Billboard #1s for the Week Ending November 24, 1984

This week’s Time Capsule!

Chart Title Act Weeks
Hot 100 Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go Wham! 2
R & B Cool It Now New Edition 1
Country You Could’ve Heard A Heart Break Johnny Lee 1
Adult Contemporary Penny Lover Lionel Richie 2
Rock Run to You Bryan Adams 2
Album Purple Rain Prince and the Revolution 17

EasyLover2PhilsThis week sees an unusual act enter the Hot 100. Duets between two singers (or even occasionally two groups) are relatively common. Recordings featuring lead vocalists of two different groups — who are still active with their bands — are quite rare. Phillip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire had recorded one solo pop album that received little attention. For his second outing, he turned to Phil Collins, whose work outside of Genesis had outstripped the band’s singles performance. Collins wasn’t quite the white-hot success he would become in the coming year, but he was fresh off the #1 hit Against All Odds and preparing his third solo album. A regular producer and session musician for other artists, he agreed to work with Bailey.

This week Easy Lover, co-written by the two Phillips and Nathan East, bowed at #63. Initially credited just to Bailey, the fact that Collins’ distinctive vocals are part of the mix from the first line resulted in radio stations and the press treating it like a duet. It’s a fun romp that made it all the way to #2, trapped behind the bombast of Foreigner’s I Want to Know What Love Is. Bailey never matched Collins’ solo success, although he has released well-regarded jazz and gospel albums. He also continues to record and perform as a member of Earth, Wind & Fire.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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