Phil Collins – One More Night

First Hit #1: March 30, 1985

There’s something a bit desperate and confused about the romance of 1985. It’s like the world collectively forgot how to connect with other people and actually handle a relationship, and then wrote or purchased songs about it. Foreigner didn’t know what love was anymore, George Michael couldn’t dance again, REO Speedwagon couldn’t quite figure out how to tell someone what they felt about them and now neither can Phil Collins.

One More Night is a lot more spare than yesterday’s hit, though it does have a lovely ’80s sax solo, but it just takes a different approach to the same problem – Phil Collins, too, can’t fight this feeling anymore. It’s the song of someone who knows what he has to do, but doesn’t know how to do it. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to do it, it’s not completely clear. It’s a song about psyching yourself up to make a call, rather than the emotions that make you want to do the call in the first place. It’s a logical move from the earlier hits, since once you’ve broken up with someone, found someone else, and decided to tell them what you feel, now there’s that period of rejection. It’s like the number one singles are accidentally telling a story.

As a chronic procrastinator, I can identify with this single.

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One Response to Phil Collins – One More Night

  1. RBerman says:

    This is where the Era of Phil begins. Oh, he’d had hits before. Number One hits, even. Good ones, even. But for the couple of years starting with this single, Phil Collins simply dominated the American airwaves. Not with the fainting tweens of Beatlemania or Elvis’ gyrations. This guy with the receding hairline who couldn’t dance did it with music alone– as a solo act, with his band Genesis, in movie soundtracks, whatever. He suffered a critical backlash in the 90s, but for now he was simply known as a great songwriter and a great musician, even on a demo-sounding electric piano/drums track like “One More Night.”

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