Sussudio

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"Sussudio"
Single by Phil Collins
from the album No Jacket Required
B-side "The Man with the Horn", "I Like the Way" (US)
Released 9 May 1985[1]
Format 7", 12"
Recorded May–December 1984
Length 4:23 (Album Version)
6:36 (Extended Version)
Label Virgin[2]
Producer(s) Phil Collins, The System
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Phil Collins singles chronology
"One More Night"
(1984)
"Sussudio"
(1985)
"Don't Lose My Number"
(1985)

"Sussudio" is a song by the English singer-songwriter Phil Collins, drummer for the rock band Genesis. It was released as a lead single in February 1985, being Collins' twelfth single. The song is also the first track on Collins' third solo studio album, No Jacket Required, released in January of the same year (1985). The song entered frequent rotation on MTV in May, and by 6 July, both the single and the album reached number one on their respective US Billboard charts.[1]

Production and recording[edit]

The main lyric came about as Collins was improvising lyrics to a drum machine track he had programmed: "suss-sussudio" was a wording that scanned well. After trying to find an alternative word to fit the rhythm, the singer decided to keep "Sussudio" as the song title and lyric. Collins has said that he "improvised" the lyric.[3] Collins was just playing around with a drum machine, and the lyric "sus-sussudio" was what came out of his mouth.[3] "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.[3] According to Collins, the lyrics are about a schoolboy crush on a girl at his school.[3]

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 bass-line.

The music video for the song was filmed at a pub owned by Richard Branson in London.[4] The accompanying music video features Collins, as well as long-time collaborators Daryl Stuermer and Chester Thompson.[5] It begins with an outdoor shot of a pub, then cuts to Collins and his band playing for an uninterested crowd.[5] The crowd slowly migrates toward the band as the song progresses, leaving them cheering at the end.[5] Renowned bass player Lee Sklar also appears in the video; however, neither Sklar nor Thompson played on the actual studio recording.[5]

The dance pop of No Jacket Required, including this number one hit, won Collins a Grammy for Album of the Year.

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Critical reception[edit]

Critical reception for the song has been mixed by music critics. Keegan Hamilton of the Riverfront Times said that the song was the best track on the album, saying that it's "catchy gibberish."[6] "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.[6] However, Geoff Orens of allmusic believes that the song is "dated."[7] Robert Hilburn of The Los Angeles Times thought the song had a "friskier R&B style" as compared to Collins' other songs, and agreed that it sounded very much like a Prince song.[8]

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."[9] David Fricke of Rolling Stone was not a fan, saying that songs like "Sussudio," with the heavy use of a horn section, were "beginning to wear thin."[10] John Dioso of Rolling Stone has also singled out the track for particular criticism among Collins's body of work, claiming "it makes me want to just go deaf, it's awful".[11] Tom Service of The Guardian claimed in 2013: "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."[12]

The synthesizer riff was heavily criticized for sounding too much like Prince's 1982 song "1999," a similarity which Collins does not deny, saying that he is a big fan of Prince's work.[13]

"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 number one on their respective US Billboard charts.[1][14] A remix of the song appeared on Collins' 12"ers album.

It is one of Collins' more famous songs and is referenced in many different media, including books, stand-up comedy acts and television shows. Collins has said that this is the song people most often sing to him when they spot him on the street.[15] The protagonist of the novel and film adaption of American Psycho, Patrick Bateman, briefly discusses the song, before engaging in sexual intercourse with two prostitutes while it plays loudly from his CD player in the background, amongst other work by Phil Collins. The song was parodied in the South Park episode "Timmy 2000" as "Bububudio, that's not a word". "Weird Al" Yankovic included the song in his polka medley "Polka Party!" from the 1986 album of the same name.

Track listing[edit]

7": Virgin / VS736 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Sussudio"
  2. "The Man with the Horn"

7": Atlantic / 7-89560 (US)[edit]

  1. "Sussudio"
  2. "I Like the Way"

12": Virgin / VS736-12 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Sussudio" (Extended Remix)
  2. "Sussudio"
  3. "The Man with the Horn"

CD: WEA International / WPCR 2065 (Japan)[edit]

  1. "Sussudio"
  2. "Sussudio" (Extended Mix)

Charts[edit]

Chart (1985) Peak
position
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[16] 13
Germany (Media Control Charts) 17
Italy (FIMI)[17] 11
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 3
Polish Singles Chart[18] 23
Spain (AFYVE)[19] 8
United Kingdom (The Official Charts Company)[20] 12
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[14] 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[14] 4
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[14] 7
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[14] 10
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks[14] 30

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. p. 160. ISBN 0-87586-207-1. 
  2. ^ "Sussudio" at Discogs (list of releases)
  3. ^ a b c d "VH-1 Storytellers: Phil Collins". VH-1 Storytellers. 1997-04-14.
  4. ^ "17 January 2005". philcollins.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-09-19. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b c d Pareles, Jon (1986-11-02). "HOME VIDEO; Recent Releases Of Video Cassettes: Photos and 'White Suit'". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-06. 
  6. ^ a b "Second Spin: Phil Collins, No Jacket Required". Riverfront Times. 17 February 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2009. 
  7. ^ "allmusic ((( No Jacket Required > Overview )))". allmusic. Retrieved 23 March 2009. 
  8. ^ Hilburn, Robert (5 June 1985). "Pop Music Review: One More Time, One More Night". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 March 2009. 
  9. ^ "The Daily Vault Music Reviews: No Jacket Required". The Daily Vault. 27 January 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2009. 
  10. ^ "Phil Collins: No Jacket Required : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. 9 May 1985. Retrieved 23 March 2009. 
  11. ^ "Reaction to Phil Collins' retirement from the music business". BBC News. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  12. ^ Service, Tom (20 December 2013). "American Psycho musical and Phil Collins's perfectly vacuous music". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  13. ^ Bronson, Fred (1998). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. New York: Billboard Books. p. 624. ISBN 0-8230-7641-5. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Billboard.com - Artist Chart History - Phil Collins". billboard.com. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  15. ^ Gimme a Minute with Jill Martin at the halftime of the New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat game on the MSG Network, aired on 29 October 2008.
  16. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3. 
  17. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: C". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Polish Singles Chart |". 
  19. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  20. ^ "Everyhit". everyhit.com. Retrieved 10 April 2009. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Heaven" by Bryan Adams
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
July 6, 1985
Succeeded by
"A View to a Kill" by Duran Duran