All posts tagged: Peter Gabriel

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DVD Review: “¡Released! The Human Rights Concerts 1986-1998”

The crossroads between youth culture and Amnesty International came together in the mid-70s with a series of concerts that included members of Monty Python, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, as well as music by various recording artists, including Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Bob Geldof and Sting. Several concert films were made and were eventually collected into a DVD box set called The Secret Policeman’s Balls, released by Shout! Factory in 2009. Shout! Factory takes the next step in working with Amnesty by releasing Released! The Human Rights Concerts 1986-1998, a 6 DVD box set containing concerts and performances that have long sat in a vault. Inspired by those Secret Policeman concerts, and with the memory of 1985’s Live Aid fresh in the people’s minds, Amnesty International’s Jack Healey organized a six-city tour in 1986. Called “The Conspiracy of Hope Tour,” Healey and legendary tour promoter, Bill Graham, worked together in bringing together a group of recording artists to help spread the message of Amnesty across America. The tour culminated in an all day celebration of …

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The Very Guest of…Phil Collins

There are two kinds of people in this world: those that say Phil Collins is a doughy, ineffectual frontman who ruined the prog-rock outfit Genesis (and then his own concurrent solo career) by introducing the broadest pop music ideas into their sound, and those who wish the first group would take a hike and acknowledge Collins – solo or in part of a group – as an underrated genius. The mealy-mouthed damnations of Collins as MOR demigod betray the fact that Collins could beat the hell out of a drum kit unlike anyone else and had a much more varied musical palate than anyone cares to admit, from some dizzying rhythms on early Brian Eno LPs (Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy) and Another Green World) to the fusion of Brand X. In honor of the man’s 62nd birthday, here’s a look back at eight of his best guest spots from the 1980s. In a time where you just could not get tunes like “In the Air Tonight,” “Sussudio” and “Invisible Touch” off the airwaves, it’s worth reconsidering these …

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Boxed In: The Top Music Reissues of 2012

Every year, while lording over an impressive amount of music catalogue news and views at my site, The Second Disc, I think the same thing at the end of every year: this is it. This is the year the reissue/remaster/repackage trend gets too outsized for the marketplace. Once again, I am wrong. Are major and indie labels getting smarter and more ambitious about what to re-release and how to release it? Are aging hipsters and Gen-Xers, with their considerable gobs of disposable income, more apt to re-buy the same seminal albums they grew up with, plus a bonus disc of rarities and outtakes? Yes and yes – and yet, none of those are solely why catalogue music is more robust than ever. 2012 has seen a lot of catalogue titles that seem too big for the modern music business. Thanks to sites like U.K. blog SuperDeluxeEdition, value-added packaging and other flights of consumer fancy are more fetishized over now than when I first took serious notice of the trend. But what most deluxe packaging sometimes hides is …

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The Very Guest of… Peter Gabriel (Part 2)

More easily than most rock stars, Peter Gabriel has settled into his inevitable role as an elder statesman. He’s an exception, in the youth-obsessed industry of pop, in how freely and fully he has embraced the outward signs of aging — taking the razor to his thinning hair, growing out his gray beard, even allowing himself a prosperous middle-aged paunch. The overall effect gives him the look of a twinkling guru, the Wise Old Man on the mountaintop. That’s no coincidence. Gabriel has every reason to feel secure in himself, his looks, and his legacy. As a label head (Real World Records) and owner of one of the world’s most state-of-the-art and in-demand recording studios, Peter Gabriel has enviable industry clout. His collaborative efforts, in recent years, have been less about growing his own audience than about using his clout to draw attention to artists deserving of wider recognition — although sometimes with mixed results…

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The Very Guest of… Peter Gabriel (Part 1)

When Peter Gabriel chose Scratch My Back as the title for his 2010 covers record, it was a dry joke — but also a statement of purpose. The liner notes of any Gabriel album teem with names drawn from across the worlds of rock, folk, jazz, and international music. And he has been generous with his time and talent in return. Over the next two Tuesdays we’ll be sharing a selective rundown of some of our favorite Gabriel guest shots. Somewhat arbitrarily, I’m splitting Gabriel’s career into two parts, with the split falling roughly at the moment when he began to make the transition from pop star to icon, from a working musician to an institution. Cat Stevens, “Katmandu” (from Mona Bone Jakon, 1970) Mona Bone Jakon is a transitional record for Cat Stevens, immediately preceding the commercial and artistic breakthrough of Tea for the Tillerman; Gabriel has been dismissive of his own contribution to it, insisting it was limited to playing the flute “somewhat badly.” He’s heard most prominently on this track — although …

Bottom Feeders: The Rock End of the ’80s, Part 19

The 19th week brings us the start of the 7th letter of the alphabet. Just a few artists here, but some killer songs as we continue to look at the songs that hit the Billboard rock charts in the ’80s but failed to cross over into the Hot 100. Peter Gabriel “Kiss of Life” 1982, #34 (download) “I Have the Touch” 1982, #46 (download) “I Go Swimming (Live)” 1983, #38 (download) “Red Rain” 1986, #3 (download) “That Voice Again” 1986, #14 (download) “Kiss of Life” and “I Have the Touch” are both from Peter’s fourth self-titled album also released as Security in US. It’s probably the weakest of his albums until 2002’s Up though it’s still pretty damn fine. “Shock the Monkey” and “The Rhythm of the Heat” are much better than these two however. “I Go Swimming” is from the Plays Live album in 1983 and is really unlike the Peter Gabriel you know. He performed it live as early as 1980 and I swear there’s a studio version that’s either on a soundtrack …