Invisible Touch is the thirteenth studio album by British progressive-turned-pop rock band Genesis. It was released through Atlantic Records on 6 June 1986 in the United States, and through Virgin Records (via the Charisma label) on 9 March 1986 in the United Kingdom.
Following the band's self-titled twelfth album in 1983, the members—Phil Collins, Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford—had taken some time to work on solo projects. Collins released and toured for his third solo album No Jacket Required (marking a shift from the progressive pop of his first two albums to mainstream pop rock), did a song for the film Against All Odds, and appeared at both the American and British wings of Live Aid. Banks produced the soundtrack for the sci-fi film Lorca and the Outlaws (and was briefly connected to 2010 and The Terminator). And Rutherford created his own side band, Mike + the Mechanics, getting several hits off their self-titled debut album. The band came back together in late 1985 to create a new album with producer Hugh Padgham, bringing together everything they'd developed on their solo projects and gearing it for Genesis.
The album topped the UK Official Charts Company album chart, and hit #3 on the Billboard 200 album chart. It additionally went six-times Platinum in the United States, and quadruple-Platinum in the United Kingdom.
Five singles were released: the Title Track, "Throwing It All Away", "In Too Deep", "Land of Confusion", and "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight". All five were top 10 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Cashbox Top 100; "Invisible Touch" would become their only #1 single in the United States. The album is also noted for the music video for "Land of Confusion" by the folks at Spitting Image, which was a hit on MTV and has its own page on this very wiki thanks to just how dense with material it is; tropes relevant to the song and its music video go there.
The band took a world tour to promote the album, performing 112 concerts over 59 different stops from September 1986 to July 1987. The tour was so popular, that after initially resorting to multiple concerts at many stops (a total of nine in Sydney), the second half of the tour began playing almost exclusively at large football stadiums. The music video for "Throwing It All Away" uses footage from the first two stops of the tour at Detroit and Toronto. Selections from the tour would be featured on the 1992 live album The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts, alongside cuts from the then-ongoing We Can't Dance tour.
- "Invisible Touch" (3:29)
- "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" (8:53)
- "Land of Confusion" (4:45)
- "In Too Deep" (4:58)
- "Anything She Does" (4:09)
- "Domino" (10:44)
- "In the Glow of the Night" (4:27)
- "The Last Domino" (6:18)
- "Throwing It All Away" (3:53)
- "The Brazilian" (4:50)
- Tony Banks keyboards, synth bass
- Phil Collins drums, lead vocals, percussion
- Mike Rutherford guitars, bass guitar
"I watch these tropes go round and round, and see mine turning upside-down":
- Album Title Drop: Naturally for the title track, "Invisible Touch"
- Anti-Love Song: "Throwing It All Away" is about a man getting over being jilted by an ex-lover. Ironically, it was largely written by Rutherford, who was (and, as of 2020, is still) Happily Married.
- Apocalypse How: A minimum class 1 apocalypse is implied to have happened in "Domino".
- Badass Longcoat: Worn by Collins in videos for "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" and "Invisible Touch". The latter is more Played for Laughs.
- Epic Rocking: "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" has two lengthy instrumental segments in its album version, resulting in just falling short of nine minutes. The first one is included in the music video. A remix released as a twelve-inch single extends the song to nearly twelve minutes. Meanwhile, the nearly eleven-minute "Domino" was separated into two movements in the album liner notes: "In the Glow of the Night" and "The Last Domino".
- Instrumentals: "The Brazilian".
- Magnum Opus: Invoked by the album's advertising tagline, which proudly proclaims it to be "the ultimate Genesis album."
- New Sound Album: Synths are hugely ramped up compared to the band's previous albums, while the sound leans more firmly into dance-rock, owed to the band members' solo output embracing both elements wholeheartedly in the interim after the previous record.
- Progressive Rock: Once again the band shows that they hadn't completely forgotten where they came from, with "Domino" and "The Brazilian" being brief (in the latter case, at least) and much-acclaimed returns to the band's prog roots. Even "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" has some progressive elements in its album version, although it's almost more of a Post-Rock song (before the term was even invented).
- Protest Song:
- "Land of Confusion" bitterly discusses how the world's leaders are failing people.
- "Domino" was written in reaction to the Lebanon War, to serve as a warning to politicians not to enter conflict without thinking of the consequences. That said, Banks stated in 2007 that it wasn't really directed at anyone in particular. Given the time frame, it really could've been directed at anyone.
- Rewind Gag: In the video for "Anything She Does", this was used for the security guard played by Benny Hill to clean up the mess left behind by the uninvited guests to the after-concert party for the band.
- Shout-Out: The video for "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" has styling reminiscent of Blade Runner.
- Swapped Roles: The video for "Invisible Touch" at one point features Collins on the keyboards, Rutherford on the drums, and Banks on the guitar.
- Title Track: "Invisible Touch". She seems to have it, alright.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: The title track has a very noticeable one at the end.
Phil: Really fantastic.