Home by the Sea

Composed by Mike Rutherford / Phil Collins / Tony Banks

Song Review by

"Home by the Sea" was Genesis' strongest song to be included on the 1983 eponymous LP. It's a ghost story: new tenants enter the "Home by the Sea" and are welcomed by ghosts. They want to tell their story ("Sit down/As we relive our lives in what we tell you"), but by doing so they condemn the newcomers to an imprisoned existence in the house. The song begins with pink noise and synthesized wind sounds and the delicately crafted melody comes in. This is one of Phil Collins' best interpretations of the 1980s in the long Genesis tradition of storytelling. When performing the song live, when he reached the point where he sang "Sit Down/Cos you won't get away/So with us you will stay/For the rest of your days/So sit down," he would shout the last three words in a very convincing manner. The song was introduced on stage through audience participation, Collins inviting everyone to join him in a spiritualism session and try to lift the stadium/arena. The main theme of the song is restated at the end of "Second Home by the Sea," and thus both songs were always performed together, but "Home by the Sea" was released "alone" as the B-side to the single "That's All" in France (November 1983). It was backed with its second half for the U.S. 12" single of "Illegal Alien" and was even released as an A-side (with "Second Home by the Sea" on the flip side) in Holland. The song remained on Genesis' set list from 1983 to 1992. A live version appears on The Way We Walk, Vol. 2: The Longs and a promotional video was taken from the Mama Tour Live home video release.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Genesis 1983 Virgin EMI
No Image 1984 Atlantic
Abacab/Genesis 1987 Freestyle Dust
No Image 1988 Virgin
Turn It on Again: Best of 81-83 [Polygram] 1991 PolyGram 4:45
The Way We Walk [Video] 1993 Import
No Image 1994 Alex 4:45
Live at Wembley Stadium 2003 EMI Music Distribution
Platinum Collection 2004 Atlantic / Rhino 5:07
Genesis 1983-1998 2007 EMI/Virgin 5:07
Live Over Europe 2007 2007 Atlantic 11:58
Hollywood, CA 10.13.07 2007 Gelring 12:20
When in Rome 2007 [DVD] 2008 EMD Int'l
Live in Poland 2009 Immortal 12:52
The Genesis: The Movie Box 1981-2007 2009 Atlantic
blue highlight denotes editor's pick