Turn It On Again
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|"Turn It On Again"|
|Single by Genesis|
|from the album Duke|
|B-side||"Behind the Lines" (Edit)|
|Released||8 March 1980 (UK)
August 1980 (USA)
|Genre||Pop rock, Progressive rock|
|Length||3:50 (album version)
3:44 (UK single remix)
3:27 (US single remix edit)
Atlantic (U.S., Canada)
|Writer(s)||Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford|
|Producer(s)||Genesis, David Hentschel|
|Genesis singles chronology|
The lyrics, written by Mike Rutherford, deal with a man who does nothing more than watch his television, so much that he becomes obsessed with the people he watches on it, believing them to be his friends.
The song is also characterised by a rhythmic structure uncharacteristically complex for pop music, with verse/chorus sections in alternating time signatures, 6/4 to 7/4 (13/4), while the intro and bridge sections are in 4/4 and 5/4 (9/4). The song was originally much slower, written mostly by Mike Rutherford, with help from Phil Collins. He explains in the Songbook DVD "I had this riff," (plays "Turn It On Again" riff on guitar) "but at the time I was playing it like this," (plays slower) "and Phil said 'why don't you try it in a faster speed' and then he said to me 'do you realize it is in 13/8' and I said 'What do you mean it's in 13? It's in 4/4 isn't it?' 'No, it's 13'" Collins confirms "You can't dance to it. You see people trying to dance to it every now and again, they get on the off beat but they don't know why."
The video for the song appeared on MTV's first day of broadcast.
"Turn It On Again" has been a favourite in Genesis's live shows. Consequently, the group's 1999 compilation album Turn It On Again: The Hits (as was its 2007 expanded reissue that was subtitled The Tour Edition) was named after it, as was the band's 2007 Turn It On Again: The Tour reunion Tour. On their tours in the 1980s, the band would attach a medley of 1960's pop songs (referred to by the band as the "Blues Brothers" medley, as the first song was "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"); the song would be returned to its album form for the We Can't Dance tour and the band would later regard the medley as a poor decision.
|Weekly Singles Chart (1981)||Position|
|US Mainstream Rock|
|US Billboard Hot 100||58|
|US Cash Box Top 100||55|
- Phil Collins – drums, percussion, lead vocals
- Tony Banks – keyboards, backing vocals
- Mike Rutherford – guitars, bass guitar
- Genesis UK chart history, The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- Prasad, Anil. "Genesis: Turning it on again". Innerviews. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- Genesis (2001). The Genesis Songbook (DVD). Eagle Rock Entertainment.