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Land of Confusion - Genesis

Land of Confusion

Turn It on Again: The Hits
rock 80s Progressive rock classic rock pop


"Land of Confusion" is a rock song written by the band Genesis for their 1986 album Invisible Touch. The song was the third track on the album and was the fourth track from the album to become a single, which reached #4 in the US and #14 in the UK in 1987. It made #8 in the Netherlands. The music was written by the band, while the lyrics were written by guitarist Mike Rutherford. The lyrics, further emphasized by the music video (see below), discuss the greed and uncertainty of the Cold War-era 1980s, but evoke a sense of hope for the future. The song is remembered by many Genesis fans because of its video, which featured puppets from the 1980s UK sketch show Spitting Image. * "...Phil offers thoughtful, well intentioned lyrics which tackle the world's problems of war and chaos;...Phil's worries in 1987 have a prophetic ring to them." ~ Welch, Chris. The Complete Guide to the Music of Genesis. 1995 ed This quote is inaccurate. Mike Rutherford penned the lyrics for this track and the song was released in 1986. The song is widely remembered for its music video, which had heavy airplay on MTV. The video drew controversy for its portrayal of Ronald Reagan as being physically and cognitively inept. The video features puppets by the British television show Spitting Image. After Phil Collins saw a caricatured version of himself on the show, he commissioned the show's creators, Peter Fluck and Roger Law, to create puppets of the entire band, as well as all the characters in the video. The video opens with a caricatured Ronald Reagan (voiced by Chris Barrie), Nancy Reagan, and a chimpanzee (parodying Reagan's film Bedtime for Bonzo), going to bed at 16:30. Reagan, holding a teddy bear, goes to sleep and begins to have a nightmare, which sets the premise for the entire video. The video intermittently features a line of stomping feet, illustrating an army marching through a swamp, and they pick up heads of Cold War-era political figures in the swamp along the way (an allusion to Motel Hell). Caricatured versions of the band members are shown playing instruments on stage during a concert: Tony Banks on an array of synthesizers (as well as a cash register), Mike Rutherford on a four-necked guitar (parodying Rutherford's dual role as the band's guitar and bass-player), and two Phil Collins puppets: one on the drums, and one singing. During the second verse, the video features various world leaders giving speeches on large video screens in front of mass crowds; the video shows Mussolini, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Mikhail Gorbachev and his aides (appearing like Frank Sinatra's 'rat pack'), and Muammar al-Gaddafi. Meanwhile, Reagan is shown putting on a Superman suit, fumbling along the way, while Collins sings, Oh Superman where are you now When everything's gone wrong somehow The men of steel, the men of power Are losing control by the hour. Meanwhile, the "real world" Reagan is shown drowning in his own sweat (at one point, a rubber duck floats by). During the bridge, the Superman-costumed Reagan and a Monoclonius-type dinosaur (with punk jewelry) watch a television showing various clips (apparently from the Spitting Image show itself), including Johnny Carson, Leonard Nimoy as Mr Spock (with a Rubik's Cube), and Bob Hope. This segues into a sequence apparently set in prehistoric times, where the Monoclonius-type and a Theropod-type dinosaur (wearing a bow-tie) meet up with Ron and Nancy Reagan and a rather outlandish mammal eats an egg and reads a newspaper. At the end of this part, the ape from the prologue is shown throwing a bone in the air (an allusion to 2001: A Space Odyssey). As the bone begins to fall there is a sudden switch to Collins catching a falling phone which he uses to inform the person on the other end that he "won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right" (which is when a caricature of a 1980s Pete Townshend is seen playing a chord on guitar and giving thumbs up for putative mentioning of his own song, My Generation) and on the "we're not just making promises" verse the bone lands (on top of David Bowie and Bob Dylan). Reagan is then shown riding the Monoclonius through the streets while wearing a cowboy hat and wardrobe (a reference to Reagan's down-home public persona and ranch). As the video nears its climax, there are periodic scenes of a large group of spoofed celebrity puppets, including Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Hulk Hogan singing along to the chorus of the song, in a spoof of the charity driven song "We Are the World". At the end of the video, Reagan awakens from his dream, and surfaces from the sweat surrounding him; Nancy at this point is wearing a snorkel. After taking a drink (missing his mouth and, indeed, his face), he fumbles for a button next to his bed. He intends to push the one labeled "Nurse", but instead presses the one titled "Nuke", setting off a mushroom cloud. Reagan then replies "Man, that's one heck of a nurse!" Nancy whacks him over the head with her snorkel. (This is somewhat reminiscent of the opening of Far Out Space Nuts when a "Launch" button is pressed, thinking it was labeled "Lunch".) The video, directed by John Lloyd & Jim Yukich and produced by Jon Blair, won the short lived Grammy Award for Best Concept Music Video during the 1988 Grammys. The video was also nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Best Video of the Year in 1987, but lost to "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel (coincidentally, Genesis' former lead singer). It also made the number-one spot on The Village Voice critic Robert Christgau's top 10 music videos in his year-end "Dean's List" feature, and number three on the equivalent list in his annual survey of music critics, Pazz & Jop (again losing out to "Sledgehammer"). The song was played on their Invisible Touch, The Way We Walk, Calling All Stations (with Ray Wilson on vocals) and Turn It On Again: The Tour tours, though always transposed down a key to account for the deepening of Phil Collins's voice over the years. It also appears on their live albums The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts, and Live Over Europe 2007. As well as on their DVDs Genesis Live at Wembley Stadium, The Way We Walk - Live in Concert and When in Rome 2007. "Land of Confusion" was also a track used for the final episode of the 1980s cop show Miami Vice (in which Phil Collins periodically played a minor role) called "Freefall" and was applied as the characters of the show Crockett (Don Johnson) and Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas) were in the middle of a stakeout. The song was to imply the complexity of the story during the finale. "Land of Confusion" was then-Delaware Senator Joe Biden's campaign song during his brief run for President in 1987. The song has been variously re-recorded as cover versions by several artists spanning a number of genres. * One-time Genesis guitarist Daryl Stuermer reworked the song into a jazz tune on his album Another Side of Genesis. * It has been covered by reggae group Fourth Dimension. * Swedish melodic death metal band In Flames covered the song for their 2003 EP Trigger. The most recent cover version was by American metal band Disturbed, from their third studio album, Ten Thousand Fists. The song became the fourth single from that album. Vocalist David Draiman commented that the aim of covering the song was, "taking a song that's absolutely nothing like us and making it our own." It was accompanied by a music video animated by Todd McFarlane, known for his work with the Spawn comic book series. McFarlane had previously animated the music videos for the songs "Freak on a Leash" by Korn and "Do the Evolution" by Pearl Jam. According to McFarlane, the music video is "a big view of the corporate world and how it all ties into just one big beast for me... The world is run by one giant thing, which is driven by greed and lust." The video starts out with the The Guy, Disturbed's mascot, falling to earth. It then shows military forces sporting a dollar sign within a circle of white that is within a field of red, followed by legions of black-clad soldiers reminiscent of Adolf Hitler's Schutzstaffel, belonging to different countries. The video then shows The Guy, escaping bondage from chains, as the military forces continue to assault cities. Later on, leaders of various nations of the world are shown sitting at a table with the same dollar sign on it. Eventually The Guy confronts some soldiers, who sport patches with the dollar sign symbol, and stirs the people around the world to revolt and kill the soldiers, and then flags of various nations of the world are shown, with the final flag sporting the dollar sign. The Guy then leads the rebels to the United Nations Headquarters where they slaughter the U.N. representatives and finally the overweight businessman who, when destroyed by The Guy, explodes into dollar bills.


At least two artists have used the name "Genesis": 1. A British progessive rock band 2. A 60s psychedelic band from Los Angeles, California For the Colombian band, please see Génesis. 1. Genesis formed in 1967 in Godalming, Surrey, United Kingdom was one of the most popular progressive rock bands in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. During the 1970s, Peter Gabriel was the lead singer until his departure, when drummer Phil Collins stepped up to the mic and replaced him. Show more ...

Land of Confusion - Genesis

I mustve dreamed a thousand dreams
Been haunted by a million screams
But I can hear the marching feet
They're moving into the street.

Now did you read the news today
They say the dangers gone away
But I can see the fires still alight
There burning into the night.

There's too many men
Too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Cant you see
This is a land of confusion.

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands were given
Use them and lets start trying
To make it a place worth living in.

Ooh superman where are you now
When everythings gone wrong somehow
The men of steel, the men of power
Are losing control by the hour.

This is the time
This is the place
So we look for the future
But there's not much love to go round
Tell me why, this is a land of confusion.

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands were given
Use them and lets start trying
To make it a place worth living in.

I remember long ago -
Ooh when the sun was shining
Yes and the stars were bright
All through the night
And the sound of your laughter
As I held you tight
So long ago -

I wont be coming home tonight
My generation will put it right
Were not just making promises
That we know, well never keep.

Too many men
There's too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Cant you see
This is a land of confusion.

Now this is the world we live in
And these are the hands were given
Use them and lets start trying
To make it a place worth fighting for.

This is the world we live in
And these are the names were given
Stand up and lets start showing
Just where our lives are going to.




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