Sunday, February 18, 2018

"Sussudio" by Phil Collins

#1 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  2320
Date:  05/11/1985
Debut:  39
Peak:  1 (1 week)
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Pop, Blue-Eyed Soul, Synthpop

Pop Bits:  Collins' third solo LP, No Jacket Required, would easily reach the top of the chart thanks to the #1 single "One More Night." The album stayed at #1 for four weeks before yielding the spot to the USA for Africa charity LP. Four weeks later, it would return to #1 thanks in part to this second single that became Collins' third gold-selling chart topper. It was a multi-format hit that got to #4 Dance, #10 Rock, and #30 AC. It was also Collins' biggest hit at R&B getting to #8. In his UK homeland, this was actually the first single released from the album. It didn't do quite as well there only getting to #12.

ReduxReview:  Honestly, this is an insipid little ditty. But damn if it ain't catchy! The thing is that I never want to hear this song. Yet if I end up hearing it, I just can't help getting into the Prince-ish groove and horn fills. It's just stupid fun. Collins has obviously done far better work than this, but I don't think he set out to create a musical masterpiece here. Sometimes fun is just fun. It's okay if you don't like it, but you also don't have to be a dick and wish yourself bodily harm if you hear it (see below). I'd call that su-sustuppid.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  So what's with the song title? Apparently, Collins wanted to write a dance tune and while playing around with a drum machine and some chords he began improvising and blurted out "sus-sussudio." He used it for the time being expecting to change it to an actual word later on. Yet when he tried to find a good replacement, he just couldn't. He then decided to keep the word as-is. The problem is that it had no meaning and the song kind of required that it referred to something. Since the lyrics were mainly about a schoolboy's crush on a girl, he decided that Sussudio stood for the name of the girl. The catchy song and it's odd title/name certainly divided listeners, and especially critics. While some though it was a terrific, funk-lite jam, others despised it. Words like "vapid" and "inane" were tossed around to describe the song. Even years later, one critic wrote that the song "makes me just want to go deaf - it's awful." Although reviled by a lot of people, there were plenty more that loved the tune and turned it into a #1 gold record.


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