|We Can't Dance|
|Studio album by|
|Released||28 October 1991|
|Studio||The Farm, Chiddingfold, Surrey|
|Genre||Pop rock, art rock|
|Singles from We Can't Dance|
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 studio album recorded with drummer and 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 US, 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 in 1993. Genesis toured in support of We Can't Dance in 1992 playing large stadiums and arenas across North America and Europe.
In July 1987, the Genesis line-up of drummer and singer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks, and bassist and guitarist Mike Rutherford wrapped their 1986–1987 world tour in support of their thirteenth studio album, Invisible Touch (1986). The 112-date tour, attended by an estimated 3.5 million people, was extremely taxing on the group, particularly for Rutherford following his father's death and almost losing his son Harry due to a difficult birth.The band then entered a three-and-a-half year period of inactivity, during which each member continued with their respective solo projects. Collins achieved further worldwide commercial success with his following the release of ...But Seriously (1989), while Rutherford's band, Mike and the Mechanics, had also begun to have hits. Banks and Rutherford expected Collins to leave the band during this time, but he stayed on to record another Genesis studio album with them. The band had initially agreed to enter production in 1990, but it was pushed to 1991 because of Collins's lengthy solo tour. The album's title derived partly from the popularity of dance music and its presence in the charts at the time.
Genesis recorded We Can't Dance from March to September 1991 at their private recording studio named The Farm in Chiddingfold, Surrey.The trio were keen to work together after such an extensive break, and after two-and-a-half months of what Collins described as "chopping away, fine-tuning, and honing down all these ideas", they had completed some fifteen tracks. They originally considered releasing a double album, but realised most people would be listening to their work on CD which gave them the additional time they wanted to present more of their musical ideas. As with Genesis (1983) and Invisible Touch, none of the material on We Can't Dance was conceived beforehand, and the band instead developed songs through lengthy improvisational jams in the studio. This was a deciding factor for Collins to remain in the band despite his solo success as he enjoyed the task of writing songs with his bandmates from nothing. A typical session would involve Banks and Rutherford playing chords on the keyboard or guitar, respectively, with Collins devising a drum pattern with a drum machine, which allows him to sing notes and dummy lyrics. The words he sings may then be used to form a lyric or help create atmosphere for the song.
Genesis authorised the filming of some recording sessions for the first time for their No Admittance documentary, which aired on national television. Banks later admitted that the band avoided "any creative work" with the film crew present because they found it difficult, adding: "As soon as they were there, we shut off".Collins supported his view and pointed out a change in the atmosphere of working when someone from the filming crew entered the room.
In a departure from their previous albums, Rutherford avoided playing a guitar synthesiser and only plays a Fender Stratocaster and two Steinbergers, one of them a GM series model that was new for the time, but on the song "Tell Me Why", he is playing a Rickenbacker 12-string electric guitar.He had asked the manufacturer to customise one with a larger body to suit his tall frame but they declined, leaving him to use a cardboard cutout of a body he wished for and sending it to luthier Roger Giffin to make it. He played all his guitar parts with a Groove Tubes amplifier that was suggested to him by his roadie and technician Geoff Banks.
For recording, they enlisted then 28-year-old Nick Davis as co-producer and engineer who had previously worked with Banks and Rutherford on their solo projects, with the band also handing production duties.This marked the end of their association with Hugh Padgham which had begun with Abacab (1981). Rutherford said the group decided to switch producers before work on the album had begun, and insisted they were pleased with Padgham's contributions, but felt it was the right time for a change after having done three albums with him (Hugh had also produced Collins's four solo albums throughout the 80's). Davis was keen to feature Rutherford's guitar more prominently as an instrument than previous Genesis albums, and felt his approach was successful on some of the tracks on We Can't Dance. Banks took a liking to some of Davis's strong opinions towards certain aspects of recording and instruments which presented him the challenge of finding other ways of recording.
Following a six-week break during the summer of 1991 the band reconvened and completed the mixing in late September, selecting a final 12-track running order that spanned 71 minutes.Banks said that compared to the more direct nature of Invisible Touch, the style of We Can't Dance offered more of a sense of mystery with effort put into each track having its own "individual quality", yet have an atmosphere that runs through the entire album.
In a similar way to the writing of Invisible Touch, the band initially allocated roughly one third of the album to each member, who was then responsible for the lyrics to their collection of songs. Banks said having one person work on a set of lyrics was a better way of carrying an idea through.In the end, We Can't Dance saw Collins contribute a greater amount of lyrics than before, his efforts praised by Rutherford who considered his words for its songs among his best in Genesis history. Collins went further and rated his lyrics on We Can't Dance as some of the best of his career and said, "Obviously, the music stimulated me". In a week during which Banks and Rutherford left the studio for promotional work, Collins started to write lyrical ideas; according to Rutherford "he just couldn't stop himself after that. He found he had dead time on his hands".
Several songs deal with serious matters and social issues. "No Son of Mine" tackles the subject of the domestic abuse of a 15-year-old boy, which originated with Collins repeating the phrase "no son of mine" as a dummy lyric during the writing sessions, rather than a song concerning social commentary."Dreaming While You Sleep" concerns a hit-and-run driver and his guilt after failing to stop at the scene of the accident. The former contains a sample of a sound that Rutherford achieved as he was "messing about bending two notes" that Banks had recorded from a microphone on his E-mu Emulator which he then sampled and slowed down, creating a noise he compared to an elephant's trumpeting. The ten-minute "Driving The Last Spike" is about 19th-century Irish navvies who helped built the railways in the UK, and the poor and unsafe working conditions they had to endure. Collins wrote it after being given a book on the subject by a correspondent who sought to produce a television show about it. Banks used a Hammond organ patch on the track, which referenced his prominent use of the instrument early in Genesis' career. The other long track, "Fading Lights", came out of group improvisation. "Since I Lost You" was written by Collins for his 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. Banks and Rutherford were the only members in the studio that day, and played what music they had written to Collins the following day. Collins said, "Straight away, I was singing the things you hear on the record", and wrote a set of lyrics based on the incident, not revealing what they were about to his bandmates until he had finished them. Some lines were from a real-life conversation Collins had with Clapton following the incident. "Tell Me Why" criticises the Gulf War and the plight of the Kurdish people in its aftermath. Collins got the idea from a television news report while he was having dinner with his wife and daughter. "So I just mixed my feelings with previous thoughts about Bangladesh and Ethiopia".
The serious material was balanced by shorter and lighter songs. "I Can't Dance" was a criticism of models who appeared in jeans adverts popular at the time, and built around a heavy Rutherford guitar riff.Banks noted his electric piano part was one of the most minimal riffs he has played on record and had thought of a style heard on the 1968 song "Feelin' Alright?" by Traffic. "Jesus He Knows Me" was a barbed parody of the televangelist movement in the US, which the band members had seen while touring the country. "Living Forever" deals with a cynical view of society's obsession with modern diets and lifestyles. Its original working title was "Hip-Hop Brushes" after Collins acquired new drum disks for his E-mu SP-1200 drum machine and devised a hip-hop oriented drum pattern using its brush sound, as he recalled, in around ten minutes which the group then played from and developed the song from it.
Two songs, "On the Shoreline" and "Hearts on Fire", were cut from the album due to time constraints; instead, both songs were released as B-sides for the singles "I Can't Dance" and "Jesus He Knows Me" respectively, as well as appearing in the Genesis Archive 2: 1976–1992 and Genesis 1983–1998 box sets.
Among the keyboards Banks plays on the album are the Korg 01/W Music Workstation, Korg Wavestation, Ensoniq VFX, Roland JD-800, Roland Rhodes VK-1000, and E-mu Emulator III; the latter enabled Banks to create samples in stereo.
We Can't Dance was released on 28 October 1991 by Atlantic Records in the United Statesand 11 November 1991 on Virgin Records in the United Kingdom. The album was a success in the charts, going to number one on the UK Albums Chart for two non-consecutive weeks beginning 23 November 1991 and 22 August 1992. In the United States, it debuted the Billboard 200 chart at number four, the week of 30 November 1991. It stayed at its peak for one week during its 72-week stay on the chart. 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.
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.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.
We Can't Dance was re-released in 2007 as a SACD/DVD set with new stereo and 5.1 surround sound mixes by Davis. It was also included as part of the band's Genesis 1983–1998 box set.
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|
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." ... 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."David Browne of Entertainment Weekly gave a lacklustre review, stating: "At a time when everything is uncertain
AllMusic also 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".Ultimate Classic Rock ranked We Can't Dance as the 14th best album by Genesis, stating "Collins' final album with Genesis is full of obnoxious, overproduced pop pap; most of the tracks sound like castoffs from one of his solo albums. When the meager charms of a song like 'I Can't Dance' are a highlight, you’re in big trouble." Stevie Chick of The Guardian dismissed the album as "blandness" in a countdown of ten of the best Genesis songs.
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 British Album while Phil Collins was nominated as British Male Artist for his contribution to the album.
Genesis supported the album with the 68-date We Can't Dance Tour across the United States and Europe from 8 May to 17 November 1992, with their longtime touring musicians Chester Thompson on drums and Daryl Stuermer on bass and lead guitars.It also marked the 25th anniversary of the band, and featured a 20-minute medley of their older material recorded in the 1970s. For the first time since 1978, the setlist did not include "In the Cage" from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974). Booking agent Mike Farrell said Genesis spent millions of their own earnings to put the tour together.
Designed specifically for stadiums, the set featured a 200 ft-long (60.9 m) stage designed by Marc Brickman and built to the band's specifications with 80 ft (24.3 m) sound towers and three 20 x 26 ft (6 x 7.9 m) moveable Sony Jumbotron screens that alone cost $5 million, all needing 42 lorries to transport. The advantages of these was that images from videos or artwork was projected on them to illustrate some songs, while live camera footage of the band gave everyone in the arena a front row view. Collins sang with an in-ear monitoring system which he credited to singing more in tune and more effortlessly than before as he felt he was always "fighting" with the band's sound. It also reduced his worry about the condition of his voice on tour. Collins would not tour with Genesis again until he returned in 2006 for their Turn It On Again: The Tour.
Recordings from several dates were released on the live albums The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts (1992) and The Way We Walk, Volume Two: The Longs (1993). The dates at Earl's Court in London were filmed and released as The Way We Walk - Live in Concert .
All tracks are written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford.
|1.||"No Son of Mine"||6:41|
|2.||"Jesus He Knows Me"||4:23|
|3.||"Driving the Last Spike"||10:10|
|4.||"I Can't Dance"||4:04|
|5.||"Never a Time"||3:52|
|6.||"Dreaming While You Sleep"||7:21|
|7.||"Tell Me Why"||5:00|
|9.||"Hold on My Heart"||4:40|
|10.||"Way of the World"||5:40|
|11.||"Since I Lost You"||4:10|
|1.||"On the Shoreline"||"I Can't Dance"||4:45|
|2.||"Hearts on Fire"||"Jesus He Knows Me"||5:15|
Credits are adapted from the album's 1991 sleeve notes.
|Australia (ARIA)||2× Platinum||140,000^|
|Austria (IFPI Austria)||Platinum||50,000*|
|Canada (Music Canada)||4× Platinum||400,000^|
|France (SNEP)||2× Platinum||600,000*|
|Germany (BVMI)||5× Platinum||2,500,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||4× Platinum||60,000^|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)||4× Platinum||200,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||5× Platinum||1,500,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||4× Platinum||4,000,000^|
|Europe (IFPI)||6× Platinum||6,000,000*|
* Sales figures based on certification alone.
Genesis are an English rock band formed at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey, in 1967. The band's most commercially successful line-up consists of keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and drummer/singer Phil Collins. The 1970s line-up featuring singer Peter Gabriel and guitarist Steve Hackett was among the pioneers of progressive rock.
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is the sixth studio album by the English progressive rock band Genesis. It was released as a double album on 18 November 1974 by Charisma Records and is their last to feature original frontman Peter Gabriel. It peaked at No. 10 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 41 on the Billboard 200 in the US.
Trespass is the second studio album by the English rock band Genesis. It was released in October 1970 on Charisma Records, and is their last album with guitarist Anthony Phillips and their only one with drummer John Mayhew.
Nursery Cryme is the third studio album by the English rock band Genesis, released in November 1971 on Charisma Records. It was their first to feature drummer/vocalist Phil Collins and guitarist Steve Hackett. The album received a mixed response from critics and was not initially a commercial success; it did not enter the UK chart until 1974, when it reached its peak at No. 39. However, the album was successful in Continental Europe, particularly Italy. At approximately 39 minutes long, it is the shortest studio album by the band to date.
Foxtrot is the fourth studio album by the English progressive rock band Genesis, released in October 1972 on Charisma Records. It features their longest recorded song; the 23-minute epic "Supper's Ready".
Selling England by the Pound is the fifth studio album by the English progressive rock band Genesis, released in October 1973 on Charisma Records. It reached No. 3 in the UK and No. 70 in the U.S. A single from the album, "I Know What I Like ", was released in February 1974 and became the band's first top 30 hit in the UK.
Invisible Touch is the 13th studio album by the English rock band Genesis, released on 6 June 1986 by Atlantic Records in the United States and 9 June 1986 by Charisma and Virgin Records in the United Kingdom. After taking a break in group activity for each member to continue with their solo projects in 1984, the band reconvened in October 1985 to write and record Invisible Touch with engineer and producer Hugh Padgham. As with their previous album, it was written entirely through group improvisations and no material developed prior to recording was used.
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.
Wind & Wuthering is the eighth studio album by English progressive rock band Genesis. It was released on 17 December 1976 on Charisma Records and is their last studio album to feature guitarist Steve Hackett. Following the success of their 1976 tour to support their previous album A Trick of the Tail, the group relocated to Hilvarenbeek in the Netherlands to record a follow-up album, their first recorded outside the UK. Writing and recording caused internal friction, for Hackett felt some of his contributions were dropped in favour of material by keyboardist Tony Banks.
...And Then There Were Three... is the ninth studio album by the English rock band Genesis. It was released in March 1978 by Charisma Records and is their first recorded as a trio of singer/drummer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks, and bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford following the departure of guitarist Steve Hackett. The album marked a change in the band's sound, mixing elements of their progressive rock roots with shorter material, and Collins contributing to more of the group's songwriting.
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.
Calling All Stations is the fifteenth and most recent studio album by English rock band Genesis, released on 1 September 1997 by Virgin Records. After longtime drummer and lead vocalist Phil Collins left the group in 1996, the remaining members—founding keyboardist Tony Banks and guitarist/bassist Mike Rutherford—decided to continue and write new music for an album. After an auditioning process throughout 1996, they chose Scottish singer Ray Wilson as Genesis's new lead singer.
From Genesis to Revelation is the debut studio album by English rock band Genesis, released on 7 March 1969 on Decca Records. The album originated from a collection of demos recorded in 1967 while the members of Genesis were pupils of Charterhouse in Godalming, Surrey. It caught the attention of Jonathan King who named the group, organised deals with his publishing company and Decca, and studio time at Regent Sound Studios to record a series of singles and a full album. A string section arranged and conducted by Arthur Greenslade was added later on some songs. By the time Genesis had finished recording, John Silver had replaced original drummer Chris Stewart.
Turn It On Again: The Hits is a greatest hits album by British progressive rock/pop-rock band Genesis. The album was originally released as a single album on 26 October 1999 by Virgin Records in the UK and by Atlantic Records in the US.
"I Can't Dance" is the fourth track from the Genesis album We Can't Dance and was the second single from the album. The lyrics were written by drummer Phil Collins and the music was written by the whole band. The song peaked at number seven on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart and received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals in 1993. The song also reached number one in Belgium and the Netherlands while peaking within the top five in Austria, Canada, Germany, and Portugal.
"Invisible Touch" is the title track and first single from the 1986 album of the same name by the English rock band Genesis. The song is a group composition which featured lyrics written by drummer and singer Phil Collins.
The discography of the British band Genesis contains 15 studio albums, six live albums, three compilation albums, and a variety of box sets. They have sold over 100 million albums worldwide, including around 21.5 million RIAA-certified albums in the United States
"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.
"Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" is a song by the progressive rock band Genesis. It was released on their 1973 album Selling England by the Pound. The song was originally going to be titled "Disney".
"Firth of Fifth" is a song by the British progressive rock band Genesis. It first appeared as the third track on the 1973 album Selling England by the Pound, and was performed as a live piece either in whole or in part throughout the band's career.