|Single by Phil Collins|
|from the album No Jacket Required|
|Released||14 January 1985|
|Phil Collins singles chronology|
"Sussudio" is a song by English singer-songwriter Phil Collins, released as a single in January 1985. The song is the first track on Collins' third solo studio album, No Jacket Required, released in February of the same year. The song entered frequent rotation on MTV in May; by 6 July both single and album reached No. 1 on their respective US Billboard charts. The song peaked at No. 12 in the UK Singles Chart.
Production and recording
Collins has said that he "improvised" the lyric. Collins was just playing around with a drum machine, and the lyric "su-sussudio" was what came out of his mouth. "So I kinda knew I had to find something else for that word, then I went back and tried to find another word that scanned as well as 'sussudio,' and I couldn't find one, so I went back to 'sussudio'", Collins said. According to Collins, the lyrics are about a schoolboy crush on a girl at school.
The synthesizer, rhythm and synth bass arrangement, sound design, and programming was done by David Frank of The System, and the horn arrangements were done later based on the motif from the bassline.
The music video for the song was filmed at a pub owned by Richard Branson (The Princess Victoria in Shepherds Bush) in London. The accompanying music video features Collins, as well as long-time collaborators Daryl Stuermer and Chester Thompson. It begins with an outdoor shot of a pub, then cuts to Collins and his band playing for an uninterested crowd. The crowd slowly migrates toward the band as the song progresses, leaving them cheering at the end. Bass player Lee Sklar also appears in the video; however, neither Sklar nor Thompson played on the studio recording.
Some music critics have suggested that the song sounds very similar to "1999" by Prince. Collins does not deny the similarity between the two songs and stated he is a fan of Prince's work and remembers listening to "1999" frequently while he was on tour with Genesis.
Keegan Hamilton of The Riverfront Times said that the song was the best track on the album, saying that it's "catchy gibberish." "Even though this song isn't on the Flashdance soundtrack, it makes me want to put on some goofy legwarmers and kick out an aerobics routine. Where the vast majority of artists from this era try out the synthesizer/keyboard/horn section soup and fail miserably, Collins seems to have the recipe down to a science," Hamilton adds. Robert Hilburn of The Los Angeles Times thought the song had a "friskier R&B style" as compared to Collins's other songs, and agreed that it sounded very much like the Prince song. Michael R. Smith of The Daily Vault believed that "Sussudio" was the best track on the album, calling it a "monster track", also adding that:
This is a song that chugs and churns along at a gingerly pace, set to a beat that is sure to get car speakers thumping. At the time, it was like nothing you had ever heard before on the radio. The word "Sussudio" may not have meant anything, but the song itself was pure magic.
Other reviewers have criticised the song. David Fricke of Rolling Stone said that songs like "Sussudio", with the heavy use of a horn section, were "beginning to wear thin." In 2001, the chief rock and pop critic of The Guardian, Alexis Petridis, called the song a "vapid funk workout". In 2013, Tom Service, also of The Guardian, wrote: "Sussudio brings me out in a cold sweat; the production, the drum machine, the inane sincerity of the lyrics; there's no colder or more superficial sound in popular music, precisely because it takes itself so seriously." John Dioso of Rolling Stone singled out the track for particular criticism among Collins's body of work when he announced his retirement in 2011, claiming "it makes me want to just go deaf, it's awful."
"Sussudio" was the first track released as a single in the UK, and the second to be released in the US. In the UK the song reached number 12. In the US, the song entered frequent rotation on MTV in May, and by 6 July both the single and the album had reached No. 1 on their respective US Billboard charts. A remix of the song appeared on Collins's 12"ers album.
It is one of Collins' most well known songs and is referenced in many different media, including books, stand-up comedy acts and television shows. In 1986, "Weird Al" Yankovic covered the song as part of his polka medley "Polka Party!" It was used in the 2000 film adaptation of American Psycho, where the main character Patrick Bateman introduces it to two prostitutes he hires as a "great great song" and "one of [his] personal favourites" of Collins' oeuvre, before engaging in bombastic sexual intercourse with them to the song's tune.
Collins has said that this is the song people most often sing to him when they spot him on the street.
7": Virgin / VS736 (UK)
- "The Man with the Horn"
7": Atlantic / 7-89560 (US)
- "I Like the Way"
12": Virgin / VS736-12 (UK)
- "Sussudio" (Extended Remix)
- "The Man with the Horn"
CD: WEA International / WPCR 2065 (Japan)
- "Sussudio" (Extended Mix)
- Phil Collins – vocals, Roland TR-909
- David Frank – Roland Alpha Juno synthesizers, Minimoog bass, Oberheim DMX
- Daryl Stuermer – guitars
- The Phenix Horns
- Arranged by Tom Tom 84
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||8|
|Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)||13|
|Germany (Media Control Charts)||17|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||3|
|Polish Singles Chart||23|
|UK Singles (OCC)||12|
|US Billboard Hot 100||1|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||30|
|US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)||4|
|US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)||8|
|US Mainstream Rock Tracks (Billboard)||10|
|Year-end chart (1985)||Rank|
|US Top Pop Singles (Billboard)||45|
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