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Not to be confused with Rubik's Cube.
EP by Genesis
Released 21 May 1982 (1982-05-21)
Recorded May–June 1981
Genre Pop rock
Length 15:10
Label Charisma (UK), Vertigo
Producer Genesis
Genesis chronology
Three Sides Live
Singles from 3 X 3
  1. "Paperlate"
    Released: 15 May 1982

3X3 is an EP by the English rock band Genesis. It was released in 1982. Its three songs were recorded during the Abacab sessions. The lead single, "Paperlate", peaked at No. 10 on the UK charts, No. 32 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and No. 2 on the Billboard Rock Tracks chart.


All songs were recorded during the session for Abacab.[1] A bootleg demo tape exists of the band playing an entire session of songs for Abacab, with the three songs from this EP also included.[1]

For the song "Paperlate", Collins used the horn section of the band Earth, Wind & Fire.[2] Collins has often used the group for other projects, including Collins' debut solo album, Face Value.[3] A music video was also created utilising the band's 27 May 1982 appearance on Top of the Pops.[4] According to "Connolly & Company", "You Might Recall" is a song about a lost love.[5] Collins wrote the song "Me and Virgil". He has called it "a dog", and cites it as one of his worst ever pieces of writing. According to Collins, the group was trying to do something similar to the work of The Band, but "we couldn't."[6] The song is written as a story.[7]

Packaging and artwork[edit]

Collins claims that the packaging for 3X3 was a throwback to The Beatles' first EP release in 1963, entitled Twist and Shout.[8] The front cover photo is similar to the Beatles' EP cover. The liner notes and design of the back cover were done by the man who was in charge of designing the Beatles' EP, Tony Barrow.[8] "these cheeky chappies from Guildford ... treasure these three audio-visual representations..." are parts that Phil recalls.[8] The title itself is also a nod to The Rolling Stones, who released both an EP titled Five by Five and an LP entitled 12 X 5.[8][9] Collins recalls that the album's cover and interior text received negative reviews from a reviewer who was not alive when the original Stones' EP was released, thereby misunderstanding the parody.[8]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[9]

The response to the album was mixed. Dave Thompson of AllMusic gives it three stars out of five, citing "Paperlate" as the EP's selling point.[9] Thompson describes "Paperlate" as "a horn-honking romp with just the ghosts of '60s soul playing around its chorus and a buoyancy that fed readily into the mood of the UK charts of the day."[9] Thompson called "You Might Recall" and "Me and Virgil" "somewhat calmer", describing "Me and Virgil" as "introspective", and "You Might Recall" as "the latest in the band's long line of bubbly romantic numbers."[9]

Connolly & Company says that "Paperlate" featured a "peppy horn section,"[5] and that "You Might Recall" "recalled Mike Rutherford's earlier contributions ("Alone Tonight", "Say It's Alright Joe")."[5] Connolly also says that Three Sides Live was worth buying for just "Paperlate".[5]

Upon its release, 3X3's lead song was "Paperlate", and the EP debuted at No. 30 on the UK charts, peaking at No. 10 later on.[10] Because the EP market never took off in North America, Atlantic Records instead decided to release its three songs as part of Three Sides Live for its initial release, while the UK had live music.[11] "Paperlate" peaked at No. 32 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and No. 2 on the Billboard Rock Tracks chart.[12] As of 1994, however, Three Sides Live was remastered and reissued with the extra live material internationally.

Later releases[edit]

3X3 never saw a CD release. However, its tracks appeared on the world edition of Three Sides Live.[11] In addition, two of its three tracks, "Paperlate" and "You Might Recall", appeared on the box set Genesis Archive 2: 1976-1992 (2000); however, "Me and Virgil" was not added due to Collins' dislike for the song.[6] The track was made available on the bonus CD of the boxed set Genesis 1976-1982, in a modern-day remixed version.[13][14] The original mix remains out of print. "Paperlate" was also issued as a B-side to the single "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight".

Track listing[edit]

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

Side A[edit]

  1. "Paperlate" – 3:20
  2. "You Might Recall" – 5:30

Side B[edit]

  1. "Me and Virgil" – 6:18


Additional personnel


  1. ^ a b Abacab Complete (bootleg) (1980)
  2. ^ a b "Genesis – 3 × 3 (7", EP) at Discogs". discogs.com. Retrieved 29 November 2008. 
  3. ^ Classic Albums: Face Value VH-1, 1999
  4. ^ Genesis: The Video Show (DVD), 2005
  5. ^ a b c d "Paperlate". connollyco.com. Archived from the original on 20 October 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2008. 
  6. ^ a b "Phil Collins Q&A – 17th January 2005". philcollins.co.uk. Archived from the original on 8 February 2009. Retrieved 29 November 2008. 
  7. ^ "GENESIS 3 × 3 music review by Guillermo". progarchives.com. Retrieved 29 November 2008. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Waller, Johnny (25 December 1982). "Phil Collins". Sounds. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "allmusic ((( 3 × 3 > Overview )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 29 November 2008. 
  10. ^ "Chart Stats – Genesis – 3 × 3 (EP)". chartstats.com. Retrieved 29 November 2008. 
  11. ^ a b "Ripped Vinyl & Other Rarities: 3 X 3 (1982)". blogspot.com. Retrieved 29 November 2008. 
  12. ^ "allmusic ((( Genesis > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 29 November 2008. 
  13. ^ "Rhino rewrites the book of Genesis". monstersandcritics.com. Retrieved 29 November 2008. 
  14. ^ "ProgressiveWorld.net – Genesis New Reissues Available For Pre-Order". progressiveworld.com. Retrieved 29 November 2008.