|Studio album by Genesis|
|Released||9 June 1986|
|Recorded||October 1985 – March 1986|
(Chiddingfold, Surrey, England)
|Singles from Invisible Touch|
Invisible Touch is the thirteenth studio album by the English rock band Genesis, released on 9 June 1986 by Charisma Records and Virgin Records in the United Kingdom and by Atlantic Records in the United States. After a break in group activity in 1984 for each member to continue with their solo projects, Invisible Touch was recorded following the commercial success of Phil Collins's third solo album, No Jacket Required, and its supporting tour which had increased his popularity as a solo artist. The album was written entirely through group improvisations; no material developed prior to recording was used. Electronic drums and synthesizers are used extensively.
Invisible Touch remains the best-selling studio release from Genesis, with over 6,000,000 copies having been sold in the United States alone. It became the band's fourth consecutive album to top the UK charts and peaked at #3 in the U.S. It spawned five top five singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, "Invisible Touch", "Throwing It All Away", "Land of Confusion", "In Too Deep" and "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight", with "Invisible Touch" reaching #1, making it the only Genesis single to do so. The album received mixed reviews upon its release, and retrospectively several reviews, both positive and negative, have observed its similarity to Collins's solo records and their commercial pop sound. Genesis toured to promote the album from 1986 to 1987, which ended with four sold out shows at Wembley Stadium. The album was later reissued with a new stereo and 5.1 surround sound mix in 2007.
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. This put an end to a false announcement that aired on BBC Radio 1 suggesting the three had split.
Invisible Touch was written, recorded and mixed at The Farm, the band's own recording studio in Chiddingfold, Surrey, with audio engineer and co-producer Hugh Padgham, who had also produced Genesis. Much of the album's material originated or developed from the band improvising, something that they had practised on Genesis. Banks said the band entered the studio with a sense of confidence and their musical ideas plentiful.
"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 to which Collins replied with an off-the-cuff lyric—"She seems to have an invisible touch"—which became the song's chorus hook. Rutherford expressed a desire to perhaps explore different themes for the song, but felt the phrase had "always felt so comfortable" and saw no reason to. Collins rates the track as "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".
Rutherford recalled the basis for "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" being developed from Banks "improvising sound over a rhythm" played by Collins and himself. Similar to that of "Invisible Touch", Collins then came out with the word "monkey", leading to its working title being "Monkey/Zulu" with the rest of the songs lyrics being written around the phrase. Rutherford said the song was "more of the old-style Genesis that covers a lot of ground musically and has a fairly involved instrumental passage in the middle".
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?'".
"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.
"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".
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.
Invisible Touch was released on 9 June 1986. It topped the UK Albums Chart for two weeks and reached No. 3 on the US Billboard 200. The album spawned five singles – "Invisible Touch", "Throwing It All Away", "Land of Confusion", "In Too Deep", and "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" – each reached the top five on the US singles chart. Genesis became the first group and foreign act to achieve this feat, equalling the five singles record set by Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Madonna.
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, 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".
|Chicago Tribune||(Not favourable)|
|Los Angeles Times||(Not favourable)|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
In his 1986 review for Rolling Stone, J. D. Considine gave a positive review, 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'."
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. He wrote "contributions from Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks seem far less apparent than usual ... Especially on side one, Invisible Touch could almost pass as outtakes from No Jacket Required. Will the Free World ever tire of Phil Collins?". Several of the same criticisms were made by Steve Hochman of the Los Angeles Times, who asked "Was this record really necessary?". He stated that Invisible Touch "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".
In a retrospective review Stephen Thomas Erlewine, who reviewed the album for AllMusic, rated the album 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". Mark Putterford of Kerrang! remarked on how the album showed "new ideas, new sounds, but still very definitely Genesis".
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".
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.
|2.||"Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"||8:49|
|3.||"Land of Confusion"||4:45|
|4.||"In Too Deep"||4:59|
|1.||"Anything She Does"||4:06|
|3.||"Throwing It All Away"||3:51[a]|
|1.||"I'd Rather Be You"||3:54|
|2.||"Do the Neurotic"||7:08|
|3.||"Feeding the Fire"||5:57|
- Tony Banks – keyboards, synth bass
- Phil Collins – drums, vocals, percussion, drum machine
- Mike Rutherford – guitars, bass
- Hugh Padgham – production, engineer
- Paul Gommersall – assistant engineer
- Bob Ludwig – mastering
- Geoff Callingham – technician
- Baker Dave – sleeve production
- John Swannell – photography
|Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)||Gold||7,500*|
|Japan (Oricon Charts)||Gold||126,030|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||4× Platinum||1,200,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||6× Platinum||6,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
A Kind of Magic by Queen
|UK number one album
21 June – 11 July 1986
True Blue by Madonna
So by Peter Gabriel
|Canadian RPM 100 number-one album
26 July – 2 August 1986
True Stories by Talking Heads
|New Zealand Chart number-one album
9 November 1986
True Stories by Talking Heads
- The original album sleeve lists "Throwing It All Away" with an incorrect running time of 4:41.
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