Gabriel: "I was referring to a mental flood... a release, a wash over the mind."
This presents an image of a society where people can read each other's minds. Those who are honest and open will thrive while those who have not will be exposed for who they really are.
Gariel was inspired by a dream he had in which people could see each other's thoughts, producing a psychic flood.
Gabriel got some of the ideas of transmitting mental energy from the propagation of short-wave radio signals, which get stronger as night approaches.
Gabriel wrote this while he was on hiatus after leaving Genesis in 1976. He claims it "wrote itself" after a moment of inspiration when he ran along a hillside near his house with his eyes closed.
Gabriel presented this as a quiet, simple song based on the piano and guitar. Producer Bob Ezrin made it into an extravagant piece, adding more instruments and processing. Ezrin is the man responible for the elaborate production on Pink Floyd's The Wall.
Gabriel was not happy with the heavy production on the album version. Most live recordings and a reworked version on the Shaking The Tree compilation are toned down and true to his original vision.
Guitarist Robert Fripp, who played on Gabriel's version, released his own with Gabriel on vocals in 1979 on his album Exposure. It was done in the quieter style Gabriel intended.
This is part of Gabriel's story of Mozo, a character who would come and go, changing people's lives. He would appear in "On The Air," "Down The Dolce Vita," "Exposure", "Red Rain," and "That Voice Again," but the Mozo story as a stage production or movie as Gabriel intended never developed.