...But Seriously is the fourth solo studio album by English singer-songwriter Phil Collins. It was recorded at The Farm, Surrey, England, and A&M Studios, Los Angeles, United States, and was released on 20 November 1989. It was the best-selling album of 1990 in the UK. It reached number one in the UK and US for fifteen and three nonconsecutive weeks respectively and remained so from the Christmas season to the beginning of 1990. The album was certified quad- and double platinum in the US and UK respectively. It also produced 5 top-forty singles in both countries, including the US #1/UK #2 "Another Day in Paradise," which received the Grammy Award for Record of the Year. It is one of the best selling albums in British and German history.
A 2-disc remastered version of the album was released on 10 June 2016 and contains live songs and demos.
While much of the album follows the same formula as Collins' 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.
The tone of the album is serious, as the title suggests. 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.
"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' 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' 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".
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.
...But Seriously received two American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist.
At the Brit Awards in 1990 "Another Day in Paradise" received the award for Best British Single, while Collins was named British Male Artist. A year later Collins received another nomination for British Male Artist.
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. ...But Seriously became the best-selling album of 1990 in the UK. ...But Seriously also peaked No. 1 on the Billboard 200 during four weeks. It became the second best-selling album of 1990, according to Billboard. In Germany, ...But Seriously is the second best-selling album in the chart history of certified albums, and the best-selling album within the foreign repertoire. It was the last number one album of the 1980s and the first of the 1990s in the Uk also the first of the 1990s in the USA.
All tracks written by Phil Collins, except where noted.The original title of "Do You Remember?" was "Lionel".
The original title of "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven" was "Broadway Chorus".
The original title of the first part of "Colours" was "Hymn" and the second part was called "Oh! Mr. Botha What Can We Do?".
The original title of "Another Day in Paradise" was "Homeless".
- "That's How I Feel"
- "You've Been in Love (That Little Bit Too Long)"
- "Around the World in 80 Presets"
MusiciansPhil Collins — keyboards, drums, percussion, tambourine, vocals
Daryl Stuermer — guitar
Leland Sklar — bass guitar
Dominic Miller — guitar
The Phenix Horns:
Don Myrick — saxophone
Louis Satterfield — trombone
Harry Kim — trumpet
Rhamlee Michael Davis — trumpet
Alex Brown — backing vocals
Marva King — backing vocals
Lynne Fiddmont — backing vocals
David Crosby — vocals on "That's Just the Way It Is" and "Another Day in Paradise"
Nathan East — bass guitar on "Hang in Long Enough" and "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven"
Pino Palladino — bass guitar on "Do You Remember?" and "I Wish It Would Rain Down"
Stephen Bishop — vocals on "Do You Remember?"
Eric Clapton — guitar on "I Wish It Would Rain Down"
Steve Winwood — Hammond organ on "All of My Life"
Phil Collins – producer, mixing
Hugh Padgham – producer, mixing, engineer
Ed Goodreau – assistant engineer (Los Angeles)
Simon Osbourne – assistant engineer
Tom Tom 84 – horn arrangements
Maurice Spears – music preparation
Trevor Key – photography
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."Another Day in Paradise" reached No. 1 (1989)
"I Wish It Would Rain Down" reached No. 3 (1990)
"Do You Remember?" reached No. 4 (1990)
"Something Happened on the Way to Heaven" reached No. 4 (1990)
"Hang in Long Enough" reached No. 23 (1990)
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 Phil 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!.