This week’s prompts for Song Lyric Sunday, hosted by Jim Adams, are Fiancé/Husband/Lover/Wife. I found plenty of Lover songs but not too many for the other categories so I chose to to go with ‘Easy Lover’ by Phil Collins and Phillip Bailey (Earth, Wind and Fire). I loved this collaboration when I first heard it back in the 80s and it was fun to rediscover it this week. I hope you enjoy it too along with the great video of two performers having fun.
Phil Collins sang on this with Bailey, who is a vocalist with Earth, Wind & Fire. Collins produced and played drums on Chinese Wall, and after recording the album, he and bass player Nathan East agreed that it didn’t have a song with enough commercial appeal to release as a single, so they sat down and wrote “Easy Lover.” It does not have deep lyrical content: The song is about a captivating woman who cannot be tamed.
Philip Bailey revealed the story behind the song in Musician magazine: “Phil and Nathan were playing around with a riff on the piano and I was walking around singing ‘Choosy Lover’ over the piano chords. We worked on it all day and put a rough version of it down on tape. The next day we said, ‘let’s check it out so we can go in and record it.’ When we heard it, we realized there was nothing wrong with it. We tried doing it again, but we kept the original.”
Phil Collins told his side of the story when he spoke with Rolling Stone in 2016. Said Collins: “I always loved Earth, Wind & Fire, and in 1984 I was asked if I would produce Philip Bailey’s solo album. People were leaning on him, racially – ‘Don’t come back with a white album. You’re one of us.’ So Philip got Nathan East to play on it also. We hit some rocky ground early on, but we worked everything out. Near the end of the sessions, Philip said, ‘We haven’t written anything together on this album.’
So we just started having a jam one night, and went round and round and turned it into a verse and a chorus. We recorded it that night so we wouldn’t forget it. That song doesn’t sound like any particular era. It’s just fantastic. The hip-hop brigade fell in love with me after ‘Easy Lover.’ They were like, ‘Where’d that come from? That ain’t black music and that ain’t white music. That’s kind of an interesting color of beige.'”
The video won the 1985 MTV award for Best Overall Performance.
Phil Collins doesn’t get a lot of play in dance clubs, but this song did pretty well in discos, which often played a remix by John Potoker that was released as a 12″ single in 1984. Potoker, who later did a remix of “Sussudio,” and also Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer,” incorporated a drum track into the mix that Collins had used as a guide track.
Courtesy of Songfacts
Lyrics Easy lover She'll get a hold on you believe it Like no other Before you know it you'll be on your knees She's an easy lover She'll take your heart but you won't feel it She's like no other And I'm just trying to make you see She's the kind of girl you dream of Dream of keeping hold of You'd better forget it You'll never get it She will play around and leave you Leave you and deceive you Better forget it Oh you'll regret it No you'll never change her, so leave it, leave it Get out quick 'cause seeing is believing It's the only way You'll ever know Easy lover She'll get a hold on you believe it Like no other Before you know it you'll be on your knees She's an easy lover She'll take your heart but you won't feel it She's like no other And I'm just trying to make you see You're the one that wants to hold her Hold her and control her You'd better forget it You'll never get it For she'll say there's no other Till she finds another Better forget it Oh you'll regret it And don't try to change her, just leave it, leave it You're not the only one, ooh seeing is believing It's the only way You'll ever know, oh No don't try to change her, just leave it, leave it You're not the only one, ooh seeing is believing It's the only way You'll ever know, oh She's an easy lover (she's a easy lover) She'll get a hold on you believe it (get a hold on you) (She's) like no other Before you know it you'll be on your knees (you'll be down on your knees) She's an easy lover She'll take your heart but you won't feel it (you won't feel it) She's like no other And I'm just trying to make you see (trying to make you see Writer/s: Philip James Bailey, Phil Collins, Nathan East Publisher: CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC, THE BICYCLE MUSIC COMPANY Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind