Westlife took it to the top and in January 2005 Steve Brookstein, the first winner of The X Factor, landed his version at #1. WK

The song, featured in the 1984 movie of the same name, was a power ballad about seeking reconciliation with an ex-lover even though it is “against all odds.” Collins was on tour with Genesis when the film’s director, Taylor Hackford, flew to Chicago to meet him and show him a rough cut of the film to get him to appear on the soundtrack. Collins watched it on videotape in his hotel room and said yes. WK

Hackford also directed the video clip for the song, which was the #1 MTV video for several weeks. Gary LeMel, senior vice president of music for Columbia Pictures, thought the video added at least $5 million to the movie’s box office. Hackford has said the song, which was featured in the closing credits of the movie, directly contributed to the increase of box office sales. WK Hackford did have one complaint. Collins seemed intent on singing “against the odds” instead of “all.” Collins said, “It just tripped off the tongue easier.” SF

Collins adapted a song originally called “How Can You Just Sit There?” from sessions for his debut album, Face Value (1981). It was inspired by his divorce from his first wife. He said that it transformed him into a lyricist as well as a musician. WK His efforts received nominations for Song of the Year both from the Academy Awards and Golden Globes.


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First posted 11/15/2019; last updated 8/7/2023.

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