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Saddest songs competition: Separate Lives vs. Against All Odds



Time to pit two of Phil Collins' songs against each other in Round 1 of the Saddest Song of the 80s contest. ("Sad" in a boo-hoo sorta way -- not sad like "The Spice Girls' Greatest Hits.") To make it more interesting, both are from movie soundtracks. Separate Lives is from "White Nights" (1985 film with Gregory Hines and Mikhail Baryshnikov) and Against All Odds is from, ummm, "Against All Odds" (1984 movie starring Jeff Bridges, James Woods and Rachel Ward).

In this corner, Separate Lives ...
-- Big seller: Hit #1 on U.S. charts
-- Movie tie-in: Appears in a slightly better movie than its competition
-- Longevity: Has a sound that's not quite so 80s (but is that a plus or a minus?), possibly because it's a duet with Marilyn Martin.
-- Lyrics: "You have no right to ask me how I feel. You have no right to speak to me so kind. We can’t go on just holding on to time. Now that we’re living separate lives"

And in this corner, Against All Odds ...
-- Big seller: Also hit #1 on U.S. charts (back in the day when Phil could do no wrong)
-- Movie tie-in: Slightest cheesier movie, but with more sweaty romantic scenes. (And no movie suffers from an appearance by James Woods.)
-- Longevity: Phil plays it more often in concert, because it's a solo. Has been covered by other artists (again a plus or minus).
-- Lyrics: "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."

Leave a comment with your vote for the sadder song. And come back soon for the opinion from the Times' 80s experts.

(Like contests? Try out 80s lyrics challenge: part 1 and part 2. And check out our latest podcast for Name that 80s Tune for a chance to win a TBT baseball cap.)

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:16pm]


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