Misunderstanding

  • How do you feel about "Misunderstanding"? 28

    1. I like it (17) 61%
    2. I don't particularly like or dislike it (5) 18%
    3. I dislike it (6) 21%

    I hear a lot said about this song, and pretty much all of it is negative.


    But while I wouldn't claim it to be one of Genesis' best works, I've always liked it. I was brought to Genesis via DUKE, after all. While I was mainly impressed by hearing "Turn It On Again" on the radio, that impression was only added to by my hearing "Misunderstanding" soon after. Sure, it's a simple pop song, but I've always considered it a good pop song. (Of course, Phil ruins it on THREE SIDES LIVE, but that's another story.)


    So here's a poll. It is true or not that every Genesis fan but me hates this song?

    The Seat Bunny!

  • I voted 'like'. As I've been saying in another thread or two, it's not great, it's okay, but I like it more than the 'neither' option. I'd rather keep it than Heathaze, Please Don't Ask or Alone Again.

    Abandon all reason

  • I voted 'like'. As I've been saying in another thread or two, it's not great, it's okay, but I like it more than the 'neither' option. I'd rather keep it than Heathaze, Please Don't Ask or Alone Again.

    Alone Tonight is really uneventful, to put it mildly.

  • I'd rather keep it than Heathaze, Please Don't Ask or Alone [Tonight].

    Interesting how you name one song by each member! All of those, BTW, are songs that really took me some time to warm up to. I still consider "Alone Tonight" to be one of the lesser songs on DUKE, while "Please Don't Ask" represents one of my biggest transitions from disliking a song to liking it a lot.


    I should also mention (again) that I consider DUKE to be one of the most perfectly sequenced Genesis albums -- i.e., it's one where I couldn't imagine dropping any track (and/or including one of the associated non-album tracks).

    The Seat Bunny!

  • It's pleasant, it's catchy, and it does nothing for me. Phil's ad libs on the live versions can get annoying. I also find the main riff a obvious steal from Sly and the Family Stone's Hot Fun In the Summertime, which is an infinitely better song.

  • It's pleasant, it's catchy, and it does nothing for me. Phil's ad libs on the live versions can get annoying. I also find the main riff a obvious steal from Sly and the Family Stone's Hot Fun In the Summertime, which is an infinitely better song.

    Not Hold The Line by Toto?


    Anyway, I voted "like" because there was no option for "love"! The first time I heard it was on Three Sides Live and I recognised Phil's ad-libs straight away as being a nod to The Blues Brothers. And I love The Blues Brothers.

  • I can understand being indifferent about this song; I don't really get what would inspire loathing of it - but opinions are not objective facts: they're valid if you feel they are valid.


    Personally, I like the song - I don't love it, to be sure, but I could never hate it. (I didn't much fancy it in performance, though - always sounded better as a studio song, IMHO.)

    Stepping out the back way, hoping nobody sees...

  • I think it's a shame that it was never brought back for the 2007 tour. They should have certainly brought it back for the American leg because it was a big hit there (unsurprisingly, because it has a very American sound to it). Didn't Phil perform it on his Final Farewell Tour?

  • I can understand being indifferent about this song; I don't really get what would inspire loathing of it .

    I can obviously only speak for myself and I think it's always difficult and sometimes dangerous to substantiate likes and dislikes. Provided that I don't think it is a great song in any genre, not even pop or by any stretch of imagination, I would have been inclined to ignore it, had I heard on the radio, sang by another artist or had it been, say on Face Value, an album I like very much. I simply would have skipped it. There are different genres on that albums and this one simply wouldn't have resonated with me. I think we all have expectations when we get an album by an artist we like. We want certain things we know these artists are about. On Duke, Misunderstanding is between MOOT and Heathaze and one may like or less those songs but to me those are Genesis songs, they are in line with what I expect from them and why I follow them. Misunderstanding isn't, it sounds musically out of place on the album, an intrusive element.

    Hence MY dislike. Now, and here where it gets tricky and dangerous but for objectivity's sake, one might argue the same with FYFM. It's uncharacteristic of Genesis, light and poppy. I just happen to think and it is the height of subjectivity that FYFM is simply a 'better' song, one they are still remembered by even by those who are not fans of the band. There's a simple charme to it, I don't find in MIsunderstanding which to me still sounds like somebody is learning to play the piano and learning to write songs which probably was the case.

    Edited once, last by Fabrizio ().

  • I've been a fan since 1991 and for many years I didn't care much for "Misunderstanding". However, during the last couple of years that song has grown on me (as have others), so I can now state that I actually like the song. As always with Genesis I'm fond of live recordings, and this goes for "Misunderstanding" as well. I prefer the dynamic live version before the studio version.


    Some other Duke songs were mentioned. I happen to be quite fond of "Man Of Our Times", "Heathaze", "Alone Tonight" and "Cul-de-Sac" (never played live, not released as singles), and the same goes for the second side of Shapes and the non single/no live songs on We Can't Dance. All these songs are somewhat overlooked and in my opinion very good songs.

  • I've been a fan since 1991 and for many years I didn't care much for "Misunderstanding". However, during the last couple of years that song has grown on me (as have others), so I can now state that I actually like the song. As always with Genesis I'm fond of live recordings, and this goes for "Misunderstanding" as well. I prefer the dynamic live version before the studio version.


    Some other Duke songs were mentioned. I happen to be quite fond of "Man Of Our Times", "Heathaze", "Alone Tonight" and "Cul-de-Sac" (never played live, not released as singles), and the same goes for the second side of Shapes and the non single/no live songs on We Can't Dance. All these songs are somewhat overlooked and in my opinion very good songs.

    I think that Genesis always managed to up the ante when playing 'live'. They're not known for embellishing the songs too much when they played them onstage and yet there are many exceptions to this (It's Gonna Get Better, The Lady Lies, Jesus He Knows Me and Abacab come immediately to mind), none more so than Misunderstanding. I have always credited the arrival of Chester and Daryl with the band's willingness to experiment more with their own material but clearly Phil was always very open to that kind of approach (as evidenced in his work with Brand X).

  • i'm 48 years old, and this is the first song I ever heard by anyone in Genesis that I "recall". I always thought Phil's voice was different than most others. It didn't grab me at first but I liked it enough to remember it. I had it on this K-Tel album "Full Tilt". You can listen here;


    So it was my gateway song. Later in life, my cover band played it in a medley of two songs "Misunderstanding" and "Hold the Line" by Toto. It was our 6/8 medley. Later I found out that Phil actually wrote it with Hold the Line in mind as he liked that 6/8 feel.


    I also read that Phil wrote "Misunderstanding" during his first divorce period. It was after "And Then There Were Three", right? And he tried to go salvage his marriage by moving where his wife was, I think. So the band went on hiatus and Mike/Tony wrote their solo albums. But Phil couldn't save his marriage and lived alone where he wrote his songs as therapy. He wrote songs like "in the Air Tonight" and "I MIssed Again" as well as "Misunderstanding". As he was writing like crazy, the band gets back together and everyone shares their songs that would become Duke. Phil claims that he played "In the Air Tonight" as well as "Misunderstanding" but Tony doesn't remember that. Would have been crazy if "Air Tonight" turned out to be a Genesis song.

  • So I chose "dislike" but I certainly wouldn't say I hate the song. For me probably in the bottom 3 songs on Duke and pretty easily the weakest of the live tracks on TSL. That being said, I can't really put my finger on why. The song just feels like something I have to go through if I'm giving the whole album a listen, not necessarily something I enjoy like a lot of the other tracks.