Duke Songs Ranked

Duke is the tenth studio album by English rock band Genesis, released in March 1980 on Charisma Records. The album followed a period of inactivity for the band in early 1979. Phil Collins moved to Vancouver, Canada, in an effort to salvage his failing first marriage, while Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford recorded solo albums. Collins returned to the UK after his marriage ended and wrote a significant amount of material, some of which was used for Duke and some was later reworked for his first solo album, Face Value. Duke contained a mix of individually-written songs and tracks that evolved from jam sessions in mid-1979, while recording took place at the end of the year. The break in activity rejuvenated the band, and they found the album an easy one to work on. Here are all of Duke songs ranked.

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12. Man of Our Times

“Musically, this song is very solid, but the vocals are just buried. It sounds to me like Phil is singing way out of his range, and they realized this after recording it, so they buried his vocals. Maybe it has to do with Mike’s lyrics being a bit weak as well. The drama of the music doesn’t match the mundane nature of the lyrics. On Magna Carta’s Genesis tribute album “Supper’s Ready”, Enchant does a really good cover of this song. The vocals seem to fit their singer’s range a bit better than Phil.”

11. Alone Tonight

“Mike, I hope you realized why you were alone after reading those lyrics and writing this song. Sheesh. Mike really lays an egg on this one.”

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10. Please Don’t Ask

“There is a DVD out about Phil’s Face Value, and he talks about the songs he wrote for the album. I think it was put out earlier in this decade or the late 90s. Either way, he plays this song as just vocals and piano, and he gets visibly choked up while singing this song. I was choked up after seeing that. Here he was, twenty years after writing this song, singing it, and still getting choked up by the emotions in this song. Powerful stuff. I really like the bitter sarcasm in the second verse, especially when Phil sings “you look good.” You can feel the underlying nastiness in that statement. Great song.”

See more: Genesis Albums Ranked

9. Guide Vocal

“The third part of an opening album trilogy that rivals Hotel Hobbies/Warm Wet Circles/That Time of the Night in terms of greatness. Great piano work from Tony, and awesome lyrics.”

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8. Cul-de-sac

“Again, Tony strikes gold. Nice tympani work from Phil, too. Tony lays down some really involved piano parts, and Phil does some great vocals.”

7. Duke’s End

“Clever reprise of the opening instrumental section of Behind the Lines. Creates a nice bookend on the album. “Duke’s End” is bombastic and good, but since it’s mostly a rehash of earlier melodies on the album, it doesn’t stand up to “Duke’s Travels”, but is still a good ending to the album”

See more: Genesis Songs Ranked

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6. Duke’s Travels

“Another classic Genesis instrumental. As I’ve said earlier, Tony really tells stories with his solos and leads, and this song is no different. The reprise of the Guide Vocal lyric is genius, anchored by Phil’s faux double bass work, Mike’s Hackett-esque guitar work, and Phil’s inspired singing. Classic.”

5. Heathaze

“An overlooked gem by Tony Banks. Great chord progressions, great piano work, and strong lyrics as well. Tony was certainly firing on all cylinders in the writing department on this album, and this song proves this. Great vocal work from Phil as well. As stated in earlier posts, this definitely seems to be the album where Phil comes into his own.”

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4. Duchess

“Tony Banks is particularly proud of this one, and though it’s a simple song by Genesis standards for the time, it is a good one. Phil showcases his drum programming skills here, an often overlooked component of the 80s Genesis sound. I for one have always found his programming to be highly inventive, and I like how his drum machine pattern supports this song. Lyrically, it kind of mirrors their own career arc, doesn’t it?”

3. Misunderstanding

“So, of all the songs that Phil brought to the band in early 1980, they chose this one? Must’ve been some kind of mistake. The simplicity of this song doesn’t fit with the rest of the album. Good single, but not a real indication of Phil’s budding talents as a songwriter.”

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2. Behind the Lines

“Love the intro. Genesis really knows how to open an album, don’t they? I also like how it transitions into the slow groove of the verses. I also like Phil’s radical reinterpretation of this song on Face Value. Very different, but a solid rearrangement.”

1. Turn It On Again

“How many other hit singles can you name that were written in 13/4? It’s like trying to find a word that rhymes with orange. This song was originally supposed to be a transition between parts of the Duke Suite, and they decided to stretch it out into a full blown song. I really like it live, when they tack on the different ending. Ever notice that Daryl and Mike both play guitar on this live? I believe Daryl also plays the bass lines on the bass pedals.”