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Peter Gabriel


Country of origin:

England

Type of music generally:

Evocative/eclectic, experimental, world-tinged, progressive rock.

Status:

Most recent releases, & I'll Scratch Yours (Gabriel covers with various artists, 2013) and Scratch My Back & I'll Scratch Yours (limited edition, covers and Gabriel covers with various artists, 2013)

See also:

Peter Gabriel's official site

Comparisons:

The works of Laurie Anderson and Kate Bush overlap some parts of Peter's territory, as did the more Eno-influenced Talking Heads albums. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

The original Genesis front-man is often the first person mentioned when Ectophiles are asked: "yes, but what about male artists?" In the twenty years since The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway Peter's music has acquired uncommon maturity and depth. The synthesis of progressive rock and world music to be found on his more recent albums is as powerful and fascinating as the lyrics are personal and honest. For many this man would be a counted a male equivalent to the Ectophiles' goddesses. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

In one interview I read, he said he wanted his albums to be like magazines. A magazine has the same title, but each issue is different, and that's what he wanted, until he was forced to title Security. (vickie@enteract.com)

When I first heard Peter Gabriel's 3rd album (and at the same time Marianne Faithfull's Broken English) I'd never heard anything like it before and it astonished me and opened a whole new whole of music for me. I still love that album and find it full of wonderful sounds, I'm not a huge fan of the rest of Peter Gabriel's music. I find it a very uneven experience for me as a listener: some of it bores me, some of it captivates me. (Neile)

...well, what can I say. Not much of a voice, but he does great things with it. (meth@smoe.org)

Peter Gabriel has been a part of my life in the same way The Beatles have been. He has touched me in more ways than just by his music and his voice. (wpm@value.net)

A part of me wants to list Peter Gabriel as my fave male vocalist, but then when I think about it more, it's really not his vocals that do me in. He's more my "favorite consummate male artist," invoking great lyrics, varied instrumentation, stage presence and incredible human qualities that foray into humanitarian and socio-political issues. That's what is great about him, not really his voice. (bravegirl@earthlink.net)

Comments about live performance:

Personal problems and quirks are always a bit awkward to witness onstage: I saw Peter Gabriel three times in the late '70s, and the first two times were a real let-down. Apart from often looking unhealthy, he looked as if performing was the last thing he wanted to do, and alternated between scowling and staring blankly at the audience. The second time, he forgot the lyrics to "Solsbury Hill", and didn't even look perturbed. Later I read that, throughout that period, he was having huge personal problems, and was on the brink of a breakdown. It showed. The last time I saw him, however, touring his fourth album, he was superb—there was real drama, edge and commitment to the show. (1/01, adamk@zoom.co.uk)

Recommended first album:

Secret World Live. The man just keeps on getting better and better! This live set captures the power and excitement of a quite overwhelming stage show with excellent sound. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

Recordings:


Peter Gabriel (first album)

Release info:

1977—Charisma (distributed by Virgin)/Atco—PGCD1/SD 16615

Availability:

Generally available

Ecto priority:

Medium

Group members:

Peter Gabriel—voices, keyboards, flute, recorder
Allan Schwartzberg—drums, directories
Tony Levin—bass, tuba, lead barbershop vocals
Jim Maelen—percussion, synthibam, bones, barbershop vocals
Steve Hunter—electric and acoustic guitars, pedal steel guitar
Robert Fripp—electric and classical guitars, banjo
Jozef Chirowski—keyboards, barbershop vocals
Larry Fast—keyboards

Guest artists:

Dick Wagner—backing vocals, guitar
The London Symphony Orchestra

Produced by:

Bob Ezrin

Comments:

Twenty years on the songs on this album can still raise hairs on the back of the neck. Chock full of classic Gabriel, but perhaps there's a feeling that the songs' potential wasn't always fully realised in the recorded performances.
     This is the Peter Gabriel album with the car on the cover. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

Personally I love this. It's never-failingly amusing to hear Peter Gabriel sing a barbershop quartet style song ("Excuse Me" :) "Solsbury Hill" and "Moribund the Burgermeister" are also among my favourites. (damon)


Peter Gabriel (second album)

Release info:

1978—Charisma (distributed by Virgin)/Atlantic—PGCD 2/19181-2

Availability:

Generally available

Ecto priority:

Low

Group members:

Peter Gabriel—lead and backing vocals, keyboards
Roy Bittan—keyboards
Jerry Marotta—drums, backing vocals
Tony Levin—bass, Chapman stick, string bass, backing vocals
Sidney McGinnis—guitars, mandolin, backing vocals

Guest artists:

Bayete—keyboards
Larry Fast—synthesizer
Robert Fripp—guitars, Frippertronics
Timmy Capello—sax
George Marge—recorders

Produced by:

Robert Fripp

Comments:

Curiously, I could never summon up much enthusiasm for this album. If there's a key to appreciating the songs on this one, I don't have it. A disappointment, in my book, and one I'd recommend to die-hard fans only.
     This is the Peter Gabriel album with the vertical scratches on the cover. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

It always gets put last on the list, but there are some great songs and great musical moments on there. Find it used, find it on-sale, borrow it and tape it, but don't do without it. If only to hear "DIY" and "White Shadow"! Just skip the first song until you like the rest of the album well enough to forgive him for it :-) (I also don't like "A Wonderful Day In A One-Way World" and, depending on my mood, "Perspective".) The main problem with the album is its sometimes cheesy '70s instrumentation. It sounded dated when it was released, and it *really* sounds dated now, but not all the songs were so smothered. The classics really stand out, but unfortunately get lost in put-downs of the album as a whole. I'd love to hear these songs done over again, as long as Robert Fripp is on another continent :-). (vickie@enteract.com)

I think the second is my least favourite album overall. (damon)


Peter Gabriel (third album)

Release info:

1980—Charisma (distributed by Virgin)/Geffen—PGCD3/2035-2

Availability:

Generally available

Ecto priority:

Medium/high

Group members:

Peter Gabriel—vocals, piano, synthesizer
Phil Collins—drums
Larry Fast—bass synthesizer
Robert Fripp—guitar
John Giblin—bass
Dave Gregory—guitar
Tony Levin—stick bass
Jerry Marotta—drums, percussion
Dick Morrisey—sax
Morris Pert—percussion
David Rhodes—guitar, backing vocals
Paul Weller—guitar

Guest artists:

Kate Bush—backing vocals

Produced by:

Steve Lillywhite

Comments:

From the dramatic opening of "Intruder" and "No Self Control", through the wit and wisdom of "Games Without Frontiers", to the seminal "Biko" this is a terrific album. Powerful songs, great instrumental arrangements, and excellent vocal performances from Peter (I especially love his delivery on "I Don't Remember"). My favourite early Gabriel by far.
     This is the Peter Gabriel album with the melting face on the cover. There exists a German language version of this album, released under the name Ein Deutsches Album (Charisma/Virgin, XCDSCD 4019). (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

Peter Gabriel (fourth album)

Also known as Security

Release info:

1982—Charisma (distributed by Virgin)/Geffen—PGCD4/2011-2

Availability:

Generally available

Ecto priority:

Medium

Group members:

Peter Gabriel—vocals, CMI, Linn programming, drums, Prophet, backing vocals, vocal noises
John Ellis—guitar, backing vocals
Larry Fast—Moog, Moog bass, electronic percussion, Prophet
Roberto Laneri—treated sax
Tony Levin—bass, stick, fretless bass
Jerry Marotta—drums
Morris Pert—percussion
David Rhodes—guitar, backing vocals

Guest artists:

Ekome Dance Company, Jill Gabriel, Peter Hammill, David Lord, Stephen Paine.

Produced by:

David Lord and Peter Gabriel

Comments:

A curious mixture, this album. Half the tracks I love ("The Rhythm of the Heat", "San Jacinto", "I Have the Touch", and "Shock the Monkey"), the other half leave me cold. Just one thumb up from me.
     This is the Peter Gabriel album with the mask on the cover. In the USA, Geffen Records insisted that the album have a title that would distinguish it from the three previous Peter Gabriels so it was called Security there. There exists a German language version of this album, released under the name Deutches Album (Charisma/Virgin, XPGCD 4). (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

Plays Live

Release info:

1983—Charisma (distributed by Virgin)/Geffen—CDPGD 100/4012-2

Availability:

Generally available

Ecto priority:

Low

Group members:

Peter Gabriel—vocals, synthesizer, piano
Larry Fast—synthesizer, piano
Tony Levin—bass, backing vocals
Jerry Marotta—drums, percussion, backing vocals
David Rhodes—guitar, backing vocals

Produced by:

Peter Gabriel and Peter Walsh

Comments:

To me, this is a surprisingly dull and bloodless album. A selection of songs (from all of his previous albums) that include many of my favourites from his early years, performed in a lifeless and pedestrian manner. A dud.

A single-CD omitting four ("The Rhythm of the Heat", "Not One of Us", "Intruder", and "On the Air") of the sixteen tracks on the original double album was released under the name Plays Live—highlights (Charisma/Virgin, PGDLCD 1). (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)


Birdy—music from the film

Release info:

1985—Charisma (distributed by Virgin)/Geffen—CASCD 1167/GEFD-24070

Availability:

Generally available

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Peter Gabriel, The Drummers of Ekome, Larry Fast, John Hassell, Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta, David Rhodes.

Guest artists:

Manny Elias, John Giblin, Morris Pert.

Produced by:

Peter Gabriel

Comments:

Interesting arrangements and snatches of his older songs, very nice music. (damon)

Awesome soundtrack—no Peter Gabriel fan should be without it. For those unfamiliar, he takes a few songs from Security, and mixes them around and incorporates pieces of them into the soundtrack. It's so cool watching the movie because you catch pieces of this and that, and if they are already familiar to you, it adds a lot to the movie. (mjmjminla@yahoo.com)


So

Release info:

1986—Charisma (distributed by Virgin)/Geffen—PGCD 5/24088-2

Availability:

Generally available

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Peter Gabriel—piano, keyboards, percussion, vocals
P.P. Arnold—backing vocals
Michael Been—backing vocals
Jimmy Bralower—Linn programming
Stewart Copeland—drums, percussion
Coral Gordon—backing vocals
Chris Hughes—Linn programming
Wayne Jackson—trumpet, cornet
Manu Katché—drums, percussion
Jim Kerr—backing vocals
Larry Klein—bass
Daniel Lanois—guitar, tambourine
Bill Laswell—bass
Dee Lewis—backing vocals
Tony Levin—bass
Jerry Marotta—drums, percussion
Don Mikkelsen—trombone
David Rhodes—guitar, backing vocals
Mark Rivera—sax

Guest artists:

Laurie Anderson—vocals
Ronnie Bright—bass vocals
Kate Bush—vocals
Simon Clark—keyboards, bass
Djalma Correa—surdu, congas, triangle
Youssou N'Dour—vocals
L. Shankar—violin
Richard Tee—piano

Produced by:

Peter Gabriel and Daniel Lanois

Comments:

What strikes me most about this album is the authority and command that Peter's delivery of his material exudes. Lyrics, music, vocals, playing, and arrangements all work together to move heart, mind, and body. The work of a master musician who has achieved considerable maturity. Track after track hits the spot with haunting melodies and memorable vocal lines all wrapped up in a highly distinctive sound showing increasing influence from world music, but still largely achieved with conventional rock instrumentation. Peter's duet with Kate Bush on "Don't Give Up" brings tears to the eyes whereas "Red Rain", "Sledgehammer", and "In Your Eyes" have a powerful masculinity. A class album in every respect. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

Passion

Release info:

1989—Real World (distributed by Virgin)/Geffen—RWCD 1/24206-2

Availability:

Generally available

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Peter Gabriel—synthesizers, piano, shakers, skins, surdu, doholla, flutes, bass, contrabass, percussion, whistle, audioframe, samples, voices, vocals
Mustafa Abdel Aziz—Arghul drone, percussion
David Bottrill—drones, tambourine, distorted slide
Bill Cobham—drums, percussion, tambourine
Massambla Dlop—talking drum
Nathan East—bass
Manny Elias—octobans, sudu, skins
Fatala—percussion
Hossam Razmy—finger cymbals, tablas, dufs, tambourines, triangle, mazhar, surdu
David Rhodes—guitar, e-bow guitar
David Sancious—keyboards, backing vocals
L. Shankar—double violin, vocals
Mahmoud Tabrizi Zadeh—kementché

Guest artists:

Said Mohammed Aly—percussion
Antranik Askarian—Armenian doudouk
Robin Canter—oboe, cor anglais
Djalma Correa—Brazilian percussion
Kudsi Erguner—ney flute
Richard Evans—tin whistle
John Hassell—trumpet
Vatche Housepian—Armenian doudouk
Manu Katché—percussion
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan—Qawwali voice
Baaba Maal—vocals
Musiciens du Nil—arghul
Yassou N'Dour—voice
Doudou N'Daiye Rose—percussion
Julian Wilkins—choirboy
unknown players—Kurdish duduk and tenbur
unknown players—Moroccan percussion and vocals

Produced by:

Peter Gabriel

Comments:

Even knowing Peter's deep interest in and respect for world music, the style of this album surprised me. The music combines traditional North African and Middle Eastern instruments with Western rock equipment to carve out a wholly unique musical landscape. I can't comment on the use of the music in Martin Scorsese's film The Last Temptation of Christ for which it was written, but as a purely aural experience this album delights. The twenty-one listed tracks flow into one another and I can quite happily listen to this over and over again for several hours. The perfect music for refreshing one's ears. Worth a place in any collection. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

One of the best albums of all time for me. (nkg@vcn.bc.ca)


Shaking the Tree

Release info:

1990—Virgin/Geffen—PGTVD 6/9 24326-2

Availability:

Generally available

Ecto priority:

High

Group members:

As on original releases

Guest artists:

As on original releases

Produced by:

As on original releases

Comments:

Sixteen tracks from throughout Peter's solo career to date (there is even a short extract from Passion) that provide a reasonable survey of the more accessible end of his work. None of the songs disappoints and newcomers to Peter Gabriel could do worse than start here but there is much more to Peter than this. The inclusion of "Shaking the Tree" (previously a B-side) and the presence of a number of remixes means that die-hard fans will want this too. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

Us

Release info:

1992—Real World (distributed by Virgin)/Geffen—PGCD 7/GEFD 24473

Availability:

Generally available

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Peter Gabriel—programming, triangle, keyboards, percussion, valiha, harmonica, Mexican flute, vocals
Richard Blair—keyboards, programming
David Bottrill—programming
Brian Eno—keyboards
Manu Katché—drums
Daniel Lanois—shaker, guitar, percussion, vocals
Tony Levin—bass
William Orbit—programming
Hossam Ramzy—tabla, surdu
David Rhodes—guitar
Shankar—violin

Guest artists:

Malcolm Burn—synth 'cello
Bill Dillon—guitar
Manny Ellias—shakers
Kudsi Ergunner—ney flute
Richard Evans—mandolin
The Babacar Faye Drummers—sabar drums, djembe
Tim Green, Reggie Houston, Renard Poche—horns
Peter Hammill—vocals
Gus Isadore—guitar
Daryl Johnson—hand drum
John Paul Jones—surdu, bass, keyboards
Caroline Lavelle—'cello
Marilyn McFarlane—vocals
Richard Macphail—vocals
Levon Minassian—doudouk
Leo Necentelli—guitar
Sinéad O'Connor—vocals
Chris Ormston—bagpipes
Ayub Ogada—vocals
Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble—vocals
Doudou N'Diaye Rose—drum loop
Assane Thiam—tama, talking drum

Produced by:

Daniel Lanois and Peter Gabriel

Comments:

Less varied than So, and in some ways slow to grab hold at first, this is Peter's most mature studio album. Musically, it can be seen as a development from the sound world of So with increased use of traditional instruments. The arrangements are skillful and the playing is committed and lively, this album moves the body even more than Peter's previous work. Lyrically, it's a deeply personal and extraordinarily honest examination of the self. Powerful and moving stuff that conveys its message effectively, but what has been achieved here can perhaps only be fully appreciated by those that have in some way been there themselves. Peter deploys lyrics and music with masterly command of his material and every single song has its place. They don't come much better than this. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

This is my favourite Peter Gabriel album for songs like "Come Talk to Me", "Digging in the Dirt", "Blood of Eden", and "Washing of the Water". Actually there isn't a single song that I dislike (except maybe "Kiss that Frog"). (kyrlidis@earthlink.net)

Doesn't strike me as much as past Gabriel, but still a great disc. (neal)

Nothing will compare to Peter Gabriel III, in my opinion, but this is still one of his best. And, seeing him in concert this year was a religious experience. (stuart@sph.emory.edu)

I love this album, though it hasn't knocked Security out of the top spot, and never will. This is an emotional, private album and it touches my heart. If the song "Steam" weren't on here, it would tie with Happy Rhodes' Equipoise as my favorite album of 1993. (vickie@enteract.com)


Revisited

Release info:

1992—Atlantic—7 82429-2

Availability:

U.S. only

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

See first and second albums.

Guest artists:

See first and second albums.

Comments:

Basically, it is a re-working of what some see as having originally been good work, badly produced on the first two albums (The producer seems to have decent enough technical skill, but an insufficiently developed sense of aesthetics). Not all the songs from the first two albums are on it, and I can't remember which are missing, but...the versions that appear on the Revisited disc *are*, to my ear, better produced.... Still, there are a coupla faves missing, so, it doesn't really supplant the other two albums. (Chris@neuron.uchu.edu)

The missing songs are: "Excuse Me" and "Down the Dolce Vita" from the first album and "A Wonderful Day in a One Day World", "White Shadow", and "Home Sweet Home" from the second album. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)


Secret World Live

Release info:

1994—Real World (distributed by Virgin)/Geffen—PGDCD 8/GEFD 2-24722

Availability:

Generally available

Ecto priority:

Essential

Group members:

Peter Gabriel—vocals, harmonica
Paula Cole—vocals
Manu Katché—drums
Tony Levin—bass, vocals
Levon Minassian—douduok
Jean Claude Naimro—keyboards, vocals
David Rhodes—guitar, vocals
Shankar—violin, vocals

Produced by:

Peter Gabriel and Peter Walsh

Comments:

100 minutes of outstanding singing and playing from Peter and his band (with Paula Cole doing a great job on backing vocals—I don't even miss Kate Bush on "Don't Give Up"!). I never saw the live show but this CD convinces me that I missed the musical experience of a lifetime. The energy and excitement blasts out of the speakers and knocks you flat—Peter's singing is stunning, I don't know how he has the guts to try such things night after night live, and the band are very, very tight. Every track is an improvement over the studio recordings in my opinion—if only all live albums were this good. Definitely a desert island disc! (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

Having seen the show twice I expected some of the magic to get captured on the recording. Nope. Nothing there. (kyrlidis@earthlink.net)

Sounds like he's just going through the motions. (dixon@physics.Berkeley.EDU)

A great live album but I'm tired of the Peter Gabriel stuff. Time for him to turn into a new direction. (Dirk.Kastens@rz.Uni-Osnabrueck.DE)

One of the ultimate live performers. I still haven't seen him live, but after hearing this album and seeing the video, I don't think I'll let the next opportunity pass. (SANDOVAL@stsci.edu)

Fantastic (RUN out and get this one)! (I_SW@zis.ziff.com)

I like the whole album. (uli@zoodle.robin.de)

I saw Peter Gabriel three times at various stages during his touring for Us: first at Womadelaide, where he performed the songs for the first time. Joy Askew was with them then. The second time was in Dortmund on the second European leg of the main Secret World Live Tour. That was a Paula Cole one. The third was a Proposed Womad in The Hague that ended up just being a Peter Gabriel concert. This one had far simpler staging, but was more elaborate than the original Womad one. I have to say that the first was the most special, because it was the first time I ever saw Peter Gabriel live. It was also a number of firsts for him (first in Australia, first time performing Us songs, first time with that band line-up) which made it nicer too. And Womadelaide has such a fantastic atmosphere, that you can't help but be on a real high for the whole time. The album (and the video) were more mementos of the second of the above-mentioned experiences, which is nice too because I didn't get to see much of it at the time :). I like many of the live versions of the songs, especially "Across the River", which I remember best from the Adelaide experience. "Also Secret World" gets me. Even just the repeating bass line gets me going :). I have to admit that it's not been much of a CD player dweller, but when it comes out, it's certainly appreciated. (c.boek@ee.mu.OZ.AU)


Ovo

Release info:

2000—Real World—PGCD9

Availability:

U.K. or as an import

Ecto priority:

Recommended for Peter Gabriel fans

Group members:

Peter Gabriel—vox, keyboards, percussion, drone treatments, tampura, piano, synths, piano loops, hammer dulcimer treatments, crotales, African percussion, claps, strings, synth bass, keyboard bass, keyboard treatments, surdu, Peruvian drum, synth guitar, calliope, programming

Guest artists:

Neneh Cherry—rap
Rasco—rap
Omi Hall—vox
Richard Evans—synths, Nord bass, treatments, guitar loops, mandola, flute, hammer dulcimer, crotales, claps, bass, drum programming, shaker, 12-string electric &acoustic guitars, percussion
Ganga Giri—didgeridoo
The Dhol Foundation—Dhol drums
Johnny Kalsi—master drummer, dhol drum, tabla
Jim Barr—bass, upright bass, 12 string acoustic guitar
Richard Chappell—treatments, drum programming, loops, end toms
Hossam Ramzy—finger cymbals, dufs, tabla, crotales
James McNally—bodhran, whistle, piano accordian
Iarla Ó Lionáird—vox
Shankar—vox, double violin
Kudsi Erguner—ney flute
Electra Strings—strings
Richie Havens—vox
Ged Lynch—shakers
David Rhodes—guitar
Nigel Eaton—didgeridoo, ganga giri, hurdy gurdy
Stuart Gordon—fiddle, viola
Jim Couza—hammer dulcimer
Jocelyn Pook—strings
The Black Dyke Band—brass
Simon Emmerson—drum programming, bells, finger cymbals
Tony Levin—bass
David Rhodes—guitar
Manu Katche—drums
BT—programming, fills, chorus guitar, drum &Nord programming, bass
Adzido—drums
George Dzikunu—master drummer
Susan Deyhim—screams
Steve Gadd—drums
Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins)—vox
Paul Buchanan—vox
Babacar Faye—sabar
Assane Thiam—talking drum
Carol Steel—shaker, congas

Produced by:

Peter Gabriel, except "The Weavers Reel" produced by Peter Gabriel & Simon Emmerson and "Make Tomorrow" by Peter Gabriel &BT

Comments:

It's the music Peter Gabriel composed for a performance at the Millennium Dome. There are some instrumentals, collaborations with other singers (like Elizabeth Fraser, Alison Goldfrapp, etc.), and some songs where Peter actually sings himself. If I had to describe it, it's like a cross between his music for The Last Temptation of Christ and Us. The standout tracks for me are "The Time of the Turning," which sounds like a duet between Peter and Kate, but is actually a duet between Richie Havens and Alison Goldfrapp, an instrumental called "The Weavers Reel" which has a very Celtic sound to it, and "Father, Son," a classic PG ballad á la "Here Comes the Flood" sung by Peter Gabriel himself.
     Overall, I like the music even after hearing it only twice. The story that goes along with it is rather cutesy and silly. But you can ignore that and just enjoy new Peter Gabriel music, even if it's not really a new album per se. (stuart@sph.emory.edu)

I'm very impressed. Beside the ballads and orchestral soundscapes there are interesting distorted rhythms and sounds. If possible, try to get your hands on the limited edition with the extra enhanced CD and the comic booklet. (Dirk.Kastens@rz.Uni-Osnabrueck.DE)

Up

Release info:

2002—Geffen Records—0694933882

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Peter Gabriel—vocals, Bosendorfer, mutator, keys, JamMan, MPC Groove, organ, sample keys, bass keys, firefly keys, bass pulse, piano, harmonium, tom toms, crotales, arpeggiated bass, telecaster, samples, reverse strings, mellotron, harmonica, chorus telecaster, string samples, sampled guitar, wonky nord, Oxford backwards samples, SansAmp, string arrangements, brass arrangement

Guest artists:

Manu Katche, Dave Power, Dominic Greensmith—drums
Mahut Dominique—percussion, drums
Ged Lynch—percussion, drums
Steve Gadd—drums, percussion
Richard Chappell—percussion, programming, treated loop, loop manipulation
Tony Levin—bass
David Rhodes—guitars, electric guitar, backing vocals
Alex Swift—additional programming
The London Session Orchestra—strings
     Mark Berrow, Peter Hanson, Julian Leaper, Cathy Thompson, Rebecca Hirsh, Patrick Kiernan, Jackie Shave, Antonia Fuchs, Gavin Wright, Chris Tombling, Jon Evans-Jones, Boguslaw Kostecki—violins
     Robert Smissen, Peter Lale, Donald McVay, Roger Chase—violas
     Ben Chappell, Martin Loveday, Anthony Pleeth, David Daniels—cellos
     Chris Lawrence, Mary Scully—double bass
     Isobel Griffiths—conductor
Will Gregory—string arrangements
Nick Ingham—orchestration
AD Chivers—backing vocals
Tchad Blake—tape scratching, groove treatment
Pete Davis—additional programming
Daniel Lanois—percussion, guitars
Peter Green—guitars
David Sancious—hammond
The Blind Boys of Alabama (Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter, George Scott, Joey Williams—additional vocals on "Sky Blue," backing vocals on "More Than This"
Melanie Gabriel—backing vocals on "Sky Blue" and "More Than This"
Hossam Ramzy—tablas, percussion
Danny Thompson—double bass
Chris Hughes—supercollider drum programming
Mitchell Froome—middle section backwards piano on "No Way Out"
Richard Evans—recorders
Will White, Stephen Hague—percussion
Richard Evans—acoustic guitar
Shankar—double violin (improvised)
Chuck Norman—spectre programming, bridge strings
Tony Berg—backwards guitar
Christian LeChevretel—trumpet
Sally Larkin—backing vocals on "The Barry Williams Show"
Assane Thiam—percussion
The Black Dyke Band—brass
Ed Shearmur, Bob Ezrin—brass arrangement
John Brion—mandolin, chamberlain
The Dhol Foundation (Johnny Kalsi, Bobby Panesar, Vijay Rakkar, Yash Puri, Johnny Kalsi, Jas Daffu, Indi Chana)—Dhol drums
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan—additional vocals on "Signal To Noise"

Produced by:

Peter Gabriel, Stephen Hague, Steve Osborne

Comments:

I went through Up a couple of times yesterday. It will take several more listens to really sink in, to get a handle on the rolling grooves, the dark, almost industrial and crunchy sounds, the deeper and richer yet unmistakable timbre of Gabriel's voice. That said, the album seems as good as I'd hoped after hearing this spring's The Long Walk Home, the soundtrack to The Rabbit-Proof Fence. In fact, the second track on Up is a different version of one of my favorite tracks on The Long Walk Home, "Blue Sky", a largely identical track though now with lyrics layered over the top (an experience not unlike hearing the evolution of Happy's "Ra is a Busy God").
     Putting on the album is a jarring experience for the unprepared, as it starts with quiet sounds suddenly interrupted with the previously mentioned noisy bits in the song "Darkness". In fact a perfect lead-in track, as the whole album has much about it that is quite dark, not only in the instrumentation but in the lyrics and even the packaging which is almost devoid of color.
     Was it worth the 9+ year wait since Us? For me, I'd have to say yes. The album is more experiemental and less straightfoward than Us, one of my least-frequently listened-to Gabriel albums and listening to it excites me tremendously. (burka@jeffrey.net)

I actually haven't really cared much for anything since his 3rd album, and really enjoy this one. (Neile)

This album is as striking, inventive, and beautiful now as it was in 2002. It's received pretty regular play over these last 9 years, and while I'm still only casually familiar with Gabriel's early work, this album prompted me to follow his career going forward. (JoAnn Whetsell)

One of the best albums of 2002. (burka@jeffrey.net, marcel@kimwilde.com)


Scratch My Back

Release info:

2010—Real World—180030000178

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

Based on the 30-second clips I'd heard, I was expecting something dark and heavy, brooding and boring. And for the first few listens much of it was. But then, one by one, the songs revealed themselves. So I think it's definitely an album that bears, and even requires, repeated listening. And it is largely dark, definitely a mood album, but it's stunning in its beauty.
     As with all cover albums, opinions range on the quality and direction of the covers. I'm really only familiar with two of the originals, Paul Simon's "The Boy in the Bubble" and Regina Spektor's "Après moi." Paul Simon's 1986 version of "The Boy in the Bubble" is upbeat, brimming with optimism about the wondrous improvements science and technological progress can bring to the world. Peter Gabriel's 2010 version seems to reflect a post-9/11 reality that science and technology can be (and are) harnessed for bad as well as good. The two versions of "Après moi," which is kind of dark to begin with, don't make such a stark contrast. But Gabriel pushes the darkness further. It's one of my favorites on the album. (JoAnn Whetsell)

New Blood

Release info:

2011—Real World—884108000359

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Peter Gabriel

Guest artists:

Melanie Gabriel—vocals, featured on "Downside Up"
Ane Brun—vocals, featured on "Don't Give Up"
Tom Cawley—vocals, piano
John Metcalfe—orchestrations
Ben Foster—New Blood Orchestra conducting
Ian Belton, Natalia Bonner, Martin Burgess, Alison Dods, Louisa Fuller, Philip Gallaway, Richard George, Peter Hanson, Clare Hayes, Ian Humphries, Magnus Johnston, Simon Lewis, Rita Manning, Stephen Morris, Charles Mutter, Everton Nelson, Odile Ollagnon, Emma Parker, Jonathan Rees, Roland Roberts, Laura Samuel, Jackie Shave, Kathy Shave, Cathy Thompson, Debbie Widdup—violins
Fiona Bonds, Catherine Bradshaw, Reiad Chibah, Rebecca Crowley, Morgan Goff, Timothy Grant, Helen Kamminga, John Metcalfe, Chris Pitsillides, James Sleigh, Jon Thorne, Vicci Wardman, Bruce White—violas
Ian Burdge, Nick Cooper, Caroline Dale, David Daniels, Nicholas Holland, Alice Neary, Nicholas Roberts, Will Schofield, Jackie Thomas, Jonathan Tunnell, Chris Worsey—cellos
Patrick Lannigan, Chris Laurence, Roger Linley, Richard Pryce, Stephen Rossell, Ben Russell—double basses
Eliza Marshall—flute, alto flute, piccolo
Richard Hosford—clarinet, bass clarinet
Sarah Burnett—bassoon
Alun Darbyshire—oboe
Andy Crowley, Simon Munday—trumpets, piccolo trumpets
Richard Bissell, Phillip Eastop, Michael Kidd, Simon Rayner, Richard Watkins—horns
Tracy Holloway, Dan Jenkins—tenor trombones
Richard Edwards—tenor trombone, bass trombone
Mark Frost, David Stewart—bass trombones
David Powell—tuba
Joby Burgess—percussion

Produced by:

Peter Gabriel with John Metcalfe

Comments:

Gorgeous album revisiting Gabriel's back catalog with the same full orchestral approach applied to other people's songs on Scratch My Back. I loved this on first listen and my appreciation and enjoyment of it only grows. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

DVDs

Peter Gabriel has released the DVDs:

  • Peter Gabriel's Secret World (1993)
  • Secret World Live (1994)
  • Growing Up Live (2003)
  • Growing Up on Tour: A Family Portrait (2003)
  • Play: The Videos (2004)
  • Still Growing Up—Live and Unwrapped (2005)
He also appears in the following DVDs:

  • UK Freedom
  • Duran Duran—The Secret Policeman's Third Ball
  • The Paris Concert for Amnesty International (2000)
  • Genesis—The Video Show (2004)
  • 46664, The Event—Nelson Mandela's AIDS Day Concert (2004)
  • Charlie Rose (January 30, 2006 show)
COMPILATIONS

Compilation work includes:

  • "Strawberry Fields Forever" on All This and World War II (1976)
  • "Walk Through the Fire" on the Against All Odds soundtrack (1984)
  • "I Go Swimming" on the Hard to Hold soundtrack (1984)
  • "Summertime" on The Glory of Gershwin (1994)
  • "Suzanne" on Tower of Song: The Songs of Leonard Cohen (1995)
  • "I Grieve" on the City of Angels soundtrack (1998)
  • "The Book of Love" on the Shall We Dance soundtrack (2004)
  • "Down to Earth" on the Wall-E soundtrack (2008), Disney Box Office Hits (2008) and on Disney/Pixar Greatest (2009)
  • a live version of "Father, Son" on Peace One Day (2009)
  • "Curtains" on Download for Good (2011)
These tracks are not available elsewhere.

COLLABORATIONS

Collaborations include:

  • backing vocals on Laurie Anderson's album Mister Heartbreak (1984)
  • "Give Peace a Chance" as part of Peace Choir (1991)
  • guest vocals on Toni Childs' album The Woman's Boat (1994)
  • "Hush, Hush, Hush" with Paula Cole on her albums This Fire (1996) and Postcards From East Oceanside: Greatest Hits (2006)
  • "Taboo" with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on Voices of the Real World (2000)
  • "When You're Falling" with Afro Celt Sound System on their album Volume 3: Further in Time (2001)
  • "In Your Eyes" with Angélique Kidjo and Youssou N'dour on 46664, Part 1: African Prayer (2004)
  • "Wild World" with Yusuf Islam on 46664, Part 1: African Prayer (2004)
  • "Salala" with Angélique Kidjo on her album Djin Djin (2007)
  • "Whole Thing" with Francis Bebey, Alex Faku, Tim Finn, Karl Wallinger, and Andy White on Big Blue Ball's single Whole Thing (2007)
  • "Exit Through You" with Joseph Arthur and Karl Wallinger on Big Blue Ball's self-titled album (2008)
  • "Big Blue Ball" with Manu Katche and Karl Wallinger on Big Blue Ball's self-titled album (2008)
  • "Burn You Up, Burn You Down" with Billy Cobham, The Holmes Brothes, Wendy Melvoin, Arona N'diaye and Jah Wobble on Big Blue Ball's self-titled album (2008)
  • "Open Your Eyes" with Salman Ahmad of Junoon, Alison Sudol (One Fine Frenzy) & Samina Ahmad on Salman Ahmad of Junoon's single "Open Your Eyes" (2010)
  • "Pakistan Humara (Urdu Remix)" with Salman Ahmad of Junoon on his single "Pakistan Humara (Urdu Remix)" (2011)
TRIBUTES

The American Rock Orchestra released Dream in Red: A Tribute to Peter Gabriel in 2001. Vitamin String Quartet released Leaves From the Tree: A Tribute to Peter Gabriel in 2002. The Serotonins released "Peter Gabriel Song" on their album Easier Than Learning to Read (2003). Television Personalities released "The Peter Gabriel Song" on their album Are We Nearly There Yet? (2006).


Thanks to Steve Fagg and JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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