|"Turn It On Again"|
|Single by Genesis|
|from the album Duke|
|Released||8 March 1980 (UK)|
August 1980 (USA)
|Length||3:50 (Album Version)|
3:44 (UK Single Remix)
3:27 (US Single Remix Edit)
Atlantic (U.S., Canada)
|Songwriter(s)||Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford|
|Producer(s)||Genesis, David Hentschel|
|Genesis singles chronology|
"Turn It On Again"
"Turn It On Again" is a single by the English rock band Genesis, from their 1980 album Duke. It reached number 8 in the UK Singles Chart. The lyrics, by Mike Rutherford, concern a man who does nothing more than watch television. He becomes obsessed with the people he watches on it, believing them to be his friends.
"Turn It On Again" was built from leftovers from projects by each member: The second set of verses was conceived by Tony Banks for A Curious Feeling: "We kind of put [Rutherford's riff] – the bit he didn't use on Smallcreep's Day, curiously enough – with the bit I didn't use on A Curious Feeling, and put these two together. We made it much more rocky; both bits became much more rocky. My bit was a bit more epic, and Mike's bit was a bit slower and a bit more heavy metal. And then Phil gave it a much more straightforward drum part; perhaps neither of us would have thought that we would want that on that bit [...] We put on one or two other bits, too, that ended up from there".
The song is characterised by a rhythmic structure uncharacteristically complex for pop music but common in the band's progressive rock back catalogue. The verse/chorus sections alternate time signatures, 6
4 to 7
4), while the intro and bridge sections are in 4
4 and 5
4). The song – written mostly by Rutherford, with help from Phil Collins – was originally much slower. Rutherford explains on the Songbook DVD: "I had this riff [plays lead riff on guitar], but at the time I was playing it like this: [plays slower]. And Phil said, 'Why don't you try it in a faster speed?' and then he said to me, 'Do you realize it is in 13
8?' and I said, 'What do you mean, it's in 13? It's in 4
4, isn't it?' 'No, it's 13.'"
Collins confirms: "You can't dance to it. You see people trying to dance to it every now and again. They get on the off beat but they don't know why". Tony Banks adds: "You can't dance or clap along to it because of that time signature. When we play it live, you can always see the audience getting caught out."
"Turn It On Again" has been a favourite at Genesis's shows. Consequently, the group's 1999 compilation Turn It On Again: The Hits and its 2007 expanded reissue, subtitled The Tour Edition, were named after it, as was the band's 2007 Turn It On Again: The Tour reunion tour. In the 1980s, the band would attach a medley of 1960s pop songs (referred to by the band as the "Blues Brothers" medley, as the first song was "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"). The song would be returned to its album form for the We Can't Dance tour and the band would later regard the medley as a poor decision. Peter Gabriel played drums when he reunited with his former bandmates at 1982's Six of the Best show and found himself baffled by its time signatures. "It was typical Peter: 'Oh, I can play this'," observed Tony Banks. "But once he started playing, he kept looking around going, Oh fuck! 'Turn It On Again' does funny things – it's truly a Genesis song."
"Turn It on Again" was a moderate hit in North America, but failed to reach the Top 40 except in regional markets such as Chicago (#31 on WLS-AM). However, it was a bigger hit in Europe, particularly in the UK where it reached #8.
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||49|
|UK Singles Chart||8|
|US Billboard Hot 100||58|
|US Cash Box Top 100||55|
- Phil Collins – drums, percussion, lead vocals
- Tony Banks – keyboards, backing vocals
- Mike Rutherford – guitars, bass pedals
- Genesis UK chart history, The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- Prasad, Anil. "Genesis: Turning it on again". Innerviews. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- Janisch, Helmut; Klinkhardt, Martin. "A Curious Interview". Genesis News Com [it]. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
- Genesis (2001). The Genesis Songbook (DVD). Eagle Rock Entertainment.
- Blake, Mark: "The stories behind the songs"; Classic Rock #216, November 2015, p26
- "wls110180". www.oldiesloon.com.
- "Official Charts Company". officialcharts.com.
- "Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- [dead link]
- "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Turn It on Again". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)