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"Behind the Lines"
Song by Genesis

from the album Duke

Released 28 March 1980
Recorded October-December 1979
Genre Art rock (Genesis version)
Disco (Phil Collins version)
Length 5:31 (Genesis version)
3:53 (Phil Collins version)
Label Charisma/Virgin (UK), Atlantic Records (US)
Writer Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford
Producer David Hentschel and Genesis (Genesis version)
Phil Collins (Phil Collins version)
Duke track listing
Beginning of album "Behind the Lines"

Behind the Lines is a rock song by Genesis, from their March 1980 album Duke. The group's drummer and vocalist Phil Collins released a re-recorded version on his first solo album Face Value in February 1981.


Different versions

The Genesis version of the track is a dramatic art-rock piece, while the Collins reading is lighter and more funky. Lyrically the song is about pleading to a former lover, a subject which fit in with Collins' post-divorce solo album. There were a few minor changes to the words, however.

Collins' version

Collins revealed on the Classic Albums documentary on Face Value that his solo remake came about after "recording Behind the Lines, we ran the tape back at double speed and suddenly this other song appeared". Collins then set out to re-record the song on Face Value as a Michael Jackson Off the Wall-era disco track featuring the Earth, Wind and Fire horn section, the Phenix Horns.

B-side version

An edited version appeared as the B-side to "Turn It On Again", the lead single from Duke.


"Behind the Lines" was performed on the accompanying tour in 1980, and was also played as the show opener during Abacab tour in 1981. The song was also played in full in a medley in between Dance On A Volcano and Follow You Follow Me on the 1982 Encore tour, and a shorter version was included in an old medley (Eleventh Earl Of Mar/ Behind The Lines/ Firth Of Fifth/ The Musical Box) during January 1984 for the Mama Tour. The instrumental intro was used as an opener on the 2007 Turn It On Again tour. Tony Banks wanted to perform the full version of Behind The Lines for the tour although Mike and Phil didn't want to perform the whole song.

Cultural references

Named after the song, Behind the Lines is also an internet radio show on The Dividing Line Broadcast Network. Originally the show focused mainly on Genesis and Genesis related music, but has since expanded its scope. The Dividing Line itself is also named after a Genesis song, from Calling All Stations.



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