No Son of Mine

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"No Son of Mine"
No son of mine.jpg
Single by Genesis
from the album We Can't Dance
B-side"Living Forever"
Released21 October 1991
FormatCD maxi, 7" single, 12" maxi,
RecordedThe Farm, Surrey, 1991
Length4:41 (radio edit)
6:39 (album version)
5:44 (new edit – 1999)
LabelAtlantic, Virgin
Lyrics: Phil Collins
Music: Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford
Producer(s)Genesis, Nick Davis, Robert Colby
Genesis singles chronology
"Throwing It All Away"
"No Son of Mine"
"I Can't Dance"

"No Son of Mine" is a song by British rock group Genesis, released as the lead single from their 1991 album, We Can't Dance. It reached No. 6 on the UK singles chart and No. 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart (the first to not break the Top 10 since 1983's "Mama"[1]); it was also a Top 10 hit in several European countries.

Lyrics and music[edit]

The song's lyrics tell the story of a boy who runs away from his abusive home, and—after some reconsideration—attempts to return, only to be rebuked by his father. In interviews, Phil Collins has said that the lyrics are deliberately vague as to whether the narrator or his mother is the victim of the abuse.

The video for this song is melancholic, illustrating the scene in sepia tone. The video depicts what is discussed in the song, a conversation between a son and his father. During the last chorus, snowflakes begin appearing flying around the house; eventually, at the end, the scene pulls out to reveal that the scenes of confrontation have taken place in a snow globe that the son is holding.

The song has a distinctive sound heard during the intro and before the second verse. Referred to by the band as "elephantus," the sound was created by Tony Banks recording Mike Rutherford's guitar with a sampler and then playing three notes on the bottom register of the keyboard, greatly lowering the pitch. The working title of "No Son of Mine" was "Elephantus".[2] The sound is also featured in the opening of the "I Can't Dance" single B-side "On the Shoreline". A similar sound is heard in former Genesis member Peter Gabriel's song "I Grieve", which was released a few years later, on the soundtrack to City of Angels.

The radio edit fades out the song's extended outro a minute in advance and deletes part of the second chorus. The music video makes use of the complete album version.

The single included the eighth track from We Can't Dance, "Living Forever", as the B-side.

Live performances[edit]

The song was played live during the tours of The Way We Walk,[3] Calling All Stations (with Ray Wilson on vocals),[4] and Turn It On Again.[5]

A live version appears on the albums The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts, and Live Over Europe 2007, as well as on their DVDs The Way We Walk - Live in Concert and When in Rome 2007.

Former one-time lead singer Ray Wilson (who replaced Phil Collins) continued to cover the song on his solo live albums after his departure from Genesis.

Track listings[edit]




  1. ^
  2. ^ Collins, Phil; Banks, Tony; Rutherford, Mike; Gabriel, Peter; Hackett, Steve (2007). Genesis: Chapter & Verse. Macmillan. p. 331. ISBN 0-312-37956-0.
  3. ^ The Way We Walk Tour Songs & Dates
  4. ^ Calling All Stations Tour Songs & Dates
  5. ^ Turn it on again Tour Songs & Dates
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "No Son of Mine", in various singles charts . Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  7. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Top 10 Denmark" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ . 3 June 2009 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ German Singles Chart . Retrieved 10 April 2008. Archived 17 June 2009 at WebCite
  13. ^ Irish Single Chart . Retrieved 10 April 2008. Archived 3 June 2009 at WebCite
  14. ^ UK Singles Chart . Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  15. ^ a b c Billboard . Retrieved 3 September 2008.
  16. ^ * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: singles chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000
  17. ^ "RPM 100 Hit Tracks of 1991". RPM. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  18. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1992". Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2010.

External links[edit]