Two Hearts

Album: Buster Soundtrack (1988)
Charted: 6 1
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This was written for the 1988 movie Buster. Collins was in the film, playing former train robber Buster Edwards. The film was a (you guessed it) bust at the box office, but its soundtrack contained two US #1 hits: "Two Hearts" and a Phil Collins cover of "A Groovy Kind Of Love."
  • Lamont Dozier produced this song and wrote the music (Collins wrote the lyric). As part of the famous songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland, Dozier wrote 12 #1 hits for Motown artists, mostly The Supremes. For Collins, who covered one of those hits ("You Can't Hurry Love"), writing with Dozier was a thrill. "I grew up with Lamont's music," he said. "He's written some of the best songs, and to have my name next to his at the bottom of the song credit means an awful lot to me."

    For Dozier, "Two Hearts" was his 14th and last #1 hit as a writer (Kim Wilde's 1986 cover of "You Keep Me Hangin' On" was #13).

    Collins returned the favor by singing with Dozier on his 1991 song "The Quiet's Too Loud."
  • In a Songfacts interview with Lamont Dozier, he talked about the feeling behind this song: "'Two Hearts' is about these lovers, this train robber and his love for this girl. It just spoke of two people in love and they didn't want to break up. It was like two hearts but one heart. They were in love so tight that their romance, their feeling for each other, was like one person. So it was two hearts being of one mind because of their love. The love story they had was so deep."
  • In the movie credits, this feel-good song is listed as "Two Hearts (One Mind)." It is about a couple who are connected though time and space even when they're not together. Their two hearts share a brain.
  • This won a Grammy in 1989 for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture or Television. Remarkably, this was the first Grammy win for any member of the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team.
  • Phil Collins first met Lamont Dozier when they were introduced at one of Collins' concerts. They stayed in touch, and when Collins was working on Eric Clapton's 1986 August album, he called Dozier to see if he had any songs for Clapton to record. Clapton ended up doing two Dozier compositions: "Run" and "Hung Up on Your Love." About a year later, Collins was working on the movie Buster, which is set in the '60s. He wanted songs that had the feel of the era, so he thought of Dozier - a good man to call for a '60s-sounding hit. Dozier listened to some of his old songs to get the feel, and came up with the music for "Two Hearts," which Collins loved.

    Collins and Dozier wrote other songs that also made the soundtrack: "Big Noise" (performed by Collins) and "Loco In Acapulco" (performed by the Four Tops).
  • For Collins, this was his sixth US #1 hit as a solo artist, and his fifth as a songwriter. After writing and recording the chart-toppers "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)," "One More Night" and "Sussudio," Collins had two #1's with songs he didn't write - "Separate Lives" and "A Groovy Kind Of Love," and also co-wrote the Genesis #1 "Invisible Touch." After "Two Hearts," he scored another #1 as artist and composer with "Another Day in Paradise."
  • This was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song. It lost to Carly Simon's "Let The River Run," from the Working Girl soundtrack. Collins got the award in 1999 for "You'll Be In My Heart," which he wrote for Tarzan.

    The song did win a Golden Globe award for Best Original Song (sort of - it tied with "Let The River Run"). Accepting the award, Collins said, "I'm very proud and pleased that Buster is in some way represented tonight. I had a great time doing it... it's just a shame that not more people saw the film."
  • In the Buster movie, this doesn't play until the end credits. The other song Collins sang for the film, "A Groovy Kind Of Love," plays near the end of the film. Collins put his songs at the end because he didn't want his singing to interfere with his character.
  • Collins is far from the first to use "Two Hearts" in a title, but his is by far the biggest hit. A look at some songs with dual-heart action and their messages:

    1955: Pat Boone - Two hearts make one love. (#16 US)

    1980: Bruce Springsteen - Two hearts are better than one.

    1981: Stephanie Mills & Teddy Pendergrass - Two hearts are always better together forever. (#40 US)

    1983: U2 - Two hearts beat as one
    (#101 US, #18 UK)
  • Two music videos were made by director Jim Yukich. The first has Collins watching himself perform the song with his "band" (he actually plays all the band members) on TV while another screen flashes scenes from Buster. The second clip pits Collins against professional wrestler The Ultimate Warrior.
  • This wasn't the first time Lamont Dozier worked on a #1 song for a movie that was quickly forgotten. He also co-wrote "The Happening," a #1 hit for The Supremes that was the title track to the flop 1967 movie starring Anthony Quinn and Faye Dunaway.

Comments: 7

  • Mitchell from Liverpool, UkPhil Collins recalls in his autobiography that he wrote the lyrics for this and 'Loco in Acapulco' overnight on the Mexican set of Buster, after Lamont Dozier had presented him with music for both.
  • Greg from Durham, NcThis song was the very first #1 played on Casey's Top 40 back on January 21, 1989.
  • Mark from Austin, TxAnd a few years before Phil did it, Paul McCartney did it in the video for Coming Up. (Ok, Linda played one or two roles, but it was mostly Paul playing the 8 or so members of the band.)
    And I ask you, what video is better?
    I love Paul and I really like Phil up until about 1989...but I think Hey Ya is a better song than both of these. (Unless you count the live version of Coming Up. That blows all three tracks away.)
  • Rusty from Lake Park, Mnthis song is one of the greatest songs in the world. Better than that emo punk @#$%
  • Jason from New York, NyYears before Andre 3000, Phil Collins played all the roles in the "Two Hearts" video, playing each and every "bamdmember" performing the song, as well as playing the "Buster" film editor watching the song on TV. So, I ask you... which is the better video? "Hey Ya"... or "Two Hearts"?
  • Andy from Arlington, VaCollins would later win the Oscar for "You'll Be in My Heart" from Disney's "Tarzan".
  • Peter from Mistelbach, AustriaYes, I'm the first with an comment to this song. I like the song.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"They're Playing My Song

A song he wrote and recorded from "sheer spiritual inspiration," Allen's didn't think "Southern Nights" had hit potential until Glen Campbell took it to #1 two years later.

Eagles Lyrics Quiz

Eagles Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

Lots of life lessons in these Eagles lyrics - can you match them to the correct song?

Part of Their World: The Stories and Songs of 13 Disney Princesses

Part of Their World: The Stories and Songs of 13 Disney PrincessesSong Writing

From "Some Day My Prince Will Come" to "Let It Go" - how Disney princess songs (and the women who sing them) have evolved.

Sending Out An SOS - Distress Signals In Songs

Sending Out An SOS - Distress Signals In SongsSong Writing

Songs where something goes horribly wrong (literally or metaphorically), and help is needed right away.

History Of Rock

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.

Joan Armatrading

Joan ArmatradingSongwriter Interviews

The revered singer-songwriter talks inspiration and explains why she put a mahout in "Drop the Pilot."