Philip Bailey & Phil Collins – “Easy Lover” – (1984)

Phil Collins was a pretty big deal circa 1984. So when Philip Bailey teamed up with him to record and release this song, there was a good chance it was going to be a big hit. And it was – hitting #2 on the Hot 100. Bailey’s high-pitched vocals are the perfect complement to Collins’ unique voice. It sounds very 80s but it holds up today whenever I hear it. I said last week we were saving the best for last and this is it, the final duet from our months-long run. Hope you enjoyed it.

Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin – “Separate Lives” – (1985)

“Separate Lives” was a #1 hit on the Hot100 and the theme song from the film White Nights. This is one of those #1 hits that I look back on and go “Really?” I’m not sure I’ve heard this on the radio in the last 20 years. It was written by Stephen Bishop and he got an Oscar nomination for it. That’s about the highlight here.

Phil Collins – “Take Me Home” – (1985)

Phil Collins had a lot of hits in the 80s and No Jacket Required was responsible for a good number of them. I like this song because it has that good mid-80s sound with a drum machine and electric keyboard. It was a top 10 hit on the Hot 100. This song also takes over two and a half minutes to reach the chorus… which seems like a really long time. And the music video must’ve taken forever too because it seems to have been shot in quite a few major world cities. Fun fact: apparently Sting and Peter Gabriel both provided backing vocals for this track.

Phil Collins – “Sussudio” – (1985)

Phil Collins claims that he was playing around with a drum machine when he wrote this song – is that how he wrote all of his songs? That and he just made up the word “sussudio,” which has a nice ring to it but it doesn’t really mean anything. This song was a #1 in the U.S. and one of four top 10s (and two #1s) from No Jacket Required – one of Collins’ most successful solo albums. Phil Collins recently announced that he is retiring from performing, which sucks because I never got to see him live.

Phil Collins – “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” – (1984)

This was the theme from the film Against All Odds – and I think it’s safe to say that the soundtrack outshines the film. When was the last time that a movie theme song became a huge radio hit? It doesn’t happen anymore. It’s one of Phil Collins’ biggest hits (#1 in the U.S. and Canada) and has been covered a few times (by Mariah Carey – twice).

Phil Collins – “Another Day in Paradise” – (1989)

This is listed as Phil Collins’ most successful song – being a #1 just about everywhere. It was the first single from …But Seriously. “Oh, think twice. It’s another day for you and me in paradise” is the famous part of the chorus that leads into the well known hook. Yeah, there should be more Phil Collins songs coming up on here…

Genesis – “That’s All” – (1983)

“That’s All” is a very recognizable song from Genesis. It was written by Phil Collins and appeared on the bands 1983 self-titled album. It hit #6 in the U.S. and #16 in the UK. And that’s all I have to say about it (yeah, you walked into that one).

#3 – Phil Collins – “In the Air Tonight” – (1981)

I’m pretty sure this stands as the most famous and well known Phil Collins song. Musically, it’s pretty dark. There’s this kind of smoky atmosphere created by these long buzzing chords over that steady drum beat. Right before the final chorus, the drums explode with the very famous and much loved “doo-dom doo-dom doo-dom.” Everybody loves that part. Everybody waits for it. Then everybody starts banging on whatever is around them – steering wheel, desk top, etc. Lyrically it’s mostly uninteresting – just the same thing repeated over and over. There’s that myth that this song is about a drowning that Phil Collins witnessed. But even Phil doesn’t really know what this song’s about. He discovered a cool effect while messing around with some drums in a recording studio and wrote a song around it. This song was used in the first episode of Miami Vice – which cements its status as an 80s legend. Lately, it’s been popping up everywhere – which has to have something to do with its everlasting popularity. It was semi-annoyingly used in the movie The Hangover, where it was introduced to an entire new generation of fans more or less as a joke. But my favorite recent usage has to be in the Cadbury gorilla commercial. That commercial helped propel the song back onto the UK music charts – reaching #14 (and #1 in New Zealand). When you say “80s music,” this is generally the first song that comes to mind.

#28 – Genesis – “Invisible Touch” – (1986)

Genesis had a bunch of great songs in the 80s. I picked “Invisible Touch” to represent them on this list because it’s very upbeat and fun and it was also their biggest, most successful single. It was their first #1 hit. Interestingly, this was the first time a band hit #1 after one of its band members had done it on their own (Phil Collins had 4 #1s before this song made it to the top). Invisible Touch was also the name of the album, and it was a good one. I count four other great singles besides this one – which is a lot. Phil Collins had a huge impact on 80s music – and Genesis’ former lead singer, Peter Gabriel, bumped this song from its #1 spot with “Sledgehammer.”