Monday, October 14, 2019

"Land of Confusion" by Genesis

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2921
Date:  11/01/1986
Debut:  64
Peak:  4
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The band's album Invisible Touch was their first to produce two Top 10 hits in the US including the title track, which was their first #1. After their ballad "Throwing It All Away" got to #4, they released this more rock-leaning political track. It did fine at Rock getting to #11, but it was more successful at Pop where it hit the #4 mark. The hit kept sales of the album strong and eventually it would be their most successful studio album selling over six million copies.

ReduxReview:  Politics and world views are not necessarily subjects that pop hits are made of, but sometimes one will break through and Genesis was able to do it with this charging track. However, I do think what helped it become a hit was the associated video (see below). The single may have been able to stand on its own and still do well without the video, but it most likely would not have done nearly as well. I was actually a little surprised this song got selected for release. It has hooks and a chorus, but the darker music and subject matter made it seem more like an album track rather than a single. Still, it worked out rather well and I liked the tune. Is it among my favorites from Genesis? Not really, but it is still an interesting listening.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia: Double Shot!  1) While the song was a hit, it was certainly propelled into the Top 10 thanks to its memorable video that was heavily aired on MTV. All the characters in the video were puppets from the hit British satirical show Spitting Image. The only puppets not from the show were the ones that represented the three members of Genesis (apparently, each of those puppets cost $10,000 to make). Spitting Image used exaggerated puppets of famous politicians and celebrities for sketches that skewered politics, entertainment, and pop culture. It aired from 1984 to 1996. Among the musicians that were satirized via puppets on the show was Phil Collins. The sketch poked fun at Collins and his music with the puppet performing an intense, depressing song about his marriage breaking up and being lonely. The original song was sung by a person who was imitating Collins' voice. It seems Collins happened to see the sketch and though that using the Spitting Image puppets would be ideal for the "Land of Confusion" video. The video featured the Genesis puppets playing the song as Ronald Reagan has a massive sweat-inducing nightmare. The video would win a Grammy award for Best Concept Music Video (an award category that lasted only two years). It would also be nominated for six MTV Music Video awards, but was aced out of all of them by a video from their former bandmate Peter Gabriel ("Sledgehammer").  2) This song was remade by the US heavy metal band Disturbed. It was the fourth single from their 2006 album Ten Thousand Fists. It would be the band's first #1 hit at Rock. It did not make the Pop chart.


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