PETER BRIAN GABRIEL
B. Cobham, Surrey, UK, February 13, 1950
Peter Gabriel is unique. By that, I mean I don't know of any other musician who so successfully blends the pop song with world music and with modern art. And in doing so, somehow, he makes the listener and/or the audience believe that they too can do something, anything, better than what they are doing now. You come out of one of his gigs and realise that there is something more to life than here and now, something better, something I can't put into words so it must be art.
Maybe, it's the simplicity of his lyrics. Invariably made up of small words they go to the heart, to the point. Nothing is wasted; nothing is elaborate. And they are wrapped around delicious melodies and sung with that beautiful, softily-gruff-kind-of-voice. And the music is always packaged with design that is ART.
Put all together, he's at the top of the tree.
The boring facts on Gabriel are thus: with Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford
and Anthony Phillips, he founded Genesis
in 1967 at Charterhouse School. The weird and disgraced
Jonathan King suggested the name and lived on the tale for many a year.
With Phil Collins installed as drummer and backing vocalist, Genesis quickly found fame, mainly through their live performancs and,
in particular, Gabriel's extravagant stage
costumes and diving from the stage. Gabriel as
stage performer was and is second to none.
Tensions surfaced in the band and in 1975 Gabriel left the band. Going back to my earlier point, his dislike on elaborating on language meant that his first four solo albums were untitled. Indeed, when he did name later albums, he kept the titles as short as possible. So, Us, Up, Hit and Miss ... with all of them,
you couldn't say that the title distracted you from the record which is perhaps what he meant, or perhaps he didn't.
His first major hit single, Solsbury Hill (1977), came from
the first album and it wasn't until the release of
his third in 1980 that he had more big hits, Games Without Frontiers and Biko. Shock the Monkey came from the fourth.
It was shaping up to be a mildly successful solo career. You know, solid fan base without enticing the mainstream. 1986 and the release of So (co-produced with Daniel Lanois) changed all that. Suddenly, Gabriel was battling with the heavyweights of rock stardom's premier league. Indeed, if it had been released the year previous, he would no doubt have been one of the headliners at Live Aid.
The success was due in no small part to the success of single Sledgehammer, whose success was due in no small part to the success of the video, which was soooo far ahead of its time that it hasn't come back yet! Gabriel collaborated with director Stephen R. Johnson, Aardman Animations, and the Brothers Quay on this, and won numerous awards at the 1987 MTV Music Video Awards. That and the video for the follow-up, Big Time, set the benchmark for not only promotional videos and proved that they could be so much more a singer singing into a microphone type thingy. The ultimate honour for Sledgehammer, in particular, was that it was shamelessly copied by advertising execs for their commericials for years afterwards!
The result of all this was a No. 1 slot in the US for Sledgehammer.
A couple of other highlights from So was Gabriel's colloborations with Kate Bush on Don't Give Up and Laurie Anderson on This Is The Picture (Excellent Birds).
It was interesting to note what Gabriel decided to do after the enormous success of So. Many artists would have rushed relesed So 2, but not Gabriel. Instead, he released a movie soundtrack, Passion (1989), for
movie The Last Temptation of Christ, and US (1992), as dark and introspective as So was bright and surface-like. Commerical success was expectedly limited.
Then there was the long, long gap that seemed like an eternity while we waited for OVO (2002), a soundtrack for the London Millennium Dome Show. Out of the whole disaster that was the Dome, only Gabriel came out of it with any credit. In-between the wait we had one of the most surreal happening's in Gabriel's career: namely, his voice ppping up on a Randy Newman song, That'll Do, for the 1998 movie Babe: Pig in the City. The film was rubbish: the song so-so.
In 2002, he released the music to the Australian movie Rabbit-Proof Fence and then Up, a full-length album at last. It seemed through this that he had completed his other side of the world trip from So, for it was as commercially unappealing as can be. With the songs at six minutes or more it was unmade for radio, but was a album that stayed in the memory long after hearing it.
Recently, Gabriel has worked on video games and performed The Book of Love the soundtrack to the film Shall We Dance?. The Hit and Miss compilations came in 2003, as did the Peter Gabriel - Growing Up Live DVD.
In 2005, he compered and performed at the Eden Project Live 8 concert.
He performed John Lennon's Imagine at the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, on February 10, 2006.
Away from his career, Gabriel is known for his work with WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) and his unbelievably beautiful Real World Studios.
He has been married twice. From his first wife, Jill, he has two daughters, Melanie and Anna. With his second wife, Maebh, has a son, Issac, born in 2002.
© Paul Page
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- Peter Gabriel
P.O. Box 35
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You can expect the prices for the items
listed below if you are selling privately.
If you sell to a dealer or shop expect less than half of the prices listed below.
All prices are on the basis that the item is in mint condition.
All items 7" unless stated.
All items UK releases unless stated.
List also includes CDs, & 12"s.
Prices are in UK sterling and US dollars.
1977 - Solsbury Hill/Moribund The Burgermeister (P/S)
(Charisma CB 301)...£10.00 / $17.00
1977 - Modern Love/Slowburn (No p/s, 'nude' picture label, withdrawn)
(Charisma CB 302)...£40.00 / $65.00
1978 - D.I.Y./Perspective (P/S, purple label, Irish-only sleeve)
(Charisma CB 311)...£10.00 / $17.00
1978 - D.I.Y./Perspective (P/S, silver label, possibly Irish-only sleeve)
(Charisma CB 311.)...£10.00 / $17.00
1978 - D.l.Y. (Remix)/Mother Of Violence/Teddy Bear
(No p/s, withdrawn)
(Charisma CB 319)...£25.00 / $40.00
1978 - Solsbury Hill (live) (1-sided flexidisc, concert freebie)
(Sound For Industry SFI 381)...£8.00 / $14.00
1980 - Games Without Frontiers/The Start/I Don't Remember (P/S)
(Charisma CB 354)...£5.00 / $8.00
1980 - Biko/Shosholoza/Jetzt Kommt Die Flut (P/S, 33rpm)
(Charisma CB 370)...£5.00 / $8.00
1980 - Biko/Shosholoza/Jetzt Kommt Die Flut (12", p/s)
(Charisma CB 370-12)...£8.00 / $14.00
1982 - Shock The Monkey/Soft Dog (Instrumental) (P/S)
(Charisma SHOCK 1)...£5.00 / $8.00
1982 - Shock The Monkey/Shock The Monkey (Instrumental) (same p/s as above)
(Charisma SHOCK 1)...£30.00 / $50.00
1982 - Shock The Monkey/Soft Dog (Instrumental) (Picture disc)
(Charisma SHOCK 122)...£10.00 / $17.00
1982 - Shock The Monkey/Soft Dog (Instrumental) (12", p/s)
(Charisma SHOCK 12)...£8.00 / $14.00
1982 - Shock The Monkey/Shock The Monkey (Instrumental) (12", same p/s as above [SHOCK 12])
(Charisma SHOCK 350)...£8.00 / $14.00
1982 - I Have The Touch/Across The River (P/S)
(Charisma CB 405)...£5.00 / $8.00
1983 - I Don't Remember (live)/Solsbury Hill (live)/Kiss Of Life (live) (12", shrinkwrapped stickered double pack, with 12" white label [GAB 122],
"Games Without Frontiers"/"Schnappschuss (Ein Familienfoto)", no p/s)
(Charisma GAB 12)...£20.00 / $35.00
1986 - Sledgehammer (Dance Mix)/Don't Break This Rhythm/Sledgehammer
(Album Version)/Biko (Original 12" Mix) (Cassette, silver card box)
(Charisma/Virgin PGT 112)...£7.00 / $12.00
1987 - Big Time (Extended)/Curtains/No Self Control (live)/Across The River (Cassette, gold card box)
(Charisma/Virgin PGT 312)...£5.00 / $8.00
1987 - Big Time (Extended VersionVCurtains/No Self Control (live)/Across The River/Big Time (7" Version) (CD, gatefold card p/s)
(Charisma/Virgin GAIL 312)...£8.00 / $14.00
1987 - Red Rain/Ga Ga (I Go Swimming/Walk Through Fire (Cassette)
(Charisma/Virgin PGSC 412)...£5.00 / $8.00
1988 - Sledgehammer/Don't Break This Rhythm/I Have The Touch ('85 Remix) (3" CD, card p/s)
(Charisma/Virgin CDT 4)...£8.00 / $14.00
1988 - Solsbury Hill/Moribund The Burgermeister/Solsbury Hill (live) (3" CD, card p/s)
(Charisma/Virgin CDT 33)...£8.00 / $14.00
1992 - Digging In The Dirt/Digging In The Dirt (lnstrumental)/Quiet Steam/Bashi-Bazouk (12", p/s, withdrawn)
(Virgin PGSDG 712)...£15.00 / $25.00
1992 - Digging In The Dirt/Digging In The Dirt (lnstrumental)/Quiet Steam/Bashi-Bazouk (CD, picture disc in box with lyric sheet)
(Virgin PGSDG 7)...£8.00 / $14.00
1992 - Steam/Games Without Frontiers (Massive DB Mix)/Steam
(Oh, Oh, Let Off Steam Mix/Games Without Frontiers (live)
(CD in fold-out house-shaped box)
(Virgin PGSDX 8)...£12.00 / $20.00
1992 - Blood Of Eden/Mercy Street/Sledgehammer (CD, foldout sleeve with booklet)
(Virgin PGSDX 9)...£10.00 / $17.00
1992 - Kiss That Frog (Edit)/Across The River/Kiss That Frog (Mindbender Mix Edit)/
Shakin The Tree (Bottrill Remix) (CD, digipak with postcards)
(Virgin PGSDX 10)...£8.00 / $14.00
1986 - SO (CD, picture disc)
(Virgin PGCDP 5)...£15.00 / $25.00
PETER GABRIEL & KATE BUSH
1986 - Don't Give Up/In Your Eyes (Special Mix) (Poster p/s in stickered PVC sleeve)
(Charisma/Virgin PGSP 2)...£15.00 / $25.00
1986 - Don't Give Up/In Your Eyes (Special Mix)/This Is The Picture (Excellent Birds) (12", p/s)
(Charisma/Virgin PGS 212)...£8.00 / $14.00
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© 2006 by the appropriate owners of the included material