“Against All Odds”


Just got home from the big Oscar party; I did dismally this year.  I’ve also been trying to help my father set up his new cell phone.  So this one is really short.

There’s not too much to say about “Against All Odds,” anyway.  Phil Collins made it for the movie of the same name at the height of his popularity in the mid-80s. It is a terribly earnest, very sappy and melodramatic love song.  I’ve always enjoyed it, but I have a soft spot in my heart for earnest, sappy, melodramatic love songs.  I know they’re generally kind of awful, artistically speaking, but they’re so much fun.  Phil Collins is really good at them.  He can infuse real emotion into lines like “You coming back to me is against all odds, it’s the chance I’ve got to take.”  And he is a legitimately talented drummer (or used to be before health problems forced him to stop).  The drums as a foreground instrument is kind of what made some of his stuff more interesting than other 80s pop fare.  He turned Genesis from a fair to middling prog rock band to a pop hit machine. Some might argue that was a bad thing, but I don’t know.  It’s all a matter of taste.  And personally, I hate prog rock.

Why am I even contemplating “Against All Odds” in the first place?  Because it lost the Oscar for Best Original Song to “I Just Called to Say I Love You” by Stevie Wonder.  And the Academy didn’t even let Collins perform it at the show (this was when they still performed all the song nominees).  “Against All Odds” might not be a great song, but the winner was hideous.  I like and respect Stevie Wonder as much as the next music fan, but that song was pure dreck.

Of course, at least it was a better choice than anything from this year.  They only managed to find two original-to-the-movie songs that were listenable enough to nominate.  And even that was scraping the bottom of the barrel.  I’m hoping next year is better for music in movies.


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