The Beauty of Peter Gabriel
It is a mystery to me why Peter Gabriel’s 1992 album “Us” did not strike a chord with my 18-year-old self. The album is filled with songs of longing, passion and melancholy reflection: that sounds about how I remember that time in my life. I was hung up on how the album was not like his earlier work, especially the at-that-time-beloved-over all his other tunes, “In Your Eyes”. I was, and remain, a disciple of Dobler, due in no small part to his use of that Peter Gabriel to attempt to woo Diane Court back into his life.
Over the last 20 years different songs from the then-ignored album have taken their turns as staples in my mixes. It is a masterpiece.
My current favorite: “Secret World” (This version gets me pumped):
With the release of “Live Blood” Peter Gabriel has transformed some of those songs I love from “Us” (and other favorites) by recording them live with a 46 piece Orchestra. “Rolling Stone” has a stream of the album available. Though I am not sure for how long.
If you have a chance check out “Digging in the Dirt”, “Blood of Eden” and “Washing of the Water”. They are beautiful arrangements that transform the songs without losing the beauty and meaning of the originals. The orchestra gives them a maturity, and the songs a depth of life experience that seems more than appropriate given the 20 years that have passed since they were first recorded. There is something special about seeing an artist embrace the evolution of life we all go through by filtering it through their work.
The album will most certainly be a purchase whenever I can cobble together some extra money. Seeing as we are very close on buying a house that seems far away. It will be worth the wait, that is for sure. Until then I will enjoy the stream from “Rolling Stone”.
PS: Do not miss the version of “Don’t Give Up”. It is hauntingly beautiful, as always. One of my all time favorite melancholy songs…it gives me flashbacks to harder times. That helps me appreciate where I am now. I still like his version with Kate Bush best…