Thursday, June 3, 2010

Worth Another Listen - Peter Gabriel

peter gabriel
peter gabriel

Like many British artists in the 60s, Peter Gabriel was influenced by the soul records of great American artists like Otis Redding and others. In 1967, he formed a band with a group of schoolmates. Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford, and drummer Chris Stewart enjoyed playing together, and called themselves Genesis. Gabriel, a bold and brash performer, would wear extravagant costumes and tell lengthy stories between the songs while the rest of the band readied for the next song. As lead singer for the band, he courted both the exposure and the statement his costumes would make. After 8 years, however, Gabriel decided it was time to move on, and he began to stake out the murky waters of a solo career. While he released his first single in 1977, his career was taken to a new level with the 1986 release of Sledgehammer, the first release from the album So. The song and video were great successes, earning Gabriel Top 10 on the charts throughout the world, including topping both the Pop and Rock charts. In the US, Sledgehammer knocked Genesis out of the top spot.

1986 was a big year for Gabriel, who seem incapable of doing anything wrong. He followed by Sledgehammer, a rollicking rock song, with the aching ballad Don't Give Up in a duet with the astonishing Kate Bush.

Included on the So album, the song In Your Eyes was the fourth single from the album So, and made it to #1 on the US Modern Rock chart. It enjoyed a resurgence in 1989, utilized so well in the Cameron Crowe film, Say Anything...

In 1987, Gabriel released a live version of the song Biko. While it never achieved the monumental success of the above songs, it was played all the time on the radio and on MTV. It was originally part of the eponymous album released in 1980. It told the story of Steve Biko, a South African anti-apartheid activists who died while in police care in 1977.

For More about Peter Gabriel, check out his official website here.

peter gabriel


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