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<br>Peter Gabriel<p>Commentary and Overview</p>

Peter Gabriel

Commentary and Overview

I’m a huge PETER GABRIEL fan, having grown up with every one of the first five studio albums practically as they were released.

The first is an operatic extravaganza, with everything-but-the-kitchen-sink production, a sound PG would never return to for some reason. Maybe he needed to get it out of his system?

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The second album, and the second of four to be named simply Peter Gabriel, has a leaner, more rock oriented sound, and boasts none other than Robert Fripp as a co-conspirator. His fuzzed out Frippertronics are all over PG 2, kicking each song into a higher gear.

The third album has always been my least favorite. It has a dark quality (no cymbals, just drums) I never cared for. I see it as a transition to the fourth album, Security, with its powerful rhythms and trance-inducing drumming. (Our complete Hot Stamper commentary for that one is included here.)

The fifth album, So, is of course 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 hundreds of times each; 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 any of 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 tightly into both.

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