Saturday, August 16, 2008


Peter GabrielWhen Peter Gabriel left Genesis and began his solo career he refused to title any of his first four solo albums, which were all labeled Peter Gabriel using the same typeface, but which featured different cover art. He wanted them to be considered similar to consecutive issues of a magazine instead of individual works. Fans refer to his first three solo albums as Car, Scratch and Melt based on the cover art. In the UK his fourth album was titled the same as his previous works but he lost the naming battle with his US record company and the title became Security. His third solo album came out in 1980 and will hereafter be referred to as Melt. Personally I believe it's his best work. I was not a Genesis fan, so I hadn't even heard of Gabriel. Then a college mate said that I had to hear this one and lent me the album (Old Skool music sharing). From the opening track(which freaked me out) till the final strains of Biko, I was mesmerized.

Gabriel's old Genesis band-mate, Phil Collins, played drums on several tracks, including the opener, "Intruder", which featured the reverse-gated, cymbal-less drum kit sound which Collins would make famous on his single "In the Air Tonight" and through the rest of the 1980s. The massive, distinctive hollow sound arose through some experiments by Collins and Hugh Padgham. Gabriel had requested that his drummers use no cymbals in the album's sessions, and when he heard the result from Collins and engineer Hugh Padgham, he asked Collins to play a simple pattern for several minutes, then built "Intruder" on it. Intruder also happens to be one of the creepiest songs I've ever heard. The controlled menace of "Intruder," has a scary haunting sound, yet it's a sexy scare, one that is alluring, and he keeps this going throughout the record. He wound up having albums that sold more, or generated bigger hits, but this third Peter Gabriel album remains his masterpiece.

Games Without Frontiers
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Funny Toon