The two Phils team up to warn a vulnerable pal off a wicked woman, this intervention requiring a jeepful of mid-decade production flim-flam. “Easy Lover” is full of wannabe hooks – a guitar jab here, a keyboard twinkle there – which collide more than they connect. It stomps and stumbles and hollers about chaotically before pulling itself together just in time for another round of “SHE’S AN EASY LOVER!” – and then it’s off again.
But this is exactly why “Easy Lover” is a cut above most stadium pop of the time – there’s an urgency to it which breaks through its chunky period fictures and grabs you by the expensively tailored collar. A lot of this is down to Philip Bailey: the arrangement tends to calm down a bit when his angry falsetto comes in, and it’s strong enough to carry the song. That frees Collins up to do his hard-knocked everyman bit without the music needing to slow down to fit. An unlikely duet, then, but a canny one.