"Paperlate" was the lead song from the second of two EPs by the British rock group Genesis. The EP, titled 3X3 (as it featured three tracks and the band comprised three musicians), peaked at No. 10 on the album charts in mid-1982. The success of the EP led to an appearance on Top of the Pops. In the U.S., "Paperlate" was released as a standard single, backed by "You Might Recall." It was also featured on the U.S. version of the band's Three Sides Live album, of which all three tracks from the 3X3 EP are included on Side Four.
The title came from a line in the 1973 Genesis song "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" ("Paper late, cried a voice in the crowd"), which Genesis rehearsed at a soundcheck, leading to the conception of the song. "Paperlate" is one of two Genesis songs that features the Earth, Wind & Fire horn section, the other being "No Reply at All", also from the Abacab sessions. Collins has often used the group for other projects, including his debut solo album, Face Value. A music video was also created, utilising the band's 27 May 1982 appearance on Top of the Pops.
Dave Thompson of AllMusic said that "Paperlate" was 3X3's selling point, and describes the song as "a horn-honking romp with just the ghosts of '60s soul playing around its chorus and a buoyancy that fed readily into the mood of the U.K. charts of the day." Guillermo Vázquez Malagamba of "Prog Archives" says that the song has a lot of Phil Collins' influence, due to the horns of Earth, Wind & Fire. He adds that "This song has very good drums and some "Prog-like" tempos." Dw. Dunphy of Popdose commented that while catchy and enjoyable, "Paperlate" is "a definite cousin to 'No Reply At All', both songs employing the same tempo, attitude and the Earth, Wind and Fire horn section."
3X3's lead song was "Paperlate", and the EP debuted at No. 30 on the UK charts, peaking at No. 10 later on. "Paperlate" became a Top 40 hit in the U.S., peaking at No. 32 on the U.S. Billboard charts, and No. 2 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Charts.