Song Lyric Sunday – Against All Odds

Even and Odd are the prompts Jim has given us for Song Lyric Sunday this week. They say always go with your gut instinct and so I did. Phil Collins singing “Against All Odds” was my immediate first choice but I put it to the side while I looked for some other songs with “Even” in the title or lyrics. I managed to find quite a few but none of them were, in my opinion, better than my pick. So there you go. I hope you enjoy it. You might want to check out the movie too, starring Jeff Bridges and Rachel Ward. It’s most likely available on Amazon.

Director Taylor Hackford asked Collins to write a song for the film Against All Odds, so Collins went back to a song that didn’t make it onto his Face Value album called “How Can You Sit There” and adapted it to fit the movie.

Collins recalled to Mojo in 2015: “Against All Odds was written in the same misery that the rest of Face Value came from, but I wasn’t drawn to it initially. I didn’t like it as much as ‘You Know What I Mean,’ and I thought there was only room for one of those on the album. I don’t know what would have happened to it if Taylor Hackford hadn’t got in touch.”

This was the first of seven US solo #1 hits for Collins, all of which charted in the ’80s. He was still charting hits with Genesis during this time as well, including the #1 “Invisible Touch” in 1986. This resulted in a bit of Phil Collins fatigue and somewhat of a backlash in the ’90s, when some critics and targeted him as a symbol of schlocky pop music. In a 2010 interview with Rolling Stone, Collins admitted that the criticism hurt, and said it contributed to some suicidal thoughts. In the article, he pointed out that he wasn’t the one playing his songs over and over – he was just making the music. A few months later, Collins announced his retirement, but seemed to be in a better place, encouraged by the words of his fans that offered support. Wrote Collins: “I am stopping so I can be a full time father to my two young sons on a daily basis.”

In a 2007 story on the National Public Radio show This American Life, Phil Collins explained how he did not write songs with Genesis, but was motivated to write solo material to deal with the pain of his personal life. Said Collins: “That song was written during my first divorce. My first wife and the kids had gone and I was left there. The song was written out of experience as opposed to a ‘what if’ song. If that personal stuff had not happened to me at the time, I probably would never have made an album, and if I was to have made an album eventually, it probably would have been a jazz/rock thing. Without that stuff I wouldn’t have felt the stuff I felt sitting at a piano night after night, day after day writing stuff.”

This won Collins the 1984 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance. It was nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar, but lost to “I Just Called To Say I Love You.” Collins did win the award in 1999 for “You’ll Be In My Heart,” which he wrote for Tarzan.

Director Taylor Hackford asked Collins to write a song for the film Against All Odds, so Collins went back to a song that didn’t make it onto his Face Value album called “How Can You Sit There” and adapted it to fit the movie.

Collins recalled to Mojo in 2015: “Against All Odds was written in the same misery that the rest of Face Value came from, but I wasn’t drawn to it initially. I didn’t like it as much as ‘You Know What I Mean,’ and I thought there was only room for one of those on the album. I don’t know what would have happened to it if Taylor Hackford hadn’t got in touch.”

This was the first of seven US solo #1 hits for Collins, all of which charted in the ’80s. He was still charting hits with Genesis during this time as well, including the #1 “Invisible Touch” in 1986. This resulted in a bit of Phil Collins fatigue and somewhat of a backlash in the ’90s, when some critics and targeted him as a symbol of schlocky pop music. In a 2010 interview with Rolling Stone, Collins admitted that the criticism hurt, and said it contributed to some suicidal thoughts. In the article, he pointed out that he wasn’t the one playing his songs over and over – he was just making the music. A few months later, Collins announced his retirement, but seemed to be in a better place, encouraged by the words of his fans that offered support. Wrote Collins: “I am stopping so I can be a full time father to my two young sons on a daily basis.”

In a 2007 story on the National Public Radio show This American Life, Phil Collins explained how he did not write songs with Genesis, but was motivated to write solo material to deal with the pain of his personal life. Said Collins: “That song was written during my first divorce. My first wife and the kids had gone and I was left there. The song was written out of experience as opposed to a ‘what if’ song. If that personal stuff had not happened to me at the time, I probably would never have made an album, and if I was to have made an album eventually, it probably would have been a jazz/rock thing. Without that stuff I wouldn’t have felt the stuff I felt sitting at a piano night after night, day after day writing stuff.”

This won Collins the 1984 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance. It was nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar, but lost to “I Just Called To Say I Love You”. Collins did win the award in 1999 for “You’ll Be In My Heart,” which he wrote for Tarzan.

Courtesy of Songfacts

Against All Odds - Lyrics

How can I just let you walk away,
Just let you leave without a trace?
When I stand here taking every breath with you, ooh ooh
You're the only one who really knew me at all

How can you just walk away from me
When all I can do is watch you leave?
'Cause we've shared the laughter and the pain
And even shared the tears
You're the only one who really knew me at all

So take a look at me now
Well there's just an empty space
And there's nothing left here to remind me
Just the memory of your face
Ooh, Take a look at me now
Well there's just an empty space
And you coming back to me is against the odds
And that's what I've got to face,

I wish I could just make you turn around
Turn around and see me cry
There's so much I need to say to you
So many reasons why
You're the only one who really knew me at all

So take a look at me now
Well there's just an empty space
And there's nothing left here to remind me
Just the memory of your face

Now Take a look at me now
'Cause that's just an empty space
But to wait for you is all I can do
And that's what I've got to face

Take a good look at me now
'Cause I'll still be standing here
And you coming back to me is against all odds
It's the chance I've got to take
Take a look at me now

Writer/s: Phillip David Charles Collins 
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC,
CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

  19 comments for “Song Lyric Sunday – Against All Odds

  1. aisasami
    February 7, 2021 at 8:15 am

    A great pick! I really love Phil and his career with Genesis but also his solo career!

    • Christine Bolton
      February 7, 2021 at 8:43 am

      Yes me too! ☺️ Thanks for stopping by.

  2. January 31, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    Absolutely love this song 🥰

    • Christine Bolton
      January 31, 2021 at 10:06 pm

      Thanks! It’s great isn’t it ☺️

  3. January 31, 2021 at 8:42 am

    I thought Phil quit because of his back injury. I like his voice, good pick Christine.

    • Christine Bolton
      January 31, 2021 at 8:54 am

      Thanks Jim. He may have done. I haven’t much lately. ☺️

  4. January 31, 2021 at 7:41 am

    Although I like the song I am not keen on Phil Collins as a human being. But that’s my choice, and it’s a great song ..well done. 💜

    • Christine Bolton
      January 31, 2021 at 8:53 am

      Thanks Willow ☺️

  5. January 31, 2021 at 6:29 am

    sorry, should read ‘versions’

  6. January 31, 2021 at 6:29 am

    I love this. Other version pale in comparison.

    • Christine Bolton
      January 31, 2021 at 8:53 am

      Yes, he’s great isn’t he? ☺️

  7. January 31, 2021 at 1:34 am

    Of course!
    This is a great song!

    • Christine Bolton
      January 31, 2021 at 8:51 am

      Thanks Janis ☺️

  8. January 31, 2021 at 1:16 am

    A great song choice!

    • Christine Bolton
      January 31, 2021 at 8:51 am

      Thanks so much Fan! ☺️

  9. January 31, 2021 at 12:46 am

    Excellent pick for this week!

    • Christine Bolton
      January 31, 2021 at 8:48 am

      Thanks John. I e always liked it, and Phil Collins!

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