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Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) Week 86

Phil Collins was approached to write the title song to the film Against All Odds while it was still in its rough-cut form.  At the time the soundtrack was being completed, Phil was still on tour with his band Genesis.  It is a power ballad in which its protagonist implores an ex-lover to “take a look at me now”, knowing that reconciliation is “against all odds” while considering it worth trying.  Director Taylor Hackford flew to Chicago to see one of the band’s concerts and then, Phil watched the movie on a videocassette recorder in his hotel room, and agreed to appear on the soundtrack.  The film revolves around an aging American football star, who is hired by a mobster to find his girlfriend.

Once you get past the pulse-pounding car-chase opening sequence in this film, sharp-eyed viewers will be able to figure out that this 1984 suspenser is a remake of the 1947 noir classic Out of the Past. which itself was based on the Daniel Mainwaring novel Build My Gallows High.  Forced off the field due to a shoulder injury, football player Terry Brogan (Jeff Bridges) takes a job with crooked nightclub owner Jake Wise (James Woods).  Brogan isn’t fond of his new boss, but he isn’t much better himself, having previously shaved points during a game at Wise’s behest.  When Wise’s girlfriend Jessie Wyler (Rachel Ward) skips town with a great deal of money, Brogan is sent to fetch her back.  ‘Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)’ appears in the movie during the closing credits.  The film’s soundtrack also featured songs from Phil’s Genesis bandmates Peter Gabriel and Mike Rutherford.
https://youtu.be/Ub4yCGzFE70
This song was originally titled ‘How Can You Just Sit There?’, and it was initially from Phil’s sessions for his debut solo album Face Value in 1981.  Phil said that the song was inspired and written shortly after the split between him and his first wife.  He said that the divorce transformed him from being a musician into also being a lyricist.  The song peaked at number two in the UK in 1984.  In the US, it peaked at #1, becoming Collins’s first American number one song, and it stayed there for three weeks.  It was also the fifth best-selling single of 1984 in the States.  ‘Against All Odds’ won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male in 1985.  It was also nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in the Best Original Song categories and it is considered by some to be one of the 1980s’ best love songs.  Collins wrote the song, while arranger Arif Mardin produced it.  The piano performance is by New York musician Rob Mounsey. 

How can I just let you walk away
Just let you leave without a trace?
When I stand here taking every breath with you, ooh ooh
You’re the only one who really knew me at all

How can you just walk away from me
When all I can do is watch you leave?
‘Cause we’ve shared the laughter and the pain
And even shared the tears
You’re the only one who really knew me at all

So take a look at me now
Well there’s just an empty space
And there’s nothing left here to remind me
Just the memory of your face
Ooh, take a look at me now
Well there’s just an empty space
And you coming back to me is against the odds
And that’s what I’ve got to face

I wish I could just make you turn around
Turn around and see me cry
There’s so much I need to say to you
So many reasons why
You’re the only one who really knew me at all

So take a look at me now
Well there’s just an empty space
And there’s nothing left here to remind me
Just the memory of your face

Now Take a look at me now
‘Cause that’s just an empty space
But to wait for you is all I can do
And that’s what I’ve got to face

Take a good look at me now
‘Cause I’ll still be standing here
And you coming back to me is against all odds
It’s the chance I’ve got to take
Take a look at me now

The challenge today is to focus on this song and use it for a short story, a piece of flash fiction, or a poem that you can share with the WordPress writing community.  There is no need to stick with this song, as if you like to write about another Phil Collins song, or a song by Genesis, or another song about not wanting to let someone walk out of your life, then go with that.  You might also go with a song that mentions odds, or chance, or gambling in it.  Or you could write a post about a song that deals with turning your life around.  If you would like to write about football and if you think that they will play this season, that would also work.

The whole point of this MM Music challenge is to get you to think, to trigger something so that you can show how creative you are and everyone is welcome to participate.  This challenge is very loose, so pretty much whatever you come up with will be acceptable.  I try to throw some ideas out there for you and if they seem right, then go with it.  You could write about a song sung by a drummer, like Prince, Micky Dolenz, Karen Carpenter, Peter Criss, Roger Taylor, Don Henley, Levon Helm or any other drummer that you consider to be a great singer, than go with that.

Dylan Hughes will be here on next Friday August 28 with her First Line Friday and she will give you a sentence which you are supposed to use as the first line in your post, then you write whatever you like after that.  I will be back on Friday, September 4 with another MM Music Challenge where we will discuss the song ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’.  When you are finished writing your post, create a ping back to this post, but you can also place your link in the comments section below if you desire.  This Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge has a special feature called Mr. Linky, but since this is my first post using the Block Editor, I have no idea how to get this working. I created my code, but I have no idea how to switch from Visual to HTML so we will have to skip it till somebody tells me how to do that.

About newepicauthor

My About Me section is meant to provide my readers with an honest picture of myself that gives a little bit of background information on who I am and I will wrap this up with a catchy image. I am a story teller and I like to use my imagination. I am interested in many things, but a few of my favorites are watching the NFL and playing golf. I do not like onions and I always make sure that my food does not contain any. I had two wonderful parents, my dad Herb Adams was a television repairman and my mother Mary Adams was mostly a stay at home mom. They are both deceased now and I miss them. I am a retired Electrical Engineer specialized in control systems. I held many different positions because I worked mostly as a consultant. I did work as a Substitute Teacher, for a while, but the kids were awful. I am happiest when I am writing, as this gives my life has a purpose. Forming a sentence with meaningful words that articulate my inner feelings is an everyday quest for me. Every writer needs to tell their story, and all writers have their own style. All stories starts off with characters, who are able to entertain the reader. Creating realistic lovable characters is the best way to tell a story. If you are able to develop characters that become real to you, then you will know exactly what they will do say and do next and this lets your story progress to the completion. Writing changes everything and having the calling to create something new through the power of words is much more than just making marks on a page. Once written, a book can be used by many people to learn and be entertained. The act of writing can be compared to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as it contains an inherent fuzziness, because various people may derive different meanings from reading the same words. You can never know the true nature of written words and the best I can do is hope is that people will understand the meanings that I am trying to convey. There are no clear-cut laws on how to write and it is impossible for me to determine how my readers react to my books.

13 comments on “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) Week 86

  1. Dora
    August 21, 2020

    What an interesting backstory to the song! Enjoyed it 😀

    • newepicauthor
      August 21, 2020

      I am glad that you enjoyed my writing.

  2. newepicauthor
    August 21, 2020

    Reblogged this on A Unique Title For Me and commented:

    Phil Collins suffered a devastating neck injury in 2007, which left him unable to play the drums any more, but he still continued to be a great singer. He joined Genesis in 1970 as drummer and served in that capacity until original frontman Peter Gabriel left the band in 1975. Collins sang backup to that point, and he reluctantly became the group’s lead singer, and as Genesis gradually transitioned from artful eccentrics to more reliable pop purveyors, his natural stage presence and ability to sing complex songs while drumming made the transition a smooth one. Come and visit the MM Music challenge today and contribute some of your writing while you have fun, reading what others wrote.

  3. Pingback: Breathing in My Ear – A Unique Title For Me

  4. pensitivity101
    August 21, 2020

    Another interesting background to another Phil Collins’s classic. Could not stand what Mariah Carey did with it!!

    • newepicauthor
      August 21, 2020

      Yes she is mumbling and the lyrics are hard to determine what she is singing. The one I listened to was a duet and I don’t know who the guy was.

      • pensitivity101
        August 21, 2020

        She did a cover with Westlife. I didn’t like it much

      • newepicauthor
        August 21, 2020

        The Irish boy band.

      • pensitivity101
        August 21, 2020

        Ronan Keating’s find and a sort of Boyzone II. I loved their harmonies, but when she was warbling her stuff, it out me off.

  5. Pingback: Crescent Intentions | Light Motifs II

  6. Aseem Rastogi
    August 22, 2020
  7. Pingback: My Shadow – Reena Saxena

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