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No Son of Mine

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Title: No Son of Mine  
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Subject: Shipwrecked (Genesis song), Genesis (band), Live over Europe 2007, Many Too Many, Deep in the Motherlode
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No Son of Mine

"No Son of Mine"
Single by Genesis
from the album We Can't Dance
B-side "Living Forever"
Released 31 October 1991
Format CD maxi, 7" single, 12" maxi,
Recorded The Farm, Surrey, 1991
Genre Rock
Length 4:41 (radio edit)
6:39 (album version)
Label Atlantic, Virgin
Writer(s) Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford
Producer(s) Genesis, Nick Davis, Robert Colby
Genesis singles chronology
"Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"
"No Son of Mine"
"I Can't Dance"
We Can't Dance track listing
"No Son of Mine"
"Jesus He Knows Me"

"No Son of Mine" is the first single by the British rock group Genesis from their 1991 album We Can't Dance, which reached No. 6 in the UK and No. 12 in the U.S, and was a top ten hit in most of continental Europe.

Lyrics and music

The song's lyrics tell the story of a boy who runs away from his abusive home, and—after some reconsideration—attempts to return, only to be rebuked by his father. In interviews, Phil Collins has said that the lyrics are deliberately vague as to whether the narrator or his mother is the victim of the abuse.

The video for this song is particularly melancholic, illustrating the scene in sepia tone. The video essentially depicts what is discussed in the song, which is a conversation between a son and his father. During the last chorus snow flakes begin appearing flying wildly around the house, eventually at the end the scene pulls out to reveal the entire confrontation scenes take place in a snowglobe that the son is holding.

The song has a distinctive sound heard during the intro and before the second verse. Referred to by the band as "elephantus," the sound was created by Tony Banks recording Mike Rutherford's guitar with a sampler and then playing three notes on the bottom register of the keyboard, greatly lowering the pitch. The working title of "No Son of Mine" was "Elephantus".[1] The sound is also featured in the opening of the I Can't Dance single B-side "On the Shoreline". A similar sound is heard in former Genesis member Peter Gabriel's song "I Grieve", which was released a decade after this single.

The radio edit fades out the song's extended outro about a minute in advance and also cuts out part of the second chorus. The music video, however, uses the unedited album version.

The single included the 8th track from We Can't Dance, "Living Forever", as the B-side.

Live performances

The song was played live during the The Way We Walk,[2] Calling All Stations (with Ray Wilson on vocals),[3] and Turn It On Again[4] tours.

A live version appears on their albums The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts, and Live Over Europe 2007. As well as on their DVD's The Way We Walk - Live in Concert and When in Rome 2007.

Former one-time lead singer Ray Wilson (who had replaced Phil Collins) continued to cover the song on his solo live albums after his departure from Genesis.

Track listings




  1. ^ Collins, Phil; Banks, Tony; Rutherford, Mike; Gabriel, Peter; Hackett, Steve (2007). Genesis: Chapter & Verse. Macmillan. p. 331.  
  2. ^ The Way We Walk Tour Songs & Dates
  3. ^ Calling All Stations Tour Songs & Dates
  4. ^ Turn it on again Tour Songs & Dates
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "No Son of Mine", in various singles charts . Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  6. ^ 
  7. ^ 
  8. ^ a b 
  9. ^ . 3 June 2009 
  10. ^ German Singles Chart . Retrieved 10 April 2008. Archived 17 June at WebCite
  11. ^ Irish Single Chart . Retrieved 10 April 2008. Archived 3 June at WebCite
  12. ^ UK Singles Chart . Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  13. ^ a b c Billboard . Retrieved 3 September 2008.
  14. ^ * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: singles chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000
  15. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1992". Archived from the original on 16 January 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2010. 

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