Invisible Touch

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For the song, see Invisible Touch (song).
Invisible Touch
Studio album by Genesis
Released 9 June 1986 (1986-06-09)
Recorded October 1985–March 1986
Studio The Farm, Chiddingfold, Surrey, England
Genre
Length 45:42
Label Charisma/Virgin (UK)
Atlantic (US)
Producer
Genesis chronology
Genesis
(1983)
Invisible Touch
(1986)
We Can't Dance
(1991)
Singles from Invisible Touch
  1. "Invisible Touch"
    Released: 19 May 1986 (1986-05-19)
  2. "Throwing It All Away"
    Released: 8 August 1986 (1986-08-08)
  3. "Land of Confusion"
    Released: 31 October 1986 (1986-10-31) (U.S.)
    10 November 1986 (1986-11-10) (UK)
  4. "In Too Deep"
    Released: 23 August 1986 (1986-08-23) (UK)
    18 January 1987 (U.S.)
  5. "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"
    Released: 23 March 1987

Invisible Touch is the thirteenth studio album from the English rock band Genesis, released on 9 June 1986 on the Charisma/Virgin labels in the United Kingdom and Atlantic Records in the United States. After a break in group activity in 1984 for each member to continue with their solo projects, Invisible Touch was recorded following the commercial success of Phil Collins's third solo album, No Jacket Required, and its supporting tour which had increased his popularity as a solo artist. The album was written entirely through group improvisations; no material developed prior to recording was used. Electronic drums and synthesizers are used extensively.

Invisible Touch remains the best-selling studio release from Genesis, with over 6 million copies sold in the U.S. alone. It became the band's fourth consecutive album to top the UK charts and peaked at No. 3 in the U.S. It spawned five top five singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, "Invisible Touch", "Throwing It All Away", "Land of Confusion", "In Too Deep", and "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight", with "Invisible Touch" reaching the top spot, the only Genesis single to do so. The album received mixed reviews after its release and retrospectively; several reviews, both positive and negative, have observed its similarity to Collins's solo records and their commercial pop sound. Genesis toured Invisible Touch from 1986 to 1987, which ended with a record four sold out shows at Wembley Stadium. The album was reissued with a new stereo and 5.1 surround sound mix in 2007.[1]

Background[edit]

After wrapping up the Mama Tour in February 1984 to support their previous album Genesis, the band took a break in activity to allow each member to continue with their respective solo careers. Mike Rutherford formed his group Mike + The Mechanics, Tony Banks worked on his second album of soundtrack material titled Soundtracks, and Phil Collins released his third solo album No Jacket Required which achieved worldwide success and increased his popularity as a result. In a June 1985 interview, Collins spoke of the band's intention to start work on the next Genesis album that October.[2] This put an end to a false announcement that aired on BBC Radio 1 suggesting the three had split.[3]

Production[edit]

Recording[edit]

The Farm, pictured in 2006, where Invisible Touch was recorded.

Invisible Touch was written, recorded and mixed at The Farm, the band's own recording studio in Chiddingfold, Surrey, with audio engineer and co-producer Hugh Padgham, who had also produced Genesis.[4] Much of the album's material originated or developed from the band improvising, something that they had practised on Genesis. Banks said the band entered the studio with a sense of confidence and their musical ideas plentiful.[5]

Songs[edit]

"Invisible Touch" originated as the band were working on "The Last Domino", the second part of "Domino". During the session, Rutherford began to play an improvised guitar riff to which Collins replied with an off-the-cuff lyric—"She seems to have an invisible touch"—which became the song's chorus hook.[6] Rutherford expressed a desire to perhaps explore different themes for the song, but felt the phrase had "always felt so comfortable" and saw no reason to.[7] Collins rates the track as "a great pop song. It encapsulated the whole record and it pushed Genesis into a bit of an R&B area, a little like a Prince thing".[7]

Rutherford recalled the basis for "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" being developed from Banks "improvising sound over a rhythm" played by Collins and himself.[6] Similar to that of "Invisible Touch", Collins then came out with the word "monkey", leading to its working title being "Monkey/Zulu" with the rest of the songs lyrics being written around the phrase.[6] Rutherford said the song was "more of the old-style Genesis that covers a lot of ground musically and has a fairly involved instrumental passage in the middle".[6]

The lyrics to "Land of Confusion" were written by Rutherford. He was struck with the flu when it was time for Collins to record the song's vocals. He recalled Collins "came over to my house ... he sat on my bed like a secretary ... I was in a kind of delirious state with a very high temperature and I dictated it to him and I remember thinking, 'I think I told him the right thing ... Was it all rubbish or was it any good?'".[7]

Banks gained inspiration for "Anything She Does" from pictures of scantily clad women the band would cut out and place on the wall of their recording studio.[6]

"Domino" is a track split into two sections—"In the Glow of the Night" and "The Last Domino". Rutherford thinks "Domino" is "one of the best things" the band has done.[8]

"Throwing It All Away" was a heavy guitar song in its original form, with Collins "drumming in a John Bonham style". However, as the chorus developed, its mood changed to that of a softer one "matched by the single love-song lyric".[9]

Three additional songs—"Feeding the Fire", "I'd Rather Be You", and "Do the Neurotic"—were recorded during the album's sessions but were cut from the album's final track selection. They were subsequently released as B-sides across the five singles released from the album. The tracks were included in the 2007 box set Genesis 1983–1998.

Release[edit]

Invisible Touch was released on 9 June 1986. It topped the UK Albums Chart for two weeks, the band's fourth consecutive UK No. 1 album, and reached No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard 200.

The album's five singles reached the top 40 in the UK.[10]

In 1987, Invisible Touch received an American Music Award nomination for Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo, or Group. Padgham was nominated for a Brit Award for Best British Producer,[11] and "The Brazilian" received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. The music video for "Land of Confusion", featuring the Spitting Image puppets, was nominated for MTV's Video of the Year Award, but lost to their former lead vocalist Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer".

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[12]
Chicago Tribune (Not favourable)[13]
Kerrang! 4.5/5 stars[14]
Los Angeles Times (Not favourable)[15]
Robert Christgau C+[16]
Rolling Stone (favourable)[17]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[18]

In his 1986 review for Rolling Stone, J. D. Considine gave a positive review, stating that "every tune is carefully pruned so that each flourish delivers not an instrumental epiphany but a solid hook. Much of the credit for this belongs to Tony Banks, whose synth style has never seemed more appropriate; it's his keyboards that set the mood for 'In the Glow of the Night' and maintain the tension in 'Tonight, Tonight, Tonight'."[17] Daniel Brogan of the Chicago Tribune was not as impressed, claiming the album had "none of the inventiveness, illumination or power" of former Genesis singer Peter Gabriel's album So. He wrote "contributions from Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks seem far less apparent than usual ... Especially on side one, Invisible Touch could almost pass as outtakes from No Jacket Required. Will the Free World ever tire of Phil Collins?".[13] Several of the same criticisms were made by Steve Hochman of the Los Angeles Times, who asked "Was this record really necessary?". He stated that Invisible Touch "could easily pass as a Collins album. His thin voice and familiar MOR&B songwriting dominate, with only occasional evidence of input from Rutherford and Banks". He also suggested the record "was made to provide material for the next season of Miami Vice".[15]

In a retrospective review Stephen Thomas Erlewine, who reviewed the album for AllMusic, rated the album three stars out of five. He commented that "Invisible Touch was seen at the time as a bit of a Phil Collins solo album disguised as a Genesis album ... Genesis' poppiest album, a sleek, streamlined affair built on electronic percussion and dressed in synths" and he claimed "the heavy emphasis on pop tunes does serve the singer, not the band". However, he said that "[the] songs had big hooks that excused their coldness, and the arty moments sank to the bottom".[12] Mark Putterford of Kerrang! remarked on how the album showed "new ideas, new sounds, but still very definitely Genesis".[14]

In 2014, Stevie Chick, writing for The Guardian, said the album's "bright, polished pop title track, the baby boomer agit-rock of "Land of Confusion", the genuinely affecting ballad "Throwing It All Away" – could have easily fitted on his [Collins's] solo albums". Chick reserved particular praise for "Domino", saying the track "proved a final gasp of brilliance before the blandness of 1991’s We Can't Dance and 1997’s inexplicable, Collins-less Calling All Stations".[19]

Tour[edit]

Main article: Invisible Touch Tour

Genesis supported Invisible Touch with a 112-date world tour that ran from September 1986 to July 1987 with their usual touring musicians, drummer Chester Thompson and guitarist Daryl Stuermer. The tour concluded with a record four sold-out shows at London's Wembley Stadium. The live concert video Live at Wembley Stadium released on VHS in 1988 and on DVD in 2003.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and arranged by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, and Mike Rutherford.[4]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Invisible Touch"   3:26
2. "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"   8:49
3. "Land of Confusion"   4:45
4. "In Too Deep"   4:59
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Anything She Does"   4:06
2. "Domino"
Part One–"In the Glow of the Night"
Part Two–"The Last Domino"  
10:42
3. "Throwing It All Away"   3:51[a]
4. "The Brazilian"   4:49

Personnel[edit]

Genesis[4]
Production[4]
  • Hugh Padgham – production, engineer
  • Paul Gommersall – assistant engineer
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Geoff Callingham – technician
  • Baker Dave – sleeve production
  • John Swannell – photography

Chart performance[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[44] Platinum 70,000^
France (SNEP)[45] Platinum 391,900[46]
Germany (BVMI)[47] Platinum 500,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[48] Gold 7,500*
Japan (Oricon Charts)[49] Gold 126,030[27]
Netherlands (NVPI)[50] Platinum 100,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[51] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[52] 4× Platinum 1,200,000^
United States (RIAA)[53] 6× Platinum 6,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Preceded by
A Kind of Magic by Queen
UK number one album
21 June – 11 July 1986
Succeeded by
True Blue by Madonna
Preceded by
So by Peter Gabriel
Canadian RPM 100 number-one album
26 July – 2 August 1986
Preceded by
True Stories by Talking Heads
New Zealand Chart number-one album
9 November 1986
Succeeded by
True Stories by Talking Heads

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ The original album sleeve lists "Throwing It All Away" with an incorrect running time of 4:41.[4]
Citations
  1. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Genesis-Invisible-Touch/release/1108101
  2. ^ Hinkley, David (30 June 1985). "Rock's Little Drummer Boy Goes Pop". New York Daily News Magazine: 6. 
  3. ^ Bowler and Dray 1992, p. 198.
  4. ^ a b c d e Invisible Touch (Media notes). Charisma Records. 1986. GEN CD2. 
  5. ^ Genesis 2007, p. 282.
  6. ^ a b c d e Bowler and Dray, p. 202.
  7. ^ a b c Bowler and Dray, p. 203.
  8. ^ Bowler and Dray, p. 205.
  9. ^ Bowler and Dray, p. 204.
  10. ^ "Artist Chart History - Genesis". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 July 2007.
  11. ^ http://www.brits.co.uk/history/shows/1987
  12. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Invisible Touch – Genesis". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Brogan, Daniel (27 June 1986). "Genesis' `Invisible Touch' Low on Inventiveness, Power". chicagotribune.com (Chicago Tribune). Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Putterford, Mark (26 June 1986). "Genesis 'Invisible Touch'". Kerrang! 123. London, UK: United Magazines ltd. pp. 14–15. 
  15. ^ a b Hochman, Steve (29 June 1986). "Summer Album Roundup : Gtr And Genesis Lack The Touch". articles.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "Consumer Guide Album: Genesis: Invisible Touch". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  17. ^ a b Considine, J.D. (14 August 1986). "Genesis: Invisible Touch : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 1 December 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  18. ^ Nathan Brackett; Christian David Hoard (2004). The new Rolling Stone album guide. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 327–328. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8. 
  19. ^ Chick, Stevie (3 September 2014). "Genesis: 10 of the best". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  20. ^ a b c d Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  21. ^ "austriancharts.at Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  22. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 20 October 2011
  23. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  24. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  25. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  26. ^ a b http://books.google.co.uk/books?lr=&rview=1&id=qyQEAAAAMBAJ&q=genesis#v=snippet&q=genesis&f=false.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  28. ^ "charts.org.nz Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  29. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  30. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  31. ^ "swedishcharts.com Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  32. ^ "Genesis – Invisible Touch – hitparade.ch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  33. ^ "Chart Stats – Genesis – Invisible Touch" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  34. ^ "allmusic ((( Invisible Touch > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  35. ^ "Album Search: Genesis – Invisible Touch" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  36. ^ a b "Austriancharts.at – Jahreshitparade 1986" (ASP) (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 August 2010. 
  37. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1986". RPM. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  38. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1986 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  39. ^ "Hitparade.ch – Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1988" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  40. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  41. ^ "Billboard.BIZ – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1986". billboard.biz. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  42. ^ "Top 100 Albums of '87". RPM. 26 December 1987. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  43. ^ "Billboard.BIZ – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1987". billboard.biz. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  44. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1986 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  45. ^ "French album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select GENESIS and click OK
  46. ^ "Les Albums Platine". infodisc.fr (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  47. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Genesis; 'Invisible Touch')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  48. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1988". IFPI Hong Kong. 
  49. ^ UNSUPPORTED OR EMPTY REGION: Japan (Oricon Charts).
  50. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. 
  51. ^ "Sólo Éxitos 1959–2002 Año A Año: Certificados 1979–1990" (in Spanish). Iberautor Promociones Culturales. ISBN 8480486392. 
  52. ^ "British album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Invisible Touch in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  53. ^ "American album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
Bibliography
  • Bowler, Dave; Dray, Bryan (1992). Genesis: A Biography. Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd. ISBN 978-0-283-06132-5. 
  • Banks, Tony; Collins, Phil; Gabriel, Peter; Hackett, Steve; Rutherford, Mike (2007). Dodd, Philipp, ed. Genesis. Chapter and Verse. Weidenfeld and Nicholson. ISBN 978-0-297-84434-1.