It may have just been an afterthought, a piece of filler to just finish off an album, but it ended up as one of the top songs of 1985, and it gave Philip Bailey his only non-‘Earth, Wind, and Fire’ hit. And it was the best two-guy duet this side of Hall and Oates.
80s mainstay Phil Collins just happened to be producing and bangin’ the skins on Mr. Bailey’s solo effort Chinese Wall, when the two realized they didn’t really have a commercially viable (read: ‘good’) song yet. After an hour or so, they had hammered out the beginnings of what would become “Easy Lover”, and just like that… a song was born.
The tune would spend 23 weeks on the charts, debuting in November 1984 and going all the way up to #2 for two weeks in February of ’85– a run good enough to make it the 12th biggest song of the year.
And then there was its whimsical video-within-a-video that won Best Overall Performance at the MTV VMAs. Chuckle along with us, won’t you, as the two Phils try to master some incredible goofy choreography, get their hair cut, and mug for the camera.
Sadly, Mr. Bailey would never see the top 40 again after this catchy duet, while Mr. Collins continued to rule the 80s and 90s with 15 more top 40 hits still to come.
Yes, it may have been an afterthought, but without “Easy Lover”, the world may never have even known who Philip Bailey was (with apologies to Earth, Wind, and Fire fans). And that would have been a major bummer.
We ♥ Easy Lover.