Jesus He Knows Me

Album: We Can't Dance (1991)
Charted: 20 23
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is a lampoon on TV evangelists such as Jim Bakker. It came during a period when many televangelists such as Robert Tilton and Benny Hinn were under investigation for promising financial success to their listeners, provided they sent money to them.
  • The video features singer Phil Collins as an unscrupulous televangelist who lives like a millionaire thanks to donations from his followers. The comedic video also features fellow band members, keyboardist Tony Banks and guitarist Mike Rutherford as fellow evangelists. Collins, in an orange suit, tries to have his viewers raise $18,000,000 in one weekend. In the final minute on the video, money rains down on the set of the fake program. As the toteboard reaches his goal, the amount of money shown increases in intervals of at least $800,000. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, WA, for above 2
  • While Collins was slamming televangelism as a whole, he was also taking aim at one in particular: Pentecostal preacher Ernest Angley, known for his eponymous one-hour program that taught faith healing and the ever-popular but non-traditional prosperity gospel. Angley got himself into hot water in 2007 when he claimed prayer could cure HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Incidentally, Collins' parody didn't phase him - he was actually flattered.
  • Phil Collins wrote the lyric to this song, but it was a group composition; Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford are also credited as songwriters. In The Way We Walk DVD, Banks explained how it came together: "Phil was playing really fast on the drums and I started playing a chord sequence on top of it. It didn't start with the bit you hear at the front - that came later. I started playing this reggae rhythm on top of what he was doing because it was in the same sort of tempo, and switched to playing reggae underneath it, so we got the middle eight part, then the intro developed out of the middle eight. I think it works pretty well."
  • The video was directed by Jim Yukich, who did most of the Genesis clips. Phil Collins portrays the shady preacher in the video, which opens with an intro where he makes a plea for $18 million (Collins, a former stage actor, was very convincing in the role). Later in the video, the band (in character as televangelists) appears poolside amongst a bevy of beautiful women. This scene was a special request from Genesis, who wanted to do something similar to the David Lee Roth videos where bikini babes dote on them. "We wanted to have a little moment where we had a conventional video with lots of beautiful girls in it," Tony Banks told us.

Comments: 5

  • Chris from SomewhereI stand corrected, it was Phil's "In the Air Tonight" (drops a cow on himself)
  • Chris from SomewhereJosh, I believe the song in question is "Tonight Tonight Tonight".
  • Joshua from La Crosse, WiKenny, you must be thinking of an earlier Collins or Genesis song. The Miami Vice TV series ended two years before this song and video came out.
  • Kenny from Los Angeles, CaI do believe that after this video came out, Miami Vice producers sought Phil Collins to be in an episode or two
  • George from Calumet City, IlBrilliance as usual from Genesis.
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