Peter Gabriel was always my favourite ex-Genesis member, although, I'm a little ashamed to say Phil Collins ran a close race for a while back there.(Mine says: 'Ello... I'm Phil Collins! Hmm doesn't work without the cockney accent) Poor old Mike Rutherford was never even in the running. Thankfully, Pete won out by the sheer brilliance of his songwriting (and what the fuck was a ...Su-Su-Sussudio anyway?)
Thinking about it, Solsbury Hill would have to be another I'd want played at my wake (are you taking notes, Mine?) It is such a beautiful, positive, uplifting piece of music and the lyrics match it perfectly... "Hey, I said "You can keep my things, they've come to take me home." How beautiful is this?
Then there is Don't Give Up and the accompanying video clip, where he spends all of it in the arms of Kate Bush. Oh, how I envied him. And the song itself had every chance of being a saccharine piece of schmaltz but it just isn't. Then there's Games Without Frontiers, a brilliant piece of commentary on nationalism built around minimalist keyboards and programed drums. And yes, Kate Bush sings backing on this one too.
Hit covers a fair cross section of material from Gabriel's solo career but for me, it's the tracks from the earlier part of his career that stick out for me. The production is stripped back and sparce with his distinctive voice cutting over the top, majestic and shining.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
Hmmm, another "best of" album. Not saying anything. (YourZ sez: yes you are - how many times do you wanna hear me say I was wrong?)
I was introduced to Peter Gabriel by my first husband many, many years ago. I listened to the first solo album (after Genesis) many times, and hearing Solsbury Hill open this CD just brought that all back to me. It was probably three or four years old at the time and I'd never heard anything like it. I remember gazing for hours at the beads of water on the car's bonnet that forms part of the cover art.
And the man's output, when condensed into this selection of songs, is truly staggering. Who among you doesn't smile at the thought of the chickens dancing in the video for Sledgehammer? I'm sure I'm not the only one who sheds a tear or two during the beautiful duet with Kate Bush - Don't Give Up. In fact, I was surprised by how many of these songs took me back to a place, a time, I hadn't thought about for years.
There's his work for political and humanitarian causes - for Amnesty and other human rights organisations. there's his championing of world music and dance in WOMAD. There are many reasons to love Peter Gabriel and you can hear examples of them on this CD.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
For more information: http://www.petergabriel.com/