Misunderstanding (Genesis song)

"Misunderstanding" is a song by English rock band Genesis, released on their 1980 album Duke. It reached No. 14 in the U.S. and No. 42 in the UK.[1] Its highest charting was in Canada, where it reached No. 1 and is ranked as the seventh biggest Canadian hit of 1980. It was also featured on the band's 1982 double-album Three Sides Live, where it led off side three.

Misunderstanding Single.jpg
Single by Genesis
from the album Duke
Released10 May 1980 (U.S.)
5 September 1980 (UK)
RecordedNovember 1979
Length3:11 (album version)
3:04 (single version/video - sped up)
4:01 (Three Sides Live version)
LabelCharisma/Phonogram (UK)
Atlantic (US)
Songwriter(s)Phil Collins
Producer(s)David Hentschel and Genesis
Genesis singles chronology
Audio sample


Originally written by Phil Collins during the production of his debut solo album Face Value, the song ended up being donated (along with "Please Don't Ask") for Duke. According to Collins, the song was modelled after The Beach Boys' "Sail On, Sailor", Sly and the Family Stone's "Hot Fun in the Summertime" and Toto's "Hold the Line". Tony Banks said of the song: "All three of us were fans of The Beach Boys, so when Phil brought the song to the writing sessions, we thought it would be a fun one to work on. It has a California, summertime, surfer vibe to it that was unlike anything else we'd worked on in the past."

Music videoEdit

A music video, directed by Stuart Orme, was made for the song, featuring Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford playing their instruments (piano and electric guitar respectively) on the back of a truck, with a bearded Collins driving a 1950s model Ford convertible making stops at various locations around Los Angeles (the Capitol Records Tower can be seen in the background and street signs for Hollywood Boulevard are present) looking for his girlfriend (played by Max Factor spokesperson Linda Kendall).[2]

Two different cuts of the video exist: one version featured alternate shots of Collins, as well as alternate shots of his girlfriend peppered throughout (including a shot of her at Griffith Park Observatory).[3] This version was not used on any of the Genesis Music Video collections. Filming took place on location in Los Angeles from 24–27 May 1980 during concerts for the band's Duke tour there. Further evidence of the filming dates for the video are the billboards seen throughout, advertising The Hollywood Knights and The Nude Bomb, both films released in May 1980.

Tour informationEdit

The song was featured on the U.S. leg of the Duke Tour of 1980, and was also featured on tours to promote future albums Abacab and Genesis. Despite its commercial success, it was dropped from the setlists of all the later tours until 2021. However a verse was sung sometimes in the We Can't Dance Tour's "Old Medley." Collins also played the song in its entirety with a horn section in the U.S. during his First Final Farewell Tour in 2004.[4] The song returned to live performance at the opening night of the North American leg of The Last Domino? tour at Chicago's United Center on November 15, 2021.[5]

Chart historyEdit



  1. ^ Genesis UK chart history, The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Linda Kendall : Biography". IMDb.com. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 June 2014. Retrieved 2012-12-25.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Greene, Andy (1 August 2013). "Phil Collins Says 'Farewell'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  5. ^ "Genesis Setlist at United Center, Chicago". setlist.fm. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  6. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 30 March 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  7. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 95.
  9. ^ "Top 100 Singles (1980)". RPM. Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  11. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 27, 1980". Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  12. ^ "1980 Talent in Action – Year End Charts : Pop Singles". Billboard. Vol. 92, no. 51. 20 December 1980. p. TIA-10. Retrieved 5 April 2020.