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, progressive rock, new wave
Length 45:42
Label Charisma/Virgin (UK)
Atlantic (US)
Producer Genesis and Hugh Padgham
Genesis chronology
Invisible Touch
We Can't Dance
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 June 1986 on Charisma and Virgin in the United Kingdom and on Atlantic in the United States.

Released at the height of Phil Collins's fame as a solo artist following the huge sales of No Jacket Required, Invisible Touch was an immediate success, going straight to number one in the UK and spending 96 weeks on the UK Albums Chart. Worldwide, the album has sold over 15 million copies and has been certified 6× platinum in the United States and 4× platinum in the United Kingdom, making it by far the most commercially successful album of the band's entire career. It was supported by the band's biggest ever world tour, which culminated in a record-breaking four sold out nights at Wembley Stadium in July 1987.

"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 five singles were top five hits on the Billboard Hot 100, with "Invisible Touch" peaking at number one, Genesis's only song to do so. All the singles also reached the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart.[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.[3] In 1987 "The Brazilian" received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group or Soloist). The album received mixed reviews from music critics, including some accusations that it was too commercial and veered too close in sound and style to Phil Collins's contemporaneous solo career.

A SACD and DVD double disc set (including new 5.1 and Stereo mixes) was released in October 2007.[4][5]

Background and recording[edit]

Like Phil Collins' 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", produced through improvisation, 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.[6] The cut songs were later re-released on the Genesis 1983–1998 box set, in 2007.


The lyrics to "Land of Confusion" were written by Mike Rutherford and comment on the political turmoil of the Reagan/Thatcher/Gorbachev era. 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". 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[7]
Chicago Tribune (Not favourable)[8]
Kerrang! 4.5/5 stars[9]
Los Angeles Times (Not favourable)[10]
Robert Christgau C+[11]
Rolling Stone (favourable)[12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[13]

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"."[12]

Mark Putterford of Kerrang! remarks on how the album shows "new ideas, new sounds, but still very definitely Genesis".[9]

Many critics have drawn attention to the album's similar style and production to Phil Collins's most recent solo album, No Jacket Required, which was released the preceding year to great commercial success.

AllMusic rated Invisible Touch three out of five stars. 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 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".[7]

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 he 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?"[8]

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".[10]

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".[14]

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.[15]
  • 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).[16]
  • "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"   3:26
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"  
3. "Throwing It All Away"   [4.41] 3.51
4. "The Brazilian"   4:49

Bracketed time is listed on official release for "Throwing It All Away". 3:51 is the correct time.


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")



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


  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"*+


  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]



Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[17] Platinum 70,000^
France (SNEP)[18] Platinum 391,900[19]
Germany (BVMI)[20] Platinum 500,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[21] Gold 7,500*
Japan (Oricon Charts) 126,030[22]
Netherlands (NVPI)[23] Platinum 100,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[24] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[25] 4× Platinum 1,200,000^
United States (RIAA)[26] 6× Platinum 6,000,000^

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


Decade-end charts[edit]

Chart (1980–89) Position
Australian Albums Chart[27] 39


  1. ^ "Artist Chart History - Genesis". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 July 2007.
  2. ^ "Artist Chart History: Genesis". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
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  7. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Invisible Touch – Genesis". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Brogan, Daniel (27 June 1986). "Genesis' `Invisible Touch' Low on Inventiveness, Power". (Chicago Tribune). Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Putterford, Mark (26 June 1986). "Genesis 'Invisible Touch'". Kerrang! 123. London, UK: United Magazines ltd. pp. 14–15. 
  10. ^ a b Hochman, Steve (29 June 1986). "Summer Album Roundup : Gtr And Genesis Lack The Touch". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Consumer Guide Album: Genesis: Invisible Touch". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ Chick, Stevie (3 September 2014). "Genesis: 10 of the best". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
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  17. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1986 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  18. ^ "French album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select GENESIS and click OK
  19. ^ "Les Albums Platine". (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  20. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Genesis; 'Invisible Touch')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  21. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1988". IFPI Hong Kong. 
  22. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  23. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. 
  24. ^ "Sólo Éxitos 1959–2002 Año A Año: Certificados 1979–1990" (in Spanish). Iberautor Promociones Culturales. ISBN 8480486392. 
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  26. ^ "American album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  27. ^ a b c d Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
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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