4 Songs You Didn’t Know Phil Collins Wrote for Other Artists

Beyond his decades with Genesis and his hit-filled solo career, Phil Collins‘ songbook is more dynamic than it appears on its surface.

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Shortly after transitioning from drummer to singer of Genesis by the mid-’70s, following Peter Gabriel’s departure, Collins kicked off the 1980s with his solo debut Face Value in 1981,  and struck hard with hits through the decade with “One More Night,” “In the Air Tonight,” “Take Me Home,” “Sussudio,” “Another Day in Paradise,” and “Take Me Home,” among many other songs featured in film throughout the ’90s.

Collins released seven more albums through Going Back in 2010, and won eight Grammy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards, along with an Academy Award for Best Original Song for the 1999 Disney Tarzan hit “You’ll Be in My Heart.”

Outside of his obvious collection of songs, here are four songs Collins also wrote for other artists— some of which he’s featured in himself.

1. “Easy Lover,” Philip Bailey, featuring Phil Collins (1984)
Written by Phil Collins, Philip Bailey, and Nathan East

In 1984, Earth, Wind & Fire‘s Philip Bailey called on Collins to produce his solo album Chinese Wall. Towards the end of their sessions, Bailey suggested the two write a song together, and they penned the hit “Easy Lover.”

The song picked up two Grammy nominations and topped the charts in several countries, while peaking at No. 2 in the U.S. “Easy Lover” also appears on Collins’ 1990 album, Serious Hits… Live!, along with his 1998 compilation album, …Hits, and always remained a regular part of his live setlist.

She’s an easy lover
She’ll get a hold on you believe it
Like no other
Before you know it you’ll be on your knees
She’s an easy lover
She’ll take your heart but you won’t feel it
She’s like no other
And I’m just trying to make you see

2. “Loco in Acapulco,” The Four Tops (1988)
Written by Phil Collins and Lamont Dozier

For the 1988 comedy crime drama, Buster, starring Collins and Julie Walters, he co-wrote and co-produced the hit “Two Hearts” with the late Lamont Dozier (1941- 2022) of the famed Motown songwriting trio Holland–Dozier–Holland.

“Two Hearts” charted in 19 countries and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also earned Collins a Grammy for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.

Also on the soundtrack was another Collins’ hit, “A Groovy Kind of Love,” written by Carole Bayer Sager and Toni Wine, and “And I Love Her/Big Noise,” along with a song he wrote for The Four Tops, “Loco in Acapulco,” which was also co-written with Dozier. Collins also plays drums on the track, about partying in the Mexican city of Acapulco, and it was also featured on The Four Tops’ 1988 album Indestructible.

Feel the pressure
Your back’s against the wall
Love is gaining on you
You’re just about to fall
If you’re afraid to love
Afraid to take a chance
You better hide your feelings
Get out while you can

3. “Hero,” David Crosby, featuring Phil Collins (1993)
Written by Phil Collins and David Crosby

Thousand Roads ended up being the final studio album by the late David Crosby (1941 – 2023) until he released Croz 21 years later. On Thousand Roads are songs written or co-penned by Joni Mitchell (“Yvette in English”), John Hiatt (“Through Your Hands”), and more.

The opening, “Hero,” was a song Crosby co-wrote with Phil Collins, who also produced and performed on the song, which covers the complexities of life and the good versus evil within human nature,

It was one of those great stories
That you can’t put down at night
The hero knew what he had to do
And he wasn’t afraid to fight

The villain goes to jail
While the hero goes free
I wish it were that simple for me

And the reason that she loved him
Was the reason I loved him too
And he never wondered
What was right or wrong
He just knew, he just knew

4. “Everything That I Am,” performed by Alex Rutherford, Josh Strickland, and Merle Dandridge (2006)
Written by Phil Collins

After leaving Genesis in 1996, Collins refocused on his solo work and continued writing and performing songs for film, including the 1999 Disney animated film Tarzan. For the soundtrack, Collins penned a number of songs, including “Strangers Like Me,” “Son of Man,” “Two Worlds,” and “You’ll Be in My Heart.” The latter track earned Collins an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

For the Tarzan musical, which opened on Broadway in 2006, Collins wrote nine additional songs, including “Everything That I Am,” performed by the cast with singer and actor Josh Strickland, who played the lead role. 

Will someone tell me where I belong?
Where I should go
Can someone tell me where I am going wrong?
I need to know
Is this my past here before me
Is this my story unfolding?
It’s all here to discover

Everything that I am
Can this be what I’ve been seeking?
All my life I’ve been waiting for this
And now these memories
Will they make me see more?
Ooh I want to know where I belong
I want to know where I came from
I want to know the reason why I’m here

Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images

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