Thursday, June 9, 2016

Genesis - Invisible Touch

Today (June 9th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Invisible Touch, the thirteenth studio album from Genesis. This multi-platinum seller from 1986 spent eight-five weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 3. It also reached number 26 in Spain, number 14 in Japan, number 8 in France, number 5 in Austria and Italy, number 4 in Sweden and Switzerland, number 3 in Australia and Norway, number 2 in Finland, Germany and the Netherlands, and number 1 in Canada, New Zealand and the UK.

Side one opens with the title track and first single. "Invisible Touch" peaked at number 16 in Germany, number 15 in the UK, number 13 in Switzerland, number 6 in Canada, number 3 in Australia, and number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and Mainstream Rock chart. The bouncy melody of this song about an irresistible woman has always been able to pick up my mood when I hear it.

The album version of "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" clocks in at close to nine minutes in length (thanks to a lengthy experimental and instrumental bridge). As the fifth and final single, a shortened version went to number 93 in Australia, number 23 in Germany, number 19 in Canada, number 18 in the UK, and number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100. With its haunting percussion, it reminds me quite a bit of Collin's solo hit "In the Air Tonight".

"Land of Confusion", the third single, cleared its way to number 27 in Austria, number 21 in Australia, number 14 in the UK, number 10 in
Sweden, number 8 in Canada and Switzerland, number 7 in Germany, and number 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Whenever I hear it, I immediately recall the icon music video for it which features puppets from the 1980's UK sketch show Splitting Image; there was probably a point when MTV was showing that one every hour as part of the heavy rotation cycle. Back in the day, we could not get enough of the insanity of its political statement. As an American, I probably should have been offended by the way Reagan was parodied, but as someone who loved pop culture and puppets I rather enjoyed it (including the spot on "We Are the World" mock up with a huge crowd scene).

At this point, it time to slow things down a bit with a ballad. As the fourth single, "In Too Deep" floated to number 55 in Germany, number 19 in the UK, number 17 in Australia, number 15 in Canada, and number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It also appeared in the 1986 British film Mona Lisa. This one quickly became a slow dance favorite in the clubs thanks to its gentle swaying rhythm.

Side two starts with "Anything She Does", a song about a man who is love with a porn star. It was the only track from the album that was not performed live during the tour. I like the frantic tempo to this one, and I very much remember hearing it back in the day.

Next is a nearly eleven minute long, two movement suite called "Domino"; the first part was titled "In the Glow of the Night" and the second "The Last Domino" A favorite on the US album-oriented rock stations it went to number 29 on those Mainstream Rock charts. The two parts appeared as B-sides on the last and first singles from the album respectively. This intensely dramatic one illustrates the evolution the band had gone through since its early prog-rock roots.

"Throwing It All Away", the second single, reached number 91 in Australia, number 22 in the UK, number 12 in Canada, and number 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The lyrics of this mid-tempo tune tell of a relationship falling apart and a man desperate to convince his love to stay.

The album closes with the instrumental piece "The Brazilian".

I have never owned a copy of Invisible Touch up to this point in time. All five of the singles appeared on a Genesis greatest hits CD that I did pick up in the 90's though. Back in the day, these hits were all over the radio, both Top 40 and album-rock, and that's probably why I felt like I did not need to own a copy on vinyl or cassette. I can definitely see why it stayed on the charts for over a year and a half; the album is solid from start to finish.

For more from Genesis, click here.

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