Invisible Touch

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Invisible Touch
Studio album by Genesis
Released 9 June 1986
Recorded October 1985–March 1986 at The Farm, Surrey
Genre Pop rock, progressive rock, new wave
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: May 19, 1986
  2. "Throwing It All Away"
    Released: August 8, 1986
  3. "Land of Confusion"
    Released: October 1986 (1986-10) US
    November 10, 1986 (1986-11-10) UK
  4. "In Too Deep"
    Released: August 23, 1986 (UK)
    January 18, 1987 (USA)
  5. "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"
    Released: March 23, 1987

Invisible Touch is the thirteenth studio album by Genesis, released in 1986. It reached No.1 in the UK where it remained in the charts for 96 weeks, making it by far the most commercially successful album of their career, being certified 6x platinum in the US and 4x platinum in the UK. It eventually sold over 15 million copies worldwide. It received generally favourable reviews from critics and produced five US Top 5 singles, including the title track which reached the No.1 spot on the US chart, the only song by Genesis to do so.

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

Background and recording[edit]

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 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.[citation needed] The cut songs were later re-released on the Genesis 1983–1998 box set.

Lyrics[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 former lead singer 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", explore various applications of the domino effect.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune (Not favourable)[2]
Kerrang! 4.5/5 stars[3]
Los Angeles Times (Not favourable)[4]
Robert Christgau C+[5]
Rolling Stone (favourable)[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[7]

Rolling Stone's J. D. Considine praised the album, stating "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"."[6] 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".[1] Mark Putterford of Kerrang! remarks how the album shows "new ideas, new sounds, but still very definitely Genesis".[3] The album received Genesis an American Music Award nomination for Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo, or Group. At the Brit Awards in 1987, producer Hugh Pagham was nominated for Best British Producer and Phil Collins was nominated for British Male Artist, both for their contributions to the album. In 1987 "The Brazilian" received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group or Soloist).

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.[8]
  • 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).[9]
  • "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
6:15
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)[10] Platinum 391,900[11]
Germany (BVMI)[12] Platinum 500,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[13] Gold 7,500*
Japan (Oricon Charts) 126,030[14]
Netherlands (NVPI)[15] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] 4× Platinum 1,200,000^
United States (RIAA)[17] 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[18] 39

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Invisible Touch – Genesis". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Brogan, Daniel (1986-06-27). "Genesis` `Invisible Touch` Low On Inventiveness, Power". chicagotribune.com (Chicago Tribune). Retrieved 2012-02-22. 
  3. ^ a b Putterford, Mark (26 June 1986). "Genesis 'Invisible Touch'". Kerrang! 123. London, UK: United Magazines ltd. pp. 14–15. 
  4. ^ Hochman, Steve (1986-06-29). "Summer Album Roundup : Gtr And Genesis Lack The Touch". articles.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  5. ^ "Consumer Guide Album: Genesis: Invisible Touch". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2012-03-02. 
  6. ^ a b Considine, J.D. (1986-08-14). "Genesis: Invisible Touch : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ imdb.com
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "French album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select GENESIS and click OK
  11. ^ "Les Albums Platine". infodisc.fr (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  12. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Genesis; 'Invisible Touch')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  13. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1988". IFPI Hong Kong. 
  14. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  15. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. 
  16. ^ "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
  17. ^ "American album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  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. ^ "austriancharts.at Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  20. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2011-10-20
  21. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  22. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  23. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1986" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  24. ^ "charts.org.nz Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  25. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  26. ^ "swedishcharts.com Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  27. ^ "Genesis – Invisible Touch - hitparade.ch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  28. ^ "Chart Stats - Genesis – Invisible Touch" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  29. ^ "allmusic ((( Invisible Touch > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 
  30. ^ "Album Search: Genesis – Invisible Touch" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  31. ^ a b "Austriancharts.at - Jahreshitparade 1986" (ASP) (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  32. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1986". RPM. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  33. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1986 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  34. ^ "Hitparade.ch - Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1988" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  35. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  36. ^ "Billboard.BIZ - Year-end Charts - Billboard 200 - 1986". billboard.biz. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  37. ^ "Top 100 Albums of '87". RPM. 1987-12-26. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  38. ^ "Billboard.BIZ - Year-end Charts - Billboard 200 - 1987". billboard.biz. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 

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