"No Son of Mine" is the first single by the British rock group Genesis from their 1991 album We Can't Dance, which reached No. 6 in the UK and No. 12 in the U.S, and was a top ten hit in most of continental Europe.


 [hide*1 Lyrics and music

Lyrics and music[edit]Edit

The song's lyrics tell the story of a boy who runs away from his abusive home, and—after some reconsideration—attempts to return, only to be rebuked by his father. In interviews, Phil Collins has said that the lyrics are deliberately vague as to whether the narrator or his mother is the victim of the abuse.

The video for this song is particularly melancholic, illustrating the scene in sepia tone. The video essentially depicts what is discussed in the song, which is a conversation between a son and his father. During the last chorus snow flakes begin appearing flying wildly around the house, eventually at the end the scene pulls out to reveal the entire confrontation scenes take place in a snowglobe that the son is holding.

The song has a distinctive sound heard during the intro and before the second verse. Referred to by the band as "elephantus," the sound was created by Tony Banks recording Mike Rutherford's guitar with a sampler and then playing three notes on the bottom register of the keyboard, greatly lowering the pitch. The working title of "No Son of Mine" was "Elephantus".[1] A similar sound is heard in former Genesis member Peter Gabriel's song "I Grieve", which was released a decade after this single.

The radio edit fades out the song's extended outro about a minute in advance and also cuts out part of the second chorus. The music video, however, uses the unedited album version.

The single included the 8th track from We Can't Dance, "Living Forever", as the B-side.

Live performances[edit]Edit

The song was played live during the The Way We Walk,[2] Calling All Stations (with Ray Wilson on vocals),[3] and Turn It On Again[4] tours. The song was used as the opening number of the Calling All Stations tour until the last two dates, when "Land of Confusion" and "Calling All Stations" opened the shows respectively.

A live version appears on their albums The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts, and Live Over Europe 2007. As well as on their DVD's The Way We Walk - Live in Concert and When in Rome 2007.

Former one-time lead singer Ray Wilson (who had replaced Phil Collins) continued to cover the song on his solo live albums after his departure from Genesis.

Track listings[edit]Edit

CD maxi
  1. "No Son of Mine" – 6:42
  2. "Living Forever" – 5:40
  3. "Invisible Touch" (live) – 5:00
7" single
  1. "No Son of Mine" – 6:36
  2. "Living Forever" – 5:38
  1. "No Son of Mine" – 6:36
  2. "Living Forever" – 5:38
12" maxi
  1. "No Son of Mine" – 6:42
  2. "Living Forever" – 5:40
  3. "Invisible Touch" (live) – 5:00



Peak positions[edit]Edit

Chart (1991/92) Peak


Australian ARIA Singles Chart[5] 29
Austrian Singles Chart[5] 7
Dutch Top 40[6] 8
French SNEP Singles Chart[5] 13
German Singles Chart[7] 3
Irish Singles Chart[8] 5
Norwegian Singles Chart[5] 4
Swedish Singles Chart[5] 13
Swiss Singles Chart[5] 8
UK Singles Chart[9] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 12
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks[10] 8
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[10] 3

End of year charts[edit]Edit

End of year chart (1991) Position
Dutch Top 40[6] 93
End of year chart (1992) Position
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 68

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