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Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel

Updated on May 21, 2013

Peter Gabriel and Sledgehammer

Sledgehammer is one of Peter Gabriel's best known hits, and was released at a time when music videos were beginning to become popular on new music oriented television channels like MTV.

The music video for Sledgehammer had a lot of innovative special effects, which was probably highly influential in it's being so popular.

Peter Gabriel is an English musician who first achieved fame as the lead singer of the super-group Genesis. Peter went on to collaborate with many other musicians, and he has been the driving force behind WOMAD, which has helped to promote World Music.

He was born Peter Brian Gabriel on 13 February 1950, in Chobham, Surrey, England.

With his unusual hairstyles and stage costumes, including a full length dress with a fox's head for the classic 1972 Genesis track Supper's Ready from their album Foxtrot, both Peter and Genesis soon gained recognition for their unique musical style and content.

Having recorded The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, a highly successful album which followed the first Genesis American tour, Peter left to pursue his own solo career.

His first solo success was the single Solsbury Hill. That was followed with several years with no more hits, until 1980, when both Games Without Frontiers and Biko charted, both from his 3rd album.

Peter's next chart topper was in 1982 with Shock The Monkey, followed by Sledgehammer in 1986.

Sledgehammer was undoubtedly a success because of the accompanying music video, which was the music video of the year, a great achievment at a time when music videos were in their infancy.

For more information, see Wikipedia

Song Lyrics Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel

Written by: Peter Gabriel from the Album: "So" - 1986

You could have a steam train

if you'd just lay down your tracks

you could have an aeroplane flying

if you bring your blue sky back

All you do is call me

I'll be anything you need

You could have a big dipper

going up and down, all around the bends

you could have a bumper car, bumping

this amusement never ends

I want to be your sledgehammer

why don't you call my name

Oh let me be your sledgehammer

this will be my testimony

Show me 'round your fruitcage

'cause I will be your honey bee

open up your fruitcage

where the fruit is as sweet as can be

I want to be your sledgehammer

why don't you call my name

you'd better call the sledgehammer

put your mind at rest

I'm going to be-the sledgehammer

this can be my testimony

I'm your sledgehammer

let there be no doubt about it

Sledge sledge sledgehammer

I've kicked the habit

shed my skin

this is the new stuff

I go dancing in, we go dancing in

oh won't you show for me

and I will show for you

show for me, I will show for you

yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I do mean you

only you

you've been coming through

going to build that power

build, build up that power, hey

I've been feeding the rhythm

I've been feeding the rhythm

going to feel that power, build in you

come on, come on, help me do

yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, you

I've been feeding the rhythm

I've been feeding the rhythm

it's what we're doing, doing

all day and night

Original Peter Gabriel CD's from Amazon

Peter Gabriel released some great CD's, and it's not only his Greatest Hits that are great songs. Why not start or add to your collection of music by Peter Gabriel today by buying his original albums.

Peter Gabriel Soundtrack CD's from Amazon

Peter Gabriel has contributed to the soundtracks of a number of major motion pictures. If you enjoyed the music when you watched the movie, why not acquire it today.

Peter Gabriel DVD's from Amazon

Catch Peter Gabriel live with these great concert DVD's.

Peter Gabriel World Concerts on Amazon

Peter Gabriel has been involved in a number of major concerts featuring world leaders like Nelson Mandela, or promoting World Music. Pick the DVD's of these great events today.

Sledegehammer - The Original Music Video

Sledgehammer - Live 1993

Sledgehammer - Live in Athens 1987


Peter Gabriel Merchandise on eBay

Don't want to pay the new price, or want something different? You just never know what Peter Gabriel items you might find on eBay.

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    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 4 years ago from Southampton, UK

      @Indi-ish: Wolfgang's vault has a great live recording of Lamb from Los Angeles, just before Peter left. No video though unfortunately. I have a copy of The Musical Box and Supper's Ready on video, excellent.

    • profile image

      Indi-ish 4 years ago

      @TonyPayne: Oh, me, too. So little remains as testament to those incredible shows - hard to believe that they never filmed, 'The Lamb'. I've scoured Youtube, etc. - but imagine...'The Musical Box' and, 'Anyway' (among so many others) live...*goosebumps*

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 4 years ago from Southampton, UK

      @Indi-ish: I just wish I could have seen him with Genesis back in the early days, the early 70's. Those must have been amazing shows.

    • profile image

      Indi-ish 4 years ago

      Love this! Was fortunate enough to see Peter on his, 'Back to Front' tour, last year, in September - such an amazing artist...he's still, 'got it'. :)

    • profile image

      Spikey64 5 years ago

      Whenever I hear sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel the first thing that comes to mind is the train circling his head in his video.

    • WoodlandBard profile image

      WoodlandBard 6 years ago

      Being a huge Peter Gabriel fan this is a joy to see here, and in great detail too.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      I loved the song sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel. Some of the older tunes have lyrics that are simply timeless.

    • seanjennin profile image

      seanjennin 6 years ago

      Cool, thanks...

    • AdeleW profile image

      AdeleW 6 years ago

      Saw Peter Gabriel in concert a couple of years ago and he was fabulous. I will certainly go and see him again...

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      I'm wondering -- what is Peter Gabriel up to these days -- OH! I see I asked that in November 2008 -- isn't that strange that you get an idea or question in your head and to find that it is still there? I just find that curious that I'm repeating myself. Ha! Time for my reality check I think. ;)

    • profile image

      Holland-Store 8 years ago

      Excellent Lens!

      Sledgehammer, Still a great song and still a great clip, even today!

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Andy 8 years ago from London, England

      Excellent. I remember using this record as a HiFi test track, when I was auditioning HiFi components; excellent recording. My little laptop speakers don't do it justice.

    • funwithtrains lm profile image

      funwithtrains lm 8 years ago

      Nice lens! Now you need to do one on "Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel -- my favorite song of his :-)

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 9 years ago

      Ah, so what is my dear Peter Gabriel up to these days? I always appreciated his unique STYLE and talent! And, when I saw sledgehammer -- it made me think of WHAT I seriously want to take to our bathroom shower. Great job my dear!

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 9 years ago from Croatia

      Wow man! I completely forgot this one! :)