My high school senior class song was Phil Collins’s “Take A Look At Me Now,” a perfect summation of how far pop music had degenerated by the middle of the 1980s, and a completely forgettable theme to an equally forgettable movie. It shouldn’t be any surprise that this choice was somehow nominated in numbers from the options given by the student body, and out of the equally vapid choices given for final vote, Phil bloody Collins managed to speak for my graduating class. And for many, the ones who could listen to Frank Zappa’s “Bobby Brown” and ask “So what’s the problem?”, it did absolutely nothing that would threaten their sensibilities.
Now, fun is fun, but enough with flogging that dead horse. By the end of the year, the 1980s will have been dead for a quarter-century, and with them go the number of people desperately trying to bring them back. Me, instead of wasting time at a class reunion this weekend, I’m planning a trip into the future, and my only concession to nostalgia is a reminder of what the future could have been, with the song that would have had a lot more resonance with too many of my classmates. And so it goes.
Of all things, This American Life recently did a segment that featured Phil Collins and that song. I wouldn’t say it made me a fan (because come on), but it was weirdly fun to listen to: