Land of Confusion" is a rock song written by the band Genesis for their 1986 album Invisible Touch. The song was the third track on the album and was the fourth track from the album to become a single, which reached number 4 in the US and number 14 in the UK in late 1986. It made number 8 in the Netherlands. The music was written by the band, while the lyrics were written by guitarist Mike Rutherford. The song's video featured puppets from the 1980s UK sketch show Spitting Image.
The video opens with a caricatured Ronald Reagan (voiced by Chris Barrie), Nancy Reagan, and a chimpanzee (parodying Reagan's film Bedtime for Bonzo), going to bed at 16:30 (4:30 PM). Reagan, holding a teddy bear, goes to sleep and begins to have a nightmare, which sets the premise for the entire video. The video intermittently features a line of stomping feet, illustrating an army marching through a swamp, and they pick up heads of Cold War-era political figures in the swamp along the way (an allusion to Motel Hell).
Caricatured versions of the band members are shown playing instruments on stage during a concert: Tony Banks on an array of synthesizers (as well as a cash register), Mike Rutherford on a four-necked guitar (parodying Rutherford's dual role as the band's guitar and bass-player), and two Phil Collins puppets: one on the drums, and one singing.
During the second verse, the video features various world leaders giving speeches on large video screens in front of mass crowds; the video shows Benito Mussolini, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Mikhail Gorbachev and his aides (appearing like Frank Sinatra's 'rat pack'), and Muammar al-Gaddafi. Meanwhile, Reagan is shown putting on a Superman suit, fumbling along the way, while Collins sings, Oh Superman where are you nowWhen everything's gone wrong somehowThe men of steel, the men of powerAre losing control by the hour. Meanwhile, the "real world" Reagan is shown drowning in his own sweat (at one point, a rubber duck floats by).
During the bridge, the Superman-costumed Reagan and a Monoclonius-type dinosaur (with punk jewelry) watch a television showing various clips (apparently from the Spitting Image show itself), including Johnny Carson, Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock (with a Rubik's Cube), and Bob Hope. This segues into a sequence apparently set in prehistoric times, where the Monoclonius-type and a theropod-type dinosaur (wearing a bow-tie) meet up with Ron and Nancy Reagan and a rather outlandish mammal eats an egg and reads a newspaper. At the end of this part, the ape from the prologue is shown throwing a bone in the air (an allusion to 2001: A Space Odyssey).
As the bone begins to fall there is a sudden switch to Collins catching a falling phone which he uses to inform the person on the other end that he "won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right" (which is when a caricature of a 1980s Pete Townshend is seen playing a chord on guitar and giving a thumb-up for putative mentioning of his own song, "My Generation") and on the "we're not just making promises" verse the bone lands (on top of David Bowie and Bob Dylan). Reagan is then shown riding the Monoclonius through the streets while wearing a cowboy hat and wardrobe (a reference to Reagan's down-home public persona and ranch). As the video nears its climax, there are periodic scenes of a large group of spoofed celebrity puppets, including Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Bill Cosby and Hulk Hogan singing along to the chorus of the song, in a spoof of the charity-driven song "We Are the World", with Pope John Paul II playing an electric guitar.
At the end of the video, Reagan awakens from his dream, and surfaces from the sweat surrounding him; Nancy at this point is wearing a snorkel. After taking a drink (missing his mouth and, indeed, his face), he fumbles for a button next to his bed. He intends to push the one labeled "Nurse", but instead presses the one titled "Nuke", setting off a nuclear weapon. Reagan then replies "Man, that's one heck of a nurse!" Nancy whacks him over the head with her snorkel.
List of famous people and characters seen in the video
Tony Banks Phil Collins Mike Rutherford Ronald Reagan Pete Townshend Nancy Reagan Jimmy Carter Margaret Thatcher Henry Kissinger Robert Maxwell David Owen Richard Branson Prince Charles Idi Amin Ayatollah Khomeini Mikhail Gorbachev Leonid Brezhnev Muammar al-Gaddafi Ed McMahon Johnny Carson Walter Cronkite Richard Nixon Leonard Nimoy as Spock Bob Hope Bob Hawke Sylvester Stallone Prince (is seen backstage eating his own tongue as a hot dog, while Phil Collins sings into the telephone) Grace Jones François Mitterrand Tina Turner Bruce Springsteen Bob Dylan David Bowie Mick Jagger Tammy Faye Bakker Thomas Gottschalk Leopoldo Galtieri Helmut Kohl (whacking Erich Honecker with a banana. He is seen for a split second in the first TV segment) Erich Honecker (being whacked with a banana by Helmut Kohl) Urho Kekkonen Alan Greenspan Frank Sinatra (not a puppet; photo on book Nancy is reading) Bonzo (The chimpanzee that costars with Reagan in Bedtime for Bonzo)
in crowd:Queen Elizabeth II Elton John Prince Philip Freddie Mercury Joan Rivers Pope John Paul II Ringo Starr Yoko Ono Clint Eastwood Michael Jackson Cyndi Lauper Barbra Streisand Madonna (has a singing lipstick-painted navel) Jane Fonda Bette Midler Princess Diana Dolly Parton Stephen King Mr. T Walter Matthau Paul McCartney Hulk Hogan Bill Cosby Sting Arnold Schwarzenegger Bob Geldof Faye Dunaway Cliff Richard Boy George Jimmy Somerville Popeye Florence Henderson (For a brief moment