Wednesday, April 12, 2023

"Another Day in Paradise" by Phil Collins

#1 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Grammy Alert!
Song#:  4099
Date:  11/04/1989
Debut:  43
Peak:  1 (4 weeks)
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  After a sidestep into acting with the rom-com caper Buster and its soundtrack that featured the #1 hit cover of "Groovy Kind of Love," Collins returned to solo mode to record his fourth studio album. It would be the follow up to his Album of the Year Grammy winner No Jacket Required (1985, #1, 12x platinum). Working once again with producer Hugh Padgham, Collins would work up a set of songs that were more topical and less in the dance-pop style of his previous effort. He would then appropriately name the LP ...But Seriously. To kick things off, this ballad would be issued out. Despite its more dour mood and lyrics about the homeless, the song struck a nerve with listeners and it would quickly scale the Pop chart and reach #1. It would remain their for four weeks and sell well enough to go gold. The album would then spend four non-consecutive weeks at #1. By mid-January of '90, it would already be at the double-platinum sales mark. There would be three follow up singles all of which would go Top 5. The last one, "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven" (#4), would end up being Collins' final Pop Top 10 hit. The album would generate eight Grammy nominations for Collins including ones for Album of the Year and Song of the Year. He would win one for Record of the Year for "Another Day in Paradise." In the US, the album would eventually sell over 4 million copies making it his second best studio album behind No Jacket Required. In his UK homeland, the LP would end up being his biggest seller going 9x platinum.

ReduxReview:  This song was the last #1 of the 80s and also the first #1 of the 90s. Rupert Holmes did a similar thing at the beginning of the 80s. His "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" was the last #1 of the 70s and then after a week at #2, it popped back up to #1 becoming the second #1 of the 80s. While I like Collins' tune, I can't say it is one of my favorites of his. I didn't mind hearing so much back then, but these days if it comes up in a shuffle of songs or in a Collins playlist, I will usually hit the forward button. It just kills the mood. For a #1 Pop hit, it is pretty bleak and depressing. While I understood some of the negative feedback the song generated (see below), I do think Collins' heart was in the right place and some good came out of it. My big issue with the tune has to do with a couple of words in the chorus. Collins shortened "because" to "'cause" and followed it up with "it's a." Then he kind of runs it all together when he sing it. Therefore, it comes out as "cuzitzah." It drive me bonkers - like nails-on-chalkboard kinda thing. The song is so serious yet he has to mush-mouth one of the main parts of the song. IMHO he should have just left the "'cause" out of it. He didn't need it. I guess that pickup note was important to him for the chorus. Yeesh. To this day I call it "The Cuzitzah Song." Oh Phil, why'd ya have to do that?

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Although this song was a Grammy-winning #1 hit, it still brought a bit of controversy Collins' way. He was chided in the press and by some critics for being a multi-millionaire and yet singing about the homeless. He was also slammed for the line "it's another day for you and me in paradise," which seemed to say that he as a very well-off superstar was equating himself to everyone else. Meanwhile, many others appreciated what Collins was trying to say. In a 2017 interview for the Evening Standard, Collins said that perhaps he could have been a big more eloquent in his lyrics, but stands by the song and his association with homeless issues and charities. According to the article, Collins at the time was collecting money from fans at concerts for homeless charities and whatever they donated, he would double it out of his own pocket.  2) Although Collins' solo career would cool off in the 90s on the Pop chart, he would still do very well at AC where he would score eight Top 10 hits including the #1 "You'll Be in My Heart." Collins wrote that song for the 1999 Disney animated hit Tarzan. The tune would go on to with the Oscar for Best Original Song. In the 2000s, Collins would earn three more AC Top 10s including the #1 "Can't Stop Loving You." In 1991, Collins would rejoin Genesis for one more album, We Can't Dance. It would be a #4 quad-platinum effort that spawned the band's final Pop Top 10 hit with the #7 "I Can't Dance." In 2010, Genesis would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.



  1. Actually "Something Happened On The Way To Heaven" was Phil Collins' last Top 10 hit as a solo artist.

    1. Ooops - yes. I wrote down the wrong song title. Thanks!

  2. Actually, Rupert Holmes did something stranger. "Escape" was indeed the last #1 of the 70s, but it was the SECOND #1 of the 80s. "Please Don't Go" happened to interrupt it in the decade's very first week, so it was the first. "PiƱa Colada Song" was the only song ever to rise to #1 in two different decades until Mariah Carey did it in 2019 with "All I Want for Christmas Is You" in 2019 and 2020. Of course, that was very different, not December 2019 and January 2020, but December 2019 and December 2020...

    1. Oh that's right! I forgot. I should have remembered as I had recently seen an interview with him. He did have a week off and then returned to #1. Yup - was #1 in two different decades!