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…
Day 2 of my half-marathon training (novice edition) calls for a three mile run. Three miles…I am not sure that I have run that much at one time in eighteen plus years. I have run four and half miles on a elliptical, but as noted in prior posts that is apples and miles on the treadmill are very different, very painful oranges.
There is one thing that I know can help alleviate pain, and that is a good set list on my iPod. I figure I will need about 40 minutes to cover the virtual route as I am planning a ten and a half minute pace and allowing for up to 2 quarter track rest/walk laps in addition to the three miles that I am obligated to run.
It is not perfectly by the book I am sure, but I need to allow for something I like to call reality. Here are the eclectic tracks that will help me through that reality… I hope:
Track 1 – “Love the Way You Lie” Eminem featuring Rhianna – Never confused with being the biggest hip hop fan, an understatement if there ever was one, there is something about the way that Marshall Mathers does it that speaks to me. No it is not because he is white, he is one of a few in genre that work for me.
Track 2 – “Presto” – Rush – Sadly this song went unknown to me for so long mostly due to my twin brother talking about it all the time. I regret that decision every time it comes on. It fires me up, so it will help get me through the second half of the first mile.
Track 3 – “Hard Sun” – Eddie Vedder – I love melancholy songs. Most people would not imagine that given my generally positive outlook, but every one has a dark side. I like to explore mine through music. This song makes me think of difficult journeys and this run is certainly going to be one for me.
Track 4 – “Everyday” – Dave Matthews Band – I love Dave Matthews, backlashers be damned. This song has been out of my rotation for a while. It always got me up, so it follows the morose…
Track 5 – “Digging in the Dirt” – Peter Gabriel – This is one of my top ten favorite songs of all time. Poor Peter, known mostly for “In Your Eyes” - this song blows the doors off of that hit. Some of my favorite lyrics from the tune:
Digging in the dirt
Stay with me, I need support
I’m digging in the dirt
To find the places I got hurt
Open up the places I got hurt
At the time this plays, somewhere in the later part of mile two I will need to dig deep.
Song 6 – “Not Ready to Make Nice” – Dixie Chicks – Yeah, the Dixie Chicks, what of it? This song is angry brilliance. I suspect it will mirror how my body feels about me at this point in the run.
Song 7 – “Bring Me to Life” – Evanescence – Some awful rock was needed at this point, cheesy pseudo metal like this song will fit the bill. It is the type of song that once upon a time I would be too embarrassed to admit liking. But like it I do, and it will help on this initial run, so it is in. While I am aware that many people will disregard anything else I recommend on this list due to the inclusion of this song. So be it.
Song 8 – “Hurt” – Johnny Cash – What a shock, another sad song. Every time this song comes on during shuffle mode I pick up the pace. It is a brilliant cover that has me never wanting to hear the original again.
Cash’s broken voice and delivery will fit the bill and be a great coda to what I expect to be a brutal run.