Acting Very Strange

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Acting Very Strange
Studio album by Mike Rutherford
Released 7 September 1982
Recorded 1982
Genre Pop rock
Length 38:43
Label Atlantic, WEA
Producer Mike Rutherford
Mike Rutherford chronology
Smallcreep's Day
Acting Very Strange
Mike + The Mechanics
Singles from Acting Very Strange
  1. "Halfway There"
    Released: August 1982
  2. "Maxine"
    Released: August 1982
  3. "Acting Very Strange"
    Released: October 1982
  4. "Hideaway"
    Released: January 1983

Acting Very Strange is the second solo album by Genesis bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and the only album to feature him on lead vocals. It was released on 7 September 1982. Unlike the previous album Smallcreep's Day, Acting Very Strange uses a very raw and unpolished sound. None of the album's singles charted in the US or UK top 100, but the lead single "Maxine" did make US Billboard charts' Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart at No. 37.[1] The song was also a top 40 pop hit in Canada, peaking at No. 39.[2] The album itself was much more successful, reaching number 23 in the UK.[3]


Rutherford opted to do the lead vocals on the album himself, simply because, in his words, "It does feel odd when someone does... a solo album and they don't sing, because the voice is so much the character of a song. So I thought, 'What the hell? I'm gonna give it a shot.'"[4] However, this proved to be easier said than done; he recounted that recording the backing tracks for the album was very easy and enjoyable, but that the vocals were "hard work".[4]

Stewart Copeland became involved in the recording because he and Rutherford were on the same polo team. Copeland did session work very rarely during his time in The Police. Recording at The Farm gave them a sound unique to Genesis and Genesis members' solo projects that were recorded therein.

Looking back on Acting Very Strange in later years, Rutherford was not proud of the album, saying he felt that the songs were very good but poorly executed on the actual recordings. He singled out "Hideaway" as the only track which he felt worked.[4] Dissatisfaction with his solo work in general, and with his vocals in particular, prompted Rutherford to form Mike + The Mechanics.[4]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[5]

In their retrospective review, Allmusic said that most of the songs were weak, and that even the few good ones would have been better had Rutherford not done the lead vocals himself: "There's no denying his sincerity, but he should let his fingers do the talking."[5]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Acting Very Strange" Mike Rutherford 4:58
2. "A Day to Remember" Rutherford 4:59
3. "Maxine" Rutherford, Pete Bellotte 5:24
4. "Halfway There" Rutherford, Florrie Palmer 4:11
5. "Who's Fooling Who" Rutherford, Palmer 4:47
6. "Couldn't Get Arrested" Rutherford, Bellotte 3:50
7. "I Don't Wanna Know" Rutherford 4:36
8. "Hideaway" Rutherford 5:58
Total length: 38:43

Non-album tracks[edit]

Another song recorded during the album sessions, "Calypso", was released as the B-side to the single "Hideaway". Remixes of "Acting Very Strange" and "Couldn't Get Arrested" were featured on a 12" single and also used as B-sides for "Acting Very Strange".






Year Chart Position
1982 UK Albums Chart 23[3]
Canadian Albums Chart 32
US Billboard 200 145


  1. ^ Jason Ankeny (2 October 1950). "Mike Rutherford | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Mike Rutherford in the UK Charts, The Official Charts. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d Neer, Dan (1985). Mike on Mike [interview LP], Atlantic Recording Corporation.
  5. ^ a b Steve McMullen. "Acting Very Strange – Mike Rutherford | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 May 2014.