Another Day in Paradise

Album: ...But Seriously (1989)
Charted: 2 1
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  • Lyrics
  • This song addresses the consequences of ignoring the needy and homeless. It's a rare Phil Collins hit with a socially conscious message.
  • Collins told The New York Times how the song came together: "It was begun at the piano. I started playing and put it down on a tape so I wouldn't forget it. Then I decided to see what would happen when I started singing. When I began, the words just came out, 'She calls out to the man on the street.' I didn't set out to write a song about the homeless. Those were just the words I happened to sing. It was only then that I decided that was what the song would be about."
  • Many of the songs from ...But Seriously were written in an attempt to offset what Collins called "middle-of-the-road" song choices that made his reputation "a little more trivialized than I wanted to be." He had just played the title thief in the 1988 adventure comedy Buster, for which he recorded a hit cover of the '60s pop song "A Groovy Kind Of Love."

    He told Musician: "'Another Day in Paradise' was chosen because it was a bit different from what had gone on before. It would bring people back to the starting line of remembering what I'm about. I write 'In the Air.' I'm quite capable of writing a 'Two Hearts,' but let's not forget I'm also doing this kind of stuff."
  • This won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year. It also won the 1990 Brit Award for Best Single. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Collins told The Mail on Sunday: "I wrote this after being in Washington DC where I was amazed by how many people I saw living in boxes."

    He also explained in a Musician interview: "I remember when we played Washington... Washington was almost at a standstill and these people were trying to sleep on the grills where all the hot air was coming up, and you could see that it was in the shadow of Capitol Hill. I thought it was an extraordinary contradiction."
  • David Crosby of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, sang on this. Crosby worked with Collins on and off through the late '80s to early '90s; Collins performed background vocals for Crosby's 1993 song, "Hero," from the album Thousand Roads. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jeff - Kendall Park, NJ
  • The black-and-white music video, featuring Collins performing the song interspersed with images of homeless people, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Music Video, Short Form. It was no match for Paula Abdul and her rapping animated cat: "Opposites Attract" won the award.
  • Collins met the problem of homelessness face-to-face in London while cutting this single. He remembers leaving the studio and seeing a homeless woman with two children who were begging for money. While the song shines a light on the issue, it also made him realize that, when confronted with it, he reacted the same as everyone else.

    "What (the song) deals with is people's awkwardness with it. When it happened to me, I just walked straight past. I thought, I'm doing the same thing as everybody else... I felt awkward. I didn't ignore her but at the same time I didn't stop and give her some money... That's what the song deals with, people just sort of starting to pretend it's not happening."
  • Collins was criticized by the English press for singing about the poor despite being wealthy ("This is one I got a lot of flak for because I'm a multimillionaire"). He responded in a New York Times interview: "When I drive down the street, I see the same things everyone else sees. It's a misconception that if you have a lot of money you're somehow out of touch with reality."
  • R&B singer Brandy recorded this in 2001. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Cindy - Sydney, Australia
  • The metal band Anthrax took on the homeless problem in their 1988 song "Who Cares Wins," but they had no luck getting the video - which also used real footage of homeless people - on MTV. They were dismayed when the following year the "Another Day in Paradise" video was embraced by the network.
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Comments: 16

  • Steve from Tweed Heads Nsw Australia Roger, not only does Phil do a lot for charities, when I saw him in concert many years ago he told the audience "don't buy any of the merchandise, I've got enough money. Put some money in the buckets on your way out". There were people at every door with buckets collecting money for homeless and needy. He practices what he preaches. This song reminds me of the Good Samaritan parable that Jesus told.
  • Electric926 from Unknown, NjIf you love this song, you should listen to the demo version,"Homeless". It's on Youtube.
  • Federico from Unknown, ArgentinaBrandy ruined the song. ITs commercial pop, and it doesn't keep the feeling of sorry for the homeless... you like her voice, its very acted with Ray-J.
    Phil made an excelent work with this song, though we haven't done a lot of things fro changing this world.
  • Brian from Vancouver, Canadanext time your sitting around with a full stomach and friends and family enjoying your life, your partners and your money. just remember theres people out there who have NOTHING, and they never chose it that way. Some poeple out there end up in those circumstances from Abuse, disabilities and everything. and by the way a lot of people who are asking for one whole big dollar may just be DYING for a donut or something, and do they get help. no they die. while everyones enjoying theyre day in paradise.
  • Hajra from New York City, Nyi hate this... wat if the person u were ignoring just turns to be u.. i kno u wouldnt like it if they did the same to u..

    BTW i still loved the song... i started to cry
  • Ben from Gosford, AustraliaI remember hearing this song back in 1989 when it came out. I was only 4 years old and in pre-school, mind you, but I do remember it.
  • Kye from Tullahoma, Tn"Another Day in Paradise" was the Billboard Hot 100 number-one single from December 23, 1989 to January 13, 1990, making it the last number-one of the 80s and the first of the 90s.
  • Edward from Aberystyth, WalesRoger, subtle attempt to turn a social problem into a partisan issue, which it isn't.

    In fact, Phil gives generously to charities for the homeless, which he can clearly aford to do.

    Oh, and to the point, thats the incorrect use of the word "liberal".
  • Tommy from Dacula, GaI am going to have to go with Dave on this one, Brandy and for that matter everybody else who covers this song just make it look bad> Phil was the only one meant to sing this song!
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesJam Tronik (1990) and Brandy (2001) have both released abysmal covers of this song since...
  • Kelli from Cedar Rapids, IaThe saddest part is, lots of people who approach you on the street, begging for money, are con artists. It puts people who really do need help in a bad light.
  • Roger from Los Angeles, CaSo...Phil, what have you done about the homelessness problem in America? The multi millionaire limousine liberals love talking about all the problems in America, but what have they done and what is his solution?
  • Rene from Hamburg, GermanyPhil said in an interview couple of years ago, that he wrote this song after having visited Washington DC, with so many homeless and poor people close to the Central of Politics and Finance. In the lyrics the woman asks a businessman or a politician if he could help her, but he seems to be embarassed that he might be responsible for her situation in some way.
  • Cindy from Sydney, United Statesi love how this song is about one of lifes problems
  • Takashi from Tokyo, JapanThis was played at my school when I was in grade 7- It was a music video for this and it showed the life of a girl who was poor and has no money. she only has 3 things in the fridge and her mom is gone. she has to look after her and While she's at school, she stays out in gym because she is sick. while at lunch, she has nothing to eat, but a guy with a broken arm tosses his sandwhich into the garbage. She then sneaks the sandwhich out of the garbage can and goes to the bathroom, goes into a stall and eats it. she then breaks down. The rest i cant remember. but anywasy, great song and video and great song, itself.
  • Justin from Felts Mills, NyThis is one of the best songs he has ever written, and I believe that besides "Take Me Home," this one is a masterpiece. What a powerful song, and a heart-breaking message to go with it.
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