Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Vinyl Monday!! Peter Gabriel - So - 1986

Going platinum five times kind of certifies you as a legitimate artist.  Except for when you already are a legitimate artist.  Peter Gabriel best known in the 60's & 70's as the lead flute, lead singer and founder of the way ahead of its time progressive experimental group, Genesis.  He scored big with his 1986 album, So.  This was his 5th solo release, but it was the first one he made that actually caught on with a mainstream audience.  As one of the last members of Genesis to cut the cord with high level experimentalism and cross over to mainstream pop, he was the first to leave the group that he founded, simply because he was better than that.

Of course, that's a very conceited view on the way things were, but he founded Genesis to be a group of noise one that pushes the limits of machines to produce soundtracks of the world.  He figured that he alone could replicate such success on his own.  Sadly the group felt the same way and by 1977 they parted ways.  By 1986 Peter had released 4 albums that were so progressive they actually weren't even named!  After getting a lot of push back from contemporaries and of course Phil Collins, he ventured down the path of that commercial sound artists were searching for in the early 80's and he found it with So.

His first single from the album, a must listen, Sledgehammer is notable more for it's video believe it or not.   At the time the only video close to such a concept was Don Henley's Boys of Summer in 1984.  Sure, Thriller takes top honor's for the period in time, but it's stuff like this that made MTV the 80's juggernaut that it was.

Sound familiar?  It should.  It's been sampled numerous times, just remember where it came from.  It takes a special kind of genius to marry contemporary melodies to African and Brazilian music styles to pull off such a powerhouse of a song.  Is it any wonder why so many songs are sampled to fuck?  They're just that good.

Other singles from this album, In Your Eyes, Red Rain, and of course, Big Time, which is another video that's a must watch.

Peter Gabriel didn't stop at So, and again it didn't begin here either.  One of the most important facts about Peter and his craft...  He felt so strongly against naming is albums before so, (Named at the time as I, II, III, and IV) simply because titles to him distracted from from the literal art of the album.  (See ANY Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, or Frank Zappa album.)   Unfortunately this is the only Peter Gabriel vinyl that I own.  Fortunately it's common enough to find.  You want the vinyl fidelity here.  I've had this album digitally and it's nowhere near as deep.  To get the horns and drums you'll deed raw uncompressed unfiltered and under produced good shit.  Trust me.  You think you heard this album, you really didn't till you've done so on vinyl.   This original 1986 pressing was purchased from Deja Vu Records in Natick MA.

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