Mama (6:46)

Cover of Turn It On Again - The Hits

From Turn It On Again - The Hits and 67 other releases

“Mama” was the first single from Genesis’ 1983 self-titled album. Instantly recognizable from its harsh drum machine introduction, which leads into minimalist synthesizer lines in minor keys and finally Phil Collins’ reverb-laden voice, “Mama” serves notice that the album which follows will be considerably darker than previous efforts. It remains the band’s biggest commercial success in the UK, reaching #4 on the UK Singles Chart, but was less popular in the US, only reaching #73 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also made #7 on the Dutch Top 40.

The track also has a powerful final verse punctuated with a live drum kit (modified with the trademark “gated reverb” effect), comparable to Collins’ earlier solo recording “In the Air Tonight”.

The song has resurfaced in 2007 as part of the Turn It On Again tour, albeit transposed down a key to account for the deepening of Phil Collins’s voice over the years.

The song’s theme involves a young man’s longing for a particular prostitute. The song is remembered by many fans for Phil Collins’ sinister laugh. On the DVD The Genesis Songbook, the band and producer Hugh Padgham revealed that the inspiration for the laugh came from rap music pioneer Grandmaster Flash’s song “The Message”.

The music video for the song essentially plays out the lyrics, showing Collins singing to a mysterious woman while Banks and Rutherford play in the background. One memorable sequence involves an extremely evil-looking Collins, cloaked in shadows and illuminated by a greenish light, performing the aforementioned sinister laugh. When performed live, white lights were shone from underneath the stage so Collins could re-create the sinister laugh.

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I can't see you, Mama
But I can hardly wait
Ooh, to touch and to feel you, Mama
Oh, I just can't keep away

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics

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  • gotgore101

    LOVIN THIS BEAT Y'ALL!!!

    2 Aug 4:40am Reply
  • Assedor

    This is the most musically ambitious group at all times.

    29 Jul 6:31am Reply
  • CidaDuarteF

    ❤☆҉‿↗⁀☆҉❤☆҉‿↗⁀☆҉❤❤☆҉‿↗ ❤☆҉‿↗⁀☆҉❤☆҉‿↗⁀☆҉❤❤☆҉‿↗

    26 Jul 7:45pm Reply
  • beefandrootbeer

    the drums, the synth whine <3 <3 <3

    20 Jul 11:30pm Reply
  • ruinedtwo

    This song always reminds me of Bill Cosby's chicken heart :)

    19 Jul 6:58pm Reply
  • brianwolfe_3579

    I like the spacial atmosphere, combined with climbing the suspense ladder and jumping off head first. Excellent song!

    6 Jul 6:42pm Reply
  • CidaDuarteF

    The best of Genesis ¨¨˜"ª¤.¤ª"˜¨¨¯¯¨¨˜"ª¤♫ ♥`☆´♥ ♫ ¤ª"˜¨¨¯¯¨¨˜"ª¤.¤ª"˜¨¨

    27 Apr 3:30pm Reply
  • bonene59

    Not the classic Genesis ... only the poppy-one with Collins, Banks & Rutherford ... but all right for stamping onto the dancefloor ;-)

    14 Apr 7:17pm Reply
  • gotgore101

    Love the beat of the drums here!!

    26 Mar 2:35am Reply
  • lensoo

    Grand Theft Auto IV ! :)

    18 Mar 11:52am Reply
  • gotgore101

    PHIL, PHIL, PHIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    26 Jan 9:21pm Reply
  • Miedzylesie

    Jeden z ulubionych utworów lat 90 !!!

    24 Jan 9:28am Reply
  • CidaDuarteF

    `✶*❤ ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸✿¸¸.•*¨*•♫ღ✿ღ ♫•*¨*•.¸¸ ღ✿ღ¸¸♫•*¨*•¸❤`✶* `✶*❤ ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸✿¸¸.•*¨*•♫ღ✿ღ ♫•*¨*•.¸¸ ღ✿ღ¸¸♫•*¨*•¸❤`✶* `✶*❤ ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸✿¸¸.•*¨*•♫ღ✿ღ ♫•*¨*•.¸¸ ღ✿ღ¸¸♫•*¨*•¸❤`✶*

    21 Jan 10:03pm Reply
  • tlukes123

    Awesome song!

    19 Jan 3:34pm Reply
  • craziercaptdice

    We need a Prog-Rock come back.

    13 Jan 7:25pm Reply
  • CidaDuarteF

    Wonderful song!!!!!

    2 Jan 2:10am Reply
  • Assedor

    The works of this master of musical art are a remarkable variety. We immediately see that the musician is much diversified. When listening to his tunes no one should have to get bored of the monotony.

    28 Dec 2013 Reply
  • danielmedporp

    Those fucking drums at 4:26... omg

    27 Dec 2013 Reply
  • radio_face

    Phil you approach the ethereal here.

    7 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Hasen_Papa

    One word "Great" !

    8 Sep 2013 Reply
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