Duke (album): Wikis


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Studio album by Genesis
Released 28 March 1980
Recorded October-December 1979
Polar Studios, Stockholm, Sweden
Genre Rock, progressive rock
Length 55:06
Label Charisma, Virgin, Atlantic
Producer David Hentschel and Genesis
Professional reviews
Genesis chronology
…And Then There Were Three…

Duke is the tenth studio album by British band Genesis, and was released in March 1980.



Duke became the trio's first #1 album in the UK, remaining in the charts for 30 weeks. It broadened their US audience even further where it reached #11 and went Gold immediately and eventually Platinum.

Duke is regarded as a transitional Genesis album, incorporating both elements of dense and elaborate instrumentation associated with the band's 1970s era material and glimpses of their future 1980s pop melodies and hooks. It's therefore become regarded as the album where many Genesis fans would draw the line between the "old" and "new" Genesis. Duke showed both sides of the band's music, containing both short radio-friendly pop tunes (e.g. "Misunderstanding") as well as lengthy progressive rock suites (e.g. "Duke's Travels"). Hence, Duke enjoys the anomaly of being simultaneously regarded as either the band's last progressive outing or their first pop-oriented release.

Duke came on the heels of solo albums by Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. Phil Collins had departed to Vancouver with his first wife to try to salvage their failing marriage. With the group's future uncertain, Rutherford recorded Smallcreep's Day while Banks issued A Curious Feeling. When Collins' marriage finally ended, he rejoined the group, bringing a batch of introspective new songs. Most of these made up his solo Face Value album when released in early 1981, but two of them, "Misunderstanding" and "Please Don't Ask", were donated to Duke.

Once Duke was released, the song "Turn It on Again" became the band's second UK Top 10 hit, while "Misunderstanding" made considerable strides in the US, reaching the Top 20, and providing growing songwriter Phil Collins with his first self-written hit. "Turn It on Again" (whose music was written by the group, with Mike Rutherford contributing the lyrics) is in 13/4 time.

A digitally remastered version was released on CD in 1994 on Virgin in Europe and Atlantic in the US and Canada. The remastered CD's booklet features all of the original album's artwork and complete lyrics.

An SACD / DVD double disc set (including new 5.1 and Stereo mixes) was released on 2 April 2007 (although it will be a CD / DVD double disc set for the US and Canada).


Duke is considered to be a turning point in Genesis's career, as the band continued to move away from progressive rock, and into a more streamlined, accessible rock sound. Duke also marked the last time the band members would contribute a wealth of solo compositions to their Genesis albums, as they would focus a lot more on group compositions beginning with their next release, 1981's Abacab.

Duke is often cited by aficionados as a key Genesis album. While clearly different in mood and feel from its predecessor, ...And Then There Were Three..., Duke employs repetitions of key themes throughout the album as a way of unifying songs which could be listened to either separately, or as parts of a larger whole. As a song cycle, Duke starts and ends with the same musical strains, and closes, like many classic Genesis albums, with an extended instrumental ("Duke's Travels/Duke's End"). While many have claimed that the turn towards relationship-oriented themes presaged Collins' later pop influence on the band, the musical complexity of the group remains firmly intact. Collins's interest in the new sonic possibilities offered by drum machines, Banks's use of the highly expressive Yamaha CP-80 electric grand piano, Rutherford's use of non-distorted guitar parts, and an overall more "open," less reverb-inflected production produced a sound which was less orchestral and more down-to-earth than previous Genesis recordings.

Collins' maturation as a vocalist was noticeable by the time Duke was recorded. Also pertinent on "Duke" is Collins' stepping up to the plate as a full-fledged songwriter for the first time, with his debut pair of solo compositions for the band, "Misunderstanding" and "Please Don't Ask". Banks continues to provide highly orchestrated songs of lyrical darkness and compositional complexity ("Heathaze," "Cul de Sac"), while Rutherford creates more direct dramatisations of emotional turmoil ("Man of Our Times", "Alone Tonight"). Some of the opening songs, such as "Duchess" and "Behind the Lines," which became concert favourites for years, were a synthesis of the writing styles of all three members, and presaged the more collaborative writing efforts which were to dominate the band in the future.

Interestingly, there is a suite of songs hidden in this album: "Behind the Lines", "Duchess", "Guide Vocal", "Turn It on Again", "Duke's Travels" and "Duke's End", which were reportedly intended to appear on a single side of the album until fear of comparisons to Foxtrot's epic "Supper's Ready", and the prospect of creating a much weaker side B by putting almost all the group-compositions on side A, made the group decide to separate them. Notably, the group performed the suite in that configuration on the tour for this album. "Misunderstanding" was added to the setlist for the US leg of the tour. The Duke tour found the Genesis set list in transition; many songs were performed in full for the last time, as later tours would tend to feature medleys of older material in truncated form.

Track listing

All songs written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford, except where noted.


Side A

  1. "Behind the Lines" – 5:31
  2. "Duchess" – 6:26
  3. "Guide Vocal" – (Banks) 1:35
  4. "Man of Our Times" (Rutherford) – 5:34
  5. "Misunderstanding" (Collins) – 3:13
  6. "Heathaze" (Banks) – 4:59

Side B

  1. "Turn It On Again" – 3:50
  2. "Alone Tonight" (Rutherford) – 3:56
  3. "Cul-de-sac" (Banks) – 5:05
  4. "Please Don't Ask" (Collins) – 4:01
  5. "Duke's Travels" – 8:40
  6. "Duke's End" – 2:08


  1. "Turn It on Again" — 3:50
  • Phil Collins would re-record "Behind the Lines" for his debut 1981 solo album Face Value.
  • For their 2007 Turn It on Again: The Tour, Genesis played a medley of "Behind the Lines" and "Duke's End".
  • For their 2007 Turn It on Again: The Tour, Genesis played a medley of a segue version of "Duke's Travels" as a transition in the medley of "In the Cage". The 2007 Version of the "In the Cage" Medley includes: "In the Cage"/"The Cinema Show"/"Duke's Travels"/"Afterglow"

Working titles for the album

Before Duke was released, some songs had working title. Below is a list of the original songs working title and finalized song title (in parentheses):

  • The Duke (Behind The Lines)
  • Bring Out Your Dead (Man Of Our Times)
  • Jazz (Duke's Travels/Duke's End)


  1. Behind the Lines 5.31
  2. Duchess 6.25
  3. Guide Vocal 1.34
  4. Man of Our Times 5.35
  5. Misunderstanding 3.15
  6. Heathaze 5.00
  7. Turn It On Again 3.51
  8. Alone Tonight 3.58
  9. Cul-de-sac 5.05
  10. Please Don't Ask 4.02
  11. Duke's Travels 8.39
  12. Duke's End 2.07

2007 SACD/CD/DVD Release

A new version of Duke was released in the UK and Japan on April 2, 2007. It was released in the US and Canada as part of the Genesis 1976-1982 box set on May 15, 2007. This includes the entire album in remixed stereo, the entire album in surround sound, and related video tracks.

  • Disc 1, in the Canadian and U.S. releases, is a standard CD, containing the stereo remixes. No SACD layer is included.[3]
  • Disc 2, in all releases, is a DVD-Video disk containing both audio and video tracks. This DVD includes three audio mixes of the album: DTS 5.1-channel surround sound, Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround sound, and Dolby Digital stereo.[4] The DTS surround sound is a slightly compressed version of the surround sound on the SACD,[5] and the Dolby surround sound is of slightly inferior quality to the DTS.[6]
  • Disk 2 also includes the following video tracks:
  1. Band interview about this album (2006).
  2. Promotional videos: "Duchess", "Misunderstanding", "Turn it on Again".
  3. Live At The Lyceum, London 1980. Songs include "Behind the Lines", "Duchess", "Guide Vocal", "In the Cage", "Afterglow", "Dance on a Volcano" and "Los Endos".
  4. World Tour program, from 1980 tour (16 page gallery).


Additional personnel

  • David Hentschel – vocals, background vocals



  • Banks and Collins are credited with playing the "Duck" – they were once asked what this meant on a call-in talk show, and explained they played a duck call through a vocoder to get a horn sound.
  • The track "Duchess" is the first Genesis song with drum machine.
  • Duke was the last album with producer David Hentschel, and the only album where David Hentschel served as a backup singer (most notably on the song "Man of Our Times").
  • According to Collins, he also introduced his demo of "In the Air Tonight" to the band, but Banks and Rutherford were not interested using it on "Duke." However, Tony Banks later said that Phil introduced many of his new own songs to them, but not that one.
  • At the end of "Duke's Travels," there is a reference to the King Crimson song "The Court of the Crimson King".


Genesis toured in support of the Duke album between March and July 1980. The tour marked the debut of the "Cage" medley, which would be featured on every following tour in one form or another except for the 1992 We Can't Dance Tour and the 1998 tour with Ray Wilson.


  1. Deep In the Motherlode*
  2. Dancing With the Moonlit Knight (intro only)
  3. The Carpet Crawlers (dropped for U.S. leg)
  4. Squonk (song)
  5. One for the Vine
  6. Behind the Lines
  7. Duchess
  8. Guide Vocal
  9. Turn It On Again
  10. Duke's Travels*
  11. Duke's End*
  12. Say It's Alright Joe (dropped at end of May, 1980 in favour of "Misunderstanding")
  13. The Lady Lies
  14. Ripples
  15. Misunderstanding (US leg only, replacing Say It's Alright Joe)
  16. In the Cage
  17. The Colony of Slippermen (c) The Raven [excerpt]
  18. Afterglow
  19. Follow You Follow Me*
  20. Dance On a Volcano
  21. Drum Duet
  22. Los Endos


  1. I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
  2. Back in N.Y.C. (briefly opened shows on the UK leg and was part of the encore in New York in July 1980)
  3. The Knife (performed occasionally in the UK leg)
  4. The Musical Box (performed once in Philadelphia-June 16/80 & Toronto-June 24/80)

Tracks 6 - 11 compose "The Duke Suite" performed on the tour.




Year Chart Position
1980 UK album charts 1
Billboard Pop Albums 11


Year Single Chart Position
1980 "Misunderstanding" Billboard Pop Singles 14
"Turn it on Again" Billboard Pop Singles 58


Organization Level Date
BPI – UK Gold March 28, 1980
Platinum July 3, 1980
RIAA – USA Gold July 21, 1980
Platinum March 11, 1988


  1. ^ Andy Fyfe Q, May 2007, Issue 250.
  2. ^ Formats described at http://www.genesis-news.com/genesis/reviews/sacds/1976-1982.htm
  3. ^ Explained in interview with producer and remixer Nick Davis, at http://www.genesis-news.com/genesis/reviews/sacds/interview-with-nick-davis.htm
  4. ^ The DVD interface has two audio choices: Dolby 5.1 and DTS 5.1. If the Dolby 5.1 option is chosen on a system that does not support surround sound, the Dolby stereo mix is played.
  5. ^ Explained in interview with producer and remixer Nick Davis, at http://www.genesis-news.com/genesis/reviews/sacds/interview-with-nick-davis.htm
  6. ^ Comparison from Sound and Vision magazine article online at http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/musicreviews/2285/genesis-in-surround.html
Preceded by
Tears and Laughter by Johnny Mathis
UK Albums Chart number one album
April 5, 1980 – April 18, 1980
Succeeded by
Greatest Hits by Rose Royce


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