Album: Duke (1980)
Charted: 46
Play Video


  • The story of a diva in the twilight of her career, "Duchess" was written as the second part of a 30-minute suite, which also included "Behind the Lines" (which Phil Collins would also cover on his Face Value solo album), "Guide Vocal," "Turn It On Again," "Duke's Travels" and "Duke's End." The suite tells the story of a rise and fall of a much-loved and tragic female superstar performer from the beginning of her career, to her time at the top, to her decline in fortunes. The original intention was for the suite to appear on a single side of the album until the band's concern of it being compared to the 23-minute "Supper's Ready" on Foxtrot persuaded them to separate the songs throughout the album.
  • This song begins on a drum machine loop, the first instance of the band utilizing a drum machine.
  • A group composition, keyboard player Tony Banks says that "Duchess" is his favorite track on the album. "It starts in a loose kind of way and then builds into a very concise pop song, then goes meandering again at the end," he explained in the Genesis: Sum of the Parts documentary.

Comments: 1

  • Joshua from La Crosse, WiActually it was "Behind The Lines", not "Turn It On Again", that Collins covered on the Face Value album.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"They're Playing My Song

Chris and his wife Tina were the rhythm section for Talking Heads when they formed The Tom Tom Club. "Genius of Love" was their blockbuster, but David Byrne only mentioned it once.


SugarlandSongwriter Interviews

Meet the "sassy basket" with the biggest voice in country music.

Tom Waits Lyrics Quiz

Tom Waits Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

Pool balls, magpies and thorns without roses - how well do you know your Tom Waits lyrics?

Phone Booth Songs

Phone Booth SongsSong Writing

Phone booths are nearly extinct, but they provided storylines for some of the most profound songs of the pre-cell phone era.

P.F. Sloan

P.F. SloanSongwriter Interviews

P.F. was a teenager writing hits and playing on tracks for Jan & Dean when he wrote a #1 hit that got him blackballed.

Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde of The PretendersSongwriter Interviews

The rock revolutionist on songwriting, quitting smoking, and what she thinks of Rush Limbaugh using her song.