Friday, August 10, 2018

"Separate Lives" by Phil Colllins and Marilyn Martin

#1 Alert!
Song#:  2491
Date:  10/05/1985
Debut:  45
Peak:  1 (1 week)
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  As Collins' Grammy-winning album No Jacket Required was getting ready to be released, he got an opportunity to record a song for an upcoming film titled White Nights directed by Taylor Hackford. Collins already had solid history with Hackford through the director's previous film Against All Odds. Collins' theme song ended up being his first solo #1 hit. However, this time around Collins would not write a song for the movie. That duty went to singer/songwriter Stephen Bishop, who sent the tune to Collins to see if he would do the vocals. Collins love it and decided to sing, co-produce, and play drums on the track. The song was originally a solo piece, but it was changed to a duet and Collins was paired up with background singer Marilyn Martin. Once completed, it would be the first single released from the soundtrack. It was issued out over two months ahead of the film's debut and the timing was perfect. The song hit #1 just a week after the movie's debut. It would be Collins' fourth #1 as a solo artist.

ReduxReview:  With its languid, near a cappella opening, it's amazing that radio stations picked this up back in the day. But since Collins' name was attached I'm sure they tossed it on just because he was a hot commodity at the time. The song revs up once the chorus hits and Martin joins in. This song's production sounded like it had David Fosters' hands all over it, but it was just Collins with Hugh Padgham and Arif Mardin doing a really good impersonation. The verses on this song are just kind of meh for me. The chorus is much better, but what makes the song is the mid section that builds wonderfully to the final chorus. It's worth hacking through the jungle to get a peak at the good stuff.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Singer Marilyn Martin got a break when the band she was fronting ended up with an opening spot on a tour that featured Joe Walsh and Stevie Nicks. After making connections via the tour, Martin moved to L.A. and began to do session work with some of the artists from the tour including Nicks, who supplied Martin with the song "Sorcerer," which Martin recorded for the soundtrack to the 1984 film Streets of Fire. That song got her a deal with Atlantic and her first assignment was this song with Collins. She would follow it up with a debut solo album in 1986.  2) Stephen Bishop wrote and recorded two songs for the 1978 hit comedy Animal House including the title track. He also has a small part in the film. That was where he met Karen Allen, who was making her acting debut in the film. The two hit it off and their relationship lasted for several years before coming to an end. Bishop wrote "Separate Lives" about his breakup with Allen. Bishop would record his own solo version of the song for a 1986 album titled Sleeping with Girls. The album ended up getting a limited release in a minor few territories.


No comments:

Post a Comment