Reaching #21 on the UK Singles Chart, the song went as high as #6 in Ireland, and gave Moyet her third Irish top 10 hit of the year. The single went even higher in New Zealand, peaking at #4, her second consecutive top ten hit after “All Cried Out” reached #6. The song is also the first American release from the album and is Moyet’s most successful single in that country, reaching #31 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1985 and becoming her only US Top 40 hit, either solo or with Yazoo, thus far. In Canada, it peaked at #20 on the nationwide RPM chart in April of that year.
The lyrics depict a woman who’s in love with a man who treats her like she barely exist and it also voices her apprehension to leave.
In interviews for her 2017 tour, Moyet indicated she would not be performing the song again. She explained that it wasn’t meant to be a slam against the song itself, but that the lyrics and message of the song, written 30 years earlier, did not fit her or resonate with her any more.
On its release as a single, Phil McNeill of Number One wrote, “‘Invisible’ is a turgid song brought to life by Alison’s brilliance. When someone writes Alison Moyet a song as good as ‘I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself‘ or ‘You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me‘, we’ll feel the earth move.” Lesley White of Smash Hits concluded, “As pop ballads go this one is quite acceptable – catchy, even – and that voice is in fine form but it lacks a certain edge.”
Andy Strike of Record Mirror commented, “My favourite track from Alf and a great single. Alison pushes ‘Invisible’ along effortlessly and sounds great. Obviously a hit and quite rightly so. Love it!” Richard Bryson of the Suffolk & Essex Free Press noted, “To some, Alison Moyet has lost her edge since Yazoo but her strident version of this Lamont Dozier song certainly does not lack class or style.”
Cash Box listed the song as a “feature pick” during March 1985 and wrote, “Moyet has power and stylish phrasing which shines on this broken heart ballad. Pure pop potential with a world of songwriting integrity.” C.A. Fredrick of the Muscatine Journal described “Invisible” as a “marvelous lost-love song that is already in the running for best single of 1985”. Rick Shefchik of The Dispatch considered the song “the toughest piece of music on the charts since Tina Turner‘s “Better Be Good to Me“.”
There are two versions of the music video for the song. In the first version, Moyet is seen at a party surrounded by friends, all of whom appear to have partners of various forms. She walks into another room to perform the song. Moyet is often seen singing alone outside, or in what appears to be a cupboard. There are also many cutaways to where Moyet walks through the party unnoticed (hence, she is invisible). The video ends with her drinking a glass of wine and lost in thought. The second version of the video mostly features Moyet performing the song and omits many of the party scenes. It concludes with Moyet walking out of the room and into a white light. In both videos, there are moments when the camera pans on what seems to be a silver rhombus with the letter ‘i’ in the middle.