Peter Gabriel: 10 Best Songs For Your iPod
Peter Gabriel has one of the best male singing voices in history. And it's real -- he can actually sing as well as it sounds like he can on his records. (Check out the Biko vid below.) Believe me when I tell you that is truly something worth mentioning when it comes to anything in pop. Back in the day, when people actually listened to the radio, Peter Gabriel was always on it. Always. And I loved listening to him. I still do, really.
I'm not going to give a big history on his career, as it would be quite long, starting with his being a founding member of Genesis (yes, back when Phil Collins was just the drummer) and moving forward to his huge campaigns for Human Rights and other things which make him one of the few men in pop with some actual substance. Nope, instead, we're just talking about the Top 10 Peter Gabriel Songs you need for your iPod, but do feel free to Wiki him; it would be worth it.
Note: Songs are NOT in any particular order.
1. Solsbury Hill
Not the most famous, but definitely my personal favorite, Solsbury Hill is a remarkable track that really lets Gabriel's voice shine through. And it's cleverly written, as well -- and yes, Solsbury Hill is a real place. Beautiful, really. Have a look at the video below and you'll see what I mean.
Peter Gabriel's Solsbury Hill Video
If you ever got a glimpse of MTV during the 80s, you've seen this video. I still love watching it when I see it today! You remember the roller coaster, right? How cool was that, with his hair going all over the place? What sets this apart from many songs of that era, is that it's actually still interesting without the video, you will actually enjoy hearing it as much as you enjoyed watching it.
3. In Your Eyes
This song is so lovely. It's really one of the most romantic songs I've heard him do, and, as with all of his songs, there is actual substance to it. In other words, it sounds like it was written from the heart, as opposed to having been churned out by a factory, the way so many songs do.
I tend to get a bit miffed over most musicians "with a cause", because most of them are full of shite, and exploitation of world crises tend to annoy me, particularly is someone is making money (ie, selling concert tickets) because of it. Live Aid, for example, was full of "artists" who did not give a toss about the cause, and were only there to promote themselves; Peter Gabriel is not one of these people. Biko is a song he wrote for Steven Biko, a South African man who was tortured and murdered (as so many were) whilst fighting for the end of Apartheid. See the video below for some of his story. As you can see, Gabriel's voice is fantastic out of the studio, too.
Peter Gabriel's Biko: Live @ Amnesty Int'l 1986
Games Without Frontiers!
5. Games Without Frontiers
I loooove this song. I really do. There's just something about the rhythm and his phrasing that really makes me want to sing along. I wanted to include the video, but I couldn't find a really good version. If you're 30 or older, however, you will probably remember it! Fabulous song!
Take a look at the video below and you'll quickly understand why this song made it onto the list. If you're my age, you may remember his live performance of this song at the 1993 Brit Awards. All decked out in purple pimp gear, and a fake muscle suit. You gotta love a man who isn't afraid to get onstage wearing something as bizarre as that!
Peter Gabriel's Steam Video
7. Big Time
The lyrics in this song are so fabulous. Not that his other songs aren't fabulously written as well -- the lyrics in Big Time have just always seemed so clever to me. And amusing. Stretching my mouth to let those big words come right out... that line still makes me smile. And, of course, the music is very, very catchy.
8. Come Talk To Me
Come down, come talk to me.. another set of fab lyrics. I'm not usually keen on bagpipes (or whatever they are) but they work in this song, and I actually quite like them. Such a great song, if you love Peter Gabriel, you will love this song.
9. Shock The Monkey
I'll be honest and say the title makes me uncomfortable, and I did not enjoy the video as a child -- it really freaked me out. Like most people at the time, really. Gabriel has said the song is actually not about animal testing, but about jealousy. Ok, then. Makes it easier to watch the video, now. The music is really fantastic regardless, and was very new and original at the time.
10. Kiss That Frog
Come on, come on, come on, come on, come on.... baby kiss that frog! Another video that COMPLETELY freaked me out as a child. Still does, and is why it's not shown here. But the song is fab, so on the list it goes.