|Studio album by|
|Released||6 November 1989|
|Phil Collins chronology|
|Singles from ...But Seriously|
2016 reissue cover
...But Seriously is the fourth solo studio album by English drummer and singer-songwriter Phil Collins, released on 6 November 1989 in the US by Atlantic Records and on 20 November 1989 in the UK by Virgin Records. After Genesis took a break in activity in 1987 Collins resumed his solo career, first starring in the film Buster followed by writing and recording ...But Seriously. The album has a more serious tone than his previous album, No Jacket Required, and several songs have lyrics concerning socio-economic and political issues.
...But Seriously was a huge commercial success worldwide, reaching No. 1 in the UK and the US for 15 and 4 non-consecutive weeks, respectively. It was the best selling album of 1990 in the UK, eventually selling 2.75 million copies there and 4 million in the US. The lead single "Another Day in Paradise" won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year. Collins supported the album with the Seriously, Live! World Tour in 1990. In 2016, the album was remastered with additional studio, live, and demo tracks, and updated artwork.
While much of the album follows the same formula as Collins's previous album, No Jacket Required (1985), there was also a move towards more organic production as Collins chose to utilise live drums instead of the drum machines used heavily on No Jacket Required. He also prominently used keyboards and electric piano but fewer synthesizers. The album also features a sole instrumental track, "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning", which recalls the jazz-influenced instrumentals featured on his first two albums, Face Value and Hello, I Must Be Going.
As the title suggests, the album is a change of pace from the lighter tone of Collins's previous work. Collins expanded his focus to the exploration of socio-economic and political themes. There is emotional turmoil underneath the polished studio production and many of the songs are unambiguous and unveiled in their melancholy. While incorporating political themes, ...But Seriously does not abandon the theme of relationships. But unlike some of his earlier work, Collins takes a more mature and reflective approach when looking at the relationships in his life.
As with his previous albums Collins wrote the sleeve notes by hand because "that's all part of the personal statement"; the exception being No Jacket Required. He wrote the text on the "Another Day in Paradise" single on the inbound from the album's European press trip in November 1989.
"Another Day in Paradise" was released as the lead single and became the album's biggest international hit. It is a sympathetic look at the plight of the homeless. The song was inspired by Collins's visit to Washington, D.C. There, he was struck with the widespread poverty in which so many people live and the struggles that homeless people face. He was equally struck by the abandonment of these people and the complacency of the city as a whole, despite being the nation's centre of government (hence the irony used in the title of the song).
Another politically themed song on the album is "Colours", which voices Collins's condemnation of the segregation and oppression of black and coloured people in South Africa under apartheid. Arguably the song with the most progressive rock influence in this album (as he was known for as a member of the band Genesis), "Colours" did not see much commercial success as it is almost nine minutes long and radio stations had no interest in playing it. The political theme is also evident in the second song on the album "That's Just the Way It Is", which deals with the Troubles of Northern Ireland. This was a minor chart hit in the summer of 1990 and in the lyrics Collins makes reference to the gridlock of Ulster's sectarian differences, most notably in the line: "If we'd agree that we can disagree, we could stop all of this today."
The album also features a dramatic, gospel-influenced track, "I Wish It Would Rain Down", which features Eric Clapton prominently on guitar and became one of the album's biggest hit singles. "Father to Son" is a song in which Collins explores his connection with his own son, Simon. The song has a positive, inspirational tone as he seeks to guide his son through some of the trials of life and love, and to reassure him that, "if you look behind you, I will be there".
In the UK and the US, ...But Seriously contained five Top 40 singles. In terms of the number of hit singles from one release, ...But Seriously remains the most successful album by Phil Collins.
In Canada, "Another Day in Paradise", "I Wish It Would Rain Down", "Do You Remember?" and "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven" all reached No. 1, with Collins achieving four number one hits in the same calendar year, 1990.
In support of the album, Collins' embarked on a worldwide tour, called Seriously Live!. In total, there were 113 shows over 3 continents and it led to the release of a live album and video Serious Hits... Live!.
Atlantic Records initially placed a sticker on the CD version that read "Two bonus tracks" which Collins disagreed with and clarified that they were "extra" songs. The sticker was changed accordingly.
At the 33rd Annual Grammy Awards "Another Day in Paradise" won the award for Record of the Year. ...But Seriously received further nominations for Album of the Year, Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) and Best Engineered Recording - Non-Classical. "Another Day in Paradise" was further nominated for Song of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, while the instrumental piece "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" was nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
In the UK, ...But Seriously spent 15 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1, including the whole competitive Christmas season, and at the end of 1989 became the third best-selling album of the year in the country after only six weeks on sale. It became the best-selling album of 1990 in the UK. ...But Seriously also peaked No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 for four weeks and became the second best-selling album of 1990 in the US, according to Billboard. It was the last number one album of the 1980s and the first of the 1990s in the UK and in the US.
In Germany, it is the second best-selling album in the chart history of certified albums, and the best-selling album within the foreign repertoire.
All tracks written by Phil Collins, except where noted.
|1.||"Hang in Long Enough"||4:44|
|2.||"That's Just the Way It Is"||5:20|
|3.||"Do You Remember?"||4:36|
|4.||"Something Happened on the Way to Heaven"||lyrics: Collins; music: Collins, Daryl Stuermer||4:52|
|6.||"I Wish It Would Rain Down"||5:28|
|7.||"Another Day in Paradise"||5:22|
|8.||"Heat on the Street"||3:51|
|9.||"All of My Life"||5:36|
|10.||"Saturday Night and Sunday Morning"||Collins, Thomas Washington||1:26|
|11.||"Father to Son"||3:28|
|12.||"Find a Way to My Heart"||6:08|
|1.||"Hang in Long Enough"||4:44|
|2.||"That's Just the Way It Is"||5:20|
|3.||"Find a Way to My Heart"||6:08|
|5.||"Father to Son"||3:28|
|1.||"Another Day in Paradise"||5:22|
|2.||"All of My Life"||5:36|
|3.||"Something Happened on the Way to Heaven"||4:52|
|4.||"Do You Remember?"||4:36|
|5.||"I Wish It Would Rain Down"||5:28|
|1.||"Hang in Long Enough (live 1997)"||4:52|
|2.||"Something Happened on the Way to Heaven (live 2004)"||5:26|
|3.||"Colours (live 1990)"||11:20|
|4.||"Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (live 1990)"||1:54|
|5.||"Always (live 1990)"||4:30|
|6.||"Find a Way to My Heart (live 1997)"||5:40|
|7.||"That's How I Feel (B-side)"||5:05|
|8.||"You've Been in Love (That Little Bit Too Long) (B-side)"||4:49|
|9.||"Another Day in Paradise (demo)"||5:21|
|10.||"That's Just the Way It Is (demo)"||4:54|
|11.||"I Wish It Would Rain Down (demo)"||5:30|
|12.||"Hang in Long Enough (demo)"||4:34|
|13.||"Do You Remember? (demo)"||4:43|
|Australian Albums Chart||1|
|Austrian Albums Chart||1|
|Canadian Albums Chart||1|
|Danish Albums Chart||1|
|Dutch Albums Chart||1|
|Finnish Albums Chart||1|
|French Albums Chart||1|
|German Albums Chart||1|
|New Zealand Albums Chart||1|
|Norwegian Albums Chart||1|
|Spanish Albums Chart||1|
|Swedish Albums Chart||1|
|Swiss Albums Chart||1|
|UK Albums Chart||1|
|US Billboard 200||1|
|Argentina (CAPIF)||3× Platinum||180,000^|
|Australia (ARIA)||5× Platinum||350,000^|
|Austria (IFPI Austria)||2× Platinum||100,000*|
|Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)||Gold||100,000*|
|Canada (Music Canada)||7× Platinum||700,000^|
|Germany (BVMI)||6× Platinum||3,000,000^|
|Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)||Platinum||15,000*|
|Italy (FIMI)||3× Platinum||300,000*|
|Netherlands (NVPI)||2× Platinum||200,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Platinum||15,000^|
|Portugal (AFP)||2× Platinum||80,000^|
|Spain (PROMUSICAE)||7× Platinum||700,000^|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)||5× Platinum||250,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||9× Platinum||2,750,000|
|United States (RIAA)||4× Platinum||4,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone