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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, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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

Comments

maybe he was who I was thinking of in terms of mental masturbation . not that he doesn't have some great songs.
prairieteri
Peter Gabriel knows how to write from My soul. Thank You. Want more please....
BIKO. ; I LOVE THIS SONG
In Your Eyes : I love this song. It's just perfect.
Shock The Monkey : I LOVE this song
something dark sticky inside, sounds like a personal problem try meilanta
luckyheartz7 7
<3 Peter Gabriel. I was so fortunate to hear him in concert on a perfect day
Blood of Eden : this is beautiful. I don't think Ive heard this one before. Nice.
He is such a great artist:-) :-) :-)
His performance at his induction to the Rock Hall of Fame last month was stunning.
Peter and Phil Collins sound soo much alike that I get the two messed up
wegoweko
So tour 1987 Poplar Creek in suburban Chi-Town. Mac Tonight 20th row dead center. Still one of my favorite concerts.
I love his work it's sometimes waaaay outthere makes you think. Love you man, big fan since teenage years.
I love you man you awesome.
megan.demola
He is the reason why I love music of the 80s era
loudogg0417
Peter Gabriel deserves more credit for his work
jtfanch
Is he British, Australian, American, or Canadian?
In Your Eyes. I love this song. This is a GREAT wedding song. This song is all about me. I do the very things the lyrics in this song talk about. I look for love in the eyes of another. It can be many or one. Yes, I feel like this song.
Red Rain. The cover photo appears to be the tip of a needle with an HIV cell on the tip. I love Infectious Diseases. If I could have a specialty, that would be it.
Genius
Peter Gabriel had less hits than Phil Collins, but the hits he did have were much better than the average Collins song.
Fantástico
You're awesome.
why will it work? How will it work? why attach it to songs?? I never heard of such a thing..
Chain mail online. How tacky
daniel.craft 1
Don't read this because it actually works you will get kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. However if you don't post this comment you will die in 2 days.Now that you've started reading don't stop. Put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters. This is scary but it actually works. Don't read this because it actually works you will get kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. H
Amazing talent.
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.
taniahalaby1 2
Fantastic music
taniahalaby1 2
Fantastic music
taniahalaby1 2
Fantastic music
taniahalaby1 2
Fantastic music
taniahalaby1 2
Fantastic music
taniahalaby1 2
Fantastic music
taniahalaby1 2
Fantastic music
taniahalaby1 2
Fantastic music
taniahalaby1 2
Fantastic music
taniahalaby1 2
Fantastic music
taniahalaby1 2
Fantastic music
taniahalaby1 2
Fantastic music
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Fantastic music
taniahalaby1 2
Fantastic music
taniahalaby1 2
Fantastic music
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