Song of the Day #3,808: ‘No Reply At All’ – Genesis

Genesis is a fascinating band, one of the few to fundamentally change musical styles (and singers) over decades while continuing to grow its audience.

They started as a folk rock band fronted by Peter Gabriel, then shifted to prog rock after Phil Collins joined as drummer and background vocalist. When Gabriel left the band in 1978 and Collins took over as lead singer, they started a gradual shift toward pop. That’s where they would ultimately find the most success, reaching their commercial pinnacle with 1986’s excellent Invisible Touch.

1981’s Abacab finds the band in the transition from art rock to pop. Collins had released the popular solo album Face Value earlier in the year and some of the instincts behind that record found their way onto this one.

The title track and ‘No Reply at All’ were minor hits, and ‘Man On the Corner’ rings a bell, but most of Abacab‘s songs are new to me. They veer between prog experimentation and Collins’ Motown-influenced soft rock, an interesting blend that really demonstrates the band’s musical transition.

Talk to me, you never talk to me
Ooh, it seems that I can speak
I can hear my voice shoutin’ out

But there’s no reply at all

Look at me, you never look at me
Ooh, I’ve been sittin, starin’, seems so long
But you’re lookin’ through me
Like I wasn’t here at all

No reply. There’s no reply at all

Dance with me, you never dance with me
Ooh, it seems that I can move
I’m close to you, close as I can get

Yet there’s no reply at all
There’s no reply at all

I get the feelin’ you’re tryin’ to tell me
Is there somethin’ that I should know?
What excuse are you tryin’ to sell me?
Should I be readin’ stop or go?
I don’t know

Be with me. Seems you’re never here with me
Ooh, I’ve been tryin’ to get over there
Oh, but it’s out of my reach

And there’s no reply at all
There’s no reply at all

I get the feelin’ you’re tryin’ to tell me
Is there somethin’ that I should know?
What excuse are you tryin’ to sell me?
Should I be readin’ stop or go?
I don’t know

Maybe deep down inside
I’m tryin’ for no one else but me
Too stubborn to say, “The buck stops here
It’s not the one you’re lookin’ for.”

But maybe deep down inside, I’m lyin’
To no one else but me
Oh, but my back is up. I’m on my guard
With all the exits sealed

Listen to me, you never listen to me
Oooh, and it seems there’s no way out
I’ve been tryin’ but we cannot connect

And there’s no reply at all
There’s no reply at all
There’s no reply at all
No reply at all
Is anybody list’nin?
Oh, there’s no reply at all…

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,808: ‘No Reply At All’ – Genesis

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I was a big fan of this era of Genesis and Collins. I felt both the band and Collins had the right mix here, but tilted too far into pop by Invisible Touch and No Jacket Required.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.