Phil Collins released his fourth solo album ...But Seriously in November of 1989 closing the year as well as the decade out on a very high note. The tone of the album is serious, as the title suggests. Instead of focusing entirely on personal relationships and simple fun, Collins expands his focus to the exploration of socio-economic and political themes. He does not abandon themes of love and relationships but sings with a greater maturity than he did on earlier records. Phil's singing, songwriting, playing and arranging is first rate, and he gets excellent help from some of his famous friends, including Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Stephen Bishop, David Crosby, Leland Sklar, Pino Paladino, and others.
...But Seriously contains five singles that reached the Billboard Top 40: "Another Day in Paradise" #1, "I Wish It Would Rain Down" #3, "Do You Remember?" #4, "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven" #4, "Hang in Long Enough" #23. "Another Day in Paradise" and its theme regarding the homeless won Collins a Grammy for Record of the Year.
While much of the album follows the same formula as Collins' previous albums, there was also a move toward more organic production as he abandoned some of the drum machines and prominent keyboards in the up-tempo numbers in favor of live instrumentation. This album was recorded more live with more of the musicians playing together in the studio simulaneously. His drumming and acoustics are profoundly awesome and much less electronic as he mostly uses his acoustic Gretsch drums. The trademark-Collins horn element is still present on this album - there are six songs containing the Phenix Horns and one additional song that has a saxaphone.
...But Seriously topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. In the UK ...But Seriously spent 15 weeks at #1 and became the best-selling album of 1990. In Germany ...But Seriously is the second best-selling album in the chart history of certified albums, and the best-selling album within the foreign repertoire.