|Their duet wasn't the hit it should've been, but how did the Phils fare individually?|
These days, it's unusual for an artist not to use a strategic collaboration as a means of promoting their own work - but things were different in 1985. So did sabotaging "Easy Lover" work? We've already seen that the lead single from Phil's No Jacket Required album, "Sussudio" (which sits at number 11 on this week's chart), would become a top 10 hit, but what did it mean for Philip? Thirty years ago this week, Phil and Philip debuted side by side on the top 50 with new singles - but only one song became a massive hit.
|ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending April 28, 1985|
There was no hit more massive this week in 1985 than "We Are The World" by USA For Africa, which spent its third week at number 1 - only a third of its total weeks on top.
Off the chart
Number 96 "Somebody" by Depeche Mode
Peak: number 87
In the UK, this was the double A-side of "Blasphemous Rumours", but in Australia, "Somebody" got top billing and "BR" was relegated to B-side status. One of my favourite Depeche ballads.
Number 72 "That Was Yesterday" by Foreigner
Peak: number 55
They may have spent five weeks at number 1 with mega ballad "I Want To Know What Love Is", but the title of Foreigner's disappointing follow-up pretty much says it all.
Number 46 "All She Wants To Do Is Dance" by Don Henley
Peak: number 22
I'm the first to admit I don't always pay that much attention to song lyrics, but when it came to this follow-up to "The Boys Of Summer", it seems no one else did either. The fact that "All She Wants To Do Is Dance" was a comment on how superficial American youth culture was at the time was kind of lost - and all anyone wanted to do was dance to the song. That's what happens when you make a track so damn catchy.
Number 45 "Walking On The Chinese Wall" by Philip Bailey
Peak: number 26
Like Eagles member Don Henley, Philip Bailey was one of a couple of singers in the line-up of his band, Earth, Wind & Fire, taking the lead on singles like "Fantasy" and "I've Had Enough". Having released his first solo album, Continuation, to general disinterest in 1983, Philip's efforts away from the funk/soul group were given a huge boost thanks to "Easy Lover" - but his association with Phil Collins didn't end there.
Phil produced the entirety of the Chinese Wall album, which featured this follow-up single. Would "Walking On The Chinese Wall" have been a bigger hit had Philip been coming off a chart smash? Maybe not. This track peaked at number 46 in the US and number 34 in the UK, where "Easy Lover" had hit number 2 and number 1 respectively - so it actually did better in Australia. This would be the only solo hit for Philip, who remains a member of EWF to this day.
Number 44 "One More Night" by Phil Collins
Peak: number 2
Rounding out our trio of new entries for vocalists from successful groups - and one place higher than his former duet partner - is Genesis singer Phil Collins with the second single from No Jacket Required, even though the first single was still climbing the top 50. "One More Night" was actually the lead release from the album in the US where it reached number 1 before being knocked off the top by "We Are The World". In Australia, it was denied the top spot by USA For Africa, spending three weeks at number 2 behind the charity hit.
Surprisingly for me, "One More Night" is actually Phil's equal highest-charting single in Australia - performing better than the likes of "Against All Odds" and "In The Air Tonight". His other single to peak at number 2 is likely his highest-selling single locally - "A Groovy Kind Of Love" spent seven weeks stuck at number 2, mostly behind "Don't Worry Be Happy", in the last couple of months of 1988.
Whether or not "One More Night" or any other Phil Collins single would have been just as big had "Easy Lover" been allowed to also be the hit it deserved to be is something we'll never know. Something tells me that it would've done his 1985 chart performance (rivalled only by Madonna's that year) no harm at all.
Next week: Kids In The Kitchen! Nik Kershaw! Frankie Goes To Hollywood! Plus, the return of a legendary Motown group, and a solo single by an original member of Duran Duran.
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