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Peter Gabriel

As the leader of Genesis in the early '70s, Peter Gabriel helped move progressive rock to new levels of theatricality. He was no less ambitious as a solo artist, but he was more subtle in his methods. With his first eponymous solo album in 1977, he began exploring darker, more cerebral territory, incorporating avant-garde, electronic, and worldbeat influences into his music. The record, as well as its two similarly titled successors, established Gabriel as a critically acclaimed cult artist, and with 1982's Security, he began to move into the mainstream; "Shock the Monkey" became his first Top 40 hit, paving the way for his multi-platinum breakthrough So in 1986. Accompanied by a series of groundbreaking videos and the number one single "Sledgehammer," So became a multi-platinum hit, and Gabriel became an international star. Instead of capitalizing on his sudden success, he began to explore other interests, including recording soundtracks and running his company Real World. By the time he returned to pop with 1992's Us, his mass audience had faded away and he spent the remainder of the '90s working on multimedia projects for Real World.

Following his departure from Genesis in 1976, Peter Gabriel began work on the first of three consecutive eponymously titled albums; each record was named Peter Gabriel, he said, as if they were editions of the same magazine. In 1977, his first solo album appeared and became a moderate success due to the single "Solsbury Hill." Another self-titled record followed in 1978, yet received comparatively weaker reviews. Gabriel's third eponymous album proved to be his artistic breakthrough, however. Produced by Steve Lillywhite and released in 1980, the album established Gabriel as one of rock's most ambitious, innovative musicians, as well as one of its most political -- "Biko," a song about a murdered anti-apartheid activist, became one of the biggest protest anthems of the '80s. "Games Without Frontiers," with its eerie chorus, nearly reached the Top 40.

In 1982, Gabriel released Security, which was an even bigger success, earning positive reviews and going gold on the strength of the startling video for "Shock the Monkey." Just as his solo career was taking off, Gabriel participated in a one-shot Genesis reunion in order to finance his WOMAD -- World of Music, Arts and Dance -- Festival. WOMAD was designed to bring various world musics and customs to a Western audience, and it soon turned into an annual event, and a live double album was released that year to commemorate the event. As Gabriel worked on his fifth album, he contributed the soundtrack to Alan Parker's 1984 film Birdy. His score was highly praised and it won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes that year. After founding Real World, Inc. -- a corporation devoted to developing bridges between technology and multi-ethnic arts -- in 1985, he completed his fifth album, So.

Released in 1986, So became Gabriel's commercial breakthrough, largely because his Stax homage "Sledgehammer" was blessed with an innovative video that combined stop-action animation with live action. So climbed to number two as "Sledgehammer" hit number one, with "Big Time" -- featuring a video very similar to "Sledgehammer" -- reaching the Top Ten and "In Your Eyes" hitting the Top 30. As So was riding high on the American and British charts, Gabriel co-headlined the first benefit tour for Amnesty International in 1986 with Sting and U2. Another Amnesty International Tour followed in 1988, and the following year, Gabriel released Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ, a collection of instrumentals used in Martin Scorsese's film. Passion was the furthest Gabriel delved into worldbeat, and the album was widely acclaimed, winning the Grammy Award in 1989 for Best New Age Performance. In 1990, he released the hits compilation Shaking the Tree.

Gabriel labored long on the pop music follow-up to So, finally releasing Us in the spring of 1992. During the recording of Us, Gabriel went through a number of personal upheavals, including a painful divorce, and those tensions manifested themselves on Us, a much darker record than So. For various reasons, not the least of which was the fact that it was released six years after its predecessor, Us wasn't as commercially successful as So, despite positive reviews. Only one single, the "Sledgehammer" knockoff "Steam," reached the Top 40, and the album stalled at platinum sales. In 1993, Gabriel embarked on the most ambitious WOMAD tour to date, touring the United States with a roster including Crowded House, James, and Sinéad O'Connor, with whom he had an on-off romantic relationship. The following year, he released the double-disc Secret World Live, which went gold. Later in 1994, he released the CD-ROM Xplora, one of many projects he developed with Real World. For the rest of the decade, Gabriel concentrated on developing more multimedia projects for the company and working on a new studio album.

Up was released in 2002, a full decade after Gabriel's last studio effort. Dense, cerebral, and often difficult, the record peaked at number nine but failed to sell well in America. It fared slightly better in Canada, where it went gold. He then turned his attention to a host of different projects, although the release of Big Blue Ball -- a compilation of collaborative performances recorded at Real World Studios during the '90s -- helped placate fans while Gabriel focused his energies elsewhere. He eventually returned to the studio for another album, 2010's Scratch My Back, which featured orchestral covers of songs originally performed by Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Paul Simon, David Bowie, and others. Gabriel uncharacteristically delivered the sequel to Scratch My Back quickly, releasing New Blood -- a collection of orchestral reinterpretations of his own songs -- in the fall of 2011. The following year, Gabriel held a lavish celebration of the 25th anniversary of So, releasing several deluxe editions of the record -- the largest being a four-CD, two-DVD, two-vinyl box -- and launching the Back to Front tour, where he played So in its entirety. In 2014, Gabriel was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo act, joining Genesis, which had been inducted four years earlier. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Scratch My Back

1. Heroes

2. The Boy In The Bubble

3. Mirrorball

4. Flume

5. Listening Wind

6. The Power Of The Heart

7. My Body Is A Cage

8. The Book Of Love

9. I Think It's Going To Rain Today

10. Apres Moi

11. Philadelphia

12. Street Spirit (Fade Out)

x

Track List: Hit

Disc 1

1. Solsbury Hill

2. Shock The Monkey (Hit)

3. Sledgehammer

4. Don't Give Up

5. Games Without Frontiers

6. Big Time

7. Burn You Up, Burn You Down

8. Growing Up

9. Digging In The Dirt

10. Blood Of Eden

11. More Than This

12. Biko

13. Steam

14. Red Rain

15. Here Comes The Flood

Disc 2

1. San Jacinto

2. I Don't Remember

3. The Rhythm Of The Heat

4. Love To Be Loved

5. I Grieve

6. Family Snapshot

7. In Your Eyes

8. The Drop

9. The Tower That Ate People

10. Lovetown

11. Father, Son

12. Signal To Noise

14. Cloudless

x

Track List: Up

1. Darkness

2. Growing Up

3. Sky Blue

4. No Way Out

5. I Grieve

6. The Barry Williams Show

7. My Head Sounds Like That

8. More Than This

9. Signal To Noise

10. The Drop

x

Track List: Long Walk Home: Music From The Rabbit-Proof Fence

1. Jigalong

2. Stealing The Children

3. Unlocking The Door

4. The Tracker

5. Running To The Rain

6. On The Map

7. A Sense Of Home

8. Go Away Mr. Evans

9. Moodoo's Secret

10. Gracie's Recapture

11. Crossing The Salt Pan

14. The Rabbit-Proof Fence

15. Cloudless

x

Track List: OVO

1. The Story Of OVO

2. Low Light

3. The Time Of The Turning

4. The Man Who Loved The Earth / The Hand That Sold Shadows

5. The Time Of Turning (Reprise) / The Weavers Reel

6. Father, Son

7. The Tower That Ate People

8. Revenge

9. White Ashes

10. Downside-Up

11. The Nest That Sailed The Sky

x

Track List: US

1. Come Talk To Me

2. Love To Be Loved

3. Blood Of Eden

4. Steam

5. Only Us

6. Washing Of The Water

7. Digging In The Dirt

8. Fourteen Black Paintings

9. Kiss That Frog

10. Secret World

x

Track List: Shaking The Tree

1. Solsbury Hill

2. I Don't Remember

3. Sledgehammer

4. Family Snapshot

5. Mercy Street

6. Shaking The Tree

7. Don't Give Up

8. San Jacinto

9. Here Comes The Flood

10. Red Rain

11. Games Without Frontiers

12. Shock The Monkey

13. I Have The Touch

14. Big Time

15. Zaar

16. Biko

x

Track List: Passion

1. The Feeling Begins

2. Gethsemane

3. Of These, Hope

4. Lazarus Raised

6. In Doubt

7. A Different Drum

8. Zaar

9. Troubled

10. Open

11. Before Night Falls

12. With This Love

13. Sandstorm

14. Stigmata

15. Passion

17. Wall Of Breath

18. The Promise Of Shadows

19. Disturbed

20. It Is Accomplished

21. Bread And Wine

x

Track List: So

1. Red Rain

2. Sledgehammer

3. Don't Give Up

4. That Voice Again

5. In Your Eyes

6. Mercy Street

7. Big Time

8. We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37)

9. This Is The Picture (Excellent Birds)

x

Track List: Security

1. The Rhythm Of The Heat

2. San Jacinto

3. I Have The Touch

4. The Family And The Fishing Net

6. Lay Your Hands On Me

7. Wallflower

8. Kiss Of Life

x

Track List: On The Air

1. On The Air

2. D.I.Y.

3. Mother Of Violence

4. A Wonderful Day In A One-Way World

5. White Shadow

6. Indigo

7. Animal Magic

8. Exposure

9. Flotsam And Jetsam

10. Perspective

11. Home Sweet Home

x

Track List: Peter Gabriel 1

1. Moribund The Burgermeister

2. Solsbury Hill

3. Modern Love

4. Excuse Me

5. Humdrum

6. Slowburn

7. Waiting For The Big One

8. Down The Dolce Vita

9. Here Comes The Flood

x

Track List: Don't Break This Rhythm (Single)

Comments

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artistdavev
Without Bowie there would be no Peter Gabriel.
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I love this song, but not this version.
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Love his songs and the emotion that u hear in them. ☺��
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jwemail
S
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...such a beautifully sad song!
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Growing Up is awesome..... h o p e they play it
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❤❤❤❤❤
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One of my Favorite Peter Gabriel songs is actually Shock The Monkey. But the one that's ultimately Number one is The Musical Box.
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I WANT TO BE.....
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Can't figure out why I can't get them to play Sledgehammer
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Like this song but Digging in the Dirt is my favorite of his.
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Love the backing vocal by Kate Bush ("Don't Give Up").....swe e t ! ! !
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INDEED
chrisana8!

0;o)))
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Musical genius•
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Originally on the So album.
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*******
*******
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WTF ? No credit to Kate Bush on "Don't Give Up"? Kate is no back up singer..Pand o r a can you give her props on this song?
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In your eyes my favorite song !
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In your eyes. A very moving song. I love the movie say anything as well.what a great combination
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I love" Don't give up" its such a powerful song. Peter Gabriel is a very talented but very under rated musician!! ��
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One good song, it's for slow dancing with your lady. Ice Man
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9i 9m
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Did peter gabriel do the song Down to the ground Or down to earth on the wall-e soundtrack?
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He is one of just a few seminal artists of this century, and his entire body of work along with his label prove it eternally.
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I love the first solo project. Salisbury Hill, Moribund the Burger meister. I saw him in concert for this album and parts of his second effort. Awsome.
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So was the soundtrack to my life when I was 13. Even at that age I connected in a way with Red Rain that I haven't duplicated yet
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Peter Gabriel's songs are painstakingl y layered which contributes to their complexity. The Lamb lies Down on Broadway is a classic cult favorite.
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I'd vote for his first solo release with Salisbury Hill and Here Comes the Flood. One of the more innovative artists. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is an epic story and one fantastic double album.
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Sledgehammer was his best.
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Whether pissed or not. PG can be held in high regard as far as I am concerned. All the best Peter.
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Peter has evolved in his unique way that generates in the world pulse. His depth of love for universal music will only become a standerd for the now and the beautiful future.. My Thank always!
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nmac959
Mesmerizing
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It is hard to comprehend how someone could compose something so beautiful. The first time I heard this song, it felt like I had been listening to it for years.
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tabathamarti n e z 7
The best
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eddieg490
I just want to stand outside and hold up a boombox!!
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BEST ARTIST EVER
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Why do you guys post this crap???
Aren't you here to listen to music????
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don't like bad karma so trying below... when I pressed f6 when done, no bueno.
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Peter thanks for sharing your Muti Sensory and Spiritual thoughts and gifts from Our Source of all Love ... God has truly Blessed You...��
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Games Without Frontiers: How about no games and no frontiers. Just straight up honesty and good love from heaven above? Can you handle it?
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I can think of no other musician to have influenced me greater than Peter Gabriel.
A majority of his songs, original and cover are gemstones for the mind and ears.
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In Your Eyes Live: Great wedding song. I love Peter Gabriel's music.
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The joy of this song, everything I look in to my babies eyes,my redhead,the love
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I don't get tired of his music. Especially when he was the leader of Genesis. Screw Collins.
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Saw Peter Gabriel in DC - he was passed around the audience while singing "Lay Your Hands on Me"-
amazing talent.
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It sounds so cutting edge even now - no one can make a sonic texture like Peter Gabriel. A true artist.
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This reminds me of the movie say anything. Lloyd dobler was the man
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Jamming, got pandora cranked!!!!! Little swimming, sunning. U know the rest. PEACE!!!!!!
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He organized the Womad festivals that only played in Seattle Wa. In the U.S. As well as several other countries I'll never forget them good show peter
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i would love new versions of some early genesis.... cinema show .. epping forest. watcher of the skies
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