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Phil Collins – "...But Seriously, The Videos"

In the summer of 1992 there appeared a collection of the videos for all songs from Phil Collins’s highly successful album …But Seriously. The order of the videos follows the track list on the album. Videos for every song? MTV and the others only ever showed the videos for the But Seriously singles, and by far not all the songs were put out as a single. We will see.

The video begins with Phil Collins sitting in a fashion similar to the album cover. The camera then proceeds to circle around him. When it returns to his face a fly has landed on his nose and Phil is smirking into the camera. This is already accompanied by the spoon tapping by Jack Spoons who can be seen at the beginning of the first video. 

Hang In Long Enough

It is 1912 and we are aboard the luxury cruise ship S.S. Udio (inspired, of course, by the Titanic). Jack Spoons has just finished his performance in the ship’s ballroom when Phil Collins and his Galloping Horses Revue are announced. The video is all in black and white until Collins and band take the stage – they are shown in colour. It seems the band are too loud right away, and we see how the glass on the pressure gauges bursts in the engine room and metal bolts shoot out of the hull. Phil desperately tries to make his musicians play lower but by and by the situation turns into an emergency as the ship threatens to capsize. While the passengers are evacuated by the crew the band plays on. In the end Daryl Stuermer, Chester Thompson and the others run out until only Phil is left. He continues to play the final riff of Hang In Long Enough on an electric guitar someone has pressed into his hands before he is almost the last to abandon the sinking ship.

After that we see the band in a lifeboat with Leland Sklar using his bass as a pedal. Phil swims towards them, repeats his remark that they had been playing too loud whereupon the band push him underwater.

Another Day In Paradise

There is not much that needs to be said about the best-known video from But Seriously. The song that wants to draw attention to the world-wide issue of homelessness is accompanied by images on the same subject combined with statistics. The images are very fittingly kept in black and white. 

Do You Remember?

The video for Do You Remember? is more a short film than a video. It is therefore great to be able to see this video in full length, the more so since it has been rarely shown in full on MTV & Co.

Phil sits at the piano in a bar and is still working on Do You Remember? when the barkeeper tells him there is a phone call for him and a root beer float. Phil goes to the telephone. When he picks up the receiver he has a kind of flashback. This is where the song begins. It is the story (in black and white again) of a boy (Phil?) who meets his first love in school until she moves away with her parents.

At the end of the story Phil is sitting at the piano in the bar again. The barkeeper again brings the message that there is a phone call. This time, however, Phil asks him to take a message instead of answering the call himself. 

Colours (live, New York)

This song, like several others, was not released as a single so that no special video clip was produced for it. The video collection is complemented by a live recording of the song from Madison Square Garden, New York. This was the last show of the Serious tour and it was also broadcast by US pay-TV stations. Even the drum duet Phil and Chester play as a sort of finale to the song is included.

Something Happened On The Way To Heaven

The video tells the story from the point of view of Pippin the dog. At first he dreams he is the hero in a black and white movie. He awakes, runs across a meadow and ends up in the studio where Phil and the band are rehearsing Something Happened On The Way To Heaven for the Serious tour. Pippin does some mischief in the studio, attracting Phil’s attention in doing so. Arnold McCuller steps into a mess and Pippin lifts his leg on Leland Sklar. In between the camera follows the point of view of Pippin in black and white and slightly distorted images. 

coverAll Of My Life (live, Sydney)

Another live version is used because All Of My Life was no Serious single. This video is from the first weeks of the tour when Phil played a couple of shows in the Sydney Entertainment Centre in Australia. Added to this footage is a kind of flashback to the No Jacket Required tour with material from Behind The Scenes and brief bits from No Ticket Required (the live video from the tour that was recorded in Dallas, Texas). The video is particularly interesting because the song was not played in Berlin and is therefore not on the Seriously Live In Berlin video.

I Wish It Would Rain Down

This black and white filmlet is set in a theatre during the rehearsals. A couple of dancers are rehearsing their steps to Eric Clapton’s Sunshine Of Your Love. The director is not happy with it and orders to go on with  “Rain”. The problem is that the singer has appendicitis so a replacement is needed. There are certain self-deprecating parallels to the search of a successor for Gabriel in Genesis. The band consists of Chester Thompson the cleaner who has to step in for Phil as a drummer, Leland Sklar, Eric Clapton and Lamont Dozier. Phil sings from a lyrics sheet and begins to dream: It is the rise of Bill Collins (played by Phil Collins) to stardom. Many classic films and plays are parodied on the way, complete with impersonations of Humphrey Bogart and Fred Astaire. Bill surprisingly also releases the singles I Wish It Would Rain Down and Something Happened On The Way To Heaven. In the end Phil cannot convince the director, but he points out that he likes the way Eric Clapton plays the guitar – only to be told that Eric had given his one-week notice.

This clip was rarely shown in full by the music TV stations; usually they would cut it to the song only. 

Heat On The Street (live, Sydney)

Some more film from the Sydney show. This time it is not mixed with other material.

That's Just The Way It Is

The clip begins with images of a Frankfurt show. The audience is edited out so that Phil sits alone on the stage of the Festhalle and sings his song, accompanied by David Crosby. Images of wars and violence are cut between this to enhance the lyrics and the intention of the song.

Saturday Night And Sunday Morning (live, New York)

Another live video from the same performance as Colours.

Father To Son

Father To Son was no But Seriously single and this clip has in all likelihood never been shown on TV. It is a kind of rarity here. Phil sits in front of the camera in much the same way as on the album cover and sings. The background changes often to private footage of his childhood and of his own children. A very proper visualization for one of the most personal songs Phil Collins has ever written. 

Find A Way To My Heart (live, Sydney)

This video is the third bit from the Sydney show (the others are All Of My Life and Heat On The Street, as mentioned above).

Around The World In 80 Presets

At the end of the video a number of outtakes with mess-ups and funny situations on the set are compiled. All this is surprisingly, accompanied by the B-side song Around The World In 80 Presets. Though this can hardly be called a video clip in the usual sense of the word it is still fine to watch.

by Ulrich Klemt
translated by Martin Klinkhardt

Phil Collins

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