Peter Gabriel [2]

Peter Gabriel [2]

by Peter Gabriel

CD(Remastered / Digi-Pak / Reissue)

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The pairing sounds ideal -- the former front man of Genesis, as produced by the leading light of King Crimson. Unfortunately, Peter Gabriel's second album (like his first, eponymous) fails to meet those grandiose expectations, even though it seems to at first. "On the Air" and "D.I.Y." are stunning slices of modern rock circa 1978, bubbling with synths, insistent rhythms, and polished processed guitars, all enclosed in a streamlined production that nevertheless sounds as large as a stadium. Then, things begin to drift, at first in a pleasant way ("A Wonderful Day in a One-Way World" is surprisingly nimble), but by the end, it all seems a little formless. It's not that the music is overly challenging -- it's that the record is unfocused. There are great moments scattered throughout the record, yet it never captivates, either through intoxicating, messy creativity (as he did on his debut) or through cohesion (the way the third Peter Gabriel album, two years later, would). Certain songs work well on their own -- not just the opening numbers, but the mini-epic "White Shadow," the tight "Animal Magic," the tense yet catchy "Perspective," the reflective closer "Home Sweet Home" -- yet for all the tracks that work, they never work well together. Ironically, it holds together a bit better than its predecessor, yet it never reaches the brilliant heights of that record. In short, it's a transitional effort that's well worth the time of serious listeners, even it's still somewhat unsatisfying.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/28/2010
Label: Real World Prod. Ltd
UPC: 0180030000628
catalogNumber: 62
Rank: 8970

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Peter Gabriel   Primary Artist,Organ,Synthesizer,Vocals,Background Vocals
Roy Bittan   Keyboards
Tim Cappello   Saxophone
Larry Fast   Synthesizer
Tony Levin   Bass,Background Vocals,Chapman Stick,String Bass
George Marge   Recorder
Jerry Marotta   Drums,Background Vocals
Sid McGinnis   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Steel Guitar,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Peter Gabriel   Composer
Robert Fripp   Composer,Producer
Jill Gabriel   Composer
Michael Getlin   Engineer
Tony Levin   Recorder Arrangement
David Price   Equipment Technician
Steve Short   Engineer
Ed Sprigg   Engineer
Richard Chappell   Engineer
Marc Bessant   Graphic Design
Dan Blore   Sleeve Restoration
Albert Lawrence   Equipment Technician
Mic Smith   Introduction
Steve Tayler   Engineer

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Peter Gabriel [2] 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
First, there's the voice. It's a scratchy tenor. Peter Gabriel was only 28 when he recorded his second solo album. I'm sure his voice never sounded darker or more naturally menacing before or after. His voice never sounded so confident, so triumphant, so full of sex and violence. Gabriel's second solo album (titled Peter Gabriel just like his 1977 debut and the two that followed in 1980 and 1982) was the first album I ever bought by the former Genesis lead vocalist. The year I bought it from a Record Bar in the mall near my house must have been 1984. I climbed aboard the Gabriel bandwagon kind of late. (But before the mega platinum success of 1986's So.) Since Peter Gabriel was my first taste of the man's music, that might partly explain why it remains my favorite of all his stuff. But that fact does not explain why Peter Gabriel is still my favorite album of all time. But Gabriel's voice does. And his songwriting. And his choice of musicians and producer. And that cover. Second, there's that album cover. Like Gabriel's voice, it's scratchy. It's a black and white photograph featuring a semi-preppy looking Gabriel (in a golf shirt covered by a London Fog/Lacoste-style windbreaker) bending his fingers and scratching jagged edges of white from the top of the cover to the bottom. Gabriel's hair is long but short. It's a thick buster brown -- just short enough to look right with the windbreaker and the golf shirt but long enough to show people that it's still 1978. You can barley see his eyebrows. But you can see his dark eyes. And you can see a day or so's growth of hair on his face too. I think the cover represents sex. The back of the album represents violence. It must represent violence because it still scares me when I look at today almost 20 years later. Gabriel, dressed in faded jeans, rain boots, and a dark pea or raincoat, is hunched over. He's on an urban street somewhere -- a street lined with fences, puddles of water and mounds of snow. Gabriel has his back to the camera and he's hunched over. I don't know why. He's hunched over, and he's stepping forward with his left foot and dragging his right one. I can't see his face but it looks like his body's contortion stems from some sort of attack. He looks like he may be in pain. If the back of the album doesn't represent violence, it must represent pain. Third, there's the songs. They are all boiled down versions of white noise, red heat, purple funk, and colorless loss. "On the Air" blows up with Who-like guitar from Sid McGinnis while glistening synth bells from Larry Fast tinkle in the background. Gabriel is playing the part of Mozo, a pirate radio DJ broadcasting from his amateur radio in a cabin by the river. Mozo is lost and lonely and he's screaming out via his microphone. He wants everyone to know "that Mozo is here". Gabriel's Mozo sounds like Ted Kaczynski to me minus the bombs and carnage. "DIY" is Gabriel's very unpunk sounding tribute to the punk ethos that prevailed in the late '70s. How unpunk sounding? Listen to Bruce Springsteen pianist Roy Bittan's playing. But you can hear punk in Gabriel's voice. Even when he just screams "Hey!" just before the song's chorus, you can feel Gabriel's rage and enthusiasm. "Mother of Violence" has some of the most achingly moving singing and melodies on the album. Mostly just piano, acoustic guitar and McGinnis's steel guitar, this ballad cries. "A Wonderful Day in a One-Way World" is pop reggae while "White Shadow" is one of two show-off pieces for the album's producer and co-guitarist, Robert Fripp. Fripp's solo at the end of "White Shadow" blisters. One of his best on any record he's appeared on, it's underrated at worst and masterful at best. There are five other great songs on Peter Gabriel but there's no real use in describing every one of them because there is a small part on the album's finale that is, as they say, "wort