Friday, October 21, 2016

"Illegal Alien" by Genesis

Song#:  1825
Date:  03/10/1984
Debut:  88
Peak:  44
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The second single from Genesis' self-titled album, "That's All," became their first US Pop Top 10 getting to #6. This follow-up got a little action at Rock getting to #21, but unfortunately it stalled short of the Pop Top 40. It would do similar business in the UK where it reached #46.

ReduxReview:  Every once in a while, Phil Collins will sing a song in a certain voice or accent and for the most part, it is quite annoying. I guess he is trying to embody a character, but this ain't a movie or Broadway music. Just sing the damn song and let the lyrics do their own work. He should have done that here. The song itself it kind of fun and perky, but Collins' delivery is just...well...bad. If you are going to do a vocal from the point of view of the person in the lyrics and don an accent, then you have to commit and carry it through. Collins doesn't. He pops in and out of this weird accent and it just doesn't make sense. It's a total distraction that nearly ruins the song.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Apparently, this song was a bit controversial upon release. The lyrics are basically a satirical look at what illegal aliens from Mexico have to go through. Yet some found the song offensive and it didn't help that Phil Collins sang it in some kind of accent. Worse yet was a part of a verse where someone who wants to cross the border offers up his sister to an agent in order to get through. This section of the song was edited for radio and single release. It added up to a song that some folks did not appreciate. Specifically, the folks at Blender magazine were not thrilled with the tune. In 2004, they published a list of the 50 worst songs of all-time. This song placed at #13 on the list. What was #1?  No shock - Starship's "We Built This City."


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