“Behind the Lines” by Genesis
“Behind the Lines” is part of a collection of songs featured on Genesis’s 10th studio album, Duke, which are about the romantic relationship of Albert, a fictional character. At the time the band put this song together, frontman Phil Collins was going through his very-first divorce (to Andrea Bertorelli, who he was married to from 1975 to 1980). Logically he would have been quite emotional at the time, and it is such emotion upon which “Behind the Lines” is said to be based. Or more specifically, behind the relatively-intellectual metaphors, we simply have a man pleading with his significant other not to let their relationship expire.
And just to note, the title of the track is never mentioned in the lyrics. But there have been a couple of theories put forth to its actual meaning. For instance, Mr. Collins does refer to a certain “book” numerous times, which reads like it may be a photo album but more to the point serves as a symbol of the love between himself and the addressee. And it can be said that he is calling on her to also remember said volume – and what it represents – before deciding to actually leave him.
It should be noted that Collins’ divorce from Bertorelli inspired many of his songs. The most notable of these songs is the classic “In the Air Tonight“.
Facts about “Behind the Lines”
This song originally came out, via Atlantic Records, as part of Genesis’s Duke project on 24 March 1980. And the following year, Phil Collins re-recorded it in a different style to be featured on Face Value, his debut-solo album. By the way, the aforementioned iconic hit (“In the Air Tonight”) also appears on Face Value.
Phil Collins wrote this song along with his Genesis core members Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks. And the entire band produced the tune in conjunction with David Hentschel. And for the record, it was the first song the crew had put together for Duke and accordingly serves as the opening track on the album.
Although never released as a single, both Genesis and Phil on his own have used this tune throughout the years as part of their live sets.
In January of 2021, Genesis used this song to advertise their reunion tour of 2021 titled “The Last Domino?” Said tour was to have actually kicked off in 2020. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic the band was forced to postpone the start of the tour to the latter part of 2021.
Below is the official advertisement, which contains footage of the band rehearsing with “Behind the Lines”: