Songs Of My Life: Genesis – Shipwrecked

It is quite surprising that one of the biggest musical fandom of my life has not yet made it to the Songs Of My Life postings. However, Shipwrecked is likely not one of the songs you think of first when you think of the British music legends. One of the reasons is that this song has been recorded under circumstances, due to which some fans would even say it is not even a “proper” Genesis song. I guess this introduction is sufficiently mysterios that you look forward to read about the song. Enjoy my thoughts about Shipwrecked.


Shipwrecked – The Story of The Song

Genesis is such a famous band  I guess that most of you somehow at least know rough milestones of the band. In 1967, the band has been formed as a school band in Goldalming, Surrey. From a nowadays perspective, the lineup was already amazing: Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Anthony Philips and drummer Chris Stewart were the original members of the band. Stewart however left the band – he is nowadays a farmer in Spain and author of several autobiographic books. The replacement was a guy named Phil Collins. The band was just about to make it big when Gabriel left the band in the mid-1970’s.

This has been however just the first hiatus. Phil Collins became the drummer and the singer of the band. After the album We Can’t Dance, a massive global success and an absolutely amazing tour thereafter, Collins announced his departure from the band in 1996. This felt to be the rabbit punch for Genesis, but Banks and Rutherford gave it a try, wrote a new album and finally auditioned for a new singer. Ray Wilson, former singer of Stiltskin finally became the new lead singer of the band in June 1997. Wilson had also contributed to the new Genesis album, Calling All Stations.

Calling All Stations

The fifteenth studio album (still the most recent one) of Genesis started selling on 1st September 1997. While Wilson was the new singer, the album featured Israeli Nir Zidkyahu and Nick D’Virgilio on the drums. Zidkyahu finally also joined the band to the Calling All Stations tour. The critics for the album were terrible – not too much because of Wilson, but just because the songs were regarded to be too bad. A North American tour had to be cancelled due to too low ticket sales and the Calling All Station Tour was finally the last bit of live Genesis music for a decade.

Before all that, however, Shipwrecked was the second single of the album. It has been released on 1st December 1997. The song is a breakup song. It describes how someone feels desperately lonely after a breakup.

Even standing on the corner of a busy city street
I still feel so lonely
Why do you say you want to be with me
But the next day say you don’t

While the album has been quite a commercial success (for example, it peaked second in Germany), the singles have been a disaster. The best chart position Shipwrecked could achieve was a 44th spot in France.


Shipwrecked – My Story of The Song

The song – and the album – have been very special to me. I feel the way Genesis are describing the desperation, the loneliness, is something I can very well relate to. Some parts of why I am driving projects like with that much effort are mental health issues, which I here and there note on the blog. At the time the song as been released, I have not been in a break up or similar (I haven’t been in a relation at all at that time…), but loneliness and desperation as well as mental dependency to people were topics I had to deal with. Shipwrecked became some sort of soundtrack to my feelings. I even created a short story around this song, but I had to remove it as the story ended dramatically.

My First-Ever Genesis Show

The second reason, why Shipwrecked and Calling All Stations are so special to me is because this was the first time I could see the band live. In summer 1992, when Genesis played the We Can’t Dance Tour, they even had a show in my home town Cologne. But while they rocked the Müngersdorfer Stadion, the pre-decessor of the today’s Rhein-Energie-Stadion, I had to be on summer vacation in Italy. Nobody could have estimated that this was the last Genesis tour for quite a while – at least with Phil Collins. The break-up in 1996 killed me and I felt I might never see my absolutely favorite band at that time ever.

The more I was happy when the “new” Genesis released Calling All Stations and Shipwrecked. In 1998, they toured with the album. Interestingly, the set list of the tour just featured a few Calling All Stations songs, Shipwrecked has even been skipped after the first shows. It was the first time I watched my favorite band, when I saw Mike, Tony and Ray on 10th February 1998 in the Westfallenhallen in Dortmund. Luckily, some ten years later, there was a Genesis reunion and I could see the band in my favorite lineup. I have finally been able to see them three times in 2007, in Hanover, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt.

You Like The Songs? Go To Ray Wilson

By the way, if you like these Genesis songs, I recommend to give the shows of Ray Wilson a try. I had a concert of him a couple of years ago – and it was simply amazing. He is a great artist. Especially in Germany, he is regularly on stage.


Shipwrecked – Spotify and Lyrics

Shipwrecked in the original version does not seem to be available on Spotify. However, here is a nice version by Ray Wilson, who is still performing the Genesis classics:


You can find the lyrics of the song here.


Songs Of My Life Playlist

I created a playlist with all the Songs Of My Life songs so far. It will be updated with very new episode:


Title picture: original single cover, artist material


Music Legends on

Who belongs to the music legends? Here on, it’s only me who decides on this:


Travel Postings about London

Here are all travel related postings about London:


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