We Can't Dance

We Can't Dance
We Can't Dance
Studio album by Genesis
Released 11 November 1991[1]
Recorded March–September 1991 at The Farm, Surrey
Genre Rock, pop rock, progressive rock
Length 71:31
Label Atlantic, Virgin
Producer Genesis, Nick Davis
Professional reviews

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Genesis chronology
Invisible Touch
We Can't Dance
The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts
Singles from We Can't Dance
  1. "No Son of Mine"
    Released: 21 October 1991
  2. "I Can't Dance"
    Released: 30 December 1991
  3. "Hold on My Heart"
    Released: 6 April 1992
  4. "Jesus He Knows Me"
    Released: 13 July 1992
  5. "Never a Time"
    Released: 5 November 1992
  6. "Tell Me Why"
    Released: 8 February 1993

We Can't Dance is the 14th studio album by Genesis, both recorded and released in 1991. It was released as a single album on CD and Cassette, and as a double album on vinyl. The album reached No.1 in the UK, where it remained on the charts for 61 weeks. It was the band's final studio album featuring vocalist/drummer Phil Collins, who would eventually leave Genesis in 1996 to focus on his solo work.



We Can't Dance was Genesis' first studio album in five years, following the international success of Invisible Touch in 1986. We Can't Dance reached No.1 in the UK and No.4 in the US, selling several million copies (including 4 million in the US alone). The album also spawned several hit singles, including "No Son of Mine", "Hold on My Heart", "I Can't Dance" and "Jesus He Knows Me", the latter two supported by humorous videos. Two songs were cut from the album, because "there wasn't enough room on the record." These two songs are "On the Shoreline", and "Hearts on Fire". Both songs were released as B-Sides.

Contrary to popular belief, "Since I Lost You" is not about a broken relationship. The lyrics were written by Phil Collins for friend Eric Clapton. On 20 March 1991, Clapton's four-year-old son Conor died after falling from the 53rd-story window of his mother's friend's New York City apartment, landing on the roof of an adjacent four-story building. Phil played it to him before putting it on the album to get his O.K. At the same time Eric played Phil "Tears in Heaven".

Most of the songs were created/written by improvisation at Genesis' Fisher Lane Farm ("The Farm") studio.

Following the release of the album Genesis spent 13 weeks on the road playing 55 concerts between May and July 1992, with a 15 date UK tour in October/November.[2] The popular worldwide tour sold out arenas and stadiums (where they mostly played on the US leg of the tour). This proved to be Collins' last tour with Genesis until the band reunited in 2007.

During the recording of We Can't Dance a 40 minute documentary called No Admittance was produced and broadcasted on the Disney Channel. It has since been included in the bonus DVD released in 2007.

The album was re-released as a SACD/DVD double disc set (including new 5.1 and Stereo mixes) in October 2007.

Track listing

All songs by Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford.


  1. "No Son of Mine" (Lyrics: Collins) – 6:39
  2. "Jesus He Knows Me" (Lyrics: Collins) – 4:16
  3. "Driving the Last Spike" (Lyrics: Collins) – 10:08
  4. "I Can't Dance" (Lyrics: Collins) – 4:01
  5. "Never a Time" (Lyrics: Rutherford) – 3:50
  6. "Dreaming While You Sleep" (Lyrics: Rutherford) – 7:16
  7. "Tell Me Why" (Lyrics: Collins) – 4:58
  8. "Living Forever" (Lyrics: Banks) – 5:41
  9. "Hold on My Heart" (Lyrics: Collins) – 4:37
  10. "Way of the World" (Lyrics: Rutherford) – 5:38
  11. "Since I Lost You" (Lyrics: Collins) – 4:09
  12. "Fading Lights" (Lyrics: Banks) – 10:16


Side One
  1. "No Son of Mine" – 6:39
  2. "Jesus He Knows Me" – 4:16
  3. "Driving the Last Spike" – 10:08
Side Two
  1. "I Can't Dance" – 4:01
  2. "Never a Time" – 3:50
  3. "Dreaming While You Sleep" – 7:16
Side Three
  1. "Tell Me Why" – 4:58
  2. "Living Forever" – 5:41
  3. "Hold on My Heart" – 4:37
Side Four
  1. "Way of the World" – 5:38
  2. "Since I Lost You" – 4:09
  3. "Fading Lights" – 10:16


No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "On the Shoreline"   (Banks, Collins, Rutherford) 4:50
2. "Hearts on Fire"   (Banks, Collins, Rutherford) 5:17
  1. "On the Shoreline" from the single "I Can't Dance"
  2. "Hearts on Fire" from the single "Jesus He Knows Me"

Working titles for the album

Before We Can't Dance was released, all songs had working titles. Below is a list of the original song working titles and finalised song titles (in parentheses):

  • "Elephantus" ("No Son of Mine") – 6:39
  • "Do the New One" ("Jesus He Knows Me") – 4:16
  • "Irish" ("Driving the Last Spike") – 10:08
  • "Blue Jeans", "Heavy A Flat" ("I Can't Dance") – 4:01
  • "B. B. Hit", "Still Throwing It All Away" ("Never a Time") – 3:50
  • "Rolling Toms" ("Dreaming While You Sleep") – 7:16
  • "Rickenbacker" ("Tell Me Why") – 4:58
  • "Hip Hop Brushes" ("Living Forever") – 5:41
  • "Burt Bacharach" ("Hold on My Heart") – 4:37
  • "Spaghetti West" ("Way of the World") – 5:39
  • "Song for Conor" ("Since I Lost You") – 4:09
  • "Nile" ("Fading Lights") – 10:17


The "We Can't Dance" tour featured shows in large arenas and stadiums throughout North America and Europe. It would be the band's final full-length tour until the 2007 Turn it On Again reunion tour. The tour is captured live on the albums The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts, The Way We Walk, Volume Two: The Longs and the concert video The Way We Walk - Live in Concert.

The set list featured much of the "We Can't Dance" album as well as the "Invisible Touch" and "Genesis" albums. The only material from the 1970s played on a regular basis was featured in a new "Old Medley" of songs which replaced the "Cage" medley of past tours.

Typical set list:

  • Land of Confusion
  • No Son of Mine
  • Driving the Last Spike
  • Old Medley: Dance on a Volcano / The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway / The Musical Box (Closing Section) / Firth of Fifth / I Know What I Like / That's All / Illegal Alien / Your Own Special Way / Follow You Follow Me / Stagnation / I Know What I Like (Reprise)
  • Fading Lights
  • Jesus He Knows Me
  • Dreaming While You Sleep
  • That's All
  • Home by the Sea
  • Hold on My Heart
  • Domino
  • The Drum Duet
  • I Can't Dance


  • Tonight, Tonight, Tonight / Invisible Touch

Encore #2:

  • Turn It on Again

Also played on the tour were "Throwing it All Away", "Mama" (during the first few shows in North America) and "The Carpet Crawlers" (one time only in Southampton, England). Both "Way of the World" and "Living Forever" were rehearsed for inclusion in the tour set list but ultimately didn't make it with "Way of the World" being dropped only four days before the first show of the tour.




Album – Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1991 The Billboard 200 4


Country Certification
(sales thresholds)
Germany 5× Platinum[3]

Singles – Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1991 "I Can't Dance" Mainstream Rock Tracks 2
"No Son of Mine" Adult Contemporary 8
Mainstream Rock Tracks 3
The Billboard Hot 100 12
1992 "Driving the Last Spike" Mainstream Rock Tracks 25
"Hold on My Heart" Adult Contemporary 1
The Billboard Hot 100 12
"I Can't Dance" Adult Contemporary 26
The Billboard Hot 100 7
"Jesus He Knows Me" Adult Contemporary 27
Mainstream Rock Tracks 24
The Billboard Hot 100 23
Top 40 Mainstream 12
"Never a Time" Adult Contemporary 4
The Billboard Hot 100 21
Top 40 Mainstream 12

See also

  • List of best-selling albums in Germany


External links

Preceded by
Shepherd Moons by Enya
UK number one album
23 November 1991 – 29 November 1991
Succeeded by
Dangerous by Michael Jackson
Preceded by
Welcome to Wherever You Are by INXS
UK number one album
22 August 1992 – 28 August 1992
Succeeded by
Best I by The Smiths

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • can't dance and it's too wet to plow — (USA)    When you can t dance and it s too wet to plow, you may as well do something because you can t or don t have the opportunity to do anything else.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • We Can't Dance — Album par Genesis Sortie 8 novembre 1991 Enregistrement mars à septembre 1991 The Farm, Surrey England Durée 71 min …   Wikipédia en Français

  • I Can't Dance — Infobox Single | Name = I Can t Dance Artist = Genesis from Album = We Can t Dance B side = On the Shoreline Released = July 1992 Format = CD maxi 7 single …   Wikipedia

  • We Can't Dance — Genesis – We Can t Dance Veröffentlichung 11. November 1991 Label Virgin Records / Atlantic Records (USA) Format(e) LP, CD, Hybrid SACD, DVD Audio Genre(s) Rock Anzahl der Titel 12 Laufzeit 71 min 23 s …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • We Can’t Dance — We Can t Dance Studioalbum von Genesis Veröffentlichung 11. November 1991 Label Virgin Records / Atlantic Records (USA) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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