Follow You Follow Me
|"Follow You Follow Me"|
|Single by Genesis|
|from the album ...And Then There Were Three...|
|B-side||"Ballad of Big" (UK)
"Inside and Out" (U.S.)
|Released||25 February 1978|
|Recorded||September – October 1977|
|Writer(s)||Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford|
|Producer(s)||David Hentschel and Genesis|
|Genesis singles chronology|
The music was written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford, with lyrics by Rutherford. Originally released as the last track from their 1978 album …And Then There Were Three…, the single was Genesis's first to reach the American Top 40 (peaking at number 23) and UK Top 10 (number 7). It paved the way for the more radio-friendly direction Genesis would take over the next decade.
The song is included in 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".
The slower, sentimental "Follow You Follow Me" was a departure from most of their previous work as a progressive rock band, as well as much of the rest of the album, 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, "Follow You Follow Me" was the first worldwide pop success by the group and gained the band play on adult contemporary and pop music stations. The band all agreed that their music was attracting mainly male audiences. This song was written specifically to redress the balance.
The song started from a chord sequence by guitarist Mike Rutherford, who also claimed he wrote the lyrics in about five minutes. 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.
Drummer and vocalist Collins described it as "a great rhythm track" but he claimed it "was not intended to be a hit single".
The music video for the song was a mimed live performance of the band. It later appeared on their DVD The Video Show.
The song was played live during the …And Then There Were Three…, Duke, Three Sides Live Encore tour, Genesis, Invisible Touch (1986 set only), The Way We Walk, Calling All Stations (with Ray Wilson on vocals), and Turn It On Again tours.
For The Way We Walk, this song was played as part of a medley of old Genesis songs called the Old Medley. Because of this the song was not always played in its entirety during the The Way We Walk tour.
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.
- Phil Collins – vocals, drums, percussion
- Tony Banks – keyboards
- Mike Rutherford – guitar, bass guitar
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "AllMusic Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
Its calm, insistent melody, layered with harmonies, is a perfect soft rock hook
- Jon Young. "The Genesis Autodiscography". Trouser Press. March 1982 issue
- Genesis UK chart history, The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- Pollock, Bruce (2005). Rock Song Index: The 7500 Most Important Songs for the Rock and Roll Era. Routledge. p. 107. ISBN 978-0415970730.
- Genesis: A Biography, by Dave Bowler and Bryan Dray ISBN 0-283-06175-8
- And Then There Were Three Songs & Dates. Genesis-movement.org. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
- Duke Tour Songs & Dates. Genesis-movement.org. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
- Three Sides Live Encore Tour Songs & Dates. Genesis-movement.org. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
- Mama Tour Songs & Dates. Genesis-movement.org. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
- Invisible Tour Songs & Dates. Genesis-movement.org (6 November 1989). Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
- The Way We Walk Tour Songs & Dates. Genesis-movement.org. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
- Calling All Stations Tour Songs & Dates. Genesis-movement.org (6 December 1997). Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
- Turn it on again Tour Songs & Dates. Genesis-movement.org. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
- When in Rome 2007 DVD.