Misunderstanding (Genesis song)

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Misunderstanding Single.jpg
Single by Genesis
from the album Duke
B-side "Evidence of Autumn" (UK)
"Behind the Lines" (U.S.A.)
"Open Door" (Germany)
"Duchess" (Netherlands)
Released 10 May 1980 (U.S.)
5 September 1980 (UK)
Recorded November 1979
Length 3:11 (album version)
3:04 (single version/video - sped up)
Label Charisma/Virgin (UK)
Atlantic (US)
Songwriter(s) Phil Collins
Producer(s) David Hentschel and Genesis
Genesis singles chronology
Duke track listing
"Man of Our Times"
Audio sample

"Misunderstanding" is a song by English rock band Genesis, released on their 1980 album Duke. It reached No. 14 in the U.S. and No. 42 in the UK.[1] Its highest charting was in Canada, where it reached No. 1 and is ranked as the seventh biggest Canadian hit of 1980.


Originally written by Phil Collins during the production of his debut solo album Face Value, the song ended up being donated (along with "Please Don't Ask") for Duke. According to Collins, the song was modeled after The Beach Boys' "Sail On, Sailor", Sly and the Family Stone's "Hot Fun in the Summertime" and Toto's "Hold the Line".

Music video[edit]

A music video, directed by Stuart Orme, was made for the song, featuring Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford playing their instruments (piano and electric guitar respectively) on the back of a truck, with a bearded Collins driving a 1950s model Ford convertible making stops at various locations around Los Angeles (the Capitol Records Tower can be seen in the background and street signs for Hollywood Boulevard are present) looking for his girlfriend (played by Max Factor spokesperson Linda Kendall).[2]

Two different cuts of the video exist: one version featured alternate shots of Collins, as well as alternate shots of his girlfriend peppered throughout (including a shot of her at Griffith Park Observatory).[3] This version was not used on any of the Genesis Music Video collections. Filming took place on location in Los Angeles from 24–27 May 1980 during concerts for the band's Duke tour there. Further evidence of the filming dates for the video are the billboards seen throughout, advertising The Hollywood Knights and The Nude Bomb, both films released in May 1980.

Tour information[edit]

The song was featured on the U.S. leg of the Duke Tour of 1980, and was also featured on tours to promote future albums Abacab and Genesis. Despite its commercial success, it was dropped from the setlists of all the later tours. However a verse was sung sometimes in the We Can't Dance Tour's "Old Medley." Collins also played the song in its entirety with a horn section in the U.S. during his First Final Farewell Tour in 2004.[citation needed]

Cover versions[edit]

  • Australian musician Jay Watson, working under his 'GUM' moniker, recorded a psychedelic rendition of 'Misunderstanding' on his 2014 album 'Delorean Highway'.[4]
  • In 2016, band Ninja Sex Party released a cover version of the song as part of their 2016 cover album, Under the Covers.[5]


  1. ^ Genesis UK chart history, The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Linda Kendall : Biography". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-10-16. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 June 2014. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  4. ^ Peter Vidani (2014-05-08). "Listen to ‘Misunderstanding’ by GUM (Jay Watson)". Deafen County. Retrieved 2016-10-16. 
  5. ^ "Under the Covers". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 

External links[edit]