Keep It Dark

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"Keep It Dark"
Keep It Dark Single.jpg
Single by Genesis
from the album Abacab
Released23 October 1981
GenreRock, post-punk, industrial[1]
Songwriter(s)Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford
Producer(s)Genesis, Hugh Padgham
Genesis singles chronology
"No Reply at All"
"Keep It Dark"
"Man on the Corner"

"Keep It Dark" is a song by British band Genesis, released on 23 October 1981 in the UK as the second single from Abacab. [2] It reached number 33 in the UK Singles Chart.[3]

Song information[edit]

A light rock song, it describes a man who has been to the future and has seen a bright, happy world where everyone is filled with joy, cities are filled with light, with no fear of war, and all exploitation has ceased as all creatures have happier lives. Once he returns, however, he is pressured to lie about the incident (i.e., to "keep it dark"). Instead he claims that he was kidnapped by thieves who wanted to take his money.[citation needed]. The cover depicts the three wise monkeys.

In the DVD interview accompanying the 2007 re-release of Abacab, the album from which the song comes, composer Tony Banks said that "the idea was that this character had to pretend that he'd just been robbed by people and that's why he'd disappeared for a few weeks, and in fact what had happened [was] he'd been to the future and gone to this fantastic world where everything was wonderful and beautiful and everything... but he couldn't tell anybody that, because no one would believe him and the powers that be kept him silent."[citation needed]

The song's structure is unusual: the rhythm is in a 6/4 time signature, with a distinctly syncopated rhythm guitar part. Lead singer Phil Collins sings in falsetto for certain lines of the song.[4] The pace overall, particularly the drums, is similar to the album's title track.

Music video[edit]

A music video supported the single release of the song, featuring Collins, Tony Banks, and Rutherford in two different settings. In the first and second verses and the fade out, the band walks along bleak city streets (in Amsterdam) wearing trenchcoats and fedoras. When the chorus comes in, it shifts to the band wearing all-white suits and sunglasses, and walking through a field, with the sun shining. In both settings, Banks mimes with a mini Casio keyboard and Rutherford with the neck from a guitar, while Collins keeps the beat of the song with drumsticks, mostly hitting air, or the walls of the Amsterdam houses.


Other versions[edit]

  • Prog rock band World Trade recorded a cover version for the Genesis tribute album Supper's Ready in 1996.
  • In 2007, Phil Collins' son, Simon Collins, recorded his own version of the song with Dave Kerzner, Kelly Nordstrom and Andre Fedorow, as a tribute to Genesis on their 40th anniversary.[5][6]


  1. ^ Fricke, David (26 November 1981). Abacab review, Rolling Stone.
  2. ^ Genesis: A Biography, UK discography. 1992. ISBN 9780283061325.
  3. ^ Genesis UK chart history, The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  4. ^ Reed, Ryan; Stone, Rolling (10 October 2014). "20 Insanely Great Genesis Songs Only Hardcore Fans Know". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  5. ^ Fedorow, Andre Wikipedia "Discography"
  6. ^ Fedorow, Andre Official Website "Official Discography"