Invisible Touch (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Invisible Touch"
Single by Genesis
from the album Invisible Touch
B-side "The Last Domino"
Released 19 May 1986
Format CD single
Recorded The Farm, Surrey, England, UK
Length 3:27
Label Atlantic, Vertigo
Genesis singles chronology
"Taking It All Too Hard"
"Invisible Touch"
"Throwing It All Away"
Invisible Touch track listing
"Invisible Touch"
"Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"

"Invisible Touch" is the title track and first single from the 1986 album of the same name by the English rock band Genesis. The song is a group composition which featured lyrics written by singer and drummer Phil Collins.[1]

It is the most successful single in the band's career and was their first and only No. 1 single in the United States; the song additionally spent three consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart during summer 1986 until it was surpassed by Peter Cetera's "Glory of Love". The song was the first of five consecutive U.S. Top Five singles from the album of the same name.[2][3] It also reached No. 4 in Canada and No. 15 in the United Kingdom.[4] Its B-side is the second part of "Domino", titled "The Last Domino". (The album includes both parts of "Domino" combined together.)

Genesis members Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford have both spoken highly of the song in retrospect. Collins has called it his "favourite Genesis song" and Rutherford has called it "a wonderful song: upbeat, fun to play, always a strong moment in any gig".[1] As the band's only Billboard Hot 100 number one, the song is included in Rock Song Index: The 7500 Most Important Songs for the Rock and Roll Era.[5]


22-second sample from Genesis's "Invisible Touch"

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Invisible Touch" came about during a jam session, Rutherford playing a guitar riff while Collins improvised the line "She seems to have an invisible touch". Collins has said he heard the influence of Prince and Sheila E. in the drum machine and his lyrics were inspired by a few people he had known who had got under his skin. Despite liking the song himself, and despite the band's previous success, he has claimed he wasn't certain the song would be a hit.[1]

In summer 1986, "Invisible Touch" was succeeded in the No. 1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 by the multi-Grammy nominated "Sledgehammer", performed by Genesis' former lead singer, Peter Gabriel. Collins later jested about the occurrence in a 2014 interview, stating, "I read recently that Peter Gabriel knocked us off the No. 1 spot with 'Sledgehammer'. We weren’t aware of that at the time. If we had been, we’d probably have sent him a telegram saying: 'Congratulations – bastard.'"[1]

The single also reached No. 1 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

Live versions[edit]

A live version of "Invisible Touch" appears on the albums The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts, and Live over Europe 2007, as well as on the DVD's Genesis Live at Wembley Stadium, The Way We Walk – Live in Concert and When in Rome 2007.

"Invisible Touch" was performed during the Invisible Touch, We Can't Dance, Calling All Stations (with Ray Wilson on vocals) and Turn It On Again tours. During the latter tour in 2007, the song was the finale featuring fireworks going off as the song ended.

Genesis also performed the song at Wembley Stadium for Live Earth. Collins's use of the f-word in the song in front of millions of television viewers at 2pm in the afternoon resulted in an apology from British presenter Jonathan Ross, who vowed to give Collins a "talking to".[6] Collins was one of several performers at the event whose offensive language caused the BBC to be censured by the media regulator Ofcom.[7]

On later tours, the song segued from "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight", albeit transposed to a lower key to accommodate Collins' deepening voice. Eventually, Collins began performing the song on his solo tours with the song once again tuned down to compensate for his deepening range.


Chart (1986) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[8] 3
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[9] 6
Finnish Singles (Suomen virallinen lista)[10] 15
Germany (Official German Charts)[11] 16
Ireland (IRMA)[12] 7
Italy (FIMI)[13] 21
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[14] 28
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[15] 8
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[16] 13
United Kingdom (Official Charts Company)[17] 15
United States (Billboard Hot 100)[2] 1
Zimbabwe Singles (ZIMA)[18] 11


Live single[edit]

"Invisible Touch (Live)"
Single by Genesis
from the album The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts
B-side "Abacab" (live)
"The Brazilian" (live)
Released 9 November 1992
Format 7", CD
Genre Pop rock
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford
Producer(s) Nick Davis, Robert Colby, Genesis
Genesis singles chronology
"Jesus He Knows Me"
"Invisible Touch (Live)"
"Tell Me Why"

In 1992, "Invisible Touch" was recorded live during Genesis's 1991–1992 We Can't Dance world tour and released on limited edition 7" and CD near the end of the tour. Both formats were numbered and came with a booklet; the CD was housed in a box and the vinyl edition in a gatefold sleeve.

The A-side is the same version found on the accompanying live album The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts. The B-sides "Abacab" and "The Brazilian" were culled from the filmed (and later released) Wembley Stadium gig from the 1987 Invisible Touch tour.

The 7" featured an edited version of "Abacab," while the CD included complete versions of both songs.

Like the albums The Shorts and The Way We Walk, Volume Two: The Longs, and the home video The Way We Walk – Live in Concert, the title of the record was prefixed by "Genesis Live", with "(Live)" appearing as a suffix on the back sleeve and on the disc itself.

During live performances of "Invisible Touch," Collins substituted the line "And though she will mess up your life" with "And though she will fuck up your life". Consequently, the obscenity was bleeped out on the single.

Unlike the original recording of the song, this live version was a Top 10 hit in the UK, reaching number seven. In one of the interview sections on the Way We Walk – Live in Concert DVD, Collins jokes about re-releasing the song until it finally becomes a hit.



  1. ^ a b c d Barnett, Laura (14 October 2014). "Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford: how we made Invisible Touch". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Genesis Artist Biography by Bruce Eder – Awards". Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. p. 317. ISBN 0-87586-207-1. 
  4. ^ Genesis UK chart history, The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  5. ^ Pollock, Bruce (2005). Rock Song Index: The 7500 Most Important Songs for the Rock and Roll Era. Routledge. p. 186. ISBN 978-0415970730. 
  6. ^ "Foul-mouthed Start To Live Earth". Contact Music. 7 July 2007. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Live Earth swearing rap for BBC". BBC News. 9 April 2008. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  8. ^ " – Genesis – Invisible Touch". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  9. ^ "Genesis – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Genesis.
  10. ^ "Genesis: Invisible Touch". (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. 
  11. ^ " – Genesis – Invisible Touch". GfK Entertainment.
  12. ^ "Chart Track: Week 11, 1986". Irish Singles Chart.
  13. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1986". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Creative Commons. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
    10. Invisible Touch – Genesis [#21]
  14. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Genesis search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  15. ^ " – Genesis – Invisible Touch". Top 40 Singles.
  16. ^ " – Genesis – Invisible Touch". Swiss Singles Chart.
  17. ^ UK Singles Chart (Retrieved 10 April 2008)
  18. ^ * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: singles chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Holding Back the Years" by Simply Red
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
19 July 1986
Succeeded by
"Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel