March 1981: Genesis Releases "Man on the Corner"

Portrait of the British singer Phil Collins, the British bassist and guitarist Mike Rutherford and the British keyboards player Tony Banks. They having a role in the British musical band called Genesis. 1981 (Photo by Angelo Deligio/Mondadori via Getty Images)
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(Angelo Deligio/Mondadori via Getty Images)

Genesis was ready for a change when it was time to record 1981 album, Abacab. With the addition of producer/engineer Hugh Padgham, the group would move away from extended prog-rock jams towards more concise and topical compositions.

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After releasing a pair of top 30 songs--the album's title track and "No Reply at All," Genesis would get especially topical with the third US single from Abacab, "Man on the Corner." The song would address the growing crisis of homelessness in America and around the world, which is sadly just as relevant in 2020 as it was in 1981.

For the song's official video, the band would utilize an electrifying live performance at the Savoy Theater in New York City. Watch it above.

Released on March 5, 1981, "Man on the Corner" would be a hit on FM rock stations, and peak at #40 on the Billboard Hot 100 over the week of May 8, 1981. The #1 song in America that week: the Chariots of Fire theme by Vangelis.

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