This is one of our favorite Peter Gabriel albums around here, and may well be the best recording he ever made. The typical copy, though, barely hints at just how good this album can sound. Only the best early British pressings have any hope of sounding this good.
Thankfully the second PG album does not suffer from the digital spit, grit and hash of So and Security. It's arguably his best recording overall with superb dynamics and a clean, punchy rock sound that perfectly fits the music. Some of the cymbal crashes on the hot copies of this album really CRASH.
This is The Peter Gabriel Rock and Roll Album. To my knowledge he never made another.
We Love This Album!
Musically I like PG 2 the best as well. Most PG fans dismiss this album, but having played it hundreds of times over so many years I have a hard time understanding how anyone could not be knocked out by the quality of the songwriting and musicianship. From start to finish there's not a bad song to be found here. (Exposure is an experimental prog exercise, but it's not actually bad.)
The first two tracks on side one are blistering rockers that get things off to a rollicking good start. Special mention must go to the closer for side two, one of the most emotionally powerful songs PG ever laid to tape. Its saxophone-led climax takes your breath away, with the end coming soon after. The entire album is a wonderful journey; anyone with a pop-prog bent will enjoy the ride. Just turn the volume up good and loud, turn off your mind, relax and float along with PG and the boys. You're in good hands.
What amazing sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:
The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1960
Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
Natural tonality in the midrange -- with all the instruments (and effects!) having the correct timbre
Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there's more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the above
Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better is about as quiet as any vintage UK pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of domestic pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don't have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful originals.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that's certainly your prerogative, but we can't imagine losing what's good about this music -- the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight -- just to hear it with less background noise.
On the Air
Mother of Violence
A Wonderful Day in a One-Way World
Flotsam and Jetsam
Home Sweet Home
Flotsam and Jetsam
Home Sweet Home
"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.
The fifth album, So, is the one everyone knows, with its uncharacteristic commercial appeal. After that I never heard anything on any PG album that moved me much so I gave up on those later albums.
But this is never a problem for us record lovers, because we have plenty of Peter Gabriel music to listen to from his first five albums. I've played the second and fourth albums alone hundreds of times; I had them on cassette (and later CD) in the car, and they went round and round an awful lot of times. (I practically never tire of hearing good albums over and over again. The more I listen the more I find in them new details and qualities in both the music and the recordings, even after more than thirty years.)
(Interestingly, if you know his early work well, none of the first five albums has much in common with the others. Like Steely Dan's body of work, each of the albums has its own production qualities, its own sound, and music that ties in tightly into both.)