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”.