Behind the Lines (Genesis song)

Last updated

"Behind the Lines"
Song by Genesis
from the album Duke
Released28 March 1980
RecordedOctober–December 1979
Genre Art rock, progressive rock
Label Charisma/Phonogram (UK), Atlantic (US)
Songwriter(s) Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford
Producer(s) David Hentschel, Genesis
Audio sample
"Behind the Lines"
Song by Phil Collins
from the album Face Value
Released13 February 1981
RecordedJune 1980 January 1981
Genre Rhythm and blues
Label Virgin (UK), Atlantic (US)
Songwriter(s) Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford
Producer(s) Phil Collins, Hugh Padgham

"Behind the Lines" is a song by the English progressive rock band Genesis, from their 1980 album Duke . The group's drummer and vocalist Phil Collins released a re-recorded version on his first solo album Face Value in February 1981.


Different versions

The Genesis version of the track is a dramatic art-rock piece, while the Collins version is lighter and played in a funk style. Lyrically, the song is about pleading to a former lover, a subject that fitted smoothly into Collins's post-divorce solo album. [1] There were a few minor changes to the words, however.

Collins revealed on the Classic Albums documentary on Face Value that his solo remake came about after "recording Behind the Lines, we ran the tape back at double speed and suddenly this other song appeared". [2] Collins then set out to re-record the song on Face Value as a Michael Jackson Off the Wall -era disco track featuring the Earth, Wind and Fire horn section, the Phenix Horns.

An edited version appeared as the B-side to "Turn It On Again", the lead single from Duke. This version is billed as "Behind the Lines – Part 2", as it edited out the long instrumental introduction to the song, and is in essence the second half of the original recording.


"Behind the Lines" was performed on the accompanying tour in 1980, and was also played as the show opener during the Abacab tour in 1981. The song was also played in full (in a medley, between "Dance on a Volcano" and "Follow You Follow Me") on the 1982 Encore tour, and a shorter version was included in an old medley ("Eleventh Earl of Mar"/"Behind the Lines"/"Firth of Fifth"/"The Musical Box") during January 1984 for the Mama Tour. The song was rehearsed and considered as the show opener for the We Can't Dance '92 tour.

The instrumental intro was used as an opener on the 2007 Turn It On Again tour. Tony Banks wanted to perform the full version, but Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins disagreed with him. Collins performed his solo version on his Hello I Must Be Going '83, No Jacket Required '85, But Seriously '90 and Both Sides '94/'95 tours.

The Duke Suite

"Behind the Lines" was originally part of a long suite by the band including "Duchess", "Guide Vocal", "Turn it on Again" "Duke's Travels" and "Duke's End". However, it was split up before release.


Related Research Articles

<i>Face Value</i> (album) 1981 studio album by Phil Collins

Face Value is the debut solo studio album by English drummer and singer-songwriter Phil Collins, released on 13 February 1981 by Virgin Records in the UK and Atlantic Records in the US and abroad. After his first wife filed for divorce in 1979, Collins began to write songs during a break in activity from his band Genesis with much of the material concerning his personal life. The album was recorded from mid-1980 to early 1981 with Collins and Hugh Padgham as producers. Additional musicians include the Phenix Horns, Alphonso Johnson, and Eric Clapton.

<i>A Trick of the Tail</i> 1976 studio album by Genesis

A Trick of the Tail is the seventh studio album by English progressive rock band Genesis. It was released in February 1976 on Charisma Records and was the first album to feature drummer Phil Collins as lead vocalist following the departure of Peter Gabriel. It was a critical and commercial success in the UK and U.S., reaching No. 3 and No. 31 respectively.

<i>Duke</i> (album) 1980 studio album by Genesis

Duke is the tenth studio album by English rock band Genesis, released in March 1980 on Charisma Records. The album followed a period of inactivity for the band in early 1979. Phil Collins moved to Vancouver, Canada, in an effort to salvage his failing first marriage, while Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford recorded solo albums. Collins returned to the UK after his marriage ended and wrote a significant amount of material, some of which was used for Duke and some was later reworked for his first solo album, Face Value. Duke contained a mix of individually-written songs and tracks that evolved from jam sessions in mid-1979, while recording took place at the end of the year. The break in activity rejuvenated the band, and they found the album an easy one to work on.

<i>Abacab</i> 1981 studio album by Genesis

Abacab is the eleventh studio album by English rock band Genesis, released on 18 September 1981 by Charisma Records. After their 1980 tour in support of their previous album, Duke (1980), the band took a break before they reconvened in 1981 to write and record a new album. Abacab is the first Genesis album recorded at The Farm, a recording studio bought by the group in Chiddingfold, Surrey. It marked the band's development from their progressive roots into more accessible and pop-oriented songs, and their conscious decision to write songs unlike their previous albums.

The Carpet Crawlers Song by Genesis

"The Carpet Crawlers" is a song by the English progressive rock band Genesis, recorded for their sixth studio album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks wrote most of the music, with the help of Peter Gabriel. Lyrically, the song tells the section of the album's story whereby Rael, the lead character, finds himself in a red carpeted corridor surrounded by kneeling people slowly crawling towards a wooden door. Rael dashes by them towards the door and goes through it. Behind the door is a table with a candlelit feast on it, and behind that, a spiral staircase that leads upwards out of sight.

Follow You Follow Me 1978 single by Genesis

"Follow You Follow Me" is a love song written and recorded by English rock band Genesis. It was released in February 1978 as the first single from their ninth studio album, ...And Then There Were Three... (1978). The music was composed by the band, and the lyrics were written by bassist and guitarist Mike Rutherford.

Throwing It All Away 1986 single by Genesis

"Throwing It All Away" is the seventh track on the 1986 album Invisible Touch by Genesis. It was the second single from the album in 1986, reaching No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 22 in Britain, where it was released as the last single of the album in 1987. In the U.S., it also went to No. 1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart in October 1986 and the Album Rock Tracks chart in August 1986. The working title was "Zephyr and Zeppo".

Illegal Alien (song) 1984 single by Genesis

"Illegal Alien" is a song by English rock band Genesis. It was written by all three members, produced by all three alongside Hugh Padgham, and released as the fourth single from their self-titled 1983 album in November 1983. The song's lyrics, inspired by the band's troubles with getting visas to reenter the United States while on tour, tell the satirical story of an undocumented immigrant facing obstacles in the process of trying to move to the US. Its accompanying music video depicts the members of Genesis as a group of Mexican men unsuccessfully attempting to get their passports approved, and shows them in ponchos and sombreros.

Thats All (Genesis song) 1983 single by Genesis

"That's All" is a song by English rock band Genesis. It is a group composition and appears as the second track on their 1983 album Genesis. It was the album's second single after "Mama".

I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) 1974 song by Genesis

"I Know What I Like " was the first charting single by the rock band Genesis. It was drawn from their 1973 album Selling England by the Pound. The single was released in the UK in February 1974, and became a minor hit in April 1974, when it reached number 21 in the UK Singles Chart.

Turn It On Again: The Tour

Turn It On Again: The Tour was a 2007 concert tour of Europe and North America by the 1977-1996 lineup of the English rock band Genesis. The tour was notable for the return of drummer and vocalist Phil Collins, who had fronted the band during their most commercially successful period before leaving in 1996, rejoining founder members Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford, with their traditional on-stage musicians, Chester Thompson and Daryl Stuermer.

Abacab (song) 1981 single by Genesis

"Abacab" is a song by the British rock band Genesis, released on 14 August 1981. It was produced by Genesis and distributed in the United States by Atlantic Records and Warner Music Group. The song, written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, and Mike Rutherford, was featured on Genesis' album of the same name and was a top 10 hit on the British pop chart, where it peaked at No. 9. The song was the second single from the album in the US, where it peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1982. It stayed in the Top 40 for six weeks.

<i>The Mama Tour</i> 1985 film

Genesis Live: The Mama Tour is a concert film by the English progressive rock band Genesis, released for home video in October 1985 by Virgin Music Video. It contains highlights from the group's five concerts at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham in February 1984 at the end of their Mama Tour, supporting their 1983 album Genesis. It was directed by Jim Yukich.

Misunderstanding (Genesis song) 1980 single by Genesis

"Misunderstanding" is a song by English rock band Genesis, released on their 1980 album Duke. It reached No. 14 in the U.S. and No. 42 in the UK. Its highest charting was in Canada, where it reached No. 1 and is ranked as the seventh biggest Canadian hit of 1980. It was also featured on the band's 1982 double-album Three Sides Live, where it led off side three.

<i>The Way We Walk</i> 2002 video by Genesis

The Way We Walk – Live in Concert is a 2002 double DVD featuring live performances from the We Can't Dance tour by Genesis. The footage was videotaped on 8 November 1992 at Earls Court in London, and first released on VHS in March 1993 as Genesis Live – The Way We Walk – In Concert. It was also available on PAL format LaserDisc.

"The Lady Lies" is the tenth track on the Genesis 1978 album …And Then There Were Three…, with music and lyrics written by Tony Banks. The lyrics tell the story of a man who rescues a woman from the mouth of a monster, but is later seduced by the woman, or as the band refer to her during the song, a demon, and led into an unknown fate. The song was performed often during the 1978 and 1980 tours. In the live shows, Phil would often coach the audience on when to cheer and when to boo in response to different characters in the song and their actions. The final instrumental part would be extended by Daryl Stuermer's guitar solo.

"The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" is the first song from Genesis's 1974 album of the same name. The song was released as a single in the U.S.. Although it did not chart, it was frequently played on American FM radio stations.

Genesis Live in London 1980 is a short concert film by the progressive rock band Genesis. It was filmed by the BBC at the Lyceum Theatre in London on 7 May 1980, but was not released until 2007. The show features the band performing live during the Duke tour. DVDs of the full show have been widely available for a number of years and are of generally less-than-standard DVD quality and some even have tracks missing, most frequently "The Knife". A 39-minute remastered excerpt from this concert was included on the DVD of the 2007 re-issue of Duke in higher quality and is the only officially released version to date; this re-issue was originally part of the Genesis 1976–1982 box set.

Turn It On Again 1980 single by Genesis

"Turn It On Again" is a single by the English rock band Genesis, from their 1980 album Duke. It reached number 8 in the UK Singles Chart, becoming the band's second top 10 hit. The lyrics, by Mike Rutherford, concern a man who does nothing more than watch television. He becomes obsessed with the people he watches on it, believing them to be his friends.

"The Musical Box" is a song by English progressive rock band Genesis, which was originally released on their third studio album Nursery Cryme in 1971. The song is written in the key of F# major. This song is the longest song on the album at 10 minutes long.


  1. ""Behind the Lines" by Genesis". Song Meanings and Facts. 24 January 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  2. "Phil Collins: Face Value". Classic Albums. Season 2. Episode 2. 3 November 1999.