Home by the Sea

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"Home by the Sea"
Home By the Sea.jpg
Single by Genesis
from the album Genesis
Released 31 October 1983
Recorded February – August 1983
Genre Progressive rock
Length 11:14 (5:08 and 6:06)
Label Atlantic, Virgin, Vertigo
Songwriter(s) Lyrics - Tony Banks
Music - Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford
Producer(s) Genesis, Hugh Padgham

"Home by the Sea" and "Second Home by the Sea" is a suite of two songs by English progressive rock band Genesis. It first appeared on their eponymous album in 1983. Lyrically, the song is about a burglar who breaks into a house only to find it is haunted.[1] The burglar is captured by the ghosts, who force him to listen to their stories for the rest of his life.


The piece was written at a point in Genesis' career when they were transitioning from progressive rock to a more streamlined, commercial approach. As such, it combines simple pop hooks with an extended section more characteristic of progressive rock into one two-part piece. Played together, "Home by the Sea" and "Second Home by the Sea" are over eleven minutes long.

In an interview, Phil Collins noted the track as an example of how the band often recorded songs without playing together as a group. Using a prerecorded drum machine as initial background, the band members would first produce 'guide' parts (such as vocal or guitar) to settle on the format of the song, and later rerecord them for final compilation into the song, adding 'real' drum parts as well.[2]

Single release and video[edit]

In some countries, such as the Netherlands,[3] the song was a single with a music video to go with it. The promotional video was not taken from The Mama Tour Live video release, but shot at Reunion Arena, in Dallas, Texas in January 1984, but Phil Collins remaining on the drumkit for the last vocal part.[3]

"Second Home by the Sea" also appeared much later in a slightly edited form (minus vocals) on the Enhanced CD version of the single "Congo".

Live performances[edit]

The song was played live during the Mama,[4] Invisible Touch,[5] The Way We Walk,[6] Calling All Stations[7] (with Ray Wilson on vocals), and Turn It On Again[8] Tour.

Live versions have also appeared on the DVDs Genesis Live at Wembley Stadium, The Way We Walk - Live in Concert and When in Rome 2007 as well as the Home Video The Mama Tour.

During the Calling All Stations and Turn It On Again tours, it was transposed down a key to account for Ray Wilson's deeper voice in the case of the former, and the deepening of Phil Collins's voice over the years in the case of the latter.[9] The "Second Home by the Sea" section, being mostly instrumental, was performed in its original key, including the brief vocal part near the end of the song.