On May 30, 1980, the Peter Gabriel's third solo album, untitled, like the first two, but informally called melt from the image.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary, Peter Gabriel released this rare 'Games Without Frontiers' movie recorded live in Buenos Aires in 2009.
On May 28, 2020, Peter released this video which takes up an interview made in 2002 for the release of the re-mastered CD. Gabriel talks about the realization of his third self-titled album, called melt because of the iconic cover image, created by Storm Thorgerson of Studio Hipgnosis.
And here are 10 reasons to listen to this album again.
1. It 's Gabriel' s album with a lot of studs prestigious guests, like the manufacturer Steve Lillywhite and the guitarist Dave gregory (I Don't Remember e Family Snapshot) of XTC, the beginning of the long collaboration with David Rhodes, the old friend Phil Collins and the percussionist Morris Pert (Intruder e No Self Control), the new employee Kate Bush (No Self Control e Games Without Frontiers), the English saxophonist Dick Morissey (Start), Paul Weller, then leader of the Hours (And Through The Wire).
2. For the first time Peter used the drum machine (Games Without Frontiers e Biko, in particular) and has experienced that particular sound on drums, with the gated reverb, that characterizes Intruder, used the year after by Phil Collins for In The Air Tonight. A sound that has become a standard model for much of the English pop of the eighties.
3. Phil Collins was initially skeptical about the idea of not using dishes at all. But Peter was immovable, since he could take advantage of the high tones with a whole new set of sounds, a variety of fields to explore. Paradoxically, Gabriel was accused of plagiarizing Collins when In The Air Tonight has had worldwide success.
4. Gabriel was one of the first musicians to use the Fairlight, a revolutionary synthesizer that sampled natural sounds. Peter even became its distributor in England, in partnership with a cousin. In the disc we also find new sounds for the rock groove (post-progressive) in which it is still located, such as the xylophone (Intruder), the sax (Start), the marimba (No Self Control e Lead A Normal Life), the bagpipes, the drums surdu and original South African choirs (Biko).
5. Family Snapshot is inspired by the book An Assassin's Diary (A diary of a murderer) by Arthur Bremer, a text that also inspired the screenwriter of the film Taxi Driver di Martin Scorsese. But another book, Dispatches, whose photos suggested some verses to Gabriel Games Without Frontiers, created quite a few censorship issues with the BBC.
6. The album seems to have a common thread of psychological deviance, addressing issues like it stalking (Intruder), schizophrenia and paranoia (No Self Control), removal (I Don't Remember), bad media influence (Family Snapshot), the absence of communication (And Through The Wire), mental illness (Lead A Normal Life). But the "political" aspect is also important. Peter takes a stand against the war (Games Without Frontiers), fear of the "other" (Not One Of Us), L 'apartheid (Biko).
7. Davide Castellini in The songs of Peter Gabriel, Editori Riuniti, points out that there are many negative expressions in titles and texts (No., no, Note, never without). Peter himself had noticed, so much so that, always quoted by Castellini, he was afraid of "turn the album into a sermon to a child, full of not doing this, not doing that".
8. Gabriel was unsure whether to publish or not Biko in the disc. Despite his sincerity towards the topic, he feared that he was not a valid voice for a cause so geographically and socially distant from him. In addition, the story of Steven Biko had already been told in various songs, including A Motor Bike In Africa di Peter Hammill, his friend, collaborator, and neighbor in Bath.
9. Biko is then inserted in the album at the insistence of his friend Tom Robinson. "It was a keystone in my career as a musician and lyricist", says Gabriel, quoted by Mario Giammetti in Peter Gabriel. Not one of us, Editions sign. Indeed, Peter's journey towards the commitment to civil rights begins, which will see him in all the events that the world of music will organize to raise awareness of the planet.
10. For the cover, fourth and final collaboration with the Hipgnosis studio and its founder Storm Thorgerson. Through the technique called Krimsography, invented by the American Les Krim, a Polaroid with the portrait of Peter is manipulated with an eraser on the still fresh emulsion. And the effect melt, in fact, which gives the album the informal title, it's done.
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