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 at The Farm, Surrey, England
Genre Pop rock, electronic, art rock, new wave, synthpop, dance-pop
Length 45:42
Label Charisma/Virgin (UK)
Atlantic (US)
Producer Genesis and Hugh Padgham
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: October 1986 (1986-10) US
    10 November 1986 (1986-11-10) UK
  4. "In Too Deep"
    Released: 23 August 1986 (1986-08-23) (UK)
    18 January 1987 (USA)
  5. "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"
    Released: 23 March 1987

Invisible Touch is the thirteenth studio album by the British rock band Genesis. The album was released in mid 1986 on Charisma and Virgin in the United Kingdom and on Atlantic in the United States. It was an immediate commercial and critical success, spending 96 weeks at the top of the albums chart in the United Kingdom, making it by far their most commercially successful album of their whole career, being certified 6x platinum in the United States and 4x platinum in the United Kingdom. Worldwide, the album has sold over 15 million copies. It has received favourable reviews by the majority of music critics. "Invisible Touch", "Throwing It All Away", "Land of Confusion", "In Too Deep", and "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" were all released as singles, with corresponding music videos. All of the five singles were Top-Five hits on Billboard Hot 100 chart, with "Invisible Touch" peaking at Number 1, which is, to date, the only single by Genesis to do so. And all the singles reached the Top 40 on the UK charts.[1][2]

The album received an American Music Award nomination for Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo, or Group. At the Brit Awards in 1987, the co-producer Hugh Padgham was nominated for Best British Producer for his work on the album. In 1987 "The Brazilian" received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group or Soloist).

A SACD and DVD double disc set (including new 5.1 and Stereo mixes) was released in October 2007.[3][4]

Background and recording[edit]

Alike Phil Collin's solo album "No Jacket Required", Some of the songs from the album emerged from Collins' improvisations with a drum machine. During the writing process, "Invisible Touch", was produced through improvisation, and became a standalone piece. It was originally conceived by Tony Banks as a part of the "Domino" suite.

Three songs were cut from the album and were subsequently released as B-sides: "Feeding the Fire", "I'd Rather Be You", and "Do the Neurotic". In interviews promoting Invisible Touch, both Banks and Collins stated that they felt that there may have been enough room on the album for these tracks, but they had to pick and choose which songs they felt to be a better fit to the overall sound of the album.[5] The cut songs were later re-released on the Genesis 1983–1998 box set, in 2007.

Lyrical backgrounds[edit]

The lyrics to "Land of Confusion" were written by Mike Rutherford and comment on the political turmoil of the Reagan/Thatcher/Gorbachev era. A 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. Phil Collins's lyrics to "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight", another hit song from the album, dealt with drug addiction, while "Anything She Does" (lyrics by Tony Banks) is about pornography. The lyrics to "Domino", also by Tony Banks, explore various applications of the domino effect.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[6]
Chicago Tribune (Not favourable)[7]
Kerrang! 4.5/5 stars[8]
Los Angeles Times (Not favourable)[9]
Robert Christgau C+[10]
Rolling Stone (favourable)[11]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[12]

Reviewing the album in Rolling Stone J. D. Considine praised the album, 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"."[11]

AllMusic rated Invisible Touch three out of five stars. Some critics picked up on the album's similar style and production to Phil Collins' most recent solo album No Jacket Required which was released the preceding year; Stephen Thomas Erlewine, who reviewed the album, 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 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".[6]

Reviewing for Kerrang!, critic Mark Putterford remarks on how the album shows "new ideas, new sounds, but still very definitely Genesis".[8]

Daniel Brogan of the Chicago Tribune was not impressed, claiming the album had "none of the inventiveness, illumination or power" of Peter Gabriel's So. He wrote "contributions from Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks seem far less apparent than usual", and claimed, "Especially on side one, Invisible Touch could almost pass as outtakes from No Jacket Required". He finished by asking, "Will the Free World ever tire of Phil Collins?"[7]

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 pondered whether the album "was made to provide material for the next season of Miami Vice".[9]

Chart success and supporting tour[edit]

Catching Genesis at their commercial peak, Invisible Touch debuted at No.1 in the UK, while it reached No.3 in the US and went six times platinum there. The album was supported by the 1986–87 Invisible Tour, a concert video of which was released in 1988 and on DVD in 2003.

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the film American Psycho, protagonist Patrick Bateman proclaims that Invisible Touch is the group's "undisputed masterpiece," discussing its virtues at length with two prostitutes he has hired for the evening. The scene represents a chapter in the Bret Easton Ellis novel where Bateman muses about the significance of the album. "In Too Deep" plays during this sequence.[13]
  • During the late 1980s, instrumental excerpts from the track "Domino" were used on the BBC TV sports program Grandstand, as a bed over which presenter Desmond Lynam previewed what was coming up in that day's program.
  • "The Brazilian" is used in the television show Magnum, P.I. episode titled "Unfinished Business". It can also be heard (very faintly) in the 1986 animated film When The Wind Blows as a song playing on a transistor radio, and appears on the official soundtrack release for the film. Match of the Day (BBC) has also used the song as backdrop to a feature.
  • "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" is used in the Magnum, P.I. Season 7 episode "Laura". It was also featured in a Television commercial for Michelob beer (Michelob).[14]
  • "Land of Confusion" was used in "Freefall," the final episode of the 1980s cop show Miami Vice (a show on which Phil Collins had guest starred).
  • "In Too Deep" was also used in the 1986 film Mona Lisa starring Phil Collins' friend Bob Hoskins.
  • In the American Dad! episode "Old Stan in the Mountain", the song "Invisible Touch" is used as the theme music for Francine and Roger's dance.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, and Mike Rutherford.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Invisible Touch"   3:29
2. "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"   8:53
3. "Land of Confusion"   4:45
4. "In Too Deep"   5:02
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Anything She Does"   4:09
2. "Domino"
"Part one: In the Glow of the Night"
"Part two: The Last Domino"  
10:44
4:27
6:17
3. "Throwing It All Away"   3.51
4. "The Brazilian"   4:50

B-sides[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "I'd Rather Be You"   4:04
2. "Do the Neurotic"   7:08
3. "Feeding the Fire"   5:54
  1. "I'd Rather Be You" from the single "Throwing It All Away".
  2. "Do the Neurotic" from the single "In Too Deep".
  3. "Feeding the Fire" from the single "Land of Confusion".

Working titles for the songs[edit]

Before Invisible Touch was released, five songs had working titles. Below is a list of the original song working titles and finalised song titles (in parentheses):

  • "Monkey Zulu" ("Tonight, Tonight, Tonight")
  • "Snake" ("Anything She Does")
  • "Hawkwind" ("Domino")
  • "Zephyr and Zeppo" ("Throwing It All Away")
  • "Savage" ("The Brazilian")

Personnel[edit]

Tour[edit]

Genesis toured in support of Invisible Touch between September 1986 and July 1987.

Setlist[edit]

  1. "Mama"
  2. "Abacab"
  3. "Land of Confusion"
  4. "That's All"
  5. "Domino (Part 1: In the Glow of the Night – Part 2: The Last Domino)"
  6. "In Too Deep"
  7. "The Brazilian"
  8. "Follow You Follow Me"
  9. "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"
  10. "Home by the Sea"/"Second Home by the Sea"
  11. "Throwing It All Away"
  12. "In the Cage"*+/"...In That Quiet Earth"*/"Supper's Ready" (Apocalypse in 9/8 and "As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs" sections)*
  13. "Invisible Touch"
  14. "Drum Duet"
  15. "Los Endos"*+

Encore

  1. "Turn It On Again (Medley)"*

On the Australian leg, the song "Your Own Special Way" was performed for the first time since 1977. The 1987 US and European legs of the tour saw the "Supper's Ready" section of the "In the Cage" medley dropped in favour of "Afterglow"*+. Also, the key of "Throwing It All Away" was dropped from C# to C. Also the key of "Land of Confusion" lowered from E Flat Minor to C# Minor. Finally, the songs "In Too Deep" and "Follow You Follow Me" were dropped completely.

Tour Band[edit]

with

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
France (SNEP)[15] Platinum 391,900[16]
Germany (BVMI)[17] Platinum 500,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[18] Gold 7,500*
Japan (Oricon Charts) 126,030[19]
Netherlands (NVPI)[20] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[21] 4× Platinum 1,200,000^
United States (RIAA)[22] 6× Platinum 6,000,000^

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

Charts[edit]

Decade-end charts[edit]

Chart (1980–89) Position
Australian Albums Chart[23] 39

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Artist Chart History - Genesis". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 July 2007.
  2. ^ "Artist Chart History: Genesis". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  3. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Genesis-Invisible-Touch/release/1108101
  4. ^ http://www.progarchives.com/album.asp?id=7500
  5. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BdI5zNHTJs
  6. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Invisible Touch – Genesis". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Brogan, Daniel (27 June 1986). "Genesis' `Invisible Touch' Low on Inventiveness, Power". chicagotribune.com (Chicago Tribune). Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Putterford, Mark (26 June 1986). "Genesis 'Invisible Touch'". Kerrang! 123. London, UK: United Magazines ltd. pp. 14–15. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "Consumer Guide Album: Genesis: Invisible Touch". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ imdb.com
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ "French album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select GENESIS and click OK
  16. ^ "Les Albums Platine". infodisc.fr (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  17. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Genesis; 'Invisible Touch')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  18. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1988". IFPI Hong Kong. 
  19. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  20. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. 
  21. ^ "British album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Invisible Touch in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  22. ^ "American album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  23. ^ a b c d Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  24. ^ "austriancharts.at Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  25. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 20 October 2011
  26. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  27. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  28. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1986" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  29. ^ "charts.org.nz Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  30. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  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. 

External links[edit]

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