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...
  • "Ballad of Big" (UK)
  • "Inside and Out" (US)
Released 25 February 1978 (1978-02-25)
Format 7-inch
Recorded September–October 1977
Genre Soft rock[1]
  • 3:59 (album version)
  • 3:19 (US edit)
Genesis singles chronology
"A Trick of the Tail"
"Follow You Follow Me"
"Many Too Many"
Audio sample

"Follow You Follow Me" is a love song written and recorded by English 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 in the UK and number 23 in the US.[3] 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".[4]


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. The band all agreed that their music was attracting mainly male audiences. This song was written specifically to redress the balance.[5]


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.[2]

Drummer and vocalist Collins described it as "a great rhythm track" but he 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 later appeared on their DVD The Video Show (2004).

Notable Appearance in Other Media[edit]

Live performances[edit]

The song was played live during the …And Then There Were Three…,[6] Duke,[7] Three Sides Live Encore tour,[8] Genesis,[9] Invisible Touch (1986 set only),[10] The Way We Walk,[11] Calling All Stations (with Ray Wilson on vocals),[12] and Turn It On Again tours.[13]

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 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.[14]



  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "AllMusic Review". AllMusic. 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. ^ Pollock, Bruce (2005). Rock Song Index: The 7500 Most Important Songs for the Rock and Roll Era. Routledge. p. 107. ISBN 978-0415970730. 
  5. ^ Genesis: A Biography, by Dave Bowler and Bryan Dray ISBN 0-283-06175-8
  6. ^ And Then There Were Three Songs & Dates. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
  7. ^ Duke Tour Songs & Dates. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
  8. ^ Three Sides Live Encore Tour Songs & Dates. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
  9. ^ Mama Tour Songs & Dates. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
  10. ^ Invisible Tour Songs & Dates. (6 November 1989). Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
  11. ^ The Way We Walk Tour Songs & Dates. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
  12. ^ Calling All Stations Tour Songs & Dates. (6 December 1997). Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
  13. ^ Turn it on again Tour Songs & Dates. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
  14. ^ When in Rome 2007 DVD.

External links[edit]