When it comes to penning pop songs about love – both the heart-soaring romance and the devastating heartbreak – few do it better than Phil Collins. Here's a six-pack’s worth of tracks by our man Phil that really tug on the old heartstrings...
“This Must Be Love” (1981): Anyone who’s heard Phil’s debut solo album, 1981’s Face Value, knows that a great deal of its inspiration came courtesy of the end of his first marriage immediately prior to its recording. Although he acknowledged the sadness of the LP in a 2010 interview with The Mail on Sunday, he did note that “there are a number of songs on it that show a break in the clouds [and] this is one.”
“Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” (1984): This was Collins’ first song to top the Billboard Hot 100, and it’s one that might never have come to pass if it hadn’t been for director Taylor Hackford, who asked him to pen a tune for his film Against All Odds. To do so, Phil ventured into the vault, grabbed a track that hadn’t made the cut for Face Value, and...that was about it, really. As he told Rolling Stone in 2016, “It was basically like saying, ‘Here’s $10 million. Would you want it?’ I had already written the lyrics before I saw the film!”
“One More Night” (1985): Proving once again that audiences love Phil most when he’s singing love songs, this was actually his second U.S. chart-topper. He’s described the lyrics as being “more optimistic in a warm way rather than depressing in a negative way,” which seems plausible enough to us.
“Two Hearts” (1988): Phil Collins songs don’t come much bouncier or catchier than this track from the soundtrack to his 1988 film, Buster, in which he starred as one-time train robber Buster Edwards. Collins wrote the lyrics and Lamont Dozier wrote the music and produced the track, so if it sounds like a Motown track, now you know why.
“Do You Remember?” (1990): Funnily enough, this song features backing vocals by the songwriter who penned a duet that Collins and Marilyn Martin took to No. 1 (Stephen Bishop), but it’s from his fourth solo album, ...But Seriously, and it was a much bigger hit in the U.S. than it was in the U.K., climbing to No. 4. (It only hit No. 57 across the pond.)
“You’ll Be in My Heart” (1999): After earning two Oscar nods – one for “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now),” the other for “Two Hearts” – Phil finally came home a winner with this song, which he penned for the Disney animated film Tarzan. As it turns out, he actually wrote the song for his daughter, Lily, now best known for starring in Netflix’s Emily in Paris. “It was written as a lullaby for me when I was younger,” she told Harry Connick, Jr. in 2016. “We grew up watching Disney shows and movies together, so that was his way of kind of being able to do it for his kids. It was so special.”