Solo career of Peter Gabriel (3 of 3)






Album: Us (1992)

Thoughts: He looks like Humphrey Bogart on the album sleeve! Loved by some fans, I was underwhelmed.
For me, the 90s was the beginning of the decline for the singer. Us (1992) was a highly anticipated comeback, which turned out to be not as accessible or as catchy as Gabriel's mid 80s work.
To his credit, the album does have some fun music videos for the Grammy-winning single Digging in the Dirt, and also Stream, which despite looking a bit dated are worth a look. However there’s a distinct feeling he is recycling his biggest success So (1986) both in terms of the music and videos. It’s interesting the song Kiss That Frog is similar to Beyoncé’s hit Naughty Girl.
Favorite tracks: Come Talk To Me










Album: Up (2002)

Thoughts: It isn’t as good as his 70s and 80s work. Pretty dark subject matter in the lyrics, especially on the single The Barry Williams Show. Many of the tracks go on too long. An alternative version of Sky Blue was used on the soundtrack for Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)








Album: Scratch My Back (2010)

Thoughts: The eighth studio album by Peter Gabriel. A collection of covers, none of which really did that much for me. Disappointing album.








Album: New Blood (2011)

Thoughts: Orchestral reworkings of his previous songs. Not an essential listen.
Favorite tracks: Red Rain (I actually prefer this new version over the original. The new orchestral mix feels more personal in the vocal, and the instrumental gives the tune an epicness the 1986 single lacked)



Any thoughts on the music? Have you listened to Peter Gabriel's solo albums? Or are you new to the music as I am? As always, comments are welcome

6 comments:

  1. I pretty much gave up after So. Truth be told, I've not heard much off his last three, and Us left so little impression I can't tell you a song on it that you didn't mention.

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    1. @SJHoneywell: Us and Up didn't leave much of an impression on me either on first listen, although a few of the tracks have grown on me since.

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  2. I liked Us as it was a very personal album for Gabriel as he was going through a lot in that period as it related to break-ups and all sorts of things. Up was an album I enjoyed as well as it's the last thing of his that I actually liked. His orchestral stuff was just boring.

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    1. @thevoid99: His albums from the 90s are patchy. You're right, on wikipedia it says about Us (1992) "On this album Gabriel explored the pain of recent personal problems; his failed first marriage, his relationship with actress Rosanna Arquette, and the growing distance between him and his first daughter."
      I agree the orchestral reworkings are mostly uninteresting, but I think he got it right with the new version of Red Rain

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  3. Peter Gabriel Up was one of the first Gabriel solo albums I listened to. I dig the dark subject matter. Especially on tracks like Darkness. I was so glad to hear Scorsese use Signal to Noise (the instrumental version) in the Gangs of New York opening fight scene.

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    1. @Luke: Up (2002) is quite good, but it didn't wow me. Sky Blue is the only cut that got stuck in my head.
      Like I wrote in the post, I am still a newcomer, and don't see mysef as an expert. Thanks for directing me towards Darkness, I must have overlooked that track.

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