Phil Collins’ Biggest Hits In Australia

Phil Collins’ Biggest Hits In Australia

phil collins oz hits
Phil Collins, 1987 (photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns/Getty Images)

Going solo turned out to be a genius move for Genesis drummer-turned-frontman Phil Collins, whose music was inescapable during the 1980s. From albums like Face Value to …But Seriously to stand-along soundtrack singles, the singer had a steady stream of chart entries – so it’s not surprising that his biggest hits in Australia all come from that decade. One song you might expect to be on this list but isn’t: “Easy Lover”. Due to record company wrangling, his duet with Philip Bailey wasn’t given a commercial release locally despite being a massive radio hit.

8. "Another Day In Paradise”
Released: 1989
Peak: number 11

The lead single from …But Seriously, his first studio album in four years, this socially conscious ballad  - its lyrics dealt with the issue of homelessness – was a shift in direction from the love songs and feel-good tunes he’d become known for in the previous few years. “Another Day In Paradise” won the Grammy Award for Record Of The Year and narrowly missed becoming Phil’s eighth top 10 hit in Australia.

7. "(Billy) Don’t Lose My Number”
Released: 1985
Peak: number 10

A song that has been overlooked in the decades since, this No Jacket Required track was among Phil’s most successful singles. Matching its upbeat feel, the song’s music video saw the singer in comedy mode as he considered pitches for… the music video for this song. Pitches that included a Mad Max-style concept, a Western shootout, a martial arts fight scene, and send-ups of well-known clips by David Lee Roth, The Cars and The Police.

6. "Sussudio”
Released: 1985
Peak: number 8

Another uptempo track and another song lifted from No Jacket Required – in fact, “Sussudio” was its lead single and part of a massive year for Phil on the ARIA singles chart. The song got its title from an invented word that Phil came up with during recording sessions.

5. "In The Air Tonight”
Released: 1981
Peak: number 3 (one week)

Phil started his career with something much darker – his brooding debut single was inspired by the anger and frustration he felt during his divorce from first wife Andrea Bertorelli in 1980 (and not, as legend would have it, by him witnessing someone drowning). A track that has enjoyed regular resurgences ever since, “In The Air Tonight” returned to the ARIA top 50 in mid-1989 thanks to a 1988 remix and took on a new lease of life in the 2000s thanks to a Cadbury ad featuring a gorilla playing that iconic drum break.

4. "You Can’t Hurry Love”
Released: 1982
Peak: number 3 (three weeks)

A respite from his more angst-ridden output during the early 80s, Phil’s cover version of The Supremes hit from 1966 was a remake in the literal sense of the world – he and producer Hugh Padgham attempted to identically replicate the sound of the original record. “You Can’t Hurry Love” gave Phil his first UK number 1 – a position he never reached in Australia.

3. "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)”
Released: 1984
Peak: number 3 (four weeks)

This soundtrack release was Phil’s first number 1 single (of seven) in the US, and had actually started off as a song called “How Can You Sit There”, written during the sessions for Face Value. (Yes, it was also about his divorce.) Plucked out of the vault, it was reworked for use in the movie Against All Odds starring Rachel Ward, Jeff Bridges and James Woods.

2. "One More Night”
Released: 1985
Peak: number 2 (three weeks)

Held at bay by the juggernaut that was nine-week number 1 “We Are The World”, this straightforward ballad was the second single from No Jacket Required in Australia and entered the top 50 just six weeks after “Sussudio”, with both tracks climbing the chart together.

1. "A Groovy Kind Of Love”
Released: 1988
Peak: number 2 (seven weeks)

Blame Bobby McFerrin. “Don’t Worry Be Happy” was responsible for keeping this soundtrack single in the runner-up position for six of its seven weeks at number 2. (U2’s “Desire” took care of the first week.) Taken from Buster, the movie about the Great Train Robbery of 1963 in which Phil played title character Buster Edwards, “A Groovy Kind Of Love” was a cover of the 1965 song made famous by The Mindbenders.

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