Easy Lover

Album: Chinese Wall (1984)
Charted: 1 2


  • Phil Collins sang on this with Bailey, who is a vocalist with Earth, Wind & Fire. Collins produced and played drums on Chinese Wall, and after recording the album, he and bass player Nathan East agreed that it didn't have a song with enough commercial appeal to release as a single, so they sat down and wrote "Easy Lover." It does not have deep lyrical content: The song is about a captivating woman who cannot be tamed.
  • Philip Bailey revealed the story behind the song in Musician magazine: "Phil and Nathan were playing around with a riff on the piano and I was walking around singing 'Choosy Lover' over the piano chords. We worked on it all day and put a rough version of it down on tape. The next day we said, 'let's check it out so we can go in and record it.' When we heard it, we realized there was nothing wrong with it. We tried doing it again, but we kept the original."
  • Phil Collins told his side of the story when he spoke with Rolling Stone in 2016. Said Collins: "I always loved Earth, Wind & Fire, and in 1984 I was asked if I would produce Philip Bailey's solo album. People were leaning on him, racially - 'Don't come back with a white album. You're one of us.' So Philip got Nathan East to play on it also. We hit some rocky ground early on, but we worked everything out. Near the end of the sessions, Philip said, 'We haven't written anything together on this album.'

    So we just started having a jam one night, and went round and round and turned it into a verse and a chorus. We recorded it that night so we wouldn't forget it. That song doesn't sound like any particular era. It's just fantastic. The hip-hop brigade fell in love with me after 'Easy Lover.' They were like, 'Where'd that come from? That ain't black music and that ain't white music. That's kind of an interesting color of beige.'"
  • The video won the 1985 MTV award for Best Overall Performance.
  • Phil Collins doesn't get a lot of play in dance clubs, but this song did pretty well in discos, which often played a remix by John Potoker that was released as a 12" single in 1984. Potoker, who later did a remix of "Sussudio," and also Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer," incorporated a drum track into the mix that Collins had used as a guide track.

Comments: 7

  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenMy favorite song that has the name "Phil Collins" on it. But maybe that's because Bailey helped make it so great.
  • Joe from Grants Pass, OrHas anyone here seen the A&E Request show with Collins ? Totally ROCKS !!!
  • John from Fort Worth, TxI was always impressed with the sound of this song. I'm glad I can learn more about it here. I heard it on the radio tonight and I was determined to research it. What a fine collaboration of talent. Years ago, I was first impressed with the guitar sound. Tonight I was impressed with the drumming. Here, I learned who the different lead vocalists were. Neat!
  • Victor from Mexico City, MexicoAnd guitar solo is courtesy of Mr. Daryl Stuermer, a gifted talented musician, collaborator of Phil Collins since Steve Hackett left GENESIS. You can also hear another awesome guitar solo, on GENESIS' "The way we walk"... the "Jesus he knows me" live version is fantastic!
  • Jeff from Austin, Txit WAS an awesome guitar solo. Great song!!
  • Bertrand from Paris, FranceWhoever thought of throwing one of soul and funk's finest falsetto singers together with the very Caucasian Phil Collins must have received a glut of raised eyebrows and sideways glances upon his or her introduction of the idea. But somehow the odd pairing works wonders on this spirited mid-tempo rocker that the two artists also cowrote together. No one's ever accused Collins of not being a fine singer, but Bailey's presence helped reduce the passion deficit that plagued some of Collins' milquetoast solo performances like "Sussudio." Muscular guitar also helps make the most of each singer's stylistic strengths.
  • Brandon from Peoria, IlThis song has one of the best guitar solos i have ever heard.
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