You know who’s cool? Phil Collins. He is so! This week, I’d like to remind you of a song you’ve forgotten, you big jerk. You shouldn’t have forgotten it! Because this song is awesome. Ladies and gents, from 1984, Phil Collins and Phillip Bailey…”Easy Lover.”
Yeah, so now you remember how awesome this song is. It’s O.K., I accept your apologies. I’m just trying to make you seee-eeee! “Easy Lover” is one of my all time faves from childhood. I’ll still dance to this bad boy WHENEVER I hear it. It only hit #2 (and someone (read:me) is still mad!) in the U.S. in 1984.
Phil is the man! I’ve liked him since I was 10 in 1985! Which of course corresponds to the release of his magnum opus, No Jacket Required. Which looked like this:
I know this cover well because I used to carry around the tape when I first got it, because I thought it was cool that I had a tape, and I liked to remind myself that I was indeed cool. I think this might have been the second cassette I ever picked out for myself. The first was Born In the USA. Why thanks, I know I had surprisingly good taste for a 10 year old. I have a distinct memory of being at the Briggsy family thanksgiving, circa 1985, and nonchalantly dropping the tape on to the dinner table. My cousin (Hey, Barb!) was impressed. And she called it, “No Jacket.” Abbrevs are cool. Then and now.
I listened to this tape a lot. I used to ride big wheels with my bro around our unfinished basement listening to this awesome song from No Jacket.
I dare you NOT to ride a big wheel in circles with a big smile on your face, grooving to the mad horns of “Sussudio.” Impossible. “Sussudio” hit #1 (Yes!) on the U.S. pop charts in July 1985.
Let’s discuss the “Easy Lover” video, shall we? We, indeed, shall. The concept for the vid is the classic behind the scenes with the band idea.
Phil was pretty cool in this video. The scruffiness, the white sneaks, the party mini mullet, the caz sweater vest and slacks, and especially the faces he makes. Has the dude been watching me karaoke, or at least me singing in the car? I think I did that face with finger action at 1:49 the last time I karaoked! Or at least, I hope I did. In fact, what is karaoke without a version of that face? Answer: Bullcrap. Gotta make the face! And the intermittent air guitaring!? Throw in some air drums, and we might have a separated at birth on our hands. Though I will have to steal his dance at 3:14. Genius.
Speaking of ‘roke, I love Phil and Philip’s practice session of kicks, dances, and mic stand tricks. And that awesome white 80s stage. I’ve got a karaoke party coming up. I might need to practice. Whaddya think, Dr. Cookie Monster? You have time for possibly 5-7 practices a week till the party? Answer: (I will only accept a) Yes!
Okay, and maybe I’m a little too homosexual (you saw my musings on Nelson last week, I hope), but who knew this vid was also homoerotic? Phil and Philip have brekkie together, read the paper at the table (old married couple!), get their hair did together (I love watching Phil sing while he’s getting that ape drape combed), pick out outfits and practice their dance moves. How cute and couply are these two?
And Philip was just like Double S at 3:20, rolling her eyes at my brills costume ideas! I feel your pain, Phil!
Then there are the lyrics to this fine ditty. This is a cautionary tale, folks. If she (or he, gosh!) is unattainable, the Mr. Big to your Carrie if you will (SQUEEEEEEEEEEAL! SATC 2 comes out May 27. Not that I’ll be there. Cough<yes I will!> cough), move on. If she says there is no other, till she finds another, hightail it outta there, friend! You’ll thank me, Phil, and Philip later. And not to give you a guilt trip, but we’ll be anxiously waiting for your nicely worded thank you note. Maybe a card with a bird motif? That’d sure be nice. To hear from you once in awhile. Anyway, this song is an eff’ng P.S.A. if you ask me. Trust. (Ed’s note: The above relationship PSA is sponsored by Ohbriggsy, All rights Reserved.).
There are a lot of jokes out there about NBC’s iconic “The More You Know” PSA’s from the 80s. These suckers were awesome and scary. The Office did a pretty funny parody of them. My favorite (especially because I live in Washington and once freaked out about a reflector on my own New Balance tennie because I thought it was a bear’s glowing evil eye) is this one, with Dwight Schrute.
Phil wasn’t always an 80’s Dear Abby when it came to relationship advice. I guess I coulda saved this for another F.S.F. (is it presumptuous to give your own creation an acronym?), but hey, do you remember “Against All Odds”? Why is my blog so often the internet equivalent of this? Remember that…that was awesome!
Anyway, here is “Against All Odds,” by Phil Collins. Also known as that song you played on repeat when you last got dumped.
O.K., I like Phil’s message a mite better in Easy Lover. And, hey, Phil, put on your serious face much? Phil my man…do you need to drop a deuce? Also, rain=seriousness.
So this video reminds me of the tape of greatest hits from your once awesome and now doomed former relationship that plays in your mind’s eye as you sit around drinking beer in your underwear in your dark apartment after you get dumped, minus the tans, car chase scenes, and 80s character actors whose names escape me except for James Woods. Have you seen 500 Days Of Summer? If not (Which means you weren’t listening to me. Bad reader!), rent it now! So good, and it reminds you that it wasn’t as good as you’re currently remembering it.
Has anyone NOT listened to “Against All Odds” on repeat after being dumped, possibly at a TGIFridays in midtown Manhattan after going to the Sprint store to take the person that dumped you off your Sprint family plan and possibly (probably) calling them a sociopath? Answer: No! I just made that hypothetical up of course for the sake of science.
I actually was listening to the COVER of that song after the abovementioned incident, with Ben Gibbard’s sweet voice crooning in my ear.
Thus, I will now slow it down for my emo(tional) homies who also were perhaps afflicted with a similar strain of hipstery nonchalance in the aughts as yours truly. You couldn’t let it show, so you had to just quietly listen to songs like this on the subway so that cool person (or grandma or kid selling Starbursts for his basketball team) sitting next to you on the train didn’t overhear it and feel sorry for you. Now I’m as forthright as they come, but back then ‘whatevs’ was my middle name.
This song was on the Wicker Park soundtrack, hence the odd video, which was a bad movie with a good soundtrack. And I love those kind of movies, so don’t take my critiques lightly. Don’t watch it! Don’t cry for Ben though, he’s with her now.
So again, let’s talk about the lyrics here, friends. Phil (or Ben) sings what we’ve all thought in these situations. Like, there’s “So much I need to say to you, so many reasons why. You’re the only one who ever knew me at all.” So dramatic! So heart-wrenching! So not true! “To wait for you is all I can do and it’s what I’ve got to face.” Umm, Phil my man, totes wrong approach! Move on friend! I think Philip might be available! And dude, Philip was in Earth, Wind and mothereffin’ Fire, so…street cred! Need I remind you of how awesome they were. O.K.!
And whatever you do, after said temporarily heart wrenching dump, don’t allow another ex to stay in your apartment while she does a summer internship. Again, for science!
Instead, once you can pick yourself up off your (likely dirty) apartment floor after said dumping, online date! Who can stand the stomach churning face to face approach! Answer: not me!
Break ups songs were better back in the day, weren’t they? What was the worst one ever, you ask? Eamon, with another parentheses song, and–cover your eyes delicate flowers and people with any faith and hope left in humanity–here is Eamon’s 2003 hit, “Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back).” Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Have you heard this song? Maybe you had to live in NYC. Anyway, I’ll go ahead and say WTF for you in advance…
I know, right?
If you’ve never lived in or visited Staten Island, this is pretty much it in video form. The nails, the sweatsuits, and so on. And here’s a fun fact for your next dinner party: this song has the Guinness World Record (this would have excited me when I was 10! I always ordered the new year’s copy from Scholastic Book Club) for most expletives in a #1 song. Eamon’s mom=proud! Eamon=kicking himself that the producers of MTV’s Jersey Shore went with Jersey instead of Staten Isle. Finally, one more joke (Director’s cut!), I love the Staten Island love nest at 1:53. Eamon actually dropped by Double S’s old place to pick up all those tapestries he put on the ceiling. Double S was happy to oblige. She did go to the Evergreen State College after all.
Happy Friday everybody! Get out there and have a date night with your S.O., or, in the alternative, hose off the dirt and get outta the house and meet some potential S.O’s. Listen to me, Phil and Philip! We’re on your side.