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, electronic rock
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 (US)
  5. "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"
    Released: 23 March 1987

Invisible Touch is the thirteenth studio album by the English rock band Genesis. It was originally released in June 1986 on the labels Charisma and Virgin in the United Kingdom and on Atlantic in the United States. Released at the height of drummer and singer Phil Collins's fame as a solo artist following the success of his solo album No Jacket Required (1985), Invisible Touch was an instant commercial success and became the band's best-selling album. It topped the UK Albums Chart for three weeks and peaked at number 3 in the US. The album spawned five singles that reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100,[1] with "Invisible Touch" reaching number one, the band's only single to do so. Invisible Touch has sold 15 million copies worldwide. It was reissued with a new stereo and 5.1 surround sound mix in 2007.[2][3]

Despite its enormous success, Invisible Touch received mixed reviews on release and retrospectively, which have included criticism that it was too commercial in contrast to the band's earlier, progressive rock works. Many reviewers have observed the album's similarity in sound and style to Collins's contemporaneous solo career.

Background and recording[edit]

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

Following the band's 1983–84 tour of North America and the UK in support of their 1983 album Genesis, the band took a break in activity. Rutherford formed his side project Mike + The Mechanics, Banks worked on his album Soundtracks, and Collins started work on his third solo album, No Jacket Required, which was released in February 1985 to great commercial success and increased his popularity as a recording artist.

In October 1985, the three reconvened at The Farm, the band's recording studio in Chiddingfold, Surrey, to record Invisible Touch. "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.[4] 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 are a personal 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.


Invisible Touch was released on 9 June 1986. It topped the UK Albums Chart for two weeks, the band's fourth consecutive UK number one album, and reached number three on the US Billboard 200.

The album's five singles reached the top 40 in the UK.[5]

The album was supported by the Invisible Touch Tour which ran from September 1986 to July 1987. The Live at Wembley Stadium concert video was released on VHS in 1988 and on DVD in 2003.

In 1987, Invisible Touch received an American Music Award nomination for Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo, or Group. Its co-producer Hugh Padgham was nominated for a Brit Award for Best British Producer,[6] and "The Brazilian" received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.


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]

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'."[12] 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 a retrospective review Stephen Thomas Erlewine, who reviewed the album for Allmusic, rates 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".[7] Mark Putterford of Kerrang! remarks on how the album shows "new ideas, new sounds, but still very definitely Genesis".[9] 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]

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"
a. "In the Glow of the Night"
b. "The Last Domino""  
3. "Throwing It All Away"   4:41[17]
4. "The Brazilian"   4:49



Decade-end charts
Chart (1980–89) Position
Australian Albums Chart[18] 39


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[42] Platinum 70,000^
France (SNEP)[43] Platinum 391,900[44]
Germany (BVMI)[45] Platinum 500,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[46] Gold 7,500*
Japan (Oricon Charts)[47] Gold 126,030[25]
Netherlands (NVPI)[48] Platinum 100,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[49] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[50] 4× Platinum 1,200,000^
United States (RIAA)[51] 6× Platinum 6,000,000^

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


  1. ^ "Artist Chart History - Genesis". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 July 2007.
  2. ^
  3. ^
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  5. ^ "Artist Chart History: Genesis". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  6. ^
  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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  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ "Throwing It All Away" is listed with a running time of 4:41. Its correct running time is 3:51.
  18. ^ a b c d Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  19. ^ " Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  20. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 20 October 2011
  21. ^ " Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  22. ^ 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. 
  23. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  24. ^ a b  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  26. ^ " Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  27. ^ " Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  28. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  29. ^ " Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  30. ^ "Genesis – Invisible Touch –" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  31. ^ "Chart Stats – Genesis – Invisible Touch" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  32. ^ "allmusic ((( Invisible Touch > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  33. ^ "Album Search: Genesis – Invisible Touch" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  34. ^ a b " – Jahreshitparade 1986" (ASP) (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 August 2010. 
  35. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1986". RPM. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  36. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1986 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  37. ^ " – Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1988" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  38. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  39. ^ "Billboard.BIZ – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1986". Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  40. ^ "Top 100 Albums of '87". RPM. 26 December 1987. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  41. ^ "Billboard.BIZ – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1987". Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
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  44. ^ "Les Albums Platine". (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  45. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Genesis; 'Invisible Touch')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  46. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1988". IFPI Hong Kong. 
  47. ^ UNSUPPORTED OR EMPTY REGION: Japan (Oricon Charts).
  48. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. 
  49. ^ "Sólo Éxitos 1959–2002 Año A Año: Certificados 1979–1990" (in Spanish). Iberautor Promociones Culturales. ISBN 8480486392. 
  50. ^ "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
  51. ^ "American album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

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