Abacab (song)

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Single by Genesis
from the album Abacab
B-side"Another Record"
Released14 August 1981
RecordedMay–June 1981 at The Farm, Surrey
GenreProgressive rock, electronic rock, new wave
Length7:02 (LP version)
4:10 (UK single edit)
3:59 (US single edit)
LabelCharisma/Virgin (UK)
Atlantic (US)
Songwriter(s)Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford
Genesis singles chronology
"No Reply at All"

"Abacab" is a song by the British rock band Genesis, released on 14 August 1981. It was produced by Genesis and distributed in the United States by Atlantic Records and Warner Music Group.[1] The song, written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, and Mike Rutherford, was featured on Genesis' album of the same name and was a top 10 hit on the British pop chart, where it peaked at No. 9.[2] The song was the first single from the album in the US, where it peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1982.[3] It stayed in the Top 40 for six weeks.

The title is taken from the structure of an early version of the song. Guitarist Mike Rutherford explained in an interview that the band labelled various sections of the song with letters of the alphabet, and at one point the sections were ordered A-B-A-C-A-B. Rutherford commented that the completed song no longer followed this format, but the name was kept nevertheless.[4]

The track was regularly performed on the band's 1981 Abacab tour, the 1982 Three Sides Live Encore Tour, the 1983/84 Mama Tour and the 1986/87 Invisible Touch tours. On the first two tours, Phil Collins would sing the chorus in a high falsetto while Banks and Rutherford sang the lower harmonies. For the later tours, Collins would sing the chorus in a lower octave while Rutherford sang the higher falsetto harmonies. Genesis rehearsed the song for the 2007 reunion, but it was not included in the final setlist.

The song's LP version has an extensive instrumental arrangement as an outro, while the single version of the song eliminates an instrumental arrangement entirely and replaces it with a part of the opening arrangement as a quick outro.[citation needed]


Charts (1981–82) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[5] 35
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 36
Canadian RPM Singles Chart[7] 11
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 26
Norway (VG-lista)[9] 8
South Africa (Springbok Charts)[10] 3
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[11] 9
West Germany (Official German Charts)[12] 28



  1. ^ Abacab at Amazon: information Retrieved on 17 July 2007
  2. ^ Genesis UK chart history, The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  3. ^ Genesis USA chart history, Billboard > Artists > Genesis. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  4. ^ Genesis In the Studio. YouTube. 2006.
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^ "Ultratop.be – Genesis – Abacab" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  7. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Genesis Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  9. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Genesis – Abacab". VG-lista.
  10. ^ "SA Charts 1969 - 1989 : Acts G". rock.co.za.
  11. ^ "Genesis: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  12. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Genesis – Abacab". GfK Entertainment Charts.

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