Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Peter Gabriel - So (1986)

Note: this release was originally purchased as an LP, later replaced by a CD.

I'm not a huge Peter Gabriel fanatic and I won't pretend that I understand what's going on in his head, but I really like this album, the only Gabriel recording I own. It's a strange mix of African, art rock, soul, with heavy, dark synths and moody production from Daniel Lanois. Music from this album was everywhere back in the '80s: radio, my stereo, claymation videos on MTV, incidental music on Miami Vice, and allegedly on Lloyd Dobler's boombox in the movie Say Anything... (although I understand that it was originally a Fishbone tune, not In Your Eyes). The album placed at number #14 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of Top 100 Albums of the Eighties. That may be a bit high for my tastes, but it was definitely one of the better albums of the latter part of that decade.

Funny Gabriel cartoon that closely mirrors my experiences with the man. Don't click if you are easily offended.

To hear a true Gabriel fan dissect the album, check out the podcast from my friends over at Stuck In The '80s.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #2

Tracks: I'm good with the first 7 tracks, even though I usually skip In Your Eyes because I just got tired of it and I still hear it on the radio a few times a year. We Do What We're Told is OK but just reminds me of Miami Vice (I can picture the Wellcraft 38 Scarab KV bouncing over the waves of Biscayne Bay in slow motion). The final track, This Is The Picture, wasn't on my vinyl copy, so, even though it is a decent collaboration with Laurie Anderson, I don't think of it as being part of this album.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Even though this was released in May 1986, I didn't pick it up until around Christmas of that year. That makes this a "winter CD" in my book. It got a lot of turntable time at my place in the early part of 1987. I remember buying Gabriel's 1992 release, Us, on cassette and being unimpressed with that music except for the song Steam which was essentially a rewrite of Sledgehammer. That tape is long gone.

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