“Another Day in Paradise” was the lead-off single for Phil Collins’ … But Seriously album; the single was released on October 9, 1989. I was in the 9th grade when this song came out, and it was one that resonated with me. In fact, when I think back to when I was in the 9th grade, this is one of the first songs that I think of and associate with that point in my life.
The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on December 23, 1989, and remained at the number one spot for four weeks. So not only was “Another Day in Paradise” the final number one hit of the 1980s, it’s also the first number one hit of the 1990s.
The 1980s definitely saw a rise in songs that touched on social issues. The most obvious was USA for Africa’s “We Are the World,” which tackled the famine problem in Africa. Madonna also released “Papa Don’t Preach,” a song about teen pregnancy. “Another Day in Paradise” is another song with a social message; in this case, the topic is homelessness.
During the verses, Phil focuses on a homeless woman. In the first verse, she calls out for help from a passing gentleman, but all he does is ignore her and pretend she doesn’t exist. In the second verse, she calls out to another passing gentleman; this time, he notices her and sees how downtrodden she is. The final verse gives a description of the homeless woman. The chorus itself reminds the listener to think twice, because it’s another day in paradise for them when compared to life the homeless lead.
Sadly, “Another Day in Paradise” is just as relevant of a song today as it was when it was released over 20 years ago.
The music video combines footage of Phil Collins performing the song with images of people living on the streets. The visuals press the point of the song home to the viewer.