We Can't Dance

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We Can't Dance
Genesis - We Can't Dance.jpg
Studio album by Genesis
Released 28 October 1991
Recorded March – September 1991
Studio The Farm
(Chiddingfold, Surrey, England)
Length 71:30
Genesis chronology
Invisible Touch
(1986)Invisible Touch1986
We Can't Dance
The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts
(1992)The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts1992
Singles from We Can't Dance
  1. "No Son of Mine"
    Released: 21 October 1991
  2. "I Can't Dance"
    Released: 30 December 1991
  3. "Hold on My Heart"
    Released: 6 April 1992
  4. "Jesus He Knows Me"
    Released: 13 July 1992
  5. "Never a Time"
    Released: 5 November 1992
  6. "Tell Me Why"
    Released: 8 February 1993

We Can't Dance is the fourteenth studio album by English rock band Genesis, released on 28 October 1991 by Atlantic Records in the United States and 11 November 1991 on Virgin Records in the United Kingdom. It is their last album recorded with drummer and lead singer Phil Collins before his departure in 1996 to pursue solo projects full time. Production began after a four-year period of inactivity from the group, following the commercial success of Invisible Touch (1986) and its tour.

We Can't Dance was a worldwide commercial success for the band. It became the band's fifth consecutive No. 1 album in the UK and reached No. 4 in the U.S., where it sold over 4 million copies. Between 1991 and 1993, six tracks from the album were released as singles, including "No Son of Mine" and "I Can't Dance". The latter received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals. Genesis toured in support of We Can't Dance in 1992 which saw the band play large stadiums and arenas across North America and Europe.


We Can't Dance was Genesis's first studio album in five years, following the international success of Invisible Touch in 1986. After the tour for that album ended, the band took a long hiatus to focus on solo careers. Both Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford expected Collins to leave the band during this time due to his huge solo success, but he stayed until 1996. The album reached No. 1 in the UK and No. 4 in the U.S., selling several million copies (including 4 million in the U.S. alone). The album also spawned several hit singles, including "No Son of Mine", "Hold on My Heart", "I Can't Dance" and "Jesus He Knows Me", the latter two supported by humorous videos. Two songs, "On the Shoreline" and "Hearts on Fire", were cut from the album, because "there wasn't enough room on the record." Both songs were released as B-sides.

Contrary to popular belief, "Since I Lost You" is not about a broken relationship. The lyrics were written by Collins for friend Eric Clapton. On 20 March 1991, Clapton's four-year-old son Conor died after falling from the 53rd-story window of his mother's friend's New York City apartment, landing on the roof of an adjacent four-story building. Collins played it to him before putting it on the album to get his approval.

Most of the songs were written through improvisation, and rehearsed and recorded at The Farm, their recording studio in Chiddingfold, Surrey in England.


Commercial performance[edit]

We Can't Dance was released on 28 October 1991 by Atlantic Records in the United States[1] and 11 November 1991 on Virgin Records in the United Kingdom.[2] The album was a success in the charts, going to number one on the UK Albums Chart for one weeks from 23 November 1991. In the United States, it debuted the Billboard 200 chart at number four, the week of 30 November 1991.[3] It stayed at its peak for one week during its 72-week stay on the chart.[4]

On 1 December 1991, the album was certified double Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for shipment of 600,000 copies. A year later, sales grew to reach quadruple platinum, signifying 1.2 million copies sold. The album reached quintuple platinum status in March 1997, for 1.5 million copies sold.[2] In the United States, We Can't Dance shipped 1 million copies by 27 December 1991. Five years later, the album was certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for four million copies sold.[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[5]
Entertainment Weekly C[6]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[7]

Rolling Stone chiefly commented on the album's lyrics. They criticised "Tell Me Why" and "Way of the World" for being soulless and impersonal social commentaries, but regarded most of the songs as outstanding, and summarised "Although We Can't Dance doesn't quite achieve the vulnerable grace of Duke or the exuberance of Abacab, Genesis has nevertheless delivered an elegantly spare – and even adventurous – album."[7]

AllMusic similarly criticised the lyrics of "Tell Me Why" and "Way of the World", calling them "paeans for world understanding that sound miles away from any immediacy". However, they praised the album for returning to a less pop-oriented direction, and especially complimented the grittiness of "No Son of Mine", "Jesus He Knows Me", and "I Can't Dance" (which received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals in 1993).[5]

David Browne of Entertainment Weekly gave a lacklustre review, stating: "At a time when everything is uncertain ... you almost have to admire a record like We Can't Dance. ... You know there will be a couple of fleeting moments when the band breaks out of its torpor – for instance, on the very polite primal stomp of 'I Can't Dance' – and that such moments will just as quickly be subsumed by the rest of the musical quicksand."[6]

Stevie Chick of The Guardian has dismissed the album as "blandness".[8]

The album garnered Genesis an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo, or Group and two further nominations for Favorite Adult Contemporary Album and Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist. At the Brit Awards in 1993, the album was nominated for Best British Album while Phil Collins was nominated as Best Male British Artist for his contribution to the album.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford.

No. Title Length
1. "No Son of Mine" 6:39
2. "Jesus He Knows Me" 4:16
3. "Driving the Last Spike" 10:08
4. "I Can't Dance" 4:01
5. "Never a Time" 3:50
6. "Dreaming While You Sleep" 7:16
7. "Tell Me Why" 4:58
8. "Living Forever" 5:41
9. "Hold on My Heart" 4:37
10. "Way of the World" 5:38
11. "Since I Lost You" 4:09
12. "Fading Lights" 10:16


No. Title Single A-side Length
1. "On the Shoreline" "I Can't Dance" 4:45
2. "Hearts on Fire" "Jesus He Knows Me" 5:15



We Can't Dance Tour
Tour by Genesis
Associated album We Can't Dance
Start date 8 May 1992
End date 17 November 1992
Legs 3
No. of shows 68
Genesis concert chronology

Following the release of the album Genesis spent 13 weeks on the road playing 55 concerts between May and July 1992, with a 15 date UK tour in October/November.[9] The popular worldwide tour sold out arenas and stadiums (where they mostly played on the U.S. leg of the tour). This proved to be Collins' last tour with Genesis until the band reunited in 2007. The album was re-released as a SACD/DVD double disc set (including new 5.1 and Stereo mixes) in October 2007. During the recording of We Can't Dance a 40-minute documentary called No Admittance was produced and broadcast on the Discovery Channel. It has since been included in the bonus DVD released in 2007.

The "We Can't Dance" tour featured shows in large arenas and stadiums throughout North America and Europe. It would be the band's final full-length tour until the 2007 Turn It On Again reunion tour. The tour is captured live on the albums The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts, The Way We Walk, Volume Two: The Longs and the concert video The Way We Walk - Live in Concert.


  1. "Land of Confusion"
  2. "No Son of Mine"
  3. "Driving the Last Spike"
  4. "Old Medley"
  5. "Dreaming While You Sleep" (select dates)
  6. "Fading Lights"
  7. "Jesus He Knows Me"
  8. "Home by the Sea/Second Home by the Sea"
  9. "Hold on My Heart"
  10. "Domino (Part 1: In the Glow of the Night – Part 2: The Last Domino)"
  11. "Drum Duet"
  12. "I Can't Dance"
  13. "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"
  14. "Invisible Touch"


  1. "Throwing It All Away"
  2. "Turn It On Again"

Additional songs:

Tour band[edit]

Additional Musicians

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
Leg 1 — North America
8 May 1992 "Irving" "United States" "Texas Stadium"
9 May 1992 "Houston" "Astrodome"
16 May 1992 "Miami "Joe Robbie Stadium"
17 May 1992 "Tampa" "Tampa Stadium"
19 May 1992 "Washington, D.C." "RFK Stadium"
21 May 1992 "Indianapolis "Hoosier Dome"
22 May 1992 "Columbus" "Ohio Stadium"
24 May 1992 "Pontiac "Pontiac Silverdome"
25 May 1992 "Cleveland" "Municipal Stadium"
26 May 1992 "Pittsburgh "Three Rivers Stadium'
28 May 1992 "Foxboro" "Foxboro Stadium"
29 May 1992 "Montréal" "Canada" "Olympic Stadium"
31 May 1992 "Philadelphia" "United States" "Veterans Stadium"
1 June 1992
2 June 1992 "East Rutherford" "Giants Stadium"
3 June 1992
5 June 1992 "Syracuse" "Carrier Dome"
6 June 1992 "Toronto" "Canada" "Rogers Centre"
7 June 1992 "Syracuse" "United States" "Carrier Dome"
9 June 1992 "Madison" "Camp Randall Stadium"
10 June 1992 "Minneapolis" "Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome"
12 June 1992 "Edmonton "Canada" "Commonwealth Stadium"
14 June 1992 "Vancouver" "BC Place Stadium"
15 June 1992 "Tacoma" "United States" "Tacoma Dome"
18 June 1992 "Los Angeles" "Dodger Stadium"
19 June 1992 "Sacramento" "Hornet Stadium"
20 June 1992 "Oakland" "Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum"
23 June 1992 "Ames" "Cyclone Stadium"
24 June 1992 "Tinley Park" "World Music Theatre"
25 June 1992
Leg 2 — Europe
28 June 1992 Werchter Belgium Festivalweide
30 June 1992 Lyon France Espace Tony Garnier
2 July 1992 Paris Hippodrome de Vincennes
3 July 1992 Gelsenkirchen Germany Parkstadion
4 July 1992 Hockenheim Hockenheimring
8 July 1992 Gothenburg Sweden Ullevi Stadion
10 July 1992 Hannover Germany Niedersachsenstadion
11 July 1992
12 July 1992 Berlin Maifeld
13 July 1992 Hannover Niedersachsenstadion
15 July 1992 Mannheim Maimarktgelände
16 July 1992 Wien Austria Praterstadion
17 July 1992 München Germany Olympiastadion
19 July 1992 Nice France Stade de l'Ouest
20 July 1992 Montpellier Espace Grammont
22 July 1992 Lisbon Portugal Estádio José Alvalade
26 July 1992 Basel Switzerland St. Jakob Stadium
27 July 1992 Köln Germany Müngersdorfer Stadion
28 July 1992 Rotterdam Netherlands Stadion Feijenoord
29 July 1992 Kiel Germany Nordmark-Sportfeld
31 July 1992 Leeds England Roundhay Park
2 August 1992 Stevenage Knebworth Park
Leg 3 — United Kingdom
23 October 1992 Southampton England Mayflower Theatre
28 October 1992 Newcastle City Hall
29 October 1992 Edinburgh Scotland Playhouse Theatre
30 October 1992 Manchester England Apollo Theatre
2 November 1992 London Earls Court
3 November 1992
4 November 1992
6 November 1992
7 November 1992
8 November 1992
10 November 1992 Torquay Leisure Centre
11 November 1992 Newport Wales Civic Centre
13 November 1992 Nottingham England Theatre Royal
15 November 1992 Brighton The Brighton Centre
16 November 1992 London Royal Albert Hall
17 November 1992 Wolverhampton Civic Hall

Charts and certifications[edit]

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[27] Platinum 70,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[28] Platinum 50,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[29] 4× Platinum 400,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[30] Gold 25,000[30]
France (SNEP)[31] 2× Platinum 788,600[32]
Germany (BVMI)[33] 5× Platinum 2,500,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[34] Gold 100,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[35] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[36] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[37] 4× Platinum 200,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[38] 5× Platinum 1,500,000^
United States (RIAA)[39] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b "American album certifications – Genesis – We Can't Dance". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "British album certifications – Genesis – We Can't Dance". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 15 September 2016.  Enter "We Can't Dance" in the field 'Keywords'. Select 'Title' in the field 'Search by'. Select 'Album' in the field 'By Format'. Click 'Search'.
  3. ^ "Billboard 200: The Week of November 23, 1991". Billboard. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "Artists – Genesis – Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Orens, Geoff. Album review, Allmusic.
  6. ^ a b Browne, David (15 November 1991). "We Can't Dance Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Manning, Kara (9 January 1992). Album Review, Rolling Stone.
  8. ^ Chick, Stevie (3 September 2014). "Genesis: 10 of the best". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "Genesis - The Movement". 
  10. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Genesis – We Can't Dance". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Genesis – We Can't Dance" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  12. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 
  13. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Genesis – We Can't Dance" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  14. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  15. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (30 May 1992). "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. – via Google Books. 
  16. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Top 100 Longplay". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  17. ^ lightmedia.hu. "Kereső - előadó/cím szerint - Archívum - Hivatalos magyar slágerlisták". 
  18. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - ALBUM 1983". 
  19. ^ "ジェネシスのアルバム売上ランキング". 
  20. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Genesis – We Can't Dance". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  21. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Genesis – We Can't Dance". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  22. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  23. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Genesis – We Can't Dance". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  24. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Genesis – We Can't Dance". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  25. ^ November 1991/7502/ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  26. ^ "Genesis – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Genesis.
  27. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1992 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  28. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Genesis – We Can't Dance" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Genesis in the field Interpret. Enter We Can't Dance in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  29. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Genesis – We Can't Dance". Music Canada. 
  30. ^ a b "Genesis" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. 
  31. ^ "French album certifications – Genesis – We Can't Dance" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select GENESIS and click OK
  32. ^ "Les Albums Double Platine :" (in French). Infodisc.fr. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  33. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Genesis; 'We Can't Dance')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  34. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Genesis – We Can't Dance" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan.  Select 1992年月 on the drop-down menu
  35. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1991–1995". Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano. ISBN 8480486392. 
  36. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  37. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Genesis; 'We Can't Dance')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  38. ^ "British album certifications – Genesis – We Can't Dance". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter We Can't Dance in the search field and then press Enter.
  39. ^ "American album certifications – Genesis – We Can't Dance". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Shepherd Moons by Enya
UK number one album
23 November 1991 – 29 November 1991
Succeeded by
Dangerous by Michael Jackson
Preceded by
Welcome to Wherever You Are by INXS
UK number one album
22 August 1992 – 28 August 1992
Succeeded by
Best I by The Smiths