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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. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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

Comments

Follow the steps
1 say iPhone 5 times
2 pick a color
3 post tis in 3 different song
Ok?
you like peter Gabriel, you should check out my band 1980's butthole
Souls bury hill makes my heart go boom boom boom...
Two beautiful music artists together. That was nice.
Here Comes The Flood. This song blended in really great with Philip Wesley's Two Souls. That was artistically AWESOME. It was like Philip's music was used as an intro to Peter Gabriel's Here comes the flood. This is a really beautiful song Peter. Thank you.
Handsome gentleman in this bio photo. :-)
Thinking man's rock. Gabriel's music delivered on so many levels. He was, and is, a genius.
In Your Eyes. I love this song. It would make a great wedding song. The lyrics are just so right on.
Fantastic music
Fantastic music
Fantastic music
Fantastic music
Fantastic music
Fantastic music
Fantastic music
Fantastic music
Fantastic music
Fantastic music
Fantastic music
Fantastic music
Fantastic music
Fantastic music
Fantastic music
I absolutely love this man.
In Your Eyes. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, THIS SONG. I LOVE THE LYRICS. THIS IS A FANTASTIC WEDDING SONG.
I simply love this song,makes me want to dance
The windshield with rain with...
scifrei
Peter Gabriel is a great artist. I love hearing the old generation.
Air supply: lost in love for their times: had great love music!, beebop. Nj....cool
LOVE Peter G. His music totaly moves me.
Love to Be Loved. I LOVE THE LYRICS OF THIS SONG. THIS IS A REAL BEAUTIFUL SONG
I am absolutely in love with Peter Gabriel, all his albums. His songs are great, there is just something about them that evoke so much emotion. Thank you Peter for your contribution to the world.
I love all his stuff but especially BOOK OF LOVE. Brought me to tears when they played it on what-should- h a v e - b e e n series finale of SCRUBS.
Solsbury Hill. I LOVE PETER GABRIEL'S MUSIC. ANOTHER MAESTRO. AND HE KNOWS ABOUT PHLEBOTOMY. ALRIGHT. THE VERY THING I'M STUDYING IN COLLEGE.
ON THE LIVE BLOOD ALBUM COVER FEATURES HEMOGLOBIN ON THE TIP OF A NEEDLE. ON THE NEW BLOOD ALBUM COVER FEATURES AN HIV CELL ACTUALLY ON THE TIP OF A VERY FINE PIECE OF METAL IT APPEARS. ON THE SCRATCH MY BACK ALBUM COVER FEATURES SICKLE CELLS. PETER GABRIEL KNOWS A LOT ABOUT PHLEBOTOMY AND INTERNAL MEDICINE IT APPEARS. SOMEONE DOES. WHOEVER MAKES THE ALBUM COVERS.
When So came out in '86 I was moving to Austin. I had a cassette player in my 79 Buick. On the way across Tennessee, on route 40 I think, a hitchiker I picked up and I listened to the cassette for nearly the entire state. Made the long drive so pleasant. Stoned and never under 90mph. Don't tell my kids :-)
claudiagaye
Didn't Randy Newman write I think it's Going to Rain Today?
alohakghi
Live Blood has a very sobering image. Great artist.
It's is so good

gypsy21a
Cool singer!
High everybody!!!
Every time I hear this song it reminds me of the movie Say Anything
No!!!! HANS PLAYS WITH LOTTIE doesn't have anything to do with the fingers!!!!! They are two peoples flippin' names you ding dong!!!!
catwag2010
honestly… PeterG is my favorite of all time
bgibbons141
Ok
so inventive
what a brain
I love this song, it is very romantic.
Can anybody tell me if the lines regarding, 'Hans plays with Lottie' have something to do with the fingers?
Congratulati o n s , Peter.
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