Phil Collins: “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” (1984)

Nominated for an Academy Award, this song also managed to top the US charts.

Kronomyth 2.6: Jeff Bridges over troubled water.

I’ve never watched the film, Against All Odds. In fact, I couldn’t even make it through the first three minutes of the music video. My interest in movies is in direct proportion to the likelihood that a zombie will jump out and eat someone’s face and, while it seems like there was a lot of face eating in this movie, I didn’t foresee any zombies.

Speaking of faces, I was growing a bit tired at this point of seeing Phil Collins’ everywhere. I won’t deny that Take a Look at Me Now is a great ballad. I’ll even forgive him the re-use of the drum intro at the minute-and-a-half mark (cf. “In the Air Tonight”). But that we’ve crossed over into MOR territory is clear. And Phil as the wronged lover was wearing a bit thin too.

In most regions, Atlantic tossed the main title from Against All Odds on the B side. Credited to Michel Colombier and Larry Carlton, The Search is pretty lame even as soundtrack music goes, and not nearly memorable enough for a main title (think Miami Vice with Spanish guitar, or better yet…). In the UK, Mike Rutherford’s Making a Big Mistake, which also appeared on the movie soundtrack, was the flip side. It’s not bad as Mike Rutherford songs go and is more or less in line with the Mike + the Mechanics music he would soon be making.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) (Phil Collins) (3:24)
B1. The Search (Main Title Theme from Against All Odds) (Michel Colombier) (3:33)

Original 7-inch single version (UK)
A1. Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) (Phil Collins) (3:32)
B1. Making a Big Mistake (Mike Rutherford) (3:45)

The Players

Produced by Arif Mardin (A1), Larry Carlton and Michel Colombier (B1), Mike Rutherford (B1 UK).

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch, 7-inch picture disc and 12-inch single in February 1984 in the UK (Virgin, VS/VSY 674), the US and Australia (Atlantic, 7-89700), Canada (Atlantic, 78-97007), Germany (Atlantic, 789 700-7/786 949-0), Japan (Atlantic, P-1855) and Portugal (Atlantic, 756 78-9700-7) with regional picture sleeve. Reached #1 on the US charts (charted on February 25, 1984 for 24 weeks) (RIAA-certified gold record) and #2 on the UK charts.

  1. Re-packaged with “I Cannot Believe It’s True” on back-to-back hits 7-inch and cassette single in the US (Atlantic Oldies Series, 7/4-84994).
  2. Re-issued on compact disc single on May 25, 1997 in Japan (Atlantic, AMDY-5133).

1 thought on “Phil Collins: “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” (1984)

  1. If Phil Collins cloned himself in the 80’s, I guess many people thought he was evil. He certainly played a lot of evil characters on TV and film, including a train robber in Buster and a drug dealer in an episode of Miami Vice. He was even considered to play Harry in Home Alone and The Penguin in Batman Returns.

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