"Home by the Sea" is a suite of two songs by English progressive rock band Genesis. It first appeared on their eponymous album in 1983. Lyrically, the song is about a burglar who breaks into a house only to find it is a haunted prison. The burglar is captured by the ghosts, who force him to listen to their stories for the rest of his life.
The piece was written at a point in Genesis' career when they were transitioning from progressive rock to a more streamlined, commercial approach. As such, it combines simple pop hooks with an extended section more characteristic of progressive rock into one two-part piece. Played together, "Home by the Sea" and "Second Home by the Sea" are over eleven minutes long.
In an interview, Phil Collins noted the track as an example of how the band often recorded songs without playing together as a group. Using a prerecordeddrum machine as initial background, the band members would first produce 'guide' parts (such as vocal or guitar) to settle on the format of the song, and later rerecord them for final compilation into the song, adding 'real' drum parts as well.
In some countries, such as the Netherlands, the song was a single with a music video to go with it. The promotional video was not taken from The Mama Tour Live video release, but shot on stage like a stage performance, but Phil Collins remaining on the drumkit for the last vocal part.
"Second Home by the Sea" also appeared much later in a slightly edited form (minus vocals) on the Enhanced CD version of the single "Congo".
During the Calling All Stations and Turn It On Again tours, it was transposed down a key to account for Ray Wilson's deeper voice in the case of the former, and the deepening of Phil Collins's voice over the years in the case of the latter. The "Second Home by the Sea" section, being mostly instrumental, was performed in its original key, including the brief vocal part near the end of the song.