I saw Peter Gabriel in the 80's -can't remember exactly what year, but it was at The Orpheum in Boston. During the performance, Gabriel fell backwards from the stage, on purpose, into the waiting arms of his fans. This was something he did a lot during that time period. I was so moved by the gesture and all it implied. Trust, fearlessness, abandon, humanity. Peter Gabriel employs these qualities, that seem to be still in great supply, on his new CD "Scratch My Back". It's a covers album with a wide assortment of songwriters represented -Lou Reed, Talking Heads, Randy Newman, The Magnetic Fields and Elbow. Songwriting is what got Gabriel into music and he has long wanted to make an album where he is the interpreter of the songs rather that the writer.
At first. the record seems plodding but once you lock into the rhythm of Gabriel's intent, and let John Metcalfe's beautiful arrangements and orchestration wash over you, it starts to gel as a whole record. The centerpiece is Lou Reed's "The Power of The Heart", a commanding song that is so suited to Gabriel's style. "Listening Wind" written by David Byrne and Brian Eno and originally on Talking Heads "Remain In Light" CD is also a great choice for Gabriel. I feel like I can hear his process as I listen to the album. It seems like each aspect was carefully considered and that the journey lives inside each song.
Listen tonight at 9 PM ET to mvyradio's Uncharted Waters as I feature tracks from the CD. www.mvyradio.com
Listen to clips of the CD here: