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Phil Collins - Sussudio (1985)

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  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 1.65
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"Sussudio" is a song by English singer-songwriter Phil Collins, released as a single in January 1985. The song is the first ...

"Sussudio" is a song by English singer-songwriter Phil Collins, released as a single in January 1985. The song is the first track on Collins' third solo studio album, No Jacket Required, released in February 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 US Billboard charts. The song peaked at No. 12 in the UK Singles Chart.

Critical reception

Some music critics have suggested that the song sounds very similar to "1999" by Prince. Collins does not deny the similarity between the two songs and stated he is a fan of Prince's work and remembers listening to "1999" frequently while he was on tour with Genesis. Tom Breihan of Stereogum commented in 2020 that "in making funky dance-pop, Collins committed the same sin as almost everyone else who made funky dance-pop in the mid-'80s: He bit Prince." According to Breihan, "if something like that happened today, Collins would've at least had to give Prince a songwriting credit." However, he acknowledged that "even if one groove is a distinct copy of another, everything else is different."

Keegan Hamilton of The Riverfront Times said that the song was the best track on the album, saying that it's "catchy gibberish." "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. Robert Hilburn of The Los Angeles Times thought the song had a "friskier R&B style" as compared to Collins's other songs, and agreed that it sounded very much like the Prince song. 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.

Other reviewers have criticised the song. David Fricke of Rolling Stone said that songs like "Sussudio", with the heavy use of a horn section, were "beginning to wear thin." In 2001, the chief rock and pop critic of The Guardian, Alexis Petridis, called the song a "vapid funk workout". In 2013, Tom Service, also of The Guardian, wrote: "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."

"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 No. 1 on their respective US Billboard charts. A remix of the song appeared on Collins's 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. In 1986, "Weird Al" Yankovic covered the song as part of his polka medley "Polka Party!" It was used in the 2000 film adaptation of American Psycho, where the main character Patrick Bateman introduces it to two prostitutes he hires as a "great great song" and "one of [his] personal favourites" of Collins' oeuvre, before engaging in sexual intercourse with them to the song's tune.

Collins has said that this is the song people most often sing to him when they spot him on the street.

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