The UK’s bestselling album of 1990 was released on this date 25 years ago. Phil Collins could do no commercial wrong at the time of …’But Seriously,’ which had him moving away from the often poppier style of his earlier solo records. For this fourth studio endeavour outside of Genesis, the mood matched the title, and his fans went with him. So did Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton and David Crosby, all of whom guested on the album.
‘…But Seriously’ was Collins’ next project after the ‘Buster’ film and soundtrack of 1988, and his first solo studio album since the enormous success of ‘No Jacket Required’ in 1985. The new set got off to a great start, if a sombre one, with the opening single ‘Another Day In Paradise,’ which was released in October and was on its way to becoming Phil’s seventh US No. 1 when the album appeared. ‘Paradise,’ with Crosby on backing vocals, would go on to win the Grammy for Record of the Year.
From the homelessness theme of ‘Paradise’ to songs about parenthood and personal regrets, ‘…But Seriously’ had the star in particularly thoughtful mood. "Sometimes I write because things like this are bothering me,” Collins told Radio Times, “but at other times the songs just creep up behind me and write themselves. ‘Another Day In Paradise’ wrote itself. I didn’t have to sit down and say, ‘Let’s write a song about the homeless.’ I sat down at the piano, started singing and those words came out."
‘Paradise’ was followed by a second single, ‘I Wish It Would Rain Down,’ that showcased Clapton’s guest guitar spot, and further singles from the set, such as ‘Something Happened On The Way To Heaven,’ ‘Do You Remember’ and ‘That’s Just The Way It Is,’ continued to be released throughout 1990. The album went quadruple platinum in the US and triple platinum in the UK, where it spent a mighty 15 weeks at No. 1, by far the best run of Collins’ career, either inside or outside Genesis.
By February of that year, the frontman-drummer was out on the ‘Seriously Live’ tour, which ran all the way until October, taking in 113 shows in three continents and including a June appearance at the all-star Silver Clef Awards extravanganza at Knebworth Park.