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...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
Phil Collins-But Seriously.jpg
Studio album by
Released6 November 1989 (1989-11-06)
RecordedApril–October 1989
GenrePop rock
  • 59:42 (CD)
  • 54:25 (LP)
Phil Collins chronology
...But Seriously
Serious Hits... Live!
Singles from ...But Seriously
  1. "Another Day in Paradise"
    Released: 7 October 1989
  2. "I Wish It Would Rain Down"
    Released: 15 January 1990
  3. "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven"
    Released: 28 April 1990
  4. "That's Just the Way It Is"
    Released: 28 July 1990
  5. "Hang in Long Enough"
    Released: 16 September 1990
  6. "Do You Remember?"
    Released: 5 November 1990
Alternate cover
2016 reissue cover
2016 reissue cover

...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.[1][2]

Musical styleEdit

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.[3] He wrote the text on the "Another Day in Paradise" single on the inbound from the album's European press trip in November 1989.[3]

"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.[4] 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".


...But Seriously was released on 6 November 1989 in the US by Atlantic Records and on 20 November 1989 in the UK by Virgin Records.[5]


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" – US #1, UK #2 (1989)[4]
  • "I Wish It Would Rain Down" – US #3, UK #7 (1990)
  • "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven" – US #4, UK #15 (1990)
  • "Do You Remember?" – US #4 (1990)
  • "That's Just The Way It Is" – UK #26 (1990)
  • "Hang in Long Enough" – US #23, UK #34 (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 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!.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [6]
Rolling Stone     [7]

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.[3]

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 British Single, while Collins was named British Male Artist,[8] for which he was nominated again a year later.[9]

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[10] 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.

Track listingEdit

All tracks are 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 Stuermer4:52
5."Colours" 8:51
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 Washington1:26
11."Father to Son" 3:28
12."Find a Way to My Heart" 6:08


Side A
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
Side B
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

2016 bonus tracksEdit

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

Working titlesEdit

  • 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".
  • The original title of "Heat on the Street" was "Motown".


  1. "That's How I Feel"
  2. "You've Been in Love (That Little Bit Too Long)"
  3. "Around the World in 80 Presets"


Adapted from liner notes.[11]



  • 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


Chart (1989–2016) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[12] 1
Austrian Albums Chart[13] 1
Canadian Albums Chart[14] 1
Danish Albums Chart[15] 1
Dutch Albums Chart[16] 1
Finnish Albums Chart[17] 1
French Albums Chart[18] 1
German Albums Chart[19] 1
New Zealand Albums Chart[20] 1
Norwegian Albums Chart[21] 1
Spanish Albums Chart[22] 1
Swedish Albums Chart[23] 1
Swiss Albums Chart[24] 1
UK Albums Chart[25] 1
US Billboard 200[26] 1


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[27] 3× Platinum 180,000^
Australia (ARIA)[28] 5× Platinum 350,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[29] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[30] Gold 100,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[31] 7× Platinum 700,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[32] Platinum 74,715[32]
France (SNEP)[34] Diamond 1,711,100[33]
Germany (BVMI)[35] 6× Platinum 3,000,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[36] Platinum 15,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[37] Platinum 200,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[38] 2× Platinum 200,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[39] Platinum 15,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[40] 7× Platinum 700,000^
Sweden (GLF)[41] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[42] 5× Platinum 250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[44] 9× Platinum 2,750,000[43]
United States (RIAA)[45] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Hang In Long Enough: "…But Seriously," Revised "Going Back" Complete Phil Collins Reissue Campaign". Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Phil Collins – Take A Look At Me Now". Genesis News. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Smith, Giles (March 1990). ""It beats working...": Why Phil Collins never clocks off". Q. pp. 56–62. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. p. 60. ISBN 0-87586-207-1.
  5. ^ "BPI > Certified Awards > Search results for Phil Collins (page 1)". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  6. ^ Geoff Orens. "...But Seriously". allmusic. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
  7. ^ J.D. Considine (11 January 1990). "But Seriously". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  8. ^ "History". Brit Awards. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  9. ^ "History". Brit Awards. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Billboard magazine January 27 1990" (PDF). Billboard Magazine. 27 January 1990.
  11. ^ ...But Seriously (booklet). Atlantic. 1989.
  12. ^ Steffen Hung. "Australian charts portal". Archived from the original on 27 May 2008. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  13. ^ Steffen Hung. "Austria Top 40 – Hitparade Österreich". Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  14. ^ "Bienvenue au site Web BIBLIOTHÈQUE ET ARCHIVES CANADA | Welcome to the LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA website". Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  15. ^ "Phil Collins – ...But Seriously". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  16. ^ Steffen Hung. "Phil Collins – ...But Seriously". Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  17. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  18. ^ French chart run 1 (76 weeks): "Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste" (in French). Retrieved 20 November 2016., French chart run 2 (1 week): "Phil Collins – ...But Seriously" (in French). Steffen Hung. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  19. ^ "Charts-Surfer". Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  20. ^ Steffen Hung. "New Zealand charts portal". Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  21. ^ Steffen Hung (15 June 2006). "Norwegian charts portal". Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  22. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  23. ^ Steffen Hung (3 February 2012). "Swedish Charts Portal". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  24. ^ Steffen Hung. "Die Offizielle Schweizer Hitparade und Music Community". Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  25. ^ "UK Singles & Albums Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  26. ^ "Music News, Reviews, Articles, Information, News Online & Free Music". Billboard. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  27. ^ "Discos de oro y platino" (in Spanish). Cámara Argentina de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  28. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  29. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Phil Collins – But Seriously ..." (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  30. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Phil Collins – But Seriously" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  31. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Phil Collins – ...But Seriously". Music Canada. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  32. ^ a b "Phil Collins" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  33. ^ "Les Albums Diamant :" (in French). Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  34. ^ "French album certifications – Phil Collins – But Seriously" (in French). InfoDisc. Select PHIL COLLINS and click OK. 
  35. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Phil Collins; 'But Seriously')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  36. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1990". IFPI Hong Kong. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  37. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Phil Collins – ...But Seriously" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  38. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Phil Collins – But Seriously" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 5 October 2012. Enter But Seriously in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  39. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Phil Collins – But Seriously". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  40. ^ Salaverrie, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (PDF) (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Madrid: Fundación Autor/SGAE. p. 927. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  41. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  42. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Phil Collins; '... But Seriously')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  43. ^ Copsey, Rob (13 October 2018). "The UK's Top 40 biggest studio albums of time". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  44. ^ "British album certifications – Phil Collins – But Seriously". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 5 October 2012. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type But Seriously in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  45. ^ "American album certifications – Phil Collins – But Seriously". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 5 October 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.