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Invisible Touch - SACD-Hybrid / DVD - 2007


SACD / CD tracks:

Invisibe Touch
Tonight, Tonight, Tonight
Land Of Confusion
In Too Deep
Anything She Does
Domino
- part 1: In The Glow Of The Night
- part 2: The Last Domino
Throwing It All Away
The Brazilian


DVD content:

Full album in Dolby Digital 5.1 (audio only)
Full album in dts Surround (audio only)
Invisible Touch (video)
Land Of Confusion (video)
Tonight Tonight Tonight
(video)
In Too Deep (video)
Anything She Does (video)
Making of Invisible Touch - 2007 band interviews
Making of Land Of Confusion (the music video)
The Old Grey Whistle Test 1986
Visible Touch - tour documentary
1986/97 tour programme photo gallery


Technical data:
The music videos are available in stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 and dts sound (as on the Video Show DVD). All other video contents come in Dolby Digital 2.0. There are no subtitles.


Review


The album
Yeah, yeah – oh, oh – fans of the former prog pioneers had to cope with the fact that the band had abandoned most of its musical habits. Selling England was a big album for the band, but Invisible Touch, which came out in 1986, dwarved everything else – commercially. Genesis toured the world for more than a year, brought the album into the Top 5 all over the world, one hit single chased the other, and no less than five top-5 singles in the U.S. charts guaranteed them an entry into the Guinness Book Of Records – as did the four sold-out Wembley shows Tony Banks describes as the zenith of Genesis’ career.  Genesis could not grow any bigger. Invisible Touch thundered into the charts  just when the highly successful solo albums by Phil Collins (No Jacket Required) and Mike + The Mechanics (self-titled) left them. Steve Hackett’s supergroup GTR suddenly also entered the U.S. Top Ten. Invisible Touch (the song) gave Genesis their first #1 hit in America. Funnily enough, they were ousted from that spot only a week later by Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer. Genesis ruled the music market in 1986/7 and became a marketing machine. Chester Thompson explained years later that it was not only the fans who came to see “the Genesis event” anymore, it was ordinary people who simply wanted to be “in” and see the sensational über-band. But let us disregard all the superlatives and all the sales figures – what kind of album was it that suffered from the discussion  of its very success like no other record the band had ever done?

Eight songs with a playing time of around 46 minutes. Slightly too long for a pop album, but yet it is one. Genesis do not beat around the bush: The title song is a slap in the face of everything that made them great. Then again, Genesis have always been a band that could write short songs, and they displayed them perfectly in the 80s. The title song is an excellent example for this. One of the highlights on the album is Tonight Tonight Tonight. The song proves that Collins’ voice was probably at its very best by the mid-80s. It is most impressive to hear the drummer sing such a number. Tonight^3, as it is frequently abbreviated, is an example for the songs where Genesis disregard the radio format in order to let the music breathe, and a breath of prog blows through the megaseller. Ironically, the single edit of the song became a big hit, but the full version of the song was played live only on the Invisible Touch tour. Another with the “pop” label is the aggressive Land Of Confusion that became an instantly intelligible protest song. It also spawned a popular video with lots of puppets from Spitting Image that brought the band a Grammy. Back in the old days Genesis would sing about fountains and Slippermen, in 1986 they make fun of Ronald Reagan and themselves. Then there is In Too Deep, the ballad that is usually mentioned to illustrate that Genesis sound just like Phil Collins. Funnily enough, In Too Deep is a Tony Banks song.  Throwing It All Away has also met mixed receptions: Chester Thompson likes it a lot, the hardcore fans ignore it, and yet it is always a great moment live when the whole audience repeats what Phil sings. Anything She Does is a neat up-tempo song, that is frequently associated with Phil’s solo album No Jacket Required just because Tony Banks sampled some brass. This may also be why the song has never been released as a single though there was a music video starring Benny Hill.

But then Genesis bring it on again. First there is Domino, one of the “let’s lump all these things together” songs so beloved by Genesis fans. Domino has become a stage monster that has been played at every show of every tour since. The finale is the playful The Brazilian, Genesis’ first real instrumental in a long time.


The new mixes

Clinical. Cold. Invisible Touch always lacked the warmth Wind & Wuthering or We Can’t Dance had. Invisible Touch has always been a loud album with the drums in the foreground. And Collins’ vocals that never sounded as strong and intense again as in the mid-80s.


The new 5.1 surround and stereo mixes

It takes only a few seconds to realize what is different – no matter which mix you are listening to: Everything is even more powerful than on the original.

SACD surround is the best audio choice, though what little difference there is from dts will probably only be noticed by audiophiles. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track of the first pressing has a production flaw. The front right speaker goes dead from the middle of Anything She Does onwards. This occurs in neither SACD surround nor dts surround sound. The North American versions are not affected at all. If you happen to have such a disc go here to find out what you can do about it.

As usual, the centre speaker is reserved for the vocals that also spread to the front left and right speakers. The rear speakers add the effects and provide a kind of acoustic dizziness in The Brazilian. Land Of Confusion sounds great, far superior to the Video Show version. Anything She Does is slightly longer than the original, and a couple of shouts from Phil were inserted at the end.

by Christian Gerhardts
translated by Martin Klinkhardt

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