Tell Me Why (Genesis song)

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"Tell Me Why"
Tell Me Why (Genesis song).jpg
Single by Genesis
from the album We Can't Dance
Released8 February 1993
FormatCD, 7" vinyl
GenrePop rock
Songwriter(s)Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford
Producer(s)Genesis, Nick Davis, Robert Colby (Live tracks only)
Genesis singles chronology
"Never a Time"
"Tell Me Why"

"Tell Me Why" is a rock song by Genesis. It first appeared as the seventh track on their 1991 album We Can't Dance, and was later issued as a single in Europe (in November 1992) and Britain (in February 1993). It was the last Genesis single featuring Phil Collins on vocals.


A royalty from the single was donated to the Bosnian Save the Children and Red Cross charities. This was in keeping with the lyric of the song, which expressed disdain for hypocrisy about food and shelter ("You say there's nothing you can do / Is there one rule for them and one for you?").

Reflecting the emerging trend for CD singles, "Tell Me Why" was issued as two separate discs in the UK. Both editions came in digipaks with identical artwork, and were backed by a live version of "Dreaming While You Sleep." The first CD featured a 1992 version of "Turn It On Again" as an exclusive track, while the second included a full performance of "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" from the video, Live at Wembley Stadium (this song segued into "Invisible Touch" on the We Can't Dance tour).

In Europe the live B-sides were "Mama", "The Brazilian" (both from the Invisible Touch tour) and the single version of "Invisible Touch."

Unlike its four predecessors, the single was not a commercial success, barely breaching the UK Top 40.

The working title of "Tell Me Why" was originally "Rickenbacker" after the 12-string Rickenbacker guitar used by Mike Rutherford on the song. Rickenbackers are known for their distinct "ringing" sound.

Track listings[edit]

CD single
  1. "Tell Me Why" – 4:58
  2. "Dreaming While You Sleep" (live) – 7:55
  3. "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" (full version live – Wembley, 4 July 1987) – 9:33
7" single
  1. "Tell Me Why" – 4:58
  2. "Invisible Touch" (live) – 5:18


Chart (1992–1993) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[1] 110
Dutch Singles Chart[2] 37
French SNEP Singles Chart[3] 27
German Singles Chart[4] 51
UK Singles Chart[5] 40


  1. ^ Scott, Gavin. "25 Years Ago This Week: December 13, 1992". Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Jesus He Knows Me", in various singles charts (Retrieved 10 April 2008)
  3. ^ "Tell Me Why", in French Singles Chart (Retrieved 10 April 2008)
  4. ^ German Singles Chart (Retrieved 10 April 2008)
  5. ^ UK Singles Chart Official Charts Company (Retrieved 10 April 2008)

External links[edit]