Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)
|"Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)"|
|Single by Phil Collins|
|from the album Against All Odds: Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Released||February 1984 (US)
31 March 1984 (UK)
|Genre||Pop rock, soft rock|
|Phil Collins singles chronology|
"Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" (also simply titled "Against All Odds") is a song by English singer Phil Collins recorded for the soundtrack to the 1984 film of the same name. It is a power ballad in which its protagonist implores an ex-lover to "take a look at me now", knowing that reconciliation is "against all odds" while considering it worth trying. The single, while it reached number two in the United Kingdom, peaked at number one on the U.S.Billboard Hot 100, the first for Collins.
The song has been covered by several singers, some versions of which have been successful in both the U.S.and UK markets. One of the most notable versions was the pairing of Mariah Carey and boyband Westlife, whose single peaked at number one in the United Kingdom in September 2000.
Phil Collins original version
Background and writing
Collins was approached to write the title song to the film Against All Odds while it was still in its "rough cut form". At the time the soundtrack was being completed, Collins was on tour as the lead vocalist/drummer with British progressive rock group Genesis. Director Taylor Hackford flew in to Chicago to catch one of the concert's venues. Collins watched the movie on a videocassette recorder in his hotel room and agreed to appear on the soundtrack.
Originally titled "How Can You Just Sit There?", the song was initially from the sessions for Collins' debut solo album Face Value (1981), and it was one of about a dozen written for his first wife, who had left him. Collins wrote the entire song, while arranger Arif Mardin produced it. The strings and piano tracks were recorded in New York to accommodate the tour, while Mardin did the vocals and drums in Los Angeles.Rob Mounsey played piano and keyboard bass, Collins sang and played the drums with his (and Hugh Padgham's) trademark gated reverb sound, and a string arrangement by Mardin completed the production.
According to Collins in a 1985 interview with Dan Neer: "We recorded the song in two days: One day in New York, the other in Los Angeles. The mixes were done by phone and the song went to Number 1. I couldn't believe it." On 24 August 2007, Collins discussed the song in a phone interview as an example for break-up songs. The song was first included on a Collins album on the 1998 compilation Hits, and it also appeared on his compilation Love Songs: A Compilation... Old and New (2004). A live performance of the song also appears on the Serious Hits… Live! album. The live version was recorded in 1990 on the B-side of the single "Do You Remember?".
Use and association with the film
"Against All Odds" was created explicitly for the movie. Hackford, who previously used a song for the 1982 American drama film An Officer and a Gentleman, planned the same for the neo-noir 1984 film Against All Odds, which is a remake of Out of the Past. When he signed with Atlantic Records, he was provided with a roster of artists, among whom Collins was chosen to render the film's theme song based on the quality of his voice. Hackford said that it was a "textbook case of designing a song to reflect what the film is". The song appears in the movie as background music during the closing credits.
Writing for the soundtrack's review, Allmusic editor Heather Phares claimed that the movie is best remembered for the inclusion of Collins' "classic theme song". Phares added that the song "remains not only one of Collins' definitive singles, but one of the 1980s' best love songs". Director Hackford also had the same view, stating that it "decidedly" helped the film: people identified the song with the film and came to watch it. When the single went top five, it contributed to the increased box office sales of the movie.
"Against All Odds" won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male in 1985, was nominated for Song of the Year and for an Academy Award as well as for a Golden Globe both in the Best Original Song categories. Collins was the only Oscar-nominee in the category not invited to sing his song on stage, and sat in the audience as Ann Reinking performed it.
When another song Collins performed for a movie, "Separate Lives", was being nominated for an Academy Award, in interviews about the original snub by the Academy for "Against All Odds", Collins would jokingly say "the hell with him - I'm going up too", referring to what he would do if the Stephen Bishop-written song were to win the award. Collins lost to the Stevie Wonder song "I Just Called to Say I Love You".
After its release, "Against All Odds" peaked at number two as a single in 1984 and became Collins' third top-ten single in the United Kingdom. In the United States, it peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks in the spring of 1984.
It is the first of six songs by Collins written specifically for a film soundtrack that would appear on the Hot 100. It also became Collins' only number one single on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart as a solo artist, although he would achieve two other number ones on this chart with his band, Genesis.
The single's music video was directed by Taylor Hackford, produced by Jeffrey Abelson through Parallax Productions and cinematographed by Daniel Pearl. Hackford was paid US$20,000 (out of a total budget of US$45,000) for a complete Collins clip. The music video was released along with the single during the last week of February 1984. A number one MTV video for several weeks, MTV ranked it as number four in its 1984 year-end top 20 video countdown. Gary LeMel, music supervisor at Columbia, felt the music video on MTV increased Against All Odds' box office takings by at least US$5 million.
The music video is an early example of a highly conceptual approach to creating hybrid movie/music-videos that producer Abelson pioneered. Echoing the love triangle theme of the film, Collins is seen performing in front of a wall of rainwater that is alternately lit red, blue, and green—each colour representing one of the three main characters in the film. It is this colour schematic that is used as an organic segue to and from character-specific scenes in the movie. The final scene pulls back from Collins to reveal him standing in the middle of a water-filled triangle formed from neon tubes in the same three colours—completing the visual concept as the three main characters are superimposed around the neon triangle's three sides. The concept for the video was created by Keith Williams, a Welsh-born writer who had already worked with Abelson on the video for "Dancin' With Myself" (Billy Idol), and who would go on to also create concepts for "Holding Out for a Hero" (Bonnie Tyler) and "Ghostbusters" (Ray Parker, Jr.) for the same producer as well as "Say You Say Me" (Lionel Richie) from White Nights, which Taylor Hackford also directed.
|Canadian Singles Chart||1|
|Dutch Singles Chart||10|
|Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)||5|
|German Singles Chart||9|
|Irish Singles Chart||1|
|New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart||3|
|Norwegian Singles Chart||1|
|Polish Singles Chart||8|
|Swedish Singles Chart||3|
|Swiss Singles Chart||4|
|UK Singles Chart||2|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||1|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks||3|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks||1|
Mariah Carey version
|"Against All Odds"|
|Single by Mariah Carey|
|from the album Rainbow|
|Released||3 October 2000|
|Producer||Mariah Carey, James Harris III, Terry Lewis|
|Mariah Carey singles chronology|
American singer Mariah Carey co-produced her version of the song with James Harris III and Terry Lewis for her sixth studio album Rainbow. Carey co-produced the single edit of the song with Steve Mac.
Although the song was promoted as part of Carey's Rainbow in the United States, it was not released as a commercial or radio single there. It was initially released in some markets in early 2000. This was also the last single with her then label Columbia. The song reached top twenty in several countries. The highest peak of the song was number two in Norway.
The video for the Carey version of the song, directed by Paul Misbehoven, consists of a montage of clips of Carey singing the song from her various Rainbow World Tour stops to cullings from her Homecoming special.
- European CD single
- European CD maxi-single
- "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)"
- "Crybaby" (featuring Snoop Dogg)
- "Thank God I Found You" (Stargate Radio Edit featuring Joe & 98°)
- "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)" (Morales Club Mix Edit)
- Japanese CD single
- "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" (featuring Westlife)
- "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" (album version)
- "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" (Pound Boys Radio Edit)
- "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" (instrumental)
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||26|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)||15|
|Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)||20|
|Germany (Media Control AG)||29|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||20|
Mariah Carey and Westlife version
|"Against All Odds"|
|Single by Mariah Carey featuring Westlife|
|from the album Rainbow and Coast to Coast|
|Released||18 September 2000|
|Recorded||Flyte Tyme Studios, Edina, MA & Capri Digital Studios, Capri, Italy & Rokstone Studios, London, England & Parc Studios, Orlando, FL & Olympic Studios, London, England July 1999—2000|
|Producer||Mariah Carey, Steve Mac|
|Westlife singles chronology|
Mariah Carey later re-released "Against All Odds" as a duet with Irish boyband Westlife. This version was released as the first single from Westlife's second album Coast to Coast. The song was released in September 2000, a few months after Carey's solo version. Carey did not re-record her vocals for the duet; however, the instrumental track was reproduced with a more organic sound complete with violins.
The single was more successful than the original in the UK and Ireland where it peaked at number one, giving Westlife their sixth consecutive number one. It also gave Carey her second number 1 single in the UK. The song has sold 375,000 copies in the total in the UK. The music video shows Carey and Westlife recording the song and exploring the island of Capri by boat. The UK version of the single includes a limited edition Enhanced CD with video, poster and Westlife-only version and CD with Westlife video interview and picture sleeves.
Tours performed at
The Face To Face Tour (2006)
- United Kingdom
- "Against All Odds" - 3:21
- "Against All Odds" (Pound Boys Main Mix) – 9:09
- "Against All Odds" (Mariah Carey Solo Version) – 3:21
- "Westlife Interview" – 4:00
- "Against All Odds" – 3:21
- "Against All Odds" (Westlife Solo Version) – 3:21
- "Against All Odds" (Pound Boys Dub) – 6:48
- "Against All Odds" (Video) – 3:21
- "Against All Odds" – 3:21
- "Against All Odds" (Pound Boys Radio Edit) – 3:48
- "Against All Odds" – 3:21
- "Against All Odds" (Pound Boys Radio Edit) – 3:48
- "Against All Odds" (Mariah Carey Solo Version) – 3:39
- "Against All Odds" (Instrumental) – 3:21
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||50|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)||31|
|Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)||29|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||1|
|UK Singles Chart||28|
Steve Brookstein version
|"Against All Odds"|
|Single by Steve Brookstein|
|from the album Heart and Soul|
|Released||20 December 2004|
|Format||CD single, digital download|
|Steve Brookstein singles chronology|
English singer and The X Factor winner Steve Brookstein included "Against All Odds" on his debut studio album, Heart and Soul. It was released as his debut single on 20 December 2004 by Sony BMG. The single charted at number one in the United Kingdom and at number 11 in Ireland. It sold 127,701 copies in its first week in the UK, making it the lowest-selling X Factor winner's single to date. It has sold less than half the copies of Leon Jackson and Little Mix, a third of Joe McElderry's, a quarter of Matt Cardle's, and a fifth of those of Shayne Ward, Leona Lewis, and Alexandra Burke.
In 2004, Brookstein won the televised UK talent competition The X Factor, and recorded a cover of the Phil Collins 1984 hit "Against All Odds" as his debut single. It entered the UK Singles Chart at number two behind "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid 20, and then climbed to number one where it stayed for one week from 2 January 2005 to 8 January 2005 and was replaced by Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock." "Against All Odds" was later included on Brookstein's debut album Heart and Soul.
The music video for the song shows Steve's highlights from the show through to the moment he was announced X Factor winner, in a similar manner to other winners' videos from both The X Factor and Pop Idol. No original footage was recorded for the video.
- "Against All Odds" – 3:17
- "Smile" (X Factor Performance) – 1:55
- "Help Me Make It Through the Night" (X Factor Performance) – 2:00
|Irish Singles Chart||11|
|UK Singles Chart||1|
- American indie-electronic group The Postal Service covered "Against All Odds" for the soundtrack to the 2004 film Wicker Park. The cover was later named as one of the best cover songs of all time by the New York Post. It was also named the second best cover of all time by Rolling Stone.
- The Shadows did an instrumental of the song in 1986 on their album Moonlight Shadows.
- American pianist and singer Eli Mattson sang the song in the final of Americas Got Talent Season 3 as part of the final five.
- In 1984, French singer Dalida released a French cover of this song called "Toutes Ces Heures Loin De Toi".
- Recently, rapper Cuban Link sampled the original song in the track "Take a Look at Me Now" as a tribute to friend and deceased rapper Big Pun.
- Montell Jordan recorded "Against All Odds" for his 1999 album Get It On...Tonight.
- Deja Vu and Tasmin recorded "Against All Odds" in 2001, which appeared on Dancemania X8 and was licensed to be featured in the dance video game Dance Dance Revolution 5thMix. It later appeared in North America in Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 2.
- In the summer of 2008, a trance version of the song recorded by Belgian singer Kira appeared on Robbins Entertainment's compilation "Trance Party 4. Kira later released this song on a CD-maxi single in late 2006, also on Robbins label.
- In 2005, English-singing Japanese rock band Beat Crusaders recorded "Against All Odds" for their covers album Musicrusaders.
- Another dance version was recorded in 2006 by Karen Parry.
- Korean R&B singers Wheesung and Lena Park recorded a cover of "Against All Odds" for a 2006 Hyundai's Tucson television commercial, and their version was later released as a digital single.
- Pop classical group The Three Graces covered the song in Italian under the title "Impossible" on their 2008 self-titled debut album.
- The Haredi music group based in Meah Shearim, Jerualem, The Envei Hagefen Orchestra, has used the melody of "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" for their song on the CD Modim entitled "Mima'amakim". However due to the extremely limited overlap of the two groups' listeners, nobody has yet to address this issue.[clarification needed]
- The American pop singer Lutricia McNeal covered this song for her Japanese release of her album Soulsister Ambassador - Rise.
- British medical comedy duo Amateur Transplants parodied the song, along with others, in their song "Snippets" from their debut album Fitness to Practice.
- N-Dubz named their second album after the song. (2009)
- Michael Ball recorded the song and it appears on his albums The Movies, Stage and Screen and Seasons of Love.
- 'Mickey' covered the song on the first episode of the first season of Kids Incorporated.
- Dune, a German rave/techno/progressive trance group, covered this song on their fourth album Forever recorded with the London Session Orchestra.
- In Germany, the song was recorded by Trude Herr, who changed title, language and context (Papa, a dedication to the father of Trude, in German). Subsequently, the same version was performed by Anne Haigis.
- In 2013, Darren Criss recorded a piano version for the soundtrack of the fourth season of the TV show Glee, aired in the episode Guilty Pleasures.
Live cover versions
- In 1984, on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless, Michael Damian and Tracey Bregman, as the characters of Danny Romalotti and Lauren Fenmore, performed the song.
- In 2005 Canadian Idol competitors Rex Goudie and Melissa O'Neil performed the song as their final duet together during the show's third season finale. The song has been performed seven times on American Idol.
- The song has been performed by Corey Clark (Season 2), George Huff (Season 3), Jessica Sierra (Season 4), Scott Savol (Season 4), Katharine McPhee (Season 5), Ramiele Malubay (Season 7), and Paige Miles (Season 9). The latter two's versions were released for a limited period on the iTunes Music Store. Malubay's performance was released as a live performance single in 2008. Miles' full-length studio version was also released as a single in 2010.
Seattle music columnist Megan Seling began an experiment on Monday, July 6, 2009, wherein she vowed to listen to Collins' "Against All Odds" at least once every hour that she was awake for an entire week and chronicled the journey here .
"I've done dumber things." – Megan Seling
This song is on the video game Karaoke Revolution Volume 3. It is also downloadable content for the game Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore.
The song also features heavily in the first act of the This American Life episode 'Break Up'. The segment featured an interview with Collins, as well as narration from a woman who listened to the song to get over a break-up and vowed to write her own break-up song.
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- Collins, Phil (2007-08-24). In act one of This American Life, episode 339, "Break-Up".
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- "Remember back when MTV used to be cool?". Platypus Comix. Archived from the original on 1 September 2006. Retrieved 18 August 2006.
- Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
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- "Canadian Singles Chart". Jam.canoe.ca. 2011-11-03. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Mariah Carey – Against All Odds" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100. Hung Medien / hitparade.ch.
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- "Italiancharts.com – Mariah Carey – Against All Odds". Top Digital Download. Hung Medien.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Mariah Carey – Against All Odds". VG-lista. Hung Medien.
- "Mariah Carey – Against All Odds – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Hung Medien.
- Bronson, Fred (2000-11-18). "Found The 'Love' Of A Westlife Time". Billboard: 124. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
- Mariah Carey official top 20 best-selling singles in the UK MTV. retrieved: 2010-05-03.
- "Westlife Against All Odds UK DOUBLE CD SINGLE SET (166322)". Eil.com. 2000-09-22. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
- "Australian-charts.com – Mariah feat. Westlife – Against All Odds". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Hung Medien.
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"Footloose" by Kenny Loggins
|Billboard Hot 100 number-one single (Phil Collins version)
21 April 1984 – 11 May 1984 (3 weeks)
"Hello" by Lionel Richie
"Lady (Hear Me Tonight)" by Modjo
|UK number-one single (Mariah Carey featuring Westlife version)
24 September 2000 – 8 October 2000
"Black Coffee" by All Saints
"Lady (Hear Me Tonight)" by Modjo
|Irish IRMA number-one single
25 September 2000 (3 weeks)
"Beautiful Day" by U2
|The X Factor winner's single (Steve Brookstein version)
"That's My Goal" by Shayne Ward
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid 20
|UK number-one single (Steve Brookstein version)
2 January 2005
"Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley