Invisible Hands

Album: Café Racers (1983)
Charted: 40

Songfacts®:

  • This song was written by Brian Fairweather and Martin Page for their group Q-Feel, which had a club hit with "Dancing In Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop)." Fairweather and Page, who are British, had planned to release more Q-Feel material, but when they came to Los Angeles to peddle their wares, they got gigs writing and performing on songs by Kim Carnes and Earth, Wind & Fire.

    When they played "Invisible Hands" for Carnes, she loved it and asked to record it. The song had an experimental electronic feel that Carnes liked. Few American artists were using this sound, but Carnes was a very adventurous musician, scoring her biggest hit two years earlier with the very unusual "Bette Davis Eyes."
  • In our interview with this song's co-writer Martin Page, he explained: "'Invisible Hands' to me had a kind of psychic spiritual poltergeist feel about it in the way I wrote the words. I didn't think too much about great lyrics, I just thought that I could see this kind of longing reaching out. These invisible hands are trying to come through a wall and touch somebody.

    Kim really caught onto it. I think she caught onto the mystery. We wanted it to feel like you couldn't grasp everything: what was invisible hands? It could be anything. We weren't great lyricists at that time, but we tried to conjure up great mystery in a three-minute single."
  • The synth/funk track and the concept of "reaching out my invisible hands to touch you" were inspired by the work of Thomas Dolby, specifically the tracks "Windpower" and "One of Our Submarines" from his The Golden Age of Wireless album.
  • An elaborate, effects-heavy video was produced for this song. It was directed by Jim Yukich, who was one of the most prolific music video makers of the '80s and '90s - his other clients include Cheap Trick, Pat Benatar and Genesis (he did their "Land Of Confusion" clip).

    Kim Carnes was an early MTV favorite, but this video didn't get much play on the network, which was infatuated with Michael Jackson, The Police and Eurythmics around this time.

Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 17th 1983, Kim Carnes performed "Invisible Hands" on the ABC-TV program 'America Bandstand'...
    Twenty-seven days earlier on November 20th, 1983 it peaked at #40 {for 2 weeks} on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart…
    On the same 'Bandstand' show she also performed "You Make My Heartbeat Faster”; it entered the chart on Jan. 15th, 1984 at position #84, eventually it peaked at #54...
    Ms. Carnes will celebrate her 70th birthday come next July 20th {2015}.
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