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Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

4.09 | 24 ratings

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1. Solsbury Hill

When Peter Gabriel released this single in 1977 his former band Genesis had become a 'biggie', while his artistic and financial future was still very uncertain. Between the The Lamb recordings and his first solo album he had experienced an emotional rollercoaster: so many heavy emotions and feelings, from the problems to deliver the lyrics to the difficult pregnancy of his wife Jill during that time.

From the first moment I heard Solsbury Hill, I was very moved by the vocals, the atmosphere, the lyrics and the instrumentation, what a timeless beauty! The great thing in Solsbury Hill (the title is derived from a hill near his hometown Bath) is the contrast between the simple structure of the music and the complexity of the wide range of emotions Peter is singing about.

The acoustic rhythm guitar by Steve Hunter sounds cheerful, on the other hand the synthesizer strings have a slightly melancholical undertone. As a musical translation of being happy, but still feeling the frustrations of a troubled period: 'When illusion spin her net. I'm never where I want to be. And liberty she pirouette. When I think that I am free.'

Listening to the strong autobiographical lyrics makes this song more and more a moving experience.

'My heart going boom boom boom' this emphasizes his emotional world, how brilliant to use these expressive words. And for Peter, who grew up in the upper middle class in South-England, it was far from easy to show his vulnerability and insecurities. That is 'not done' in the socalled 'upper-stiff-lip-mentality' in South-England. So I consider this as a brave effort.

'I was feeling part of the scenery, I walked right out of the machinery', the most obvious hints about Genesis. Now he is determined to go his own way and taking financial risks for creative freedom, rather than earning money and being frustrated in Genesis: 'Hey I said, you can keep my things, they've come to take me home." This is musically translated in a final part that slowly turns into bombastic with propulsive electric guitar, emotional cries and powerful drum beats, impressive!

2. Moribund The Burgermeister :

This track is also from Peter Gabriel his first debut album, an other 'cup of tea' than Solsbury Hill: very dynamic, from mellow to sumptuous outbursts, with a The Lamb undertone (Colony Of Slippermen sound) and strong vocals, in fact an excellent B-side!

In order to promote his first album Peter Gabriel went on tour, he succeeded to put together an incredible band: Robert Fripp and Steve Hunter on guitar, Alan Schwartzberg on drums, Tony Levin on bass and Larry Fast on keyboards, wow!

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |


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