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The title refers to the song structure as it was originally writte: "A", "B", and "C" refer to different sections of the song:
A = Verse
B = Chorus
C = Bridge
So the song went verse, chorus, verse, bridge, verse, chorus, but it ended up having a different structure - "ABACAB" was just a way for them to remember how it was formed when they started working on it. When it came time to title the song and the album, they wanted something a bit abstract, and "Abacab" worked because it had no meaning. The album art was created to look like an abstract painting to go with this theme, which indicated that this would not be typical of Genesis' previous work. "It wasn't going to be goblins and fairies," Mike Rutherford said.
Collins said that Abacab was the first album where the three members of the band really talked to each other and worked as a team. The band bought a place in Surrey, England that they turned into a recording studio, which they called "The Farm." This song was written in the living room of the house. On this song and the others on the album, the drums were a lot more pronounced than on previous Genesis recordings, and the keyboards far less prominent.
The first Top-10 hit for Genesis in the US.
Before a reunited Genesis set out for their 2007 tour, Rolling Stone magazine asked Collins if any songs didn't make it past rehearsal. His reply: "That happened with "Abacab," which I'm sure everyone expects us to do. Halfway through the first verse, I said, 'I don't really want to sing this. I don't know what it's about.'"
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