I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
|"I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)"|
|Single by Genesis|
|from the album Selling England by the Pound|
|Genesis singles chronology|
|Song by Genesis from the album Genesis 1970-1975|
|Writer||Tony Banks, Peter Gabriel, Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford|
"I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" was the first charting single by the rock band Genesis. It was drawn from the album Selling England by the Pound. The single was first released in the UK in February 1974, and became a "minor hit" in April 1974, when it reached number 21 in the UK Singles Chart.
Lyrical content, productions, and versions
The song's lyrics concern a young man who is employed as a groundsman and who says that he does not want to grow up and do great things, being perfectly happy where he is, pushing a lawn mower. Betty Swanwick's painting The Dream, which was used for the Selling England album cover, alludes to the song; Swanwick added the mower to the original painting at the band's request.
The song, inspired by The Beatles, has a psychedelic rock sound, using hand percussion rhythms and a riff from Steve Hackett that originated from a jam between Hackett and Phil Collins. Keyboardist Tony Banks used a note played on the low end of the Mellotron during the intro and ending to imitate the sound of a lawn mower. This effect was discovered during a recording session by Peter Gabriel while Banks was in the toilet.
Later live versions of this song (such as the one on Seconds Out) feature an extended instrumental section which includes snippets of various other Genesis songs – such as "Visions of Angels," "Blood on the Rooftops," "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" and "Stagnation" – and songs by other artists, such as "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood." Phil Collins performed a dance during these instrumentals, in which he would beat himself silly with a tambourine; this can seen in the Genesis: In Concert film from 1977, as well as the live DVDs The Way We Walk – Live in Concert (1992) and When in Rome 2007.
"I Know What I Like" was the band's only pop hit of their early years, at a time when progressive rock bands largely avoided the singles market. The song was played on Top of the Pops and danced to by Pan's People. Its success would not be topped until And Then There Were Three's "Follow You Follow Me," some four years later.
For the The Way We Walk and Turn It On Again tours, this song was played as part of a medley of old Genesis songs, and starting with the A Trick of the Tail tour in 1976 was often performed with excerpts of "Stagnation", from the album Trespass. During the Turn It On Again tour shows, images from the band's history cycled by in the background.
In 1993, Marillion's ex-frontman Fish did a cover version on his Songs from the Mirror album. Fish said his decision to cover the song was to prove to his critics that he could interpret a song differently from Gabriel, having been previously dismissed in his career as a Gabriel clone.
The original B-side of the single was the non-album track "Twilight Alehouse," recorded during the sessions for "Foxtrot" but left off the album due to lack of room. Its lyrics portray a lonely man who finds solace in the local tavern. This song had been in Genesis' live set since 1970 but was not recorded in the studio until 1972 during the Foxtrot sessions, and its initial release was held until this point. "Twilight Alehouse" was later released as part of Genesis Archive 1967-75.
Usage in Top Gear
The song has a claim to fame for being used three times on BBC Two's Top Gear. In the "Middle East Special", the Live Over Europe 2007 version of the song is played after Jeremy Clarkson (a fan of Genesis) and James May decide to sabotage the Fiat Barchetta of Richard Hammond (who hates Genesis) by making Hammond's car stereo redundant and sneaking in another radio that plays "I Know What I Like" repeatedly. In the "India Special", Clarkson uses the PA system in his Jaguar XJS to play the Seconds Out version of the song to further irritate an already dismayed Hammond. Jeremy then played the song again briefly in the "Africa Special (Pt. 2)", where they set out to look for Source of the Nile. It was blasted in Hammond's direction from Jeremy's megaphone on the top of his car towards the end of the program in an comical attempt to annoy or distract Richard from finding the Source.
- Peter Gabriel – lead vocal, flute, percussion
- Steve Hackett – electric guitar
- Mike Rutherford – bass, electric sitar, backing vocal
- Tony Banks – Hammond organ, ARP Pro Soloist, backing vocal
- Phil Collins – drums, backing vocal, percussion
- Bowler & Dray 1992, p. 249.
- Genesis (2008). Genesis Box Set 3 (1970–1975)/Selling England by the Pound – 2007 reissues interview (Box Set/Original Recording Remastered) (DVD). Rhino Records. ASIN B001EO2UJK. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- Genesis UK chart history, The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- "Genesis on Selling England By The Pound Complete Interview 1 of 3". Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- Prasad, Anil. "Fish: Mirroring influences". Innerviews. Retrieved 9 August 2014.