Thursday, 2 October 2014

Phil Collins 'Two Hearts'

Chart Peak: 6
The Buster soundtrack album features this No. 6 hit, the No.1 'A Groovy Kind Of Love', one other previously unreleased Phil Collins track, the Four Tops 'Loco In Acapulco', a selection of Sixties classics and incidental music by Anne Dudley.
To follow on from yesterday's post, Buster was, like all multi-artist soundtracks, also banished from the main album chart after its sixteenth week (chart dated 7th January 1989), though it went on to enjoy a handy 36 weeks in the compilations Top 20. In retrospect it seems an interesting cultural artifact that only ten years after the Sex Pistols were trading on the shock value of the Great Train Robbery, Phil Collins - not a man known for his rebellious image - should star in a film where he effectively portrays one of the robbers as a hero. There was enough controversy to keep the Royals away from the film's premiere, but it didn't harm the profits from its recorded spin-offs: both the Collins singles topped the US chart thanks to airplay, and did very well over here too. He even left the infamous 1989 Brit Awards with two trophies, and the imminent "next generation of Collins" he mentions in his acceptance speech grew up to become successful actress Lily Collins.

In keeping with the film's Sixties setting - and also following on from 'Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart', 'Two Hearts' was co-written with Lamont Dozier (of Holland-Dozier-Holland of course) and is another example of Collins' peculiar delusion that he's somehow a soul singer. Doubtless his love of the music is genuine, and 'Loco In Acapulco', written by the same duo, is an enjoyable if not wholly convincing pastiche; but he lacks the swing to really convince with this sort of material, as he'd already proved with the very first track on the entire Now series. The song is longer and less intensely energetic than authentic Motown, though it isn't actually bad in its own right. At the time I remember thinking it a great improvement over 'Groovy Kind Of Love'. The best thing about the track is probably Anne Dudley's string arrangement. The label on my copy of Now 14 also lists her as producer, which would make her one of three members of Art Of Noise with production credits on this album - however other sources attribute it to Collins and Dozier, which does seem more likely.

Also appearing on: Now 1, 3, 5, 6, 12, 13, 17, 18, 27, 41, 44, 68
Available on: Hits

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