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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.
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.
"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.
Duke is the tenth studio album byband Genesis, released in March 1980.
The release of Duke followed solo albums by Genesis members Tony Banks (A Curious Feeling) and Mike Rutherford, (Smallcreep's Day).
Phil Collins, meanwhile, had taken an extended leave of absence of the band in order to try and save his first marriage. During this time he wrote a number of songs on his own. These songs would make up the bulk of his first solo album, Face Value, released in 1981, after the release of Duke. Banks and Rutherford picked two Collins songs, "Please Don't Ask" and Misunderstanding," for inclusion on the album.
Once Duke was released, the song "Turn It on Again" became the band's second UK Top 10 hit, while "Misunderstanding" reached the Top 20 in the US.
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).