Invisible Touch

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Invisible Touch
InvisibleTouch86.jpg
Studio album by Genesis
Released 6 June 1986 (1986-06-06)
Recorded October 1985–February 1986
Studio The Farm
(Chiddingfold, Surrey, England)
Genre
Length 45:42
Label
Producer
Genesis chronology
Genesis
(1983)
Invisible Touch
(1986)
We Can't Dance
(1991)
Singles from Invisible Touch
  1. "Invisible Touch"
    Released: 19 May 1986
  2. "In Too Deep"
    Released: 18 August 1986 (UK)
    18 January 1987 (US)
  3. "Land of Confusion"
    Released: 10 November 1986 (UK)
    31 October 1986 (US)
  4. "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"
    Released: 23 March 1987
  5. "Throwing It All Away"
    Released: 8 June 1987 (UK)
    8 August 1986 (US)

Invisible Touch is the thirteenth studio album by the English rock band Genesis, released on 6 June 1986 by Atlantic Records in the United States and 9 June 1986 by Charisma and Virgin Records in the United Kingdom. After taking a break in group activity for each member to continue with their solo projects in 1984, the band reconvened in October 1985 to write and record Invisible Touch with engineer and producer Hugh Padgham. As with their previous album, it was written entirely through group improvisations and no material developed prior to recording was used.

Invisible Touch was a worldwide success and reached number one on the UK Albums Chart and No. 3 on the US Billboard 200. It remains the band's highest selling album after it was certified multi-platinum for over 1.2 million copies sold in the UK and 6 million sold in the US. Genesis became the first band and foreign act to have five top five singles on the US Billboard Hot 100, with "Invisible Touch" being their first to reach number one on the chart. The album received mixed reviews upon its release and retrospectively, with several reviews, both positive and negative, observing its similarity to Collins's solo records and their commercial pop-oriented sound. In 2007, the album was reissued with a new stereo and 5.1 surround sound mix.

Background[edit]

After wrapping up the Mama Tour in February 1984 to support their previous album Genesis, the band took a break in activity to allow each member to continue with their respective solo careers. Mike Rutherford formed his group Mike + The Mechanics, Tony Banks worked on his second album of soundtrack material titled Soundtracks, and Phil Collins released his third solo album No Jacket Required which achieved worldwide success and increased his popularity as a result. In a June 1985 interview, Collins spoke of the band's intention to start work on the next Genesis album that October.[4] This put an end to a false announcement that aired on BBC Radio 1 suggesting the three had split.[5] To Rutherford, the break in group activity had an effect on Genesis's musical style: "We had done so much work outside the band, it seemed we had gone through a lot more musical changes, although the development is largely unconscious".[6]

Production[edit]

Recording[edit]

The Farm, pictured in 2006, where Invisible Touch was recorded

The album was written, recorded, and mixed at The Farm, the band's recording studio in Chiddingfold, Surrey. They were joined by audio engineer and co-producer Hugh Padgham,[7] who had worked with the band on their previous two albums. Banks recalled they entered the studio with a sense of confidence.[8] As with their previous album Genesis (1983), the band approached the writing process with no previously written material, leaving them to write each track through group improvisation.[6] Collins compared such a songwriting process as "close to jazz".[9] Banks reasoned such an approach for the album as he thought the group's best songs had been developed collectively. Collins spoke about the writing method: "You never quite know what's going to happen. It's just the three of us chopping away, fine-tuning and honing down all these ideas."[6] When a section had been developed that felt particularly strong to the group, a discussion would take place to decide how it would be developed into a song, its length, and whether it should be an instrumental or have lyrics added to it.[6] During the writing and recording process, Collins realised the band were coming up with material that Genesis had not done before "which is not easy after 15 albums", and thought the songs were stronger than those on Genesis.[6] Banks agreed, thinking the short tracks on Invisible Touch were stronger than their last album. Recording was complete in February 1986.[6]

Songs[edit]

"On day one, we had no songs, no ideas, and a blank bit of paper. Phil was always keen to fill that bit of paper – he was very organised – and we let him."

Mike Rutherford.[9]

"Invisible Touch" originated as the band were working on "The Last Domino", the second part of "Domino". During the session Rutherford began to play an improvised guitar riff with an added echo effect, to which Collins replied with the off-the-cuff lyric, "She seems to have an invisible touch, yeah". This led to Collins writing the lyrics to the song, with his improvised line becoming its chorus hook. He wrote the lyrics based around a person who gets under one's skin which he had "Known a few. You know they’re going to mess you up, but you can't resist".[9][10] The song's musical structure then came to Collins' mind in its complete form.[9] Rutherford expressed a desire for the band to explore different musical themes for the song, but later felt the lyric had "always felt so comfortable" to him and saw no reason not to.[11] Collins rates the track highly and picked it as his favourite Genesis song.[9] He added: "It's a great pop song. It encapsulated the whole record and it pushed Genesis into a bit of an R&B area, a little like a Prince thing", and also compared his drumming on the track to American singer Sheila E, of whom he is a fan.[11][9]

The basis for "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" came about from Banks, who spent some time improvising with different sounds from his keyboards over a rhythm Collins and Rutherford were playing.[10] Similar to that of "Invisible Touch", Collins then came out with the word "monkey" and explored it vocally which led to the song's working title to be "Monkey/Zulu". The rest of the songs' lyrics were then written around the word.[10] Rutherford thought the track resembled the "old-style Genesis" as it covers more ground musically with a "fairly involved" instrumental section in the middle.[10] Banks agreed with Rutherford's view on the song, pointing out its comparison in terms of its complexity.[6]

The lyrics to "Land of Confusion" were written by Rutherford. He was struck with the flu when it was time for Collins to record the song's vocals. He recalled Collins "came over to my house ... he sat on my bed like a secretary ... I was in a kind of delirious state with a very high temperature and I dictated it to him and I remember thinking, 'I think I told him the right thing ... Was it all rubbish or was it any good?'".[11]

Banks gained inspiration for "Anything She Does" from pictures of scantily clad women the band would cut out and place on the wall of their recording studio.[10]

"Domino" is a track split into two sections—"In the Glow of the Night" and "The Last Domino". Rutherford thinks "Domino" is "one of the best things" the band has done.[12]

"Throwing It All Away" was a heavy guitar song in its original form, with Collins "drumming in a John Bonham style". However, as the chorus developed, its mood changed to that of a softer one "matched by the single love-song lyric".[13]

Three additional songs—"Feeding the Fire", "I'd Rather Be You", and "Do the Neurotic"—were recorded during the album's sessions but were cut from the album's final track selection. They were subsequently released as B-sides across the five singles released from the album. The tracks were included in the 2007 box set Genesis 1983–1998.

Release[edit]

Invisible Touch was first released on 6 June 1986 in the US by Atlantic Records;[14] its release in the United Kingdom followed on 9 June 1986 by Charisma and Virgin Records.[15] The album reached number one on the UK Albums Chart for three weeks from 21 June 1986 during a 96-week stay on the chart,[16] and peaked at number 3 on the US Billboard 200 during an 85-week stay.[17]

Genesis released five singles from Invisible Touch from 1986 to 1987—"Invisible Touch", "Throwing It All Away", "Land of Confusion", "In Too Deep", and "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight". Each one reached the top five on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, making Genesis the first group and foreign act to achieve this feat, equalling the five singles record set by Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Madonna.[18]

In 1987, Invisible Touch received an American Music Award nomination for Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo, or Group. Padgham was nominated for a Brit Award for Best British Producer,[19] and "The Brazilian" received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. The music video for "Land of Confusion", featuring the Spitting Image puppets, was nominated for MTV's Video of the Year Award, but lost to their former lead vocalist Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer".

In 2007, the album was reissued with a new stereo and 5.1 surround sound mix.[20]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune (Not favourable)[21]
Kerrang! 4.5/5 stars[22]
Los Angeles Times (Not favourable)[23]
Robert Christgau C+[24]
Rolling Stone (favourable)[25]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[26]

The album received a mixed reaction from music critics upon release. J. D. Considine gave it a positive review for Rolling Stone, stating that "every tune is carefully pruned so that each flourish delivers not an instrumental epiphany but a solid hook. Much of the credit for this belongs to Tony Banks, whose synth style has never seemed more appropriate; it's his keyboards that set the mood for "In the Glow of the Night" and maintain the tension in "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"."[25] Daniel Brogan of the Chicago Tribune was not as impressed, claiming the album had "none of the inventiveness, illumination or power" of former Genesis singer Peter Gabriel's album So, released in the same month. He thought the contributions from Rutherford and Banks "seem far less apparent than usual", and that the first side of the album "could almost pass as outtakes from No Jacket Required". He concluded: "Will the Free World ever tire of Phil Collins?"[21] Several of Brogan's criticisms were mirrored in a review from Steve Hochman of the Los Angeles Times. Hochman asked "Was this record really necessary?" and stated the album "could easily pass as a Collins album. His thin voice and familiar MOR&B songwriting dominate, with only occasional evidence of input from Rutherford and Banks". He also suggested the record "was made to provide material for the next season of Miami Vice".[23] Associated Press writer Larry Kilman disagreed, who opened his review with "Genesis have come up with an irresistible Invisible Touch ... This is far from a Collins solo effort. The band's material is more complex than Collins' pop sound". He complimented the album's "great variety", picking out "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" as a highlight which reminded him of "the spare, art-rock sound of the early Genesis".[27]

In a retrospective review from Stephen Thomas Erlewine for AllMusic, the album received three stars out of five. He commented that "Invisible Touch was seen at the time as a bit of a Phil Collins solo album disguised as a Genesis album ... Genesis' poppiest album, a sleek, streamlined affair built on electronic percussion and dressed in synths" and he claimed "the heavy emphasis on pop tunes does serve the singer, not the band". However, he said that "[the] songs had big hooks that excused their coldness, and the arty moments sank to the bottom".[1] Mark Putterford of Kerrang! remarked on how the album showed "new ideas, new sounds, but still very definitely Genesis".[22] The Rough Guide to Rock describes Invisible Touch as "calculated and oddly emotionless AOR" and stated the hits were "by now barely distinguishable from Collins' songs as a solo artist".[28] In 2014, Stevie Chick, writing for The Guardian, said the album's "bright, polished pop title track, the baby boomer agit-rock of 'Land of Confusion', the genuinely affecting ballad 'Throwing It All Away' – could have easily fitted on his [Collins's] solo albums". Chick reserved particular praise for 'Domino', saying the track "proved a final gasp of brilliance before the blandness of 1991's We Can't Dance and 1997's inexplicable, Collins-less Calling All Stations".[29]

Tour[edit]

Genesis supported Invisible Touch with a 112-date world tour that ran from September 1986 to July 1987 with their usual touring musicians, drummer Chester Thompson and guitarist Daryl Stuermer. The tour concluded with a record four sold-out shows at London's Wembley Stadium. The live concert video Live at Wembley Stadium released on VHS in 1988 and on DVD in 2003.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and arranged by Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford.[6]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Invisible Touch" 3:26
2. "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" 8:49
3. "Land of Confusion" 4:45
4. "In Too Deep" 4:59
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Anything She Does" 4:06
2. "Domino"
  • Part One–"In the Glow of the Night"
  • Part Two–"The Last Domino"
10:42
3. "Throwing It All Away" 3:51[a]
4. "The Brazilian" 4:49
Total length: 45:42

Personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from the album's sleeve notes.[7]

Genesis
Production

Chart performance[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[54] Platinum 70,000^
France (SNEP)[55] Platinum 391,900[56]
Germany (BVMI)[57] Platinum 500,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[58] Gold 7,500*
Japan (Oricon Charts)[59] Gold 126,030[37]
Netherlands (NVPI)[60] Platinum 100,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[61] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[62] 4× Platinum 1,200,000^
United States (RIAA)[63] 6× Platinum 6,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Notes and references[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ The original album sleeve lists "Throwing It All Away" with an incorrect running time of 4:41.[7]
Citations
  1. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Invisible Touch – Genesis". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Young, Alex (27 March 2010). "Dusting 'Em Off: Genesis – Invisible Touch". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Hermann, Andy (29 June 2014). "In Defense of... Genesis' 'Invisible Touch'". Diffuser.fm. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Hinkley, David (30 June 1985). "Rock's Little Drummer Boy Goes Pop". New York Daily News Magazine. p. 6. 
  5. ^ Bowler & Dray 1992, p. 198.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Kaus, Bob (2 June 1986). "Genesis: Invisible Touch Press Kit". Atlantic Records. pp. 2–3. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c Invisible Touch (Media notes). Charisma Records. 1986. GEN CD2. 
  8. ^ Genesis 2007, p. 282.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Barnett, Laura (14 October 2014). "Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford: How we made Invisible Touch". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 February 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Bowler & Dray 1992, p. 202.
  11. ^ a b c Bowler & Dray 1992, p. 203.
  12. ^ Bowler & Dray 1992, p. 205.
  13. ^ Bowler & Dray 1992, p. 204.
  14. ^ "American album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  15. ^ "British album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 31 January 2017.  Enter "Invisible Touch" in the field 'Keywords'. Select 'Title' in the field 'Search by'. Select 'Album' in the field 'By Format'. Click 'Search'.
  16. ^ a b "Genesis – Artists – Official Charts". Official Charts. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  17. ^ "Artists / Genesis: Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  18. ^ Grien, Paul (13 June 1987). "Chart Beat: Genesis Joins Five-Top-Five-Hits Club; Walden Produces His Sixth In Two Years" (PDF). Billboard: 6. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  19. ^ "History". 
  20. ^ "Genesis - Invisible Touch". 
  21. ^ a b Brogan, Daniel (27 June 1986). "Genesis' `Invisible Touch' Low on Inventiveness, Power". chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  22. ^ a b Putterford, Mark (26 June 1986). "Genesis 'Invisible Touch'". Kerrang!. 123. London, UK: United Magazines ltd. pp. 14–15. 
  23. ^ a b Hochman, Steve (29 June 1986). "Summer Album Roundup : Gtr And Genesis Lack The Touch". articles.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  24. ^ "Consumer Guide Album: Genesis: Invisible Touch". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  25. ^ a b Considine, J.D. (14 August 1986). "Genesis: Invisible Touch : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 1 December 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  26. ^ Nathan Brackett; Christian David Hoard (2004). The new Rolling Stone album guide. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 327–328. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8. 
  27. ^ Kilman, Larry (31 August 1986). "Genesis records". The Paris News. Paris, Texas. p. 18. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  28. ^ Peter Buckley, ed. (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides Ltd. ISBN 978-1843531050. 
  29. ^ Chick, Stevie (3 September 2014). "Genesis: 10 of the best". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  30. ^ a b c d Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  31. ^ "austriancharts.at Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  32. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 20 October 2011
  33. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  34. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  35. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  36. ^ a b "Billboard magazine from 19 July 1986". Billboard. Vol. 98 no. 29. 19 July 1986. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  37. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  38. ^ "charts.org.nz Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  39. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  40. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  41. ^ "swedishcharts.com Genesis – Invisible Touch" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  42. ^ "Genesis – Invisible Touch – hitparade.ch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  43. ^ "allmusic ((( Invisible Touch > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  44. ^ "Album Search: Genesis – Invisible Touch" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  45. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Jahreshitparade 1986" (in German). Hung Medien. Archived from the original (ASP) on 9 November 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2010. 
  46. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1986". RPM. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  47. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1986 par InfoDisc" (in French). infodisc.fr. Archived from the original (PHP) on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  48. ^ "Hitparade.ch – Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1988" (in German). Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  49. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  50. ^ "Billboard.BIZ – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1986". billboard.biz. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  51. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Jahreshitparade 1987" (in German). Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 12 October 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2010. 
  52. ^ "Top 100 Albums of '87". RPM. 26 December 1987. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  53. ^ "Billboard.BIZ – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1987". billboard.biz. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  54. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1986 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  55. ^ "French album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select GENESIS and click OK
  56. ^ "Les Albums Platine". infodisc.fr (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  57. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Genesis; 'Invisible Touch')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  58. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1988". IFPI Hong Kong. 
  59. ^ UNSUPPORTED OR EMPTY REGION: Japan (Oricon Charts).
  60. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. 
  61. ^ "Sólo Éxitos 1959–2002 Año A Año: Certificados 1979–1990" (in Spanish). Iberautor Promociones Culturales. ISBN 8480486392. 
  62. ^ "British album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Invisible Touch in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  63. ^ "American album certifications – Genesis – Invisible Touch". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
Sources
  • Bowler, Dave; Dray, Bryan (1992). Genesis: A Biography. Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd. ISBN 978-0-283-06132-5. 
  • Banks, Tony; Collins, Phil; Gabriel, Peter; Hackett, Steve; Rutherford, Mike (2007). Dodd, Philipp, ed. Genesis. Chapter and Verse. Weidenfeld and Nicholson. ISBN 978-0-297-84434-1. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
A Kind of Magic by Queen
UK number one album
21 June – 11 July 1986
Succeeded by
True Blue by Madonna
Preceded by
So by Peter Gabriel
Canadian RPM 100 number-one album
26 July – 2 August 1986
Preceded by
True Stories by Talking Heads
New Zealand Chart number-one album
9 November 1986
Succeeded by
True Stories by Talking Heads