Genesis: Land of Confusion: from the album Invisible Touch, 1986
Written by Chris Watson
This 1986 song popped again into my consciousness as it has struck me many times over recent years that it encapsulates a timeless theme and who can say Britain is not a Land of Confusion.
I look around in bemusement at where we are as a country politically and environmentally and similar situations are emulated across the World. Sure, it's an 80's song, but Phil Collins sang this with a unique and clear voice and there is an urgency about the song and an infectious chorus:
This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we're given
Use them and let's start trying
To make it a place worth living in
Genesis left their own version of serious Prog Rock behind and re-invented themselves as Prog Pop that echoed the smoothness of the 80's; however, this is a rare protest song. Penned by Mike Rutherford, he himself looked back to see the continued relevance. We know there is not much love around and already the current men of steel are losing it again with re-armament on the Agenda....
The lyrics are as apt now as they were in 1986 and maybe many other decades. The music drives us along with a great chorus we can all sing along with and can uplift our hearts; there is also a surprising romantic interlude with simple sentiments that appeal to many of us of better times.
Its a sort of hymn to accompany those of us who have simply had enough and I perceive that there is a ground swell of change in society that is rising steadily against what is wrong politically and environmentally. The lyrics do point out simply that we do have an identity and a voice if we want to use them...successes by recent peaceful protest movements testify to this.
As I deal with live music, I have chosen a live video from several on youtube and decided on one from 2007; the Band are ageing a bit, but Phil's voice is still clear and the Italian crowd join in with gusto; politically, Italy has been a Land of Confusion seemingly for ever and the song strikes a chord even with their youth....