Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"Easy Lover" by Philip Bailey & Phil Collins

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  2139
Date:  11/24/1984
Debut:  63
Peak:  2
Weeks:  23
Genre:  Pop, Rock, R&B

Pop Bits:  Since 1972, Bailey had been performing with Earth, Wind & Fire. An original member, Bailey would share lead vocal duties on many songs and was known for his falsetto contributions. He was out front on several of the band's hits including "Shining Star" (#1, 1975) and "September" (#8, 1978). As the 80s started, Bailey decided it was time to do a project on his own. He issued the debut album Continuation in 1983, which contained the #10 R&B hit "I Know." For his follow-up, Bailey hit up his friend Phil Collins to produce the album and the pair came up with Chinese Wall. This single from the album was co-written by the pair along with Nathan East and its pop/rock sound caught on. The duet would reach #5 Rock, #3 R&B, #7 Dance, and #15 AC, while nearly topping the Pop chart. With the track being a multi-format hit, sales of the single were brisk and it would easily go gold. The album would hit that gold mark as well. It would be Bailey's peak moment as a solo artist.

ReduxReview:  Yeah, this had Phil Collins' hands all over it. The song could have easily been done for one of his own solo albums. The pop/rock track fit Bailey quite well. EWF were more R&B based, so this stretch for Bailey was a nice change of pace. The vocal pairing with Collins worked as well. With a great chorus, solid production and Collins' popularity at the time, there was really no way this was gonna miss. It's just a bummer Bailey didn't do more rock and collaborate with Collins again.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Bailey and Collins would received a Grammy nomination for this song in the Best Pop Vocal Performance, Duo or Group, category. Bailey would also get a nod himself in the Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male, for the album. In the second year of the MTV Video Music Awards, the video for this song would win a statue in the Best Overall Performance in a Video category.


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