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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