Friday, November 24, 1989

Phil Collins’ But Seriously released

First posted 3/26/2008; updated 11/24/2020.

But Seriously

Phil Collins

Released: November 24, 1989

Peak: 13 US, 115 UK, 111 CN, 13 AU

Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 2.74 UK, 24.4 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: mainstream pop-rock

Tracks: Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Hang in Long Enough (10/6/90, 23 US, 11 CB, 38 AC, 34 UK)
  2. That’s Just the Way It Is (7/28/90, 26 UK)
  3. Do You Remember? (4/28/90, 4 US, 3 CB, 1 AC, 49 AR, 57 UK, airplay: 1 million)
  4. Something Happened on the Way to Heaven (4/28/90, 4 US, 3 CB, 2 AC, 34 AR, 15 UK)
  5. Colours
  6. I Wish It Would Rain Down (1/6/90, 3 US, 3 CB, 3AC, 5 AR, 7 UK)
  7. Another Day in Paradise (10/7/89, 1 US, 1 CB, 1 AC, 7 AR, 2 UK, gold single)
  8. Heat on the Street
  9. All of My Life
  10. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
  11. Father to Son
  12. Find a Way to My Heart

Total Running Time: 59:42


3.555 out of 5.00 (average of 11 ratings)

Quotable: --


About the Album:

Phil Collins was one of the hardest-working musicians in the ‘80s, racking up eight studio albums and fifteen top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100 with Genesis and as a solo act. Like 1985’s No Jacket Required, But Seriously topped the album charts on both sides of the Atlantic. Both albums also had four top-ten hits in the U.S. and sold more than 20 million copies, ranking them amongst the top 100 best-selling albums of all-time.

“While pursuing much of the same formula as on No Jacket Required, there was also a move toward more organic production as Collins abandoned some of the drum machines and prominent keyboards in the up-tempo numbers in favor of live instrumentation. The decision was a good one as there’s no doubt that tracks such as Find a Way to My Heart and Hang in Long Enough have enough bite to outlast his more dated sounding mid-80s material.” AMG

“The set also contains Collins’ finest batch of lost-love songs…since his first two albums, meaning, likely as not, that art was served at the expense of yet another relationship.” AZ One of those, Do You Remember?, was written from the perspective of a man in a failing relationship because of the neglect of his lover. It features Stephen Bishop on backing vocals. WK

I Wish It Would Rain Down is a “dramatic gospel-influenced” AMG song featuring Eric Clapton, with “staggering” results. AMG Collins said it is the closest he’s come to writing a blues song. WK

Something Happened on the Way to Heaven was the last song written for the album. He wrote it with Daryl Steurmer, his longtime touring guitarist, with the intent to give it to the Four Tops. By the time he was done with it, however, he opted to keep it for himself. WK

The songs “mirrored its title in a turn toward more pensive, socially conscious fare.” AZ Another Day in Paradise, the album’s lead single and a #1 hit, was about homelessness. He was inspired by a stay in Washington, D.C. while on tour. He was struck by the irony of homeless people trying to keep warm in the shadow of Capitol Hill. WK That’s Just the Way It Is, featuring David Crosby on backing vocals, is an anti-war ballad about conflict in Northern Ireland. WK

Notes: In 2016, a deluxe edition of the album was released with six live cuts, B-sides “That’s How I Feel” and “You’ve Been in Love That Little Bit Too Long” and demos for “Another Day in Paradise,” “That’s Just the Way It Is,” “Hang in Long Enough,” and “Do You Remember?”

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Monday, November 13, 1989

The Stone Roses released “Fools Gold”

Fools Gold

The Stone Roses

Writer(s): Ian Brown, John Squire (see lyrics here)

Released: November 13, 1989

First Charted: November 25, 1989

Peak: 5 AR, 8 UK, 13 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 0.4 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 20.5 video, 47.68 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The Stone Roses formed in Manchester, England in 1983. They were considered a pioneering group of the indie-dance Madchester movement of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The primary members were singer Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Mani, and drummer Reni. Their 1989 debut album has been regarded as one of the most important in British history.

The band got locked into a legal battle with Silvertone, their record label, after the release of the album. It held up a follow-up, Second Coming, until 1994. In the interim, the band released a series of singles of which the most successful was “Fools Gold”/“What the World Is Waiting For.” The original plan was to release the latter as the A-side, but when Silvertone’s A&R man, Roddy Mckenna, urged the band to release “Fools Gold” as the A-side. Since the band wasn’t completely convinced, the decision was made to release it as a double-A-sided single. It became the UK’s biggest-selling independent single in 1989. SF

“From Mani’s seminal bassline to John Squire’s guitars, it already had the hallmarks of a belter, but when drummer Reni aped the beat of James Brown’s ‘Funky Drummer,’ a true classic was born.” XFM It was Squire who discovered the cut. He told Q magazine that the band were signing copies of their single “She Bangs the Drums” at a record shop and the owner let them pick out a few albums as a thank you. Squire picked up a breakbeats album and that’s where he heard “Funky Drummer.” SF

The “masterful synthesis of rock and funk pioneered indie-dance and the re-mix dance craze of New Wave groups such as Primal Scream.” SF XFM called “Fools Gold” “the definitive Stone Roses song, the definitive baggy track and the tune that would define Madchester.” XFM Listeners at BBC Radio 5 concurred in 2007 when they voted it “the song that best summed up the city of Manchester.” SF

Brown said the lyrics hinted at trouble brewing amongst the band. The words were inspired by The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, a 1948 Humphrey Bogart film. Brown said, “In the film the friends go up a mountain looking for gold. But as they go on, they start turning on one another. That's how it felt once the Roses started getting successful. Suddenly everyone was after their piece of gold.” SF


  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia
  • XFM Mike Walsh (editor) (2010). The XFM Top 1000 Songs of All Time. Elliott & Thompson Limited: London, England. Page 403.

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First posted 10/14/2021; last updated 10/26/2021.

Monday, November 6, 1989

Tears for Fears “Woman in Chains” released

Woman in Chains

Tears for Fears with Oleta Adams

Writer(s): Roland Orzabal (see lyrics here)

Released: November 6, 1989

First Charted: November 18, 1989

Peak: 36 US, 32 CN, 37 AC, 27 MR, 26 UK, 11 CN, 39 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 79.01 video, 83.79 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Tears for Fears came roaring out of the gate with the first single, “Sowing the Seeds of Love,” from their third album, The Seeds of Love. It went all the way to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving the British duo its fourth song to hit the top 3 in the United States. Alas, it would be their last trip to the upper eschelon of the chart.

“Woman in Chains,” the follow-up single to “Sowing the Seeds of Love,” only reached #36 in the U.S. Despite its disappointing chart peak, it was a powerful feminist anthem with soaring guest vocals from Oleta Adams, a singer the duo saw perform in Kansas City. “We were both knocked out by her emotional power,” said singer Roland Orabal. It proved the catalyst for her to have a successful solo career. The song also featured Phil Collins on drums. He reported that “Tears for Fears just wanted me to do that big drum thing from ‘In the Air Tonight’…We want you to come in here in a big way.” WK

The song “is about a woman who is trapped in a relationship with a bullying, possessive man.” SF Orzabal explained that the song was about his mother, who was a stripper at one time. Orzabal’s father would send someone to spy on her and if she talked to another man, he would beat her up when she came home. WK

On a grander scale, Orzabal says “I’m singing about the oppression of women around the world.” SF In discussing feminist literature he was reading at the time, he explained “I discovered there are societies in the world…that are non-patriarchal. They don’t have the man at the top and the woman at the bottom. They’re matricentric – they have the woman at the centre and these societies are a lot less violent, a lot less greedy and there’s generally less animosity.” WK He also explained that the song is about men playing down their feminine side. WK


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First posted 8/5/2022.