“Peter Gabriel [1977]” by Peter Gabriel - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1977Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die external-link.png

TJR says

Having left Genesis in the summer of '75 due to disillusionment with the business itself, the Genesis machine and a desire to spend more time with his family, Peter Gabriel, mostly known for his flute and vocals, threw himself into piano and music lessons, and began to write songs and record demos in preparation for a solo rebirth. The public's first taste of the fruitful period came in May, 1977, with the release of the wonderful “Solsbury Hill” single, b/w “Moribund The Burgermeister”. An autobiographical song, it was based on a spiritual experience on top of Solsbury Hill in Somerset. Although his lyrics are generally non-transparent, keen fans have spotted that leaving Genesis informs a large part of the piece: “To keep in silence I resigned… I was feeling part of the scenery, I walked right out of the machinery, My heart going boom, boom, boom”. Gabriel himself seems to back this up: “It's about being prepared to lose what you have for what you might get… it's about letting go”. Musically, it benefits greatly from a lightness of touch, some very neat rhythms and an insanely nagging 4-note flute part which swirls around the head long after the songs gone. The agreeable backing gives me a chance to enjoy Gabriel's vocals without having the usual prog-rock annoyances to contend with. More of this would have been splendid but, alas, it was a false dawn. Whilst I 'cede that, in terms of accessibility and enjoyment, the whole is superior to any Genesis LP, the improvement is relative. Prog theatrics and boring American rock motifs still remain a problem, although lucid new wave breakouts here and there suggest there may yet still be hope for Peter Gabriel and I.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [04:20] 4.7.png Peter Gabriel - Moribund The Burgermeister (Peter Gabriel) Prog
A2 [04:21] 7.8.png Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel) Cerebral Pop
A3 [03:38] 4.0.png Peter Gabriel - Modern Love (Peter Gabriel) Rock
A4 [03:20] 3.7.png Peter Gabriel - Excuse Me (Peter Gabriel, Martin Hall) Crooner / Cabaret
A5 [03:25] 3.4.png Peter Gabriel - Humdrum (Peter Gabriel) Prog
B1 [04:36] 2.8.png Peter Gabriel - Slowburn (Peter Gabriel) Prog
B2 [07:15] 4.0.png Peter Gabriel - Waiting For The Big One (Peter Gabriel) Rock
B3 [05:05] 4.8.png Peter Gabriel - Down The Dolce Vita (Peter Gabriel) Prog
B4 [05:38] 3.1.png Peter Gabriel - Here Comes The Flood (Peter Gabriel) Rock

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