Day 65: Your favorite song by an actor turned singer.
“Find A Way To My Heart” – Phil Collins
It’s funny how your memory can fail you. Like its counterpart—singers turned actors—I looked at this topic and racked my brain trying to come up with candidates. (I do a lot of brain-racking for this thing. I hope it’s not doing permanent damage.) And then even more trying to figure out if those candidates could possibly be a favorite.
- Kylie Minogue? (Strong contender.)
- Juliette Lewis? Joaquin Phoenix? (Maybe.)
- Eddie Murphy? (Getting sketchy.)
- John Travolta? (<Cough!> Yesterday’s selection was not on the strength of his performance.)
- David Soul? (Are you freakin’ high?)
Not familiar with a song I’ve mentioned?
Click above to hear samples.
And then it hit me. (That happens a lot too. This whole blog thing is really kinda violent.) Phil Collins started as a child actor! Believe it, it’s true. Now, Phil’s a pretty talented guy, so the path actually goes drummer turned actor turned back to drummer turned singer turned actor. And a bunch of those he did all at the same time. Did you get all that?
But in terms of professional gigs, he was an actor first. He actually appeared in The Beatles film Help! as an extra, but that doesn’t really count as acting. He played the Artful Dodger in theater productions of Oliver Twist (no, not the movie Oliver!, although there is a passing resemblance) but his breakthrough role was in 1967’s Calamity The Cow. (You have no idea how hard it was to type that without laughing out loud. I can’t imagine what would happen if I actually tried to say it.)
At any rate, you can see a clip here. Phil has a close-up at 1:18. Yes, that’s what he looks like with hair. Really bad hair. He may actually be better off that he lost it.
Twenty-two years later he would release an album called …But Seriously. You may not have heard of it. It didn’t sell too well. Only like 4 million copies or something like that in the US. It might have barely charted, too. I can’t remember.
Anyway, for my money, the best song on the album is not any of the four singles that charted in the Top 4 of the Billboard Hot 100. It was the song that closed out the CD (but not the LP, interestingly enough), “Find A Way To My Heart.”
The song starts with a quiet, distorted guitar growl that slowly grows louder. Then a tribal-sounding drumbeat kicks in, and then, finally, at 0:40 the rest of the instrumentation kicks in. The song features a lot of the Phil Collins calling cards. Aforementioned prominent drums. Horns. Lyrics that he belts out too high and loud to reliably recreate in concert.
But its message is simple:
And I will always be with you
From wherever you are
I will be waiting.
I’ll keep a place in my heart
And you will see it shining through
So find a way to my heart
And I will follow you.
It plays to the sappy romantic that I am at heart. Plus, for a love song, it rocks. I guess I like that combination.
Before I remembered the Phil/actor connection, I had some other possibilities:
- “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”—Kylie Minogue. I was leaning heavily towards this one, actually. I’m not a huge fan of her music in general, but that one happened to catch my fancy for some reason. Maybe I’ll end up picking it for some other topic. And there will be more on Kylie later, anyway.
- “Smash And Grab”—Juliette And The Licks. Juliette Lewis formed a band and this song is one of the products. It rocks. I like it. But “favorite” is pushing it.
- “It Ain’t Me Babe”—Joaquin Phoenix. He did this as part of Walk The Line where he played Johnny Cash. I actually like this version better than Johnny’s.
So, apologies to David Soul. I had to go with someone who could actually sing. Better luck next time.
Hopefully the next few blogs with have less racking and hitting. I need to heal.