April 1984: Phil Collins Hits No. 1 with "Against All Odds"

Phil Collins

“Much will be gained if we succeed in transforming your hysterical misery into common unhappiness," Sigmund Freud once wrote.

The recently divorced Phil Collins poured his broken heart into his home studio in 1981 - using his bedroom studio as a makeshift recording studio after his wife left him. There, Collins' discovered the power of laying out his heart's sorrows to the rhythm of drumbeat machines and synthesizers. 

He began working on a song titled "How Can You Just Sit There" while working on his first solo debut album Face Value. 

"'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," he reminisced to Mojo in 2015. "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."

RELATED: February 1981: Phil Collins Goes Solo with 'Face Value'

It was director Hackford that enlisted Collins' services to service a track to play in his film Against All Odds and the once-discarded "How Can You Just Sit There" came to Collins' mind and the rest is history. 

Collins pieced the vocals and drums together in California while producer Arif Mardin overlooked the synth bass, strings and Rob Mounsey on piano. 

Two days later, the mixes were complete and the striking ballad soared to the top of the charts, peaking at No. 1 on April 20. "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)" not only gave Collins his first solo No. 1 hit, but also reunited the English drummer with his Genesis bandmates during the soundtrack project. 

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