Genesis – Invisible Touch

First Hit #1: July 19, 1986

Initially, it seems like maybe everyone had gotten out of the funk that inspired heavy rotation of Holding Back the Years. Invisible Touch starts with some almost celebratory drums, and it sounds big and kind of fun. However, it’s actually about a bitter breakup, with Collins telling the story of a woman who ruins lives and destroys hearts. It’s a three minute evisceration of a woman that Collins insists destroy all she lays her hands upon. Not, then, a super enthusiastic and happy song, though it has its own fun. With the arrangement we’ve got a song that can, so long as you don’t pay too close attention, be mistaken for something a bit joyous, and while the lyrics are very bitter, and Collins doesn’t undersell how bitter they are, he does give a chorus that is at least a bit infectious.

So apparently in 1986, everyone had just ended a really bad relationship, going by the songs they’re listening to.

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2 Responses to Genesis – Invisible Touch

  1. RBerman says:

    Like its equally jaunty twin “Easy Lover,” this song is a cautionary tale, but the narrator seems clueless. Note the iconography of the album cover. The man being invisibly touched has a family and is trying to blame his affair on the eeeevil woman who tempted him. Take heed, husbands: Wives are not that dumb.

    Musically: Driving power pop, with an indignant vocal to match the misplaced fury of the lyrics. The 3-against-4 keyboard rhythm in the intro is a nod to Genesis’ early prog rock complexity, traded here for a more concise FM radio format. There is a keen song suite consuming the latter half of this album, though.

  2. RBerman says:

    Oops. I had “Easy Lover” in my head when I was talking about that 3-against-4. “Invisible Touch” does no such thing, though it does have an old-school key modulation before beginning the last spate of choruses.

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