Illegal Alien (song)

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"Illegal Alien"
Single by Genesis
from the album Genesis
B-side "Turn It On Again" (Live)
Released 23 January 1984
Format 7", 12"
Genre Pop rock
Length 4:33 (45) 5:14 (LP)
Label Atlantic, Virgin, Vertigo
Writer(s) Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford
Producer(s) Genesis, Hugh Padgham
Genesis singles chronology
"Home by the Sea"
"Illegal Alien"
"Taking It All Too Hard"
Genesis track listing
"Second Home by the Sea"
"Illegal Alien"
"Taking It All Too Hard"

"Illegal Alien" is a song by English rock group by Genesis. It was released as the fourth single from the album Genesis. The song reached number 46 in the UK charts.[1]


The song's lyrics are a lighter, humorous depiction of the frustrations an illegal alien faces, leading up to the chorus: "It's no fun being an illegal alien." The second stanza of the bridge — in which the trespasser offers sexual favours from his sister in exchange for admittance across the border — has been edited from radio versions of the song, as well as from the music video version.

Phil Collins played trumpet and Tony Banks used an Emulator sampler while recording the song.

Music video[edit]

The song's music video depicts most of the events described in the lyrics. At the end of the video, the entire cast and crew is seen singing the repeated chorus along with the band members. The clip was filmed at the same time as the video for "Mama".

Live performances[edit]

"Illegal Alien" was only played live during the Mama Tour.[2] A live version is featured on disc two of Genesis Archive 2: 1976–1992, which was recorded live at the L.A. Forum, Los Angeles, California on 14 January 1984.

Track listings[edit]

7" Single
  1. "Illegal Alien" (4:33)
  2. "Turn It On Again" (Live) (5:24)
12" maxi
  1. "Illegal Alien" (5:14)
  2. "Turn It On again" (Live extended version) (9:26)



Chart (1984) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[3] 41
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 46
US Billboard Hot 100 44


  1. ^ Genesis UK chart history, The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  2. ^ Mama Tour Songs & Dates
  3. ^ Canadian peak

External links[edit]