“Sussudio” by Phil Collins

This song gets much less respect than other Eighties Phil Collins hits like “In the Air Tonight” and “Land of Confusion”, with many suggesting that it was the point at which he ‘sold out’ (even if the near-universally beloved Invisible Touch album by Genesis, of which he was the primary author, was still two years in the future). One common criticism is that the hook is too similar to “1999” by Prince, and while it doesn’t reach the point of outright plagiarism, the song does sound distinctly reminiscent of Prince’s work. But what no-one seems to notice about that argument is that if a song strongly resembles one of the greatest hits by one of the geniuses of popular music, it probably isn’t a bad song at all. This is actually a highly enjoyable piece of music, and if it’s more upbeat and goofy than Collins’ earlier material, it still hasn’t settled into the dull Easy Listening morass of his Nineties work…it still has the percussive edge that tells you this track was written by a drummer. The lyrics are gibberish, true, but Collins wrote them specifically to lay well on the tune, and they do indeed fulfill that criterion admirably, so maybe he knew what he was doing after all.

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