Follow You Follow Me

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"Follow You Follow Me"
Follow You Follow Me.jpg
Single by Genesis
from the album ...And Then There Were Three...
B-side
  • "Ballad of Big" (UK)
  • "Inside and Out" (US)
Released25 February 1978 (1978-02-25)
Format7-inch
RecordedSeptember–October 1977
GenreSoft rock[1]
Length
  • 3:59 (album version)
  • 3:19 (US edit)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Genesis singles chronology
"A Trick of the Tail"
(1976)
"Follow You Follow Me"
(1978)
"Many Too Many"
(1978)

"Follow You Follow Me" is a love song written and recorded by English progressive rock band Genesis. It was released in February 1978 as the first single from their ninth studio album, ...And Then There Were Three... (1978). The music was composed by the band, and the lyrics were written by bassist and guitarist Mike Rutherford.[2]

At the time of release, "Follow You Follow Me" became the band's most successful single, reaching number 7 on the UK Singles chart, peaking at number 23 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and reaching number 21 on the Adult Contemporary chart.[3][4] The song is included in the 2005 book, Rock Song Index: The 7500 Most Important Songs for the Rock and Roll Era, which states, "the formerly progressive Genesis begins to proceed without impediment toward the Top 10".[5]

Background[edit]

Like much of the rest of the album, the slower, sentimental "Follow You Follow Me" was a departure from most of their previous work as a progressive rock band, featuring a simple melody, romantic lyrics and a verse-chorus structure. Although previous albums contained love ballads, such as Selling England by the Pound's "More Fool Me" and "Your Own Special Way" from Wind & Wuthering (1976), "Follow You Follow Me" was the first worldwide pop success by the group. The band felt that their music was attracting mainly male audiences, so this song was written specifically to redress the balance.[6]

Composition[edit]

The song started from a chord sequence by guitarist Mike Rutherford, who also claimed he wrote the lyrics in about ten minutes.[7] At the time, the band usually wrote songs individually. Keyboardist Tony Banks was quoted:

It was our only truly group-written number. Mike played the riff, then I started playing a chord sequence and melody line on it, which Phil then centralized around. It worked so well as a very simple thing; it was enough as it stood. I'd just written a simple love lyric for "Many Too Many", and I think Mike was keen to try the same thing. Maybe "Follow You Follow Me" was almost too banal, but I got used to it. I think we find it much easier to write long stories than simple love songs.[2]

Drummer and vocalist Collins described it as "a great rhythm track" but claimed it "was not intended to be a hit single".[2]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song was a mimed live performance of the band. It was made at Shepperton Studios. It later appeared on their DVD The Video Show (2004). In the video Tony Banks is wearing a Vancouver Canucks hockey team sweater.

Live performances[edit]

The song was played live during the …And Then There Were Three…,[8] Duke,[9] Three Sides Live Encore tour,[10] Genesis,[11] Invisible Touch (1986 set only),[12] The Way We Walk,[13] Calling All Stations (with Ray Wilson on vocals),[14] and Turn It On Again tours.[15]

For The Way We Walk, this song was played as part of a medley of old Genesis songs called the Old Medley, thus the song was not always played in its entirety during The Way We Walk tour.[citation needed]

During the Turn It On Again Tour, Phil Collins performed on the drums as well as the vocals (making it one of very few songs in which he performs both simultaneously), while animated line art of a selection of the band's album art played in the background video screens. The first and last scenes in the animated sequence show the "father" character from the We Can't Dance album cover, raising his hand. A bright white spotlight (on Collins) lights up at the beginning of the song, and turns itself off at the end.[16]

The song was also performed live on the North American and Latin American legs of Phil Collins' solo Not Dead Yet Tour.

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "AllMusic Review". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 5 December 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2015. Its calm, insistent melody, layered with harmonies, is a perfect soft rock hook
  2. ^ a b c Jon Young. "The Genesis Autodiscography". Trouser Press. March 1982 issue
  3. ^ Genesis UK chart history, The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Genesis - Follow You, Follow Me - Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  5. ^ Pollock, Bruce (2005). Rock Song Index: The 7500 Most Important Songs for the Rock and Roll Era. Routledge. p. 107. ISBN 978-0415970730.
  6. ^ Genesis: A Biography, by Dave Bowler and Bryan Dray ISBN 0-283-06175-8
  7. ^ Lester, Paul (20 July 2017). "The Stories Behind The Songs : Genesis". Classic Rock. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  8. ^ And Then There Were Three Songs & Dates. Genesis-movement.org. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
  9. ^ Duke Tour Songs & Dates. Genesis-movement.org. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
  10. ^ Three Sides Live Encore Tour Songs & Dates. Genesis-movement.org. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
  11. ^ Mama Tour Songs & Dates. Genesis-movement.org. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
  12. ^ Invisible Tour Songs & Dates. Genesis-movement.org (6 November 1989). Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
  13. ^ The Way We Walk Tour Songs & Dates. Genesis-movement.org. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
  14. ^ Calling All Stations Tour Songs & Dates. Genesis-movement.org (6 December 1997). Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
  15. ^ Turn it on again Tour Songs & Dates. Genesis-movement.org. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
  16. ^ When in Rome 2007 DVD.

External links[edit]