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Single by Phil Collins
from the album No Jacket Required
B-side "The Man with the Horn", "I Like the Way" (US)
Released 9 February 1985
Genre Synthpop
Length 4:23 (album version)
6:36 (extended version)
Label Virgin[1]
Writer(s) Phil Collins
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Phil Collins singles chronology
"One More Night"
"Don't Lose My Number"

"Sussudio" is a song by English singer Phil Collins, released as a single in February 1985. The song is the first track on Collins' third solo studio album, No Jacket Required, released in January 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 U.S. Billboard charts.[2]

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 actual 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 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 bassline.

The music video for the song was filmed at a pub owned by Richard Branson (The Princess Victoria in Shepherds Bush) 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] Bass player Lee Sklar also appears in the video; however, neither Sklar nor Thompson played on the studio recording.[5]

This song 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", which was re-released the previous year and is 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 U.S. In the UK the song reached number 12. In the U.S., the song entered frequent rotation on MTV in May: by 6 July both single and album had reached No. 1 on their respective U.S. Billboard charts.[2][14] A remix of the song appeared on Collins' 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. It was most notably used in the 2000 film American Psycho. Collins has said that this is the song people most often sing to him when they spot him on the street.[15]

Track listing[edit]

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

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

7": Atlantic / 7-89560 (U.S.)[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)


Chart (1985-1986) Peak
Canada (RPM)[16] 10
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[17] 13
Germany (Media Control Charts) 17
Italy (FIMI)[18] 11
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 3
Polish Singles Chart[19] 23
Spain (AFYVE)[20] 8
United Kingdom (Official Charts Company)[21] 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



  1. ^ "Sussudio" at Discogs (list of releases)
  2. ^ a b Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. p. 160. ISBN 0-87586-207-1. 
  3. ^ a b c d "VH-1 Storytellers: Phil Collins". VH-1 Storytellers. 1997-04-14. 
  4. ^ "17 January 2005". Archived from the original on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  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. ^ "No Jacket Required". 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 " - Artist Chart History - Phil Collins". 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. ^
  17. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3. 
  18. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: C". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Polish Singles Chart |". 
  20. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  21. ^ "Everyhit". 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