February 11 – Genesis Were Big In America, That’s All

Just there biggest hit to date, that’s all. That would describe Genesis and their growing American fanbase; on this day in 1984, “That’s All” hit #6 on Billboard, making it their biggest single to that point in the U.S.

The self-titled album from which it was drawn had been different from previous ones for the Brit trio, in that there was more collaboration and improvising in the studio on songs. “That’s All” was essentially a simple song written by Phil Collins as an homage to the Beatles. He emulated Ringo’s drumming style on it. It offered a stark contrast to the album’s first single, the eerie, Peter Gabriel-esque “Mama.”

The album went on to be their third straight #1 in the UK (notably, it was the fourth studio release since Peter Gabriel left the band and essentially turned the show over to Collins) but opened new doors Stateside for them. As Kerrang put it, Genesis had “traded technical complexity and ingenuity for …more stunning simplicity” .Allmusic liked the “sleek, pulsating pop tune” but Rolling Stone didn’t approve. It gave the album a 2-star rating in a review which found the album “particularly appalling in light of what Genesis shows this trio is capable of.” They did approve of this single though, calling it “engaging” and “pushing the band to new heights of rhythmic expression.”

The song not only hit the American top 10, but rose to #2 on mainstream rock charts there. to the north though, it peaked at #14 in Canada, only their fourth biggest hit of the decade at that point, while in their homeland it got to a middling #16. Genesis would later go on to finally nab a U.S. #1 single three years later with “Invisible Touch”.

6 thoughts on “February 11 – Genesis Were Big In America, That’s All

  1. Pingback: February 11 – Genesis Were Big In America, That’s All — A Sound Day - Jakhala.com

  2. badfinger20 (Max)

    “That’s All” is a great pop song. That is one I’m not tired of at all. When I hear it I’m back in High School again…with just a older body lol. This is about the time I saw them live.
    Mama was out there and I liked it…I haven’t heard it in years. I like that they tried different things…more to their origin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a good album, still stands up decently. To me, it was the last really interesting thing they did together. I would’ve liked to see them back in that era for sure… a lot of good material to work with and they got good reviews. I had the ‘3 Sides Live’ album back then and I did listen to it quite a bit… back in the early-mid 80s, I think that, cheap Trick at Budokan, Frampton and Roxy Music’s ‘Viva’ were about the only live albums that I had and played a fair bit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 (Max)

        I’m not as much on live albums…the three I had that I remember off the bat was The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl, Get Your Ya Ya’s Out, and the Frampton one…I believe it was a law that you had to own the Frampton album.

        Anyway yes I would say the same thing about Genesis…that was about the last thing I liked.

        Liked by 1 person

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