Here we have the final Genesis studio album to feature Phil Collins and it’s a gem on several levels.
Written by: Eric
ALBUM: We Can’t Dance
SERIAL: A2 82344
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Phil Collins – lead vocals, drums, drum machines, percussion * Tony Banks – keyboards * Mike Rutherford – guitars, bass
TRACK LISTING: 01 No Son Of Mine * 02 Jesus He Knows Me * 03 Driving The Last Spike * 04 I Can’t Dance * 05 Never A Time * 06 Dreaming While You Sleep * 07 Tell Me Why * 08 Living Forever * 09 Hold On My Heart * 10 Way Of The World * 11 Since I Lost You * 12 Fading Lights
WEBLINKS: Site Link
I’ve mellowed considerably in recent years when it comes to the post ‘Abacab’ Genesis albums, whereas 25 years ago being a snobbish prog sort, I blew them off as tripe. While I still can’t completely wrap my head around ‘Invisible Touch’, I’ve made gains with that overtly poppy set, ugly sleeve and all. Here we have the final Genesis studio album to feature Phil Collins and it’s a gem on several levels.
I love the pristine production on ‘We Can’t Dance’ and unlike ‘Invisible Touch’, it doesn’t sound dated in the least. Four years had passed since that album and the songwriting has improved considerably, especially on the dark opener ‘No Son Of Mine’ which features an impassioned vocal performance from Collins. ‘Jesus He Knows Me’ was written about the hypocrisy of American televangelists, but despite the sleazy subject matter the song is catchy with a rock solid hook.
Of course ‘I Can’t Dance’ was the albums biggest draw for consumers, but I’ve never been a big fan of the tune, in particular the ZZ Top-ish riff which just doesn’t do it for me but then again, neither did ZZ Top! ‘Never A Time’ was the last Genesis single to feature Phil and its typical balladry found any of his solo albums. Nice, but we’ve heard it all before.
Mike Rutherford’s jangly Byrds styled noodling on ‘Tell Me Why’ is a standout as well as ‘Hold On My Heart’ which again is unabashed Adult Contemporary but it’s a beautifully written and heartfelt song, the kind we haven’t heard from the ‘Top Product’ auto-tuned music business for more years than I can remember.
The other day I saw a recent photo of Collins, Banks and Rutherford on Facebook and man, they are showing their age but aren’t we all? At the time of this review there’s a rumor another Genesis album without Peter Gabriel might materialize and I really hope so.
I normally wish a lot of bands of a certain vintage would just go away – Boston, Styx and Yes just to name a few, but I’ve developed such a love for Genesis and its periphery over the years I would actually support a new album and wish them all the best. With so many of our teenage music idols rapidly disappearing, we’ll take what we can get. And no, I can’t dance either.