Once Upon a Time in the Top Spot: Phil Collins, “Another Day in Paradise”
27 years ago today, Phil Collins found himself atop the Billboard Hot 100 for the seventh time in his career with a song about the plight of the homeless.
Co-produced by Collins and Hugh Padgham and written by Collins himself, “Another Day in Paradise” was the first single from his fourth album, …BUT SERIOUSLY. Given the success of its predecessor, NO JACKET REQUIRED, all ears were on Collins, with fans psyched to hear what great new material he had up his sleeve and critics ready to pounce on anything that might possibly be perceived as subpar. In fact, the track was almost startling in regards to how different it sounded from the singles of Collins’ previous album, but in a way that intrigued listeners rather than disconcerting them. (Of course, the critics still wanted to rip it to shreds, but that’s what critics do.)
Perhaps the most notable aspect of the song – aside from its serious subject matter, of course – was the fact that it featured a decidedly high-profile backing vocalist: David Crosby. Those who didn’t recognize his voice were given the opportunity to figure it out rather easily when Crosby joined Collins for a live performance of the song at the 1991 Grammy Awards, an appearance which ultimately allowed Collins to pick up his Grammy for Record of the Year in person.
In addition to securing the top spot in America, “Another Day in Paradise” also topped the singles charts in Canada, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and – if we are to believe Wikipedia –in Zimbabwe, too. Although Collins has yet to return to #1 in the States, now that he’s retired from his retirement, who’s to say what the future might yet hold? Let’s keep those fingers crossed for a possible #8, shall we?