Peter Gabriel

Phil Collins Poseur
*special introductory paragraph!
*Peter Gabriel
*Peter Gabriel
*Peter Gabriel
*Plays Live
*Secret World Live
*OVO: Millennium Show
*Long Walk Home: Music From The Rabbit-Proof Fence
*Scratch My Back
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Peter Gabriel, a man with two biblical names, was the founding vocalist of Genesis, a band with a biblical name. When he decided to go solo, it helped that he knew such talented musicians as Tony Levin and Robert Fripp, in the biblical sense. On several star-studded LPs, he scored such hoarsely-sung hits as "I Don't Remember," "Games Without Frontiers," "Shock The Monkey," "Sledgehammer," "Big Time," "Red Rain" and "In Your Eyes." Many people enjoy Peter's music, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with those people. Some of them are in prison, but it would be difficult to directly attribute their crimes to his music.

Except the Sledgehammer Murderer, of course.

Oh, and the cops that killed Stephen Biko. Most people don't realize this, but Peter actually first released that song as a South African single in 1976. Violently supportive of apartheid, he couldn't have been more thrilled when his musical fantasy was brought to life a year later!

Libel is legal if at least one of us knows I'm lying, right?

Peter Gabriel - Atco 1977
Rating = 6

The first of three albums entitled Peter Gabriel (four if you count Bad Company's Straight Shooter, though I'm not clear on why you would do so), the cover of this one features a photo of Mr. Gabriel in a car on a rainy day. Mixed by Alice Cooper/Lou Reed/Kiss/Pink Floyd's The Wall producer Bob Ezrin, it features Steve Hunter, Dick Wagner and King Crimson's Robert Fripp on guitars, along with soon-to-be-King Crimson's Tony Levin (hip-hop name: Tone-11) on bass, and lots of other people on pianos, keyboards and whatnot. (Drums, etc).

Maybe my ears are just filled with foam rubber, but this record sounds like absolute muffled hell to me. The mix sounds all muffled, like the album is just a bad cassette dub of an album. The drums have no crispness, the guitars have no presence, and there are no bright or aurally attractive sounds ANYWHERE. Everything is just slopped together in this muddy, flat, bored-sounding mix that does a disservice and a half (or 1.5 disservices) to everything that Peter was trying to achieve. At least, I'm ASSUMING he was trying to create a weird yet cheery record full of dynamic and unpredictable shifts of style, instrumentation and volume. If his goal was to make it sound like hundreds of gallons of liquidy human shit were being poured onto the musicians as they laid down their parts, then that's a different matter entirely.

The songs are melodically pretty poppy and welcoming, with Ezrin's always-bombastic show tune arrangements combining oddly with Gabriel's hoarse, harsh singing voice and prog-meets-new-wave sensibilities (by which I mean that there are a ton of ugly, weird, unappealing synthesizer and keyboard tones on this record). But what's really bizarre is the way that the songs keep stopping and abruptly restarting in a completely different key, genre or mood. It's like he wrote a certain number of parts, then just combined them in various ways until they'd all been used and the record was done. Certainly several of these parts are greatastic, but who could like them all? I'll tell you who - a FAN! That's why I gave it a 6.

Lyrically, Peter's approach on this record is big on metaphor and symbolism, which is to say I don't understand what the hell he's talking about. According to The Internet, "Solsbury Hill" is about his decision to leave Genesis but if so, it's an awfully Disney-esque set of lyrics. Who needs a metaphor? That's what a pet is for!

If I were you, I would totally skip this next part. It's just random notes about each song that I wrote down while listening because I can't remember how songs go after they're not playing anymore. I know I told you I have a memory like a sponge, but I just meant that it's all full of holes and I clean the bathtub with it.

Moribund The Burgermeister - GREAT! Warbly synths and pulsing drums create nice poppy melody into regal orchestral anthemic chorus. Catchy! Bombastically classical! Quirky electronic bloops and bleeps too

Solsbury Hill - Okay song using metaphors to explain why he went solo. Acoustic guitar picking into synth woobles. Flute and recorder too, I guess. Welcoming friendly melody, but only the bouncy guitar part appeals to me. The rest is melodically corny and could be Phil Collins if played on newer, balder synths.

Modern Love - GREAT! Abacaby-style synth/fuzz guitar chord sequence into big bombastic chords with organ and a chorus that's 70s arena rockin'! Some nice quieter breaks with higher notes. Likable! Happy like a David Gilmour song! No relation to David Bowie's "Modern Love," Hall & Oates' "Method of Modern Love" or Jonathan Richman's Modern Lovers.

Excuse Me - Okay novelty song with silly tuba, banjo, barbershop quartet silliness. Funny noises and old-timey fun. Works as a diversion, but it's no The Monkees' "Magnolia Simms"

Humdrum - GREAT! Beautiful echoing soft keyboard going from speaker to speaker in a stereo manner. Sad little melody. Then other instruments come in and the rhythm gets kinda Cariibeany reggaeish or something. The melody is still very pretty though. Some acoustic guitars. Then a lush strings/piano part. Great song!

Slowburn - GREAT! Some big lead guitar progressive parts that are "Abacab"y, then changes to soft strings part and then into a gross part with female backup vox, then piano parts, then musical-style parts. Very Queen-esque in all its many changes. I like most of it! Even the parts that suck are shittily awesome!

Waiting For The Big One - BAD. slow lounge jazz with jazz chords. Not for me.

Down The Dolce Vita - okay - orchestral part into big dopey anthemic rock with disco tinges. Like ELO at its lamest. Then an odd clock ticking part with weird violins.

Here Comes The Flood - Sad cold piano, organ, into boring chorus. This song is very bland, like a showtune ballad. Trying too hard to sound important. A real bore! A British bore!

Eat My Shorts - Hilarious Rick Dees song poking light fun at love ballads.

So you see, when Peter Gabriel sits around the house, he REALLY records upbeat prog/new wave/pop songs with a bunch of different parts that are then ruined by tepid Bob Ezrin production!

Take my wife! PLEASE!

I just flew in from Miami, and BOY are my arms tired from masturbating all over the seat in front of me for four hours!

Reader Comments
I first heard this album last year, straight after listening to Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, which unusually for me giving the fact the latter contains the contributions of Phil Collins in any capacity at all, I quite enjoyed. As far as the solo debut of Mr Gabriel is concerned, it lacks direction, cohesion. Does have plenty of interesting ideas, but none of them are developed properly. I miss the costumes, bring em back, peter! Now you have no hair at all, think of all the creative possibilities!!

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Peter Gabriel - Atlantic 1978
Rating = 5

Age: 31
Height: 5'11
Weight: 165
Sex: M
Marital Status: M
Nationality: R
Religion: Cucumber
Political Affiliation: Basketball
Favorite Musical Group: New York Jets
Favorite Actor: They're All Terrible. I Only Watch Thespians.
Favorite Athlete: Smelly Socks
Favorite Actress: Girl Pretending to Reach Orgasm
Favorite Color: Sperm Off-White
Favorite Food: Don Knotts Express
Next Of Kin: Jury Trial
Favorite Movie: E.T.-The Entertainment Tonight
Favorite Album: All Her Greatest Hits, Live!!! Vol. II
Pet Peeves: Shorts, Underwear, Pants, Science
Turn-Ons: Women, Things That Look Like Tits
Turn-Offs: Suffocation
Favorite Television Show: Lorne Michaels' "The New Show" starring Dave Thomas
Employment History: Donut Salesman As The Earth Cooled

Now that you know my credentials for reviewing albums, let's continue through the shitty, disappointing solo career of Jethro Tull's Peter Gabriel. Gabriel's second album, entitled Peter Gabriel and featuring a cover on which he uses his fingers to scrape white lines downward over his own photo, is a piano-filled journey through Billy Joel.

That's true, what they say. Taking a turn for the traditional, Peter refrains from hopping and skipping his songs into eight different directions this time, choosing instead to write and perform a collection of piano-driven pop songs/ballads and fuzzy guitar "rockers" that don't rock. The songs are still drenched in strange synthesizer noises (as well as some wonderfully skin-warming pedal steel guitar in a few tracks), but normalcy and the piano definitely seem to be the focus of the melodic intent.

You know who produced the album though? That's right! You DO know! And in addition to producing it, he also plays on it! However, his playing is better than his mixing, which is just as flat, lifeless and empty as that of the first LP. Now let me stress here that I've only heard these albums on vinyl, so for all I know the CDs sound pristine. On vinyl however, everything's so damp and murky that no matter how loud you turn it up, it still refuses to excite the penal glands. Plus the records are all covered in dust and one of them has this huge crack in the middle of it. Talk about shitty production! Get a clue up your ass, Robert Fripp!

However, on the bright side, Tony Levin is back on bass and Chapman stick (a loose warbly fretless thing that's bass-esque but in a queasier way) and if you're looking for a talented bald man with a mustache, look - no, further! He's over to the right a bit more. Still further. Yeah, that's him! RIGHT THERE!!!! (*accidentally runs over Tony Levin with steamroller*) Oops!

I hope you enjoyed the little drama that I wrote and performed for you! I love drama. When I think of drama, I think, "mine!" If only I truly COULD make dramamine.

Ah, the wordplay. It's like living with a zebra, isn't it? Every time you turn around, I'm zig-zaggin' my stripes all up yo brain til you insane. Then I'm kickin down yo door like a bitch that fuXXX a ho, I aint mseajdsf paleontologist.

Peter Gabriel has the talent to craft some nifty songs. Don't think I'm hatin'. I'm not hatin'. I may live in MAN hatin' (Manhattan), but i'm asdsa

Peter Gabriel has the talent to craft some nifty songs. In fact, the first two songs on this record are so assfuckingly great (THAT'S "ASSFUCKINGLY"!!!! HEY LADY!!! YOUR SON IS LOOKING AT AN ASSFUCKING SITE!!! FUCK FUCK FUCK THAT ASS!!!!), you'd almost expect the whole album to be as such. First there's "On The Air," a catchy fuzz-chorder topped with Carsy and Townshendy synthesizers; against all odds, it turns out to be a very pretty and ear-pleasing song about a pirate radio DJ. And "D.I.Y." might even be better, with its throbbing pulse disco beat, witty strolling-up-the-keyboard piano line and painfully memorable chorus. Shit man, deeper into the record, Fripp's "Exposure" is a funky fresh medina too! And for a reminder of the somewhat intelligent and challenging songsmithery that Peter displayed on his debut, you can beat your wife but you can't beat the ominous "White Shadow" or the creatively-chorded ballad "Flotsam And Jetsam." No you cannot!

However, the rest of the album has more ups and downs than a nun locked in a dick factory. You can't take two steps without squishing your shoe in quietly bland balladry that takes itself too seriously, faux-African cornball Paul Simon worldbeat/pop shit, cheesy William Joel-style "Look at me! I'm 'rockin'!" wimp melodies, ugly saxophone racket and some of the worst lyrics of Gabriel's career. Here, enjoy examples from three different tracks:

"Walking the street with her naked feet
So full of rhythm but I can't find the beat
Snapping her heels clicking her toes
Everybody knows just where she goes"

Oh, there's an old man on the floor, so I summon my charm
I say "Hey Scumbag, has there been an alarm?"
he said "Yeh, 'been selling off eternal youth
they all got afraid 'cos I'm the living proof

"No one knew if the spirit died
All wrapped to go like Kentucky Fried"

Note to aspiring songwriters: If every single line rhymes with the one that came before it, it's obvious that you have nothing worthwhile to say.

Note to aspiring record reviewers: If you keep interrupting your reviews with dick jokes and self-referential fucking around, it's obvious that you have nothing -- HAY! WHO LET THE READERS IN HERE? GET BACK INTO YOUR CAGE -- NOW!!! (*cracks whip, winks, wears sexy panties and garter belt, cries about being born with penis*)

Following up my earlier point, be sure and pay attention to the excellent lyrics of "Home Sweet Home." Sure they rhyme, thus disproving my point entirely, but wow are they good! I'd print them here for you but I can tell that my fingers are about to come loose and lop off, so I'd rather not get too oh ait thr goe hit oj fd'f '''''''''


Reader Comments
This is the best review I have ever read.

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Peter Gabriel - Mercury 1980
Rating = 8

Now HERE we go! This one's actually really good (for a change)! On this third album entitled Peter Gabriel, the cover of which finds Peter's face melting into a goop of paint, he's surrounded himself with the instrumental talents of Phil Collins, Tony Levin, Phillip Collins, Paul Weller of The Jam, Phil Collins from Genesis, Dave Gregory of XTC, top-selling solo artist Phil Collins, Robert Fripp of King Crimson and bald fat fuck Phil Collins, as well as turning over the production reins to Steve Lillywhite of The Rolling Stones' Dirty Work fame. But more than anything, it's his songwriting that has taken a turn for the interesting this time out. Aside from a few catchy pop songs, the music is moody, eerie, somber, simmering and depressing, and his lyrics are dark-as-coal character sketches of sadistic night prowlers, serial killers, terrified amnesiacs, presidential assassins, warlords, racists, mental patients, martyred leaders, and... whatever the hell "And Through The Wire" is about. Anyone? A romance that exists only over the phone? Beats me.

The melodies are more consistently interesting and original this time out, with nary a a Billy Joel puss-rock song to be found. The guitar's all crangly/fuzzy/trebly, Tony's fretless bass is bwooping and bwowing all over creation, there are literally aural TONS of atmospheric electronic noises to creep you out, and if the hit singles "I Don't Remember" and "Games Without Frontiers" don't grab your musical goat, the catchy as shitpiss "And Through The Wires" (whatever the hell it's about) just better bet do so! That vocal melody! That descending pop guitar riff! You CAN'T not like it! You'd have to be DEAF, DUMB and BLIND, kid, and sure you could play a mean pinball, and stand like a statue and become part of the machine with your crazy flipper fingers but this song is a RULER! An actual plastic RULER that you can use to measure the rest of the album, to make sure it's exactly 12 inches across as promised by the manufacturer.

Mr. Gabriel, Peter has also combined the technological with the primitive here, with sci-fi synth bloobles and treated guitar skrankity-flooshes peacefully coexisting alongside gamelans, African chanting, and tribal beats. Also, I totally just found out why that last album was so piano-heavy -- Peter Gabriel is a fuckin' piano player! You'd have thought I would have looked that up before starting the reviews, but time doesn't grow on watches. Also, just FYI, that Kate Bush vocal in "Games Without Frontiers" is not in fact "She's so funky, yeah" as I'd always hoped. Turns out she's saying "Jeux sans frontieres," which translates to "unnecessary pretentiousness."


Okay! Who else is with me?

Reader Comments
I'm sure many people would sympathize with me when I say that I absolutely can't stand Phil Collins' music, and despite the good things I've heard about them, sitting through an entire Genesis album is pretty painful for me as well. But this album is damn good. It's got all kinds of cool sound affects, creepy atmosphere, and even some fantastic melodies. The first half is just amazing. Intruder, No Self Control, I Don't Remember and uuuuh......that other one are some really fine songs. The other half feels a little weaker to me even though I love Games Without Frontiers, but there aren't any bad songs on here. I recommend it highly.
Strange, you're doing Peter Gabriel before Genesis? Do you not like Genesis or are you just postponing it because it's a group people care about? Just wondering as a lot of review sites review Genesis right along with the other great proggers. Anyways, about Peter Gabriel 3 - it's actually a really great album, even though you might not think so. If you give everyone a 10, this gets the 10, otherwise it's at least a very solid 9 for having some of the scariest songs and most touching songs of his career. Side One is really nice, but I think there's a lot to be said about the second one...especially "Biko", easily the best song on the whole album. I give it an $8 at Dan's Records.
Hey thanks for reviewing PG. Here is a nerdy fact about the recording itself. Aside, from a lone cowbell on one song ("And through the wire", I think) there is not a SINGLE CYMBAL CRASHED OR SMASHED OR SWIZZLED OR PLINKED ON THIS RECORD. It was Peter's idea and supposedly pissed Phil Collins off but he went with it. Imagine trying to play a cool drum part using no cymbals....not even a hi hat. hard to do.

In fact, this album features one of the best drum parts in recording history IMHO. Try playing the drum part to"NO Self Control".......its impossibly cool when Phil was still cool, for a short period of time and then a few years later he wrote "Invisible Shitdick" of the worst songs ever written.

One other note, Steve Lillywhite and Peter came up with that "gated" drum sound which has got that super loud boom and then it gets clipped off....hard to explain....anyway, this drum sound would be feature prominently on all of the Genesis/Phil solo records afterwards.

My nerd quota for the day has been met.

The one that features Phil Collins as Satan. The one where Kate Bush dresses like a French-maid?? Oh, something like that. The one The One with the Male Nanny? Wait, think i'm getting this Peter Gabriel album that contains the mighty good 'Games Without Frontiers' confused with episodes of 'Friends'. It's an easy thing to do, they both have one big thing in common. They are both very very good!
(erfinagerfin, there wasn't much of a PG BEFORE Genisis. At least not a publicized one. Silly goose.)Let's get one thing VERY clear, here. Phil Collins was NEVER cool. He is a small, pathetic, squinty little man, who's individual music makes me want to shrivel up into a little rasin-like ball and DIE. That said, let's move on to the album. "I Don't Remember" is a superb, bounce-off-the-walls-of-a-shiny-chrome-canyon creation. His emotional, almost frantic outbursts really add to the whole mood. Also, please note how awesome it is when Peter gets sucked into a leather couch in the kick-arse music video. As well, "Family Snapshot" gave me goosebumps the first time I listened to it. Seriously. I thought my skin was going to fall off to the verses, "peak time veiwing blown in a flash, as I burn into your memory cells". I liked "And Through the Wire", even though it is a vague sketchwad of questionable lyrics with a stalker-y feel. Props to Petah for squirming around my insides with Melt/PG3. And, pertaining to your "US" reveiw, Gabriel's first wife's name is Jill. Peace out, yo. OH, and he turned "the big 3-0" in 1980, NOT 1982. So there.
Sablesilver is so fulla shit. Phil Collins certainly WAS cool as the drummer for Gabriel-era Genesis. He was cool as shit, because he was one of the finest drummers rock music has ever seen. I'm not joking; his drumming on the Gabriel-era records still astonishes me, no matter how many times I hear it. Fuck, that guy could play...

Of course, he's been a complete tool for the past 30 years or so. Oh well. He can go to heaven for his drumming (he can't get in the fucking VIP room, though).
I happen to agree with the gentleman above me, sablesilver is full of shit, perhaps sombody should give him a copy of "trick of the tail" and let him listen to Los Endos, It will be interesting to see if the highly intelligent man could tell what time signature it is in, oh then again it dosen't matter because sablesilver knows when peter was born, Three cheers for clever Barstard! (Rob Stockdale)
The “jeux sans frontieres” reference is even worse than unnecessary pretentiousness. It is based on a European TV show of the same name, which(wait for it)when formatted for the UK was called “It’s a knockout” Do you see the fantastic crapness of it?

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Security - Geffen 1982
Rating = 3

Everybody who agrees with me has made the decision to remove the feeding tube from this album.

Ever feel like your entire life is one big courtesy flush? Try listening to 40 minutes of cold, empty, boring, slow synthesized new age worldbeat and see how much sympathy you have for the man inhaling your bowel. Absence of riffery, lots of tribal/African-oriented "primal people" lyrics: PG reaches the big 3-0 and decides his music has to be more mature, like Brian Eno. But there's nothing pleasant or interesting going on here. Aside from the funky "Shock The Monkey," this is just whooshy electronics and quiet parts gone haywire. And what was Peter Rottentail doing instead of writing music? Dicking around with Moogs and Prophets and Linn Programming and... what the hell's a CMI? Hang on while I look that up.

Okay, apparently a CMI is a manufacturer of recreational climbing and technical rope rescue equipment. I guess that's why the album makes me want to jump off a cliff!

That was good stuff. Let me do that again, with the second Yahoo entry. Okay, apparently a CMI is a private nonprofit foundation dedicated to increasing and disseminating mathematical knowledge. I guess that's why the album is so "unrewarding'! (I couldn't think of a math joke so I went for the "nonprofit" part)

Let's see - then there's a CMI that manufactures automated equipment for construction and maintenance of highways, city streets, airport runways, rural roads, bridges, and parking lots. I guess that's why the album is so 'middle-of-the-road'! And here's one that manufactures breath alcohol testing equipment including stationary, mobile, and handheld instruments and accessories. I guess that's why you'd have to be 'drunk off your ass' to enjoy it! Oh, here's a good one: the Fairlight CMI computer-based digital sampling instrument. I guess that's why all the songs are full of digital 'samples'! Then there's another one that develops professional skills through leadership training and development. I guess that's why the album makes me forget my 'potty training'!

"But wait," said a Positive Nellie to me once. "You're missing the point. Security is not about melody or song structure. It's about atmosphere." Yeah, the atmosphere of a recording studio full of high-priced electronic equipment! (That was my hilarious and biting response.) The tracks all sound FAR too serious and most of them are just loose arrangements of noise, drones and quiet parts. Check out these wackass instruments though: "Rhythm Of The Heat" features a Ghanaian drum section and Surdo drums. "San Jacinto" features moog brass. "The Family And The Fishing Net" features treated saxophone and traditional Ethiopian pipes. "Lay Your Hands On Me" features timbales, polymoog and TWO prophets. And all of the tracks feature the elusive, mysterious CMI on such settings as "Petswan," "Piztwang," "Saxy," "Marimba," "Glass," "Blown Drainpipe," "Horn," "Jaw," "Scraped Exhaust Pipe," "Swanee," "Clayt," "Trump," "Scraped Paving Stone" and "Glock." Sound interesting? It sure does! Unfortunately, when you put all these elements together, they sound like a bunch of synthesizers going "bwooooooooooooooo" while a little kid beats rocks together on top of them.

Moments of note DO occasionally shine through the doldrums though, as you can tell by the enthusiastic 3 I gave it. "Rhythm Of The Heat" may take nine days to finally do something, but the tribal percussion attack at the end is an intense surprise. "San Jacinto" may be an endless tiring waste of a gamelan, but at least it's a gamelan! And "I Have The Touch" is a pretty neat example of what happens when you write a normal pop song and then take it apart until it's nothing but a bunch of electronic bloops, one simple electric guitar lick and a chilly gated drum line. But crikey are the songs as a whole a major energy drag. "The Family And The Fishing Net" is a slower, more boring ripoff of "Intruder." "Lay Your Hands On Me" might as well be Phil Collins for all its ugly vocals, empty arrangement, huge lead drum rolls and non-existent hook. And "Kiss Of Life" - one of only TWO songs on here with even an ounce of energy - is about the dopiest funk song this side of Bob Floppy's Jingling Jangle Gang's "Torpitude? I Don't Drink Gastronomic Tickle Water!"

Which leaves "Shock The Monkey," which I think is about juckin' in the fungle. Remember that part that goes "Monkay-eeeee!"? Monkeys invented AIDS because they hated that part so much.

Reader Comments
Well, it would be a pretty boring world if everybody liked the same things, and it's clear you aren't much of a Gabriel fan, but I don't get your intense dislike for this album. Frankly, I'm not a big Gabriel fan either, at least solo--I really like his work with Genesis, and I really like his third solo album. You apparently like that one pretty well, too. But why are you such a hater on this one? It takes the ideas of the previous album and runs with them. The lyrics bounce back and forth between urban/suburban ennui and primal/tribal mysticism, showing that interesting comparisons can be drawn between various ways of life: so called Western progress may be less progressive in some ways, more alienating and cold (like the synthesizers, which evoke that coldness) and so called primitivism may have its progressive elements (which are captured in the drums, the mystery, the rhythms and warmth). Hey, that's cool--he gets some intelligent lyrics and cool musical motifs out of all these contrasts. I love San Jacinto and I Have the Touch--lyrically, musically, conceptually. They are just so right on. And Wallflower is genuinely heartfelt, and its slow lethargic but haunting melody is appropriate for the subject matter...

Let's consider your description of the music: "most of them are just loose arrangements of noise, drones and quiet parts." Except for not mentioning the cool drumming and rhythms courtesy of Marotta, you pretty much got it right. My question is: since when does that sound bad?????

I think what you dislike is that annoying early 80s Leftist globalist activism/pillaging... and well, err, yeah. Ok, you gotta good point there. But, hey, give this album some time; it may grow on you. It manages to merge mood, music, and lyrical themes in ways only the best albums do, and maybe that will show up for you sometime if you give it the chance. But Shock the Monkey sucks. I always skip that one... it just smacks of "the single." kind of summed up my views on this one. The production is a bit muffled on a bit of it, but this is where Gabriel started to get interesting for me. And Shock the Monkey's bridge is kind of cool I guess. I'm not going to defend it that much, though. I like this album. I don't think it deservee what you said about it.

This is a good album... that's about it. It's not as bad as you say it is. And while it DOES sound like an electronic atmosphere, and the arrangements aren't exactly to die for. I disagree that he took things too serious here. The singles "I Have The Touch" and "Shock The Monkey" are amusing, and while they do seem serious (well, the latter more than the former). "San Jacinto" is my favorite though... I guess it's one of those where the lyrics are more important than the melody. "The Family And The Fishing Net" does NOT sound like an Intruder rip-off... at all. Not sure where you get THIS idea... just because it has that booming gated drum?

Stephen N
i don't know if you even pay attention to this e-mail/peter gabriel site, but i'd like you to know that your review of security is embarrassing. profoundly asinine. that is all.

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Plays Live - Geffen 1983
Rating = 7

How's it hangin'? This here's your old British butt-buddy Peter Gabriel. My homeslice Mark Prindle axed me if I could review this CD for him since he didn't want to sit through it again (can't say I blame him! Why'd I make the fingerfuckin' thing an hour and a half long!?), so here I goats.

I remember cruisin' up to the Music Hall that day way back in '83, juicin' along in my jacked-up Cadillac and waltzin' past all the cheering men waiting to get in. I waved heartily, gave a few "Devil Signs" and sat down for my customary bottle of hooch. Then when I was good and fartin', I put on my make-up, dressed up like a big red triangle and hit the stage. I'll never forget the looks on the faces of the crowds when we busted ass right on up "Rhythm Of The Heat" - man, we was WAILIN', mac! That's why this album is so good, and why I give it a 7. It's the engergy.

We were really "on" that night, (or those several nights, depending on whether this is all from one night or not) and even more "on" a few months later when we re-recorded most of the guitar and vocal parts in the studio. But hey it's like Gene Simmons from my favorite band of all time once said, "Nobody wants to hear a live album with a bunch of mistakes on it. They want to hear the songs played right!" And I agree. I also love the fact that at this point in time I had exactly THREE hits, yet I opted to not bother including "Games Without Frontiers" on this ridiculously long live album. Remember "Games Without Frontiers"? One of my biggest, most popular songs of all time? Complete with a video that got played on MTV constantly in the early days of the network? Well, I played six other songs off that album, but not that one. Because people don't go to a concert to hear hits. No sir, I'm sure that every person who attended that show or bought this excruciatingly lengthy double-album had "Games Without Frontiers" instantly swept from their minds the moment I gave them "I Go Swimming," a bouncy goofy big dopey bombastic rarity that I later gave to a Rick Springfield movie. After all, who wouldn't enjoy hearing me sing the moronic lyric "I go swimming - swimming in WATER!" fifty times in a row? I know I wouldn't be one that didn't!

Yes, it was a special night. I remember I played two songs from Peter Gabriel, two from Peter Gabriel and, as I said, six from Peter Gabriel. I know we were meaning to play another one off of Peter Gabriel but had to cut it because the fans were shouting for another one from Peter Gabriel. To this day, I still feel that Peter Gabriel would have been a much bigger hit had we played more of its material in concert rather than always kowtowing to public sentiment and playing the better-known Peter Gabriel and Peter Gabriel material. Also, we played five from Security, which you have to admit is pretty funny considering that that whole album only had one melody on it. Ha ha!

I was pleased that we were able to get such a reverbed, spacey sound in the live forum, because it gave all my outdated corny early-80s synths the space they needed to bury the tribal drumming and cool slicing post-punk guitar tones in embarrassing War Games bleeps and bloops. Oh wow - I'm looking at the set list right now - I played "Bike"? I love early Floyd, but I don't remember ever doing a cover. I should give that a listen. Oh fuck, never mind. It says "Biko." That's unfortunate.

In short, I really tried my best to play some of my finest early material for the crowd and for your home listening live album pleasure -- "D.I.Y.," "On The Air," "Not One Of Us," "Intruder," "Solsbury Hill" -- as well as throwing in some crap for people who like my lousier material. But don't buy this expecting to hear "Sledgehammer," "Big Time" "or "Red Rain" - those were later hits. Also don't buy it expecting to hear "Games Without Frontiers." I saved that for the encore and then forgot to come back out. Boy was my face red! I was dressed like a big red triangle.

Reader Comments
My wife and I saw PG play live (although as quiet as parts of the show were, he might have been "playing dead") around the same time this album was recorded. Two very cool things: Pete himself came out and introduced the opening act (and they were good, so good that, here 20 years later, I have no idea who it was); and he started his show with "Rhythm of the Heat" with all the band walking from the back of the auditorium to the stage, playing all kind of drums over the P.A.

Not so cool thing: you mention the Fairlight synth in your review of Security and how he doesn't do "Games Without Frontiers" on Plays Live. He didn't do it the night we saw him either, but was planning to. Some problem with the auditorium's electrical system caused the Fairlight to lose its memory--like I wish I could about that part of the show!--so they couldn't do "Games..."

He seemed to feel real bad about it, but considering I remember it here 20 years later, I think we felt worse. Is it too late to ask for a refund, you think?

Add your thoughts?

Birdy - Geffen 1985
Rating = 6

Hey man. I'm Phil Collins. As the "genesis" of my career involved playing in a band with Peter Gabriel (Gentle Giant), I asked world-famous "Critic of Rock Deans" Mark Prindle if I could review the soundtrack to Birdy for his award-winning web site. To his credit, Mr. Prindle didn't let his unparalled loathing for my music affect his decision, and here I am!

First of all, I can't tell you how excited I was when I found out that Pete was doing a movie soundtrack. "Finally," I thought, "he'll dump all that progressive crap I had to play for the worst six years of my life and write some powerful adult contemporary." Well, I couldn't have been further from the truth. Maybe it was a bit much to expect a timeless classic like "You'll Be In My Heart" from the man who once wrote a song that was SEVENTEEN minutes long (!), but could he have at least made some effort to warm the hearts of the movie audience? I mean, the film was about a bird, right? Presumably a cartoon bird that goes through a difficult struggle before finally overpowering the forces of evil and winning the hand of his love, the beautiful Dame Cardinal? Probably so, yes. So why don't I hear any cute bird love noises or lilting pop melodies? Did he not even bother TRYING to get Elton John's assistance?

So what does it sound like, you're wondering. Let me put it to you this way. You ever been in the back of a limousine trying to meditate to a Windham Hill CD while a group of pesky obnoxious natives beat on their cheapass shit drums right outside, so loudly that you waste an entire charaf of whiskey dousing it all over the obnoxious half-naked freaks? Well, there might not be any big African jugs on this CD, but there sure are a bunch of restful drones destroyed by Mondo Turd Music percussion. Don't misunderstand me -- I am a huge proponent of early '80s synthesizers, so I really dig* Pete's insistence on drowning out the so-called 'world music' beats with ridiculously plastic and indigestible tones (I call them "Land Of Confusion" tones). However, I hardly think that today's pop fans are going to react positively to woobly dark noises, flutey foreigner instruments, spooky swoopies, ethereal murk and Earth-drone booms low enough to fracture a dog. Can you imagine Celine Dion pulling a stunt like this? Ha! Think again.

I'm told that some of these songs feature music from Pete's earlier solo records. Having never listened to any of his albums either solo or with Genesis, I cannot verify this accusation. However, if true, this paints a mighty bleak picture indeed for the man once known as "The King of Dressing Up Like A Big Red Triangle." I'll give him this -- track eight is a gamelan. I've never performed a gamelan of my own volition, but I love the sound and am working feverishly on reworking the style into a 4/4 midtempo song with three chords.

So that's it from me. If you're in the mood for messy distorted trumpets, eerie electronic whistling, soap opera pianos, angry guitars, sorrowful riffs and the finest '80s synth tones merging unsuccessfully with foreigner instruments of the oddball unlistenable variety, Birdy may be right up your alley. As for me, I'll stick with the true pop proponents: Steve Winwood, Paul Young and Sting.

Oh! I also like Hall & Oates quite a bit as well. And Paul Carrack is of course a huge influence. I can't begrudge John Waite or Rod Stewart either.

Did I mention Clapton? He had a rough start, but his more recent work has been amazing. Same with Howard Jones, another favorite.

Crike! How did I forget Dire Straits? "So Far Away From Me" is absolute genius. And "The Walk Of Life"? Roll Over, Beatles! Your position has been usurped!

*an archaic term meaning "enjoy"

Reader Comments
This isn't anywhere near as good as Passion, but you rate it higher. Also, most of it's just longer instrumental versions of Security tunes, yet you give it a much higher rating. guh?


Add your thoughts?

So - Geffen 1986
Rating = 6

Say, you're a lawyer. Is there any way to get all these book people to stop stealing my finest material and passing it off as their own? First that guy who wrote Hey Ho Let's Go: The Story Of The Ramones stole my description of Dee Dee Ramone's rap album as "sounding like it was sung by a cartoon moose" (and I know he stole it from me because he proceeded to QUOTE me saying something else about the album a few paragraphs later). Then The Melvins included about 400 bajillion quotes from my Melvins page in their Neither Here Nor There book. And now THIS! I'm sitting at Pizza Uno innocently reading Perfect Sound Forever: The Story of Pavement when suddenly a phrase on the back cover sounds familiar. A little TOO familiar. Let's see what you think about it.

Okay, here's the second sentence on my world-famous (and about eight years old) Pavement record review page at

"From their inception as a distorted lo-fi pop duo to their current incarnation as a five-piece slumberpop beauty machine, this NYC / Stockton, CA combo have done nothing but impress and impress again."

And now here's the first sentence of the "book description" paragraph on the back of this Pavement book, not written by me, and published in 2004:

"From their inception as a distorted lo-fi pop duo out of Stockton, California, to their mid-career incarnation as a five-piece slumberpop beauty machine, Pavement were a leading force in the indie art-rock music scene of the 1990s."

NOBODY CALLS BANDS "BEAUTY MACHINE"S!!!! That's a Prind move! Where's my credit? Where's my royalties? Where's my career? Fuck a duck! A BIG fuckin' duck. Now let's go on to the Peter Gabriel album that you probably came here to enjoy.

Believe me, I know what you were thinking when this album came out. "Oh great," you wheezed laconically. "Yet another song hanging its hat on the overused cliche couplet, 'Look at my circumstance/And the bulge in my big big big big big big big big big big big big big big big.'" God, who can forget the early '80s when every Tom, Dick and Hairy Dick were releasing hit singles about looking at their circumstance and the bulge in their big big big big big big big big big big big big big big big? Sure, fads are fun for the bored tiresome masses, and I know I'm not alone in shedding a tear in my beer upon remembrance of the popular graduation theme, "Pomp And Circumstance, And The Diploma In My Big Big Big Big Big Big Big Big Big Big Big Big Big Big Big." But for how long and how late were Weisenheimers planning to drown free thought in media trappings? Well, all I have to say is Thank God that Peter Gabriel exercised self-censorship and refrained from using that most profane of all disgusting curse words, "pants." EWWW!! I gave myself detention just for writing it. Oh no, I shouldn't be typing now! I'm in detention! Augh, make that another week! Are you finished yet, bud? Not...even...close...BUD! Make that SIX Saturdays! (*hires an aging, alcoholic Jim Kerr to perform "Don't You Forget About Me '05: Don't You Forget About Me Again"*)

So was Peter's commercial swing for MTV success. Remember those wildass videos for "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time"? Remember how you were all excited that Peter Gabriel had bounced back from the tired mood music of Security to record an entire album of upbeat, catchy pop/rock songs? Well, he didn't so you can stop believing in the Tooth Fairy, Mr. Naive. These two hits are certainly representative of the album as a whole in that they are spotless mid-80s studio slick, full of sterile drums, synth washes and fake-sounding instruments that are tailormade picture perfect for the orthodontist's office, with producer Daniel Lanois ensuring that not an ounce of the clean white mix was infected with Gabriel's patented sicko synthesizer brapps. However, unlike "Sledgehammer" (which is about fucking) and "Big Time" (which is about arrogance and greed), So is not a funky juice album for the kids, but a staggeringly slow adult contemporary record with a couple of funky tunes to trick the kids into laying out the green. And I don't mean peat moss!

So many kids attempted to purchase this album with peat moss, in fact, that it res- GET THAT DOG OUT OF MY TOMATO!

Okay, the dog has been removed from my tomato, so I shall persist. Please understand what I'm trying to say here. Slow songs are fine with me. But they gotta be GOOD! And only one of these slow songs is factually "good." Do you know "Red Rain"? It was a hit too. "Red Rain is coming down - red rain." It's a wonderful song -- overwhelmingly haunting, with lyrics discussing either a third world genocide or a monthly visit from Aunt Flo. But don't get it mixed up with "Red Skies At Night" by The Fixx! Remember that one? "Red skies at night! Red skies at night! Whoa-ho! Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!" Great song - those guys really had "it" before they sold out with that "One Thing Leads To Another" Hollywood teeniebopper pop swill. But you know what they say - "When money talks, REAL art -- i.e. "Red Skies At Night" by The Fixx -- walks."

Speaking of bands having songs that I saw on Channel 69 all the time before they had big hits, does anybody remember that INXS song "To Look At You"? I used to love that fucker. So much better than their Kick stuff. But I thought their name was pronounced "Inks-is"! Can you believe that shit? I also thought "Yosemite Sam" was pronounced "Yoce Mite Sam!" Can you believe how stupid I was? And I thought "Wile E. Coyote" was pronounced "Wiley Koh-yoat!" Jesus, were my parents fucking retarded? How could they have given birth to such a worthless sack of shit as I??? Talk about LOSERS! Talk about pop music! Talk about pop music! Pop pop pop music! Hey! Remember Paul Hardcastle's "19"? "Vietnam - Sa-Sa-Sa-Saigon! Vietnam - Sa-Sa-Sa-Saigon!" Yes, all these songs and more are available on Peter Gabriel's So LP.

Unfortunately, most of the slow boring ballads on So are not spine-chillingly moving like "Red Rain," but bromidic, characterless and drudging like the album's FOURTH hit single, "In Your Eyes." For some reason my wife likes this song, but I think it's the pits. Have you heard it? Isn't it a pussy? I love that Minor Threat song "In My Eyes," but this one doesn't seem to have anything to do with that one. Doesn't Peter Gabriel still feel the spiritual pull of his early DC hardcore days? Where did his "straight edge" disappear to? I blame dope. Ever since he left Government Issue for a solo career, Peter Gabriel has become a "big time" (pun absolutely intended in every way) dope smoker who has blown most of his considerable royalty earnings on Grateful Dead-branded water bongs and blacklight tie dyes. Oh how the mighty have fallen! That's a line from Shakespeare, but I think it fits this situation just as well.

The other four songs can take this job and shove it. "Don't Give Up" has very, VERY sad lyrics about a man who feels like a complete failure and the wife (portrayed by Kate "Stinky, Unkempt" Bush) who loves him unconditionally, but the wispy keyboard music might as well be some guy relieving his bladder out of a hot air balloon. And "We Do What We're Told" is a wonderfully dark organ track with interesting dead group chant vocals that give it the feel of a Dead Kennedys' "At My Job" for adults -- but it takes like TWO FULL MINUTES for anything at all to happen! Do you realize how many two-minute eggs I could have cooked in that time??!

Answer: None! Frogs can't cook! Remember, I'm the Frogman and these are my Peter Gabriel reviews! Ribbit!

Upon reflection, I probably should have made the "Frogman" joke in the 'special introductory paragraph' so that the whole "Progman" art gag would be fresh in your mind. But come on, wasn't it funny anyway? Didn't you laugh? Didn't you come here to laugh and have a great time with all your friends at the Mark Prindle Online Whiskey Bar? Say, I know what'll cheer you up. Let me play something special on the jukebox -- just for you!

Hear that? That's "!aaaaH-aH ,yawA eM ekaT oT gnimoC er'yehT," the hilarious B-side of Napoleon XIV's classic novelty track "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaaa!"

Why yes! It IS unlistenable! And I'll turn it off -- for only five dollars and a BJ!

A lot of people don't know this but that 70s tv show BJ And The Bear got its name because it was originally about an orangutan that gave suck jobs. Similar deal with Diff'rent Strokes - Gordon Jump's character was originally intended to be the boys' adoptive father!

Reader Comments
He doesn't sound or look comfortable playing this label-pleasing stuff, it must have been slightly painful to bite the commercial bullet the way he did after so many years of ploughing his own contrary furrow. But that said I still find this a perfectly enjoyable, if insubstantial, record. Red Rain is clearly the pick of the crop - a towering, majestic song which I have recently heard suggested as a dissertation on AIDS. I had always assumed it was essentially meaningless song but this is certainly food for thought, and makes it an even more powerful experience than I otherwise held it to be, true or not.

The rest treads a fine line between presentable pop-rock and craven synth-bore-fest - long before I was a Gabriel fan, Don't Give Up had inviegled its way into a remote corner of my cultural conscience, but even a couple of dedicated listens revealed it for the crock it was. Likewise That Voice Again and to a lesser extent In Your Eyes (which has a beautiful intro) - he's playing the stuff, but he's holding his nose. We Do What We're Told is a marvellous and unexpected closer, though - an utter cloudy pillow of electronic beauty and a provocative piece of subject matter too - classic Pete.

It is worth pointing out that the cover of 'So' appears to be ripped clean off 'The Times They Are A-Changin'. That or it's just a coincidence, of course.

And if I might change the subject, I think there's no getting around the fact that Madonna's new record is actually fairly good. She's effected a pretty radical change of direction since American Life and it won't have been on the back of the vast majority of mainstream reviewers who made qualified criticisms but basically sucked up to it. No, I think your nought-out-of-ten review was probably the only one of its type and may have played a small role in compelling her attempt to make decent music again. She's still horrifyingly old, but I do tip my proverbial hat - 'Confessions' has some seriously groovy stuff on it.

As did 'So', naturally, which I think is a good, good album, if very much of its time.
WTF!!!! You review this pice of S*%@ but you don't review Genesis???
"Don't Give Up" and "In Your Eyes" suck. "Red Rain" and "Sledgehammer" rock. The rest is okay. I don't think Peter was too upset about recording songs like "Sledgehammer", as he still happily performs it at his most recent concerts.

Add your thoughts?

Passion - Geffen 1989
Rating = 4

Hey dude. This here's Gabriel the Archangel. As I both share a name with Peter Gabriel and had the honor of telling the 'Virgin' Mary that she'd been Godcocked in her sleep, I asked famed critical mastermind Mark Prindle if I might provide a review of the earthly Gabriel's soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ, entitled Passion. I was actually aiming for Alice Cooper's soundtrack to The Passion of the Christ, but Ol' Prind covered the Coop ages ago. Or months at least.

It was a "Fortitudo Dei" indeed when Peter gathered together his favorite batch of synthesizer drones and piled world music instruments and beats on top of them. Unfortunately, most of the compositions are mere incidental music, with the few fully-developed melodies coming few and far between. As the prophet Daniel replied when I explained his visions relating to the Messiah, "This bullshit wears thin, my man."

Don't misunderstand me -- I'm all for a bit of urdu or whatever that funny Eastern violiny thing is called. Intense tribal rhythmizing has always appealed to me as well. Hell, creepy ocarinas and low bassy synth booms'll "do ya for" every time too. But Gabriel (no relation) wastes far too much time on incidental music, which is fine if you're watching the goddamned movie (the movie WAS actually damned by God, as you know), but who wants to sit at home listening to tuneless synth washes, dark drones and black guys making their drums go pubbida-bubbida-pubbida-bubbida? Sure, occasionally you'll hit a neat passage (some church choir women, an odd metallic loop, clickity finger cymbals like in that Yes Tales From Topographic Oceans song), but for a 4,000-minute album, Passion could sure use a bit more oomph. And trumpet. I really, really like trumpet.

And spear. Can a spear make noise? I guess that whooshy noise when you throw it. Or the clank when it hits a shield. A shield! That would be awesome! Write that down - a spear hitting a shield. And some lily! As Zachary replied when I appeared in the temple to announce the coming of his son, "......!"

The bottom line here is that you're better off watching the movie than listening to the soundtrack. And if not this movie, then some other movie. That new Dukes of Hazzard one looks pretty funny. But anything really. Except Gabriel and Me which makes me look like a fucking buffoon. Come on -- Billy Connolly? Why not just cast a retarded cocker spaniel? After all, I'm only the fucking MESSENGER OF GOD.

One other thing while I'm on Earth typing on a computer - just so you know, I'd happily accept the title 'Patron Saint of the Internet,' but those arrogant telecom pricks can eat a dick. How'd I get that job? I wouldn't take a dump on Bernie Ebbers if his balls were smothered in fire ants! He'd better not even THINK about appealing to me for heavenly intervention; I'd be all like, "Suck my ass, beardy!"

Reader Comments
Mark, I think you're being a bit unfair in some of these reviews. It's not this individual work's fault that you don't like soundtrack albums. It is what it is-a score for a movie. You say, "Unfortunately, most of the compositions are mere incidental music, with the few fully-developed melodies coming few and far between." That's essentially what a soundtrack is supposed to be. In the case of this film, for me at least, it works surprisingly well. The atmospherics add appropriate depth, texture, and emotion to their respective scenes in the movie, without overshadowing the visuals or plotline. I also think "A Different Drum" is the most emotional song he's ever done.

Perhaps it doesn't work out of context for you, but I would suggest you try just putting it on in the background while reading or working. There are different reasons for listening to music. I wouldn't listen to Napalm Death or the Butthole Surfers for the same reason as this, but it can work on its own terms.

Just as in a film, it's not intended to be a focal point. Or try watching the movie again and trying to appreciate how it's not just some generic orchestral bombast. And you at least should give it another point for having someone named "Doudou" playing on it!

I enjoy the companion album, Passion Sources, as well. Gabriel isn't on that one. Maybe you would like it!


D.B. Sweeney
You're wrong.
Damn you mark prindle!

Is it me, or you dont like instrumental music much. Like jazz or new age middle eastern pg soundtracks ( theres no need for the plural really).

As a matter of fact you dont seem to like PG much, and i usually wouldnt care because i disagree with most of your reviews and didnt think it worthwhile to comment on my diverging opinions till now.

But i just dont think that you offer enough explaining on why you grade good ol peterizzle solo career so poorly. You're like, "usually i would like this stuff, but... aaaah not so much!" On this "Passion" review for example: "The bottom line here is that you're better off watching the movie than listening to the soundtrack." Well yeah, thats the whole experiment basically, sight and sounds. "Dont you wonder someeeetimeees, 'bout sound and vision!" But the point is it stands on its own still, and doing a pretty good job at it.

Of course some overpraise this album wich must have pushed you towards underpraising it. Oh mark pridle, will ye never be free of thy peer pressure.

Add your thoughts?

Us - Geffen 1992
Rating = 7

Peter Gabriel has seen some sad times and eaten some bad limes, as many or most if not all but still some of us have. One of the most disheartening moments of his life was the day that he and his wife, Steve Gabriel, fell out of love and got a divorce. Being a member of a marriage myself, I can attest to the fact that such things are binding and filled with many emotions. If you feel that your partner is letting you down in some way, or if you close off the pathways of communication and begin taking each other for granted, pain, anger and depreciation can ensue. This happened to Peter Gabriel. For a number of petty and selfish reasons, he and his wife, Bill Gabriel, allowed their once-smoldering love to devolve into a pathetic mish-mash of apathy, bitterness and hatred. When it was all over, PG could do nothing but admit failure and write an album called US, or United States. And let's cut the chicanery for a moment, as none of us are from Puerto Rico anyway, and because I want to be as honest with you the reader as Peter Gabriel is to the listeners of this CD:

(a) I don't actually know his ex-wife's name but it's likely not "Steve" or "Bill."
(b) Divorce is one of the most painful experiences a person can go through.
(c) The lyrics on this release are absolutely devastating.

Now back to the chicanery. So I was talkeen to Chico, mang, and he's got this huuuge stash of cocaine, mang, and I go all like, "Fush you, mang!" And then thees whitey from across la streeta says he's a-gonna name-a his album-a after what I just said-a, and I shout-a, "Now that's a spicy meat-ah ball-ah!"

Rather than release an album of himself crying, Peter Gabriel decided to gather together his favorite electronic synthesizer equipment, invite over Daniel Lanois, Tony Levin and a bunch of African musicians, and produce a very quiet and moody record that combines world music with meditative new age. Plus a couple of "rockers" that are so bad, they're hilarious. For the most part though, the melodies are quiet, understated and dripping in sorrow, serving as perfect complement to the lyrics. And I'll tell you something else about the lyrics: they sound HONEST. If you've ever been married, you can FEEL the emotions he's describing; he's not just some bullshitting charlatan trying to gain a reputation as a sensitive artist. Granted, that doesn't explain why you can mix up the letters in "Peter Gabriel" and get "Be Liar; Get Rep," but you never can tell with letters. Not with letters. No matter what you do, never count on letters.


Actually, Roman numerals are letters so I guess you can count on those. Not normal letters though.

Ten years after Security Guard, fancy instruments were still dangling their metaphorical pud in front of PG's eyes, and he was still sucking and sucking hard. Bagpipes, doudouk, tabla, violin, cello, strings, ney flute, horn section, djembe, tama, surdu, talking drum, mandolin, senegalese shakers, harmonica, Mexican flute, dobro -- all these instruments and many, many more (bass, guitar, organ, piano, drums) can be found on Us, though inevitably they're buried under waves of droney synths. Oh well. Como si, como se llama.

I said, "WHERE'S YOUR LLAMA!??!??!"

The Spanish love my language gags. Now here are a few light-hearted verses to just smile real big and dance at:

"I can imagine the moment
Breaking out through the silence
All the things that we both might say
And the heart it will not be denied
'Til we're both on the same damn side
All the barriers blown away
Please talk to me"


"I can let go of it
Though it takes all the strength in me
And all the world can see
I'm losing such a central part of me
I can let go of it"


"Is that a dagger or a crucifix I see
You hold so tightly in your hand
And all the while the distance grows between you and me
I do not understand"

See that pinata? It's filled with LIVE GOLDFISH!!!

"Seduced by the noise and the bright things that glisten
I knew all the time I should shut up and listen"


"River, oh river, river running deep
Bring me something that will let me get to sleep
In the washing of the water will you take it all away
Bring me something to take this pain away"

(*performs entertaining optical illusion; gives self migraining optical contusion*)

"Don't talk back
Just drive the car
Shut your mouth"


"Seeing things that were not there
On a wing and a prayer
In this state of disrepair"

Yes, it's another feel-good smash for Lil' Petey And The Gabrieltones. Come one, come all. I'll bring the rotten randy!

One thing though -- was Peter high on PCP when he decided it would be a good idea to record "Steam" and "Kiss That Frog"? If you have any of that fancy "Stealing Music Off The Internet And Making Celebrities Get Jobs" software on your computer, try to find those two songs. Listen closely to each one. Examine their textures. Wonder why he didn't just title the former "Steamhammer" and get it over with. Question how the latter accidentally wound up on a Peter Gabriel album instead of the ZZ Top album it was intended for. When you're finished, note how goddamned incredible the rest of Us sounds in comparison to these two tracks, BOTH OF WHICH WERE ISSUED AS SINGLES.

Reader Comments
"Steam" is actually my favorite song on the whole album. I don't understand the comparisons to "Sledgehammer." Yeah, it's of the 'pop single' brand, and I like "Sledgehammer", but "Steam" is way faster, has cooler lyrics, and a kick-ass irresistible bassline courtesy of Tone-11. "Kiss That Frog" is okay... there's nothing really bad on this album. Actually, I agree with everything you said except that last paragraph. Well, anyway, this is better than So... at least as far as the lyrics and the mood go.

Add your thoughts?

Secret World Live - Geffen 1994
Rating = 5

You know how you get little phrases and snippets of songs stuck in your head for months because you have OCD? These days, my main song-stuck-in-head is "No More Lonely Nights" by Paul McCartney ("I can wait another day... to have you near me!"), but a homemade rhyme from Shitsville is also making the brain rounds and it goes something like this:

"Turds McGinty was walkin' around
Not makin' a sound
Why should he make a sound?
He's Turds McGinty!"

Turds, Shitsville - that's hardly a promising start to a serious record review. But hey! We are talking about SECRETIONS World Live! Bloo-loo-loo-loo-loo! (that's the sound of urine hitting toilet water) I watched Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan last night. It was probably the greatest film I've ever seen.

Peter Gabriel had recorded quite a bit by the time he got around to releasing the Secret World Live concert LP, but apparently possessed not a whit of interest in sharing his back catalog with those who paid upwards of 6 million dollars for a ticket to his concert. Instead, he proudly and crudely performed four So songs, one Birdy instrumental, two recent b-sides, a nun-felching SEVEN from Us, and one single mere solitary lonely track from his debut solo album. And it's fuckin' "Solsbury Hill," which was already on his last live album! Come on - still no "Games Without Frontiers" but we have to sit through his most Phil Collins-esque song yet again a third time in his discography!? Christ! Damn! Tiles!

As you know, I don't really believe in 'rating' music per se, but if I had to give this a score between 1 and 10, I'd probably go with a 5. You see, it's funny but I only like about half of the album. Usually I either like an album in its entirety or am so sickened by every single moment that I cover my entire couch with homemade vomit by the time my wife can jerk the needle off the turntable, but in this unlikely shenanigan, I find myself getting wildly interested in the big U2y guitars and prettily sad motif of "Come To Talk To Me," only to be rebuffed by the pathetic "Steam" and kicked in the browntunnel by the adult contemporary new age yawny cheeseball "Across The River," then things start to pick back up in my mood cycle thanks to the nice gamelan "Slow Marimbas" before the sky comes crashing down around me, hurting the back of my neck with the never-ending cutesy reggaeish pop "Shaking The Tree," but then holy crap if I'm not nursed back to safety by the double-whammo-awesome-punch of "Red Rain" and "Blood Of Eden," only to watch my penis shrivel into a vagina no thanks to the anti-French "Kiss That Frog," but not to worry because the gospel-tainted "Washing Of The Water" cools me down somewhat, just in time for the great "Solsbury Hill" to make me feel bad about talking trash about it earlier in the review, but only for a moment because this is the moment Peter has been waiting for all night - the terrible TERRIBLE TERRIBLISMS of "Digging In The Dirt," a terrible TERRIBLE song written by assholes for asspipes - but "Sledgehammer" is always fun, and it's not too hard not to murder anybody during the fair-to-middling "End Of The Innocence"/"Stand By Me"-esque adult pop "Secret World," then before you know it the perfectly average "Don't Give Up" and "In Your Eyes" have reached completion so you can put on a Half Man Half Biscuit album. Have you heard Half Man Half Biscuit? Hilarious British band? I love those pricks! Here's a sample song for you - this is sung to the tune of "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic" (for no clear reason):

The singer out of Slipknot went to Rome to see the Pope
The singer out of Slipknot went to Rome to see the Pope
The singer out of Slipknot went to Rome to see the Pope
And this was his reply:

"Who the fucking Hell is Slipknot
Who the fucking Hell is Slipknot
Who the fucking Hell is Slipknot
in relation to me getting out of bed?"

Ha! Right? Ha!

And here's another brief moment for you, direct from Half Man Half Biscuit, who I like to think of as "The British Dead Milkmen" or "The British TISM" or "Anal Beard With More Albums":

I'm Slim Shady
The Real Slim Shady
All the other Slim Shadys
Are off playing tennis.

HA! See? I love them! And I love YOU! Especially "A. Smith," the dude that sent me the entire Half Man Half Biscuit discograpy on CD-R. You da man, A.! Keep on A'in!!! Don't stop A'in' on my account!

As for the Peter Gabriel live album, it has too much high-pitched vocal wailing by men and women alike. Nobody wants to hear that wailing shit. Save it for a Kate Bush album. Better yet, save it for an American Cancer Society fund drive - maybe your "WAILIN'" will have a beneficial healing effect on Peter "JENNINGS"! (waylon jennings) ('hilarious, well worth the effort,' proclaim top critics)

Plus who the hell wants to listen to music like this? It's all just empty crap = big tribal drums, bland synth washes, the latest in sterile production, and way too much empty space in the mix. I like Us as a musical exploration of a failing relationship -- it works very well and the music complements the insightful lyrics very well. But in concert, all re-ordered and mixed with other material that has nothing to do with divorce, most of the songs lose all their strength. Except "Steam" and "Give Me A Blow Job," which never had any to begin with.

On the subject of strength: Man, Tae Kwon Do is hard. I always feel out of breath and exhausted! Can't they invent a martial art where you just get drunk and go to Pizza Uno?

Add your thoughts?

OVO: Millennium Show - Real World 2000
Rating = 3

Here I thought it said "OVA" and I was all ready to reach unfounded heights of sexual ecstacy but these songs are AWFUL. The soundtrack portion of some visual arts presentation that Mr. Gabriel put together way past his prime at the turn of the century, it's split between useless adult contemporary and forced dated electronica, with (I) P. freely exploring both genres without bothering to write any actual melodies. The bajillion guests on vocals don't help matters either -- I'm sure that Elizabeth Fraser, Richie Havens, Neneh Cherry, Paul Buchanan and Iarla Ó Lionáird have their fans and that's all very nice but they just sound like a sticky swamp of swishy sweltering shitbirds if you take the music into consideration.

Oh look, it's this album. Here's a passable forbidding drone and a couple piano notes with male sensitive vocals, violin and flute, then over there's some vibes playing a couple of sad notes, then here's a silly Jews' harp noise and big stompy percussion tones, then over there's a balalaika Russian folk dance like Dead Can Dance have been seen to perform, then back here's a dull ballad, and over there's a bunch of U2 Fly beats, Fly sound effects and dumb funky distorted Fly vox, then back here's a lot of tribal drums and one note, then over there's an odd going-up electro-bass line with muffled electyronic drums, odd windy noises and childlike screams, then here's a song for boring radio fans, then over there's some wispy new age chords, then over here's a circus melody on top of a guttural bass line like the Flaming Lips might do, then over there's a song that sounds like one on Us but without the good part. Then before you know what hit you for 74 minutes, it's all over but the shouting!

The really depressing thing is that this album, though officially a "soundtrack," is nevertheless a collection of actual Peter Gabriel SONGS, not just drones and incidental music. This is depressing because Peter has NEVER written such lame, forgettable material before. It doesn't feel like he even bothered trying to come up with any catchy hooks, instead just playing some sad chords or techno beats and assuming they would start to feel catchy after a few listens. Maybe the visual portion of this artwork was more impressive? Five of the songs are okay, but "The Nest That Sailed The Sky" is the only real winner here. Man that's a cool as hell song. Check out the super double-kick-bass-drum part and that creepy ending! It's like Evil Dead Trap, Porno Holocaust and Special Train For Hitler all rolled into one!

Say, can you tell I just bought Evil Dead Trap, Porno Holocaust and Special Train For Hitler today?

And another thing! It's JUST LIKE "Moms" Mobley at The Playboy Club! And a silver ring that says "Henry" on it? Awwww, 'Separated at Birth' up my ass!

Reader Comments
OK. This one sucks. No argument.


Add your thoughts?

Long Walk Home: Music From The Rabbit-Proof Fence - EMI 2002
Rating = 2

Hey how's it going. I'm an inanimate object, and I asked world renowned soothsayer and sightseer Mark Prindle if I could review this album because it makes me feel so at home. But he said no, so here he is.

Hey, Mark Prindle here. The inanimate object is right -- nothing happens on this CD. It's the soundtrack from this movie Rabbit-Proof Fence that my wife took me to see a few years ago. Boringass movie quite frankly, but the little girls in the starring roles did incredible jobs. Amazing acting for such young kids. Hopefully their sudden fame at such a young age will influence them to become blonde, arrogant and anorexic like today's hottest Lindsay Lohan stars. Which leads us all to the soundtrack by Peter (euphemism for penis, or "dick") Gabriel. Although these doom-laden synth washes and huge tribal beats fit the frightening "government-dictated kidnapping" theme of the film perfectly, they sure don't make for terribly interesting listening on their own. Actually, detached from the visuals, it sounds more like the score to a horror movie than a tearful drama, but I guess there's a certain amount of horror (100% or so) in the idea of children being stolen from their parents just because they're half-Aborigines in mid-20th century Australia. The awesome thing is that when the MPAA reviewed the film prior to its release, they jokingly awarded it a "PG" for "Peter Gabriel," even though it's filled with wall-to-wall hardcore pornography! God I love the fuckin' MPAA. Always have. I also love television censors and parental advisory stickers. Did you know that until very recently in Japan, even their porn movies couldn't show pubic hair? They pixellated it out. That is so fuckin' cool! I wish they'd do that over here. As Perry Farrell says, "There are no laws in space." So let's go up there and make some!

Lots of slow trip-hop beats here, along with incidental whooshing, bass thuds, heavy BLOOOM bass/tribal drum pounds, four-chord dramatic synth instrumentals, and ten minutes of soulful Aborigines singing the word "Home" over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over until you feel like relocating them yourself. I HATE THIS CD.

I like the first song and the fifth song though. Who wouldn't? It'd be crazy not to like those, with their woman "ooo"s and crickety noises and scaryass bass thuds booming through the subwoofers at your feet. And I didn't even MENTION the dark wiggly bass line in track five! Or the strings! It builds! Unfortunately, 10 of the other 13 tracks are just Peter Gabriel sleeping on his keyboard as the tribal studio owners pound and chant for him to wake up and pay them. If I were Siskel and Roeper, I'd give it a two thumbs down! I HATED, HATED, HATED THIS ALBUM!

Speaking of movies, I've got an uproarable joke for you. This family of cats walks into a talent agent's office and says, "We've got a great act. It's a family act. My wife and little son and daughter are in it, as well as some of our friends."

The agent says, "I don't look at family acts, especially by cats."

But the father cat says, "Wait, let me show you what we do."

The act then begins with a wealthy woman leaving her vast fortune to her four cats: the well-bred Duchess and her kittens Berlioz, Toulouse, and Marie. Jealous butler Edgar, eager to get his mitts on the cats' legacy, abandons the felines in the French countryside. The four lost kitties are aided in their efforts to return home by the raffish country pussycats Thomas O'Malley and Scat Cat.

When the act was complete, the agent shouted, "My God! That was the most disgusting act I've ever seen! What do you call yourselves?"

The father cat chuckled and replied, "Nothing! Cats can't talk!"

Reader Comments
This album is to Up as Birdy is to Security. By that logic, you should give this one a fourteen.

Another decent soundtrack from Peter. This one is basically just ruminations on some of his Up motifs. There's some cool Godspeed You Black Emperor type stuff at the beginning. Good reading music, and it works well with the film, which is just OK too.

I guess you've seen Aristocrats. In this part of the country it won't be out for another month and a half. 6/10

Add your thoughts?

Up - Geffen 2002
Rating = 6

Well looky at Derek Jeter Gabriel all trying to sound like a young hipster, using his fancy modern-day synthesizer computer technology tools to sound just like Radiohead and the latest releases by indie heroes the Flaming Lips and Madonna. Also, looky at him taking ten goddamned years to record a CD with five melodies on it.

Tony Levin. No matter where you look, Tony Levin's there. Other dope sounds to be found here if you're a cutting-edge club DJ include the JamMan, MPC Groove, Bosendorfer (which might just be a piano, actually), Mutator, Firefly keys, supercollider drum programming, spectre programming, groove treatment, loop manipulation, Mutator, Wonky Nord and SansAmp.

If you are instead a pot-smoking hippy with an unkempt grey beard, it will be your bag to learn that Peter Green plays guitar on one track, the Blind Boys of Alabama sing backup on a couple, and the CD's groovily packed with mellotrons, Hammond organs, backwards piano, tom toms, acoustic guitars, wild psych backwards guitars, chorus telecasters, harmonicas, and mandolins.

If you prefer rather to wear a tuxedo to the theatre to enjoy your favorite classical music production, you will find it splendid indeed that many of these tracks feature the London Session Orchestra on strings, plus recorders, harmonium, double violin, bridge strings, reverse strings, string samples, brass by the Black Dyke Mills Band and a chamberlain which I'm not sure what that is but it sounds boring so it's probably a classical instrument of some kind.

If you don't wear deodorant and are more into the music of the Earth and the Righteous, you'll likely ignore all of these elements and let your spirit flow through the Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan guest appearance and all the African tromply percussion, including tablas, crotales and Dohl drums by the Dohl Foundation.

If you've never had sex, you'll like the trumpet.

So you see, Ptere Gabrieal has once again brought together an entire universe of musical instruments in order to construct a series of songs that sound like a big wash of modern synthesizer noises and a guy tapping on a piano. Pianos won't sound dated as long as Elton John's still around kickin' ass, but this ridiculous "modern" sound, so reliant as it is upon studio trickery like backwards sucking sounds, overmodulated and muffled house-style drums, weird electronic blurbles, simply SCREAMS "early '00s" and will definitely not age well. You know how stupid and '80sish keyboards from 1985 sound now, right? Give Up a listen in ten years; you'll laugh your radiation shield off at how primitive and "trying too hard" it will sound to your older, wiser ears of the future.

About the songs more specifically... they're long. Out of ten songs, only ONE is shorter than six minutes. They actually feature the same number of verses and choruses as any other song; it's just that they're unbelievably slow and take forever to do anything. Sometimes they take forever to do NOTHING! The worst tracks on here are fall asleepingly dull washes of fancy space noises with two or three minor-key piano chords played on top. The best add a melancholy piano melody (notes, not just chords) to the mix. Okay, to be fair, if you sit right between the speakers, you'll actually hear a LOT of different instruments popping in and out of a great stereo mix, and the musicians seem to play off of each other well. The problem is that the overbearing "hipster" electronic production immediately dates the entire record (and comes across like an old man trying to prove he's still "with it"), and (again) half of the songs honestly feature NO MELODY AT ALL. I love the other half though though (piano lines!), and some of the pain-ridden lyrics are so stark, they're a skyscraper. Seriously, there are three or four songs about losing a loved one and then trying to get over it that are absolutely tearbreaking heartjerkers..

Okay, I have to go wash my skin, get toasted, and watch Midnight Plowboy so I'm going to shut up my mouth and once again share my notes with you. Again, please consider this section to be a "bonus track" tacked on to the end of the actual review. I figure, "Hey, I already typed in the goddamned things, and maybe they'll help people who've never heard the CD get a better understanding of what it sounds like." I do NOT mean for it to be taken as "a record review." I don't like record reviews that just describe every song rather than giving an overall view of how the CD as a whole sounds and works.. In fact, I hate them so much I bury them in the yard and feed them to fire ants, with their writers attached and naked with syrup on their genitals but don't tell the FBI, they think I'm a librarian. This next part is "For Collectors' Only"!

darkness - his fears overwhelm him even though he knows they're silly. GREAT song. Superloud overdistorted screech noise and drums alternate with gentle piano/strings part. Gentle vocals. Pianos sound backwards or something. Loud part is only 2 chords and quiet part is mostly only two but it's neat.

growing up - GODAWFUL song. Lyrics about being in the womb and DNA and crap. Includes tape scratching. Violin intro, eerie little Radioheady high noises and staticy splashy electronic noises into rhythmic strange tonal blurbage with midtempo dance beat. Really lame low "tough sexy" vocals. YECH! Signal electronic noises. Cool noises, lame song.

sky blue - okay. Travelling from home makes him sad and blue. Blind Boys of Alabama, Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green and Daniel Lanois on guitars. slowish with a couple minor-key piano chords. Pretty, sad, guitaring. Slow sad piano with beat, synth wash, backup vox and some sad guitars. I don't like the backup vox. They sound like the four tops and don't fit the white man sadness of the song. Otherwise nice. One part has the damn dull singers alone for like two minutes. Yech! Like something on "Bridges to Babylon"!

no way out - his child dies? or wife? So sad! Dark Western guitar twang break recurrs, and backward tones and pianos, slow electronic beat, two chords. Very sad chorus but the two dull minor key chords of the verse don't do it justice. A waste of very horrifying lyrics.

i grieve - a follow-up to the last track. very slow, two quiet synth chords. SAD chords full of cold wind and sorrow. Unfortunately it then turns into a TERRIBLE uptempo funky rock song at 5 minutes. I guess it's supposed to represent "life going on," but it's a HORRIBLE thing to do to the song.

the barry williams show - TERRIBLE. i don't even mind the lyrics - it's the MUSIC that sucks. dumb slow bass groove with gravelly voice. Cathcy "la la la" pop chorus though! Horn solos.

my head sounds like this - just basic life. Gentle, slightly melancholy, McCarney-style piano line, beautiful horns and ambient wash. A GREAT, GREAT song. This is Flaming Lipsingly beautiful! Big huge treated drums come in later. Very Flaming Lipsy!

more than this - even if someone dies, they can still be next to you because there's more to the universe than just this life.Wonkily bassy hook with a guitar. Then a pretty little chorus of longing and mandolin/piano. Good! Neat verse! Mix of wombly electronics and a looped swooshed guitar lick. Neat construction and hooky too! Big pulsing distorted drums. The last 2 1/2 minutes drag on and repeat the same part too many times though.

signal to noise - too much noise and stress in life drown out basic communications. Strings, weird squiggly thingy over sad strings. Then suckled an muffled drums come in. Nusrat wailing, sounding a bit ridiculous. Has great elements but some bad ones too. The strings line RULES though!!!! It's gorgousejrls!

the drop - nothing but PG on Bosendorfer, which is apparently a piano. He's on a plane and his wife is watching something drop. People? Rain? Planes? soft piano notes. Very sad, pretty. Very sad notey piano line. Great song!

Reader Comments
Oh Yeah, Peter Gabriel gets a Prindlectomy. I really liked him when I was younger but his stuff hasn't aged well at all. The 3rd album is good, nice and gloomy and all that, but Security sounds terrible now. Anyway, after So he turned into the thinking man's Sting and that's one thing the world doesn't need.
Like so many countless others, Gabriel's legacy lies in his singles -- Salisbury Hill, Games Without Frontiers et al. His albums never got beyond the standard formula: 1-2 hits, 2-3 listenable (in the most generous sense of the word) songs, and fill the rest with whatever amount of go-nowhere crap & studio doodles you need to take up dead air space.

As for the Genesis stuff, he provided a Lennonesque counterpoint to Collin's McCartney. I shudder to think how your Beatle reviews would read had Lennon threw in the towel circa 1966. Have you ever contemplated a 'Wings' review page? On second thought, don't go there. There are umpteen better uses for your fingers and brain.
Mark Prindle:

Security - "...the atmosphere of a recording studio full of high-priced electronic equipment!"

Dark Side of the Moon - "9."

Mark Prinde:

Up - "...half of the songs honestly feature NO MELODY AT ALL!"

The Wall - "10."

Just saying...
up,us,so and many more of his experimental work is the genius of peter gabriel. I really liked genesis selling england by the pound. sounds very british. it seemed like harry potter: the musical but when I heard it twice, it really gets to me! tony banks and his synths do not bother me! soulsbury hill sounds simon and garfunkel but I liked it! tell me in your s&g page that these guys have never heard of this song!
Yes, this one was more than a little overcooked. Some great songs interspersed with clunkers. All (or almost all) in the best possible taste, though – pleasing enough to my ears and I back its chances of dating well better than some do.

Disagree wholeheartedly about ‘Growing Up’, which I think is a terrific song, especially Levin’s mugwumping bass explosion two-thirds through. But agree wholeheartedly about ‘The Drop’ – unimpeachably beautiful and sad, and surely the way forward for Pete; because if he piles any more production onto his songs they’re going to collapse under their own weight and such the loudspeakers into a black hole. This minimalist style is much more moving and aesthetically pleasing. And check out ‘The Drop’’s video if you can get hold of it, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect and harmonious match-up of images and sound. What a song.
I got this CD as one of my presents for my 18th birthday. It had recently been released.

I immediately took a liking to some songs, others it took me a long time to warm up to. Overall this album is a grower, but it's WAY better than US (1992). Here's my track-by-track review:


Harkens back to the days of Peter Gabriel 3. (ie. "Intruder"). I like how it jumps between a slow industrial romp to a gentle yet somehow still sinister tempo and melody. Overall great song and a good song to start the album off with.



This is one of the ones it took a long while for me to like. I don't know why --- now i think it's really catchy and whatnot. I especially like the part where the beat stops with the "moving inside" lyrics and the cymbal crashes. Good stuff. good to boogie down too ;-) Just kidding....



Another one it took me a while to like. Great minimalist guitar, good Blind Boys of Alabama singers. Real soulful and mourning-like.



One of my favourites of the album. Ever notice that the main guitar riff sounds a lot like that 007 theme? Well, at least the sound of the guitar does me it does.

Great lyrics, real heartfelt and sorrowful. Losing someone is always hard...



.... speaking of losing someone, i'm pretty damn sure that's what this song is about.

I do agree with you, Mr. Prindle, that the uptempo rock song part is terrible. Especially the lyrics to that part. They should've just cut it just before that part started and left it on the cutting room floor. Well, at least the first part's pretty good.



This is it.... the big single.... the one that competely interrupts the nice and even flow of the album. (hope at least one reader got that pearl jam pun/joke....even though it was pretty lame....). Well, okay, the song by itself isn't that bad, it's somewhat catchy, though the lyrics are somewhat disturbing. Even though the song was probably written at the time of the pinnacle of the Jerry Springer show's popularity (when was that, anyway? sometime in the late nineties??), it probably half-misses the mark nowadays, though we still have those reality shows, so there might be some connection still... By the way, anybody seen the video? It's on the DVD video collection PLAY. It's kinda interesting. It's funny to see Gabriel with a long grey/white beard and dressed all in black.



Another one of my favourite songs off the album. After I saw the movie "24 Hour Photo" starring Robin Williams (who had a really creepy role, i might add) i thought that this song should've been included in the movie itself or at least the soundtrack cd). I somehow thought it'd be fitting....

The part in the middle is a kind of a return to the loud-volume part of DARKNESS, i think. Somehow the song relays across to the listener the lonelyness the narrator is feeling...real effective. Good stuff.



Which is exactly what i wanted from the song. There's something missing. Either it's too repetitive for it's own good, or the fact that (imo) it's not the greatest song to begin with. "Potential second single?" thinks the cynic.... [btw, i think this actually was a single off the album...]



This is another one it took me a long time to warm up to. Just over a year infact. I quite like it now. Specially like his singing, and the strings as well. Though it's a bit too long for it's own good, and could've used a better climax for the end, but those are just minor grievences.



A real sparse piano piece, real affecting and sad. Reminds me of the stripped down piano-version of "Here Comes the Flood" off of his Shaking the Tree greatest hits album. A great ending song for the album.


Oh dear, i'm afraid this review became rather long.

Overall, i think this is a very good album. For me, easily one of the best albums of the last five years.

Just one more minor grievance: there no printed lyrics in the booklet. Though it was nice to know who played what, and the pictures/paintings are neat.

Peter Gabriel sucks, Genesis sucks, and Phil Collins sucks. The fact that the music industry was plagued with these sounds is the clearest evidence that the world is full of many stupid people. Fuck em, they suck ass.

Add your thoughts?

Scratch My Back - Real World 2010
Rating = 3

The world's most exciting performer is back with Scratch My Balls, an all-orchestral, all-covers, all-boring project the review of which I've farmed out to an elite international corps of guest reviewers, per NAFTA. Here are their responses, in alphabetical order by date:

Pitchfork Media: "While Kant's term 'intellectual intuition' is thrown around rather casually in post-Kantian philosophy, the usage rarely conforms to Kant's meaning. Kant contrasts 'intellectual' with 'sensible' intuition (Anschauung) on the basis of the active or passive role of the object. Thus, while objects are presented to a (passive) sensible intuition, objects are created by an (active) intellectual intuition. To Kant himself, this meant that only God would have an intellectual intuition. In the history of philosophy, the 'active intellect' of Aristotle and Neoplatonism may be the antecedent of the idea of intellectual intuition, though this would tend to blur the difference between the self and God, since it looks like there is only one active intellect -- which was precisely the point of Peter Gabriel's Scratch My Back.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All-Music Guide: "This is a very good CD. Very powerful. Hey, there's another CD! That's a very good one too. Is that a CD on the bench over there? That's a fantastic one. No hang on, it's a nacho."

Robert Christgau: "What do you mean there's no 'bomb' key on your computer? How am I supposed to write my review!?"

Robin Williams: "Thank you for the nice 'Scratch My Back' backscratcher. I love it and am getting much use out of it due to my excessively hairy and malodorous back that itches all the time because it's filled with pubic lice."


The Guy Who Sang On Calling All Stations: "See? I told you. Who's laughing NOW!? Not me; I work at Dairy Queen."

Ted Nugent: "He actually requested my consent to cover 'Wang Dang Sweet Poontang,' but I declined because that's a very personal song."

Thom Yorke: "I swear to God 'Street Spirit' wasn't that awful when I wrote it."

A Bed: "My owner bought this record and now he never gets off me."

Mark Prindle: "This disc is a complete waste of soundwaves. The average BPM is zero, the few sonically pretty moments are quickly replaced by corny Disney schmaltz, and Gabriel's definition of 'cover tune' is 'setting somebody else's lyrics to my own shitty orchestra music.' Somebody once told me that I should judge a CD not by how much I personally enjoy it, but by whether or not the musician has achieved his intended artistic goal. If Gabriel's intention was to lull the entire world into irritated slumber, 10/10. "

I'd like to thank Mark Prindle and all the other guest reviewers for taking part in this cooperative record critique for Jim's Magazine Of Penises. Remember, for the finest record reviews, celebrity features, home improvement tips and teen fiction, look no further than Jim's Magazine of Penises!

Jim Penises

(P.S. Please stop sending in pictures of your dick.)

Reader Comments

Long time reader. And I must say that I think this Peter Gabriel review just may be your masterpiece. The All Music Guide gag was comedic beauty. And it all ends with a brilliant and unforeseen dick joke that still has me giggling like a schoolboy.

This is the best album ever.

Scratch that (as in, my back).

This is the best REVIEW ever.

The album probably sucks, since Prindle says so.

You've really outdone yourself here. This is really epic comedy. Keep it up.
But Mr Stephen Thomas Erlewine is of course THE music critic. I've just checked the AMG's Waterboys reviews and the man got away with writing the exact same 5-liner for several of their albums. How's that supposed to make me feel? But - no, that probably seemed barely enough for Erlewine so he also saved that same terrific insight for a Mike Scott's solo record. Unbelievable. They lack reviewers? I could do that. Do they pay?

As for Peter Gabriel's latest, I don't know - haven't heard it nor plan to. Mark's review, though, is indeed among his most entertaining ever. Lovely.

Add your thoughts?

New Blood - Real World/Virgin 2011
Rating = 4

I gotta be honest with you: I don't like Genesis at all. And believe me, I've tried. Many, many times. I first bought all their records (in dollar bins, of course) about ten years ago on the advice of people who assured me that since I love Yes and The Moody Blues, I would be pleased as a Parker Brother with the Gabriel-era records. But such wasn't even close to the case. I was able to enjoy (though not proudly) some of the Collins-era pop hits ("Turn It On Again," "That's All" and so forth), but every single one of the Gabriel-era records struck me as completely devoid of anything worth hearing. Weak mixes, ugly vocals, wimpy playing and maybe one decent hook per album. Eventually, I sold them all on ebay so they could stink up somebody else's record collection. Hopefully by this point they've burned up in a horrible fire.

I hope so, anyway. I didn't put that pipe bomb in the package for my health.

Then for some reason about six months ago, I became obsessed with prog rock and decided to download a ton of highly regarded albums that I'd never heard. Some of these turned out to be absolutely fantastic, including Egg's self-titled record, High Tide's Sea Shanties, Curved Air's Second Album, Camel's The Snow Goose, Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, a couple of Caravan records and many others as well. So I thought, "Hey! I must be slower and more mature now, so let me give the highly-regarded Peter Gabriel era of Genesis another shot!"

Nope. If anything, it sounded even pansier than before. And I don't mean that it didn't "rock" hard enough; the Moody Blues don't rock at all, but I love most of their '60s/'70s output because it's melodically and sonically beautiful. Genesis, on the other hand, just sounds muffled, wimpy and bland. Part of the problem is definitely Peter Gabriel's vocals. Even at his most energetic - say, "Sledgehammer" or "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" - he still sounds like a dull British librarian with no tongue. And the music just lies there.... No beauty, no complexity, no hooks, no nothing. Like I said, maybe once per album they finally get it together -- I seem to recall enjoying part of "Watcher of the Skies," for example -- but for the most part, it leaves me dead cold and sleepy.

As far as I'm concerned, Peter Gabriel has only made one truly impressive record in his life: his third self-titled album (also known as "Old Melty Face"). So imagine my excitement upon realizing that New Blood, a thirteen-track orchestral re-envisioning of past Gabriel material, includes a full one song from that record. And even better... it sounds like shit!

What is it with old people anyway? Why are they so boring with their classical music? Why don't they want to thrash and skank like us young people with our whole lives ahead of us? I may only be thirtyeighteen, but I'm old enough to fight in your wars! So stick that classical music shit in your back pocket (unless you're the Moody Blues, in which case that's fine) because I'm here to ROCK!

Okay, so assuming you're 102 years old and can thus stay awake through a full 73 minutes of piano, horns, strings and Peter Gabriel's godawful voice, you will encounter a handful of lovely passages. The heartachingly beautiful sorrow of "Wallflower," peaceful Sigur Rosy calm of "The Nest That Sailed the Sky" and awesomely anthemic chorus of "Red Rain" are particular highlights (along with a jaunty take on "Solsbury Hill" that is for some reason referred to as a 'bonus track'). But the rest alternates between corny wide-eyed wonder, failed melodrama and music so boring that your great-grandfather would've punched out his dentist for playing it.

And if you think what I've typed here is insulting, you should see the original handwritten notes I took while listening to the disc for review!

In fact, here are some highlights:

"The Rhythm of the Heat" - "The women whispering are SO LAME! Then the FAG orchestra tries to sound 'SCARY' even though they're a bunch of BAND GAYS playing pussy instruments."

"Wallflower" - "Stupid woman sings again."

"Darkness" - "NO THANKS. BORING, SLOW."

"Don't Give Up" - "Annoying wiggly-voice woman sings the corny chorus. Yech!"

"Digging in the Dirt" - "SHITTY! AWFUL!"

Still, thanks to the highlights I pointed out earlier and a couple other interesting passages, it's not a complete throwaway. It just would've been much better had he picked stronger material to re-record. I seriously have no clue why he picked the songs he did. Three from Security!? Two from OVO!? No "Big Time," "Games Without Frontiers," "Shock the Monkey," "Biko," "I Don't Remember" or "Sledgehammer"!? Come on man, look at Everclear they re-do the hits and they're a GREAT GREAT band.

Reader Comments

You are a clever one. You have managed to side step any reviewing of Genesis with this. I congratulate your brilliance and completely agree with you about Genesis and Gabriel’s solo output. I am glad to see you are listening to High Tide! Though I must say that for me, Arthur Brown’s Galactic Zoo Dossier wins the prize for the best English prog album.

Well, you disappoint me not finding that "Selling England By The Pound" and "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" are the pillars of prog. Which they are, but it must be that those shitty Moody Blues albums from 1973 on influenced you. Especially that one about Christmas, the hard disk and mom.

But! Everything is forgiven and forgotten when you'll have your Sonja Kristina (a.k.a. Curved Air) review page. Porn prog, no less! You'll shed all suspicions that you hate women! The missing link between Grace Slick and Kate Bush, sans idiocy of the former and lunacy of the latter.

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