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Peter Gabriel - Plays Live CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

4.08 | 216 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Some live albums contain songs which become the definitive version of a song. Some live album offer different rendering of songs. This album tends to be of the latter. Not that this is a bad thing, quite the contrary.

The versions of the songs found on this album are at times very different from their studio versions (e.g. I HAVE THE TOUCH). Also, this collection of songs has a stripped down, visceral feel to them. This is especially true of the songs that are represented from Peter's first album. HUMDRUM sounds much better without Bob Erzin over-the-top production. (I think Peter also felt this way: listen to the version ON SHAKING THE TREE).

This album also has a great sound to it. It is definitely is a live recording and the echo from the auditorium adds a warmth to the music. Peter is also backed by what IMHO may be his best touring band. The musicians on this album shape Peter's music in a way that other musicians, on Gabriel later albums, would not. Larry Fast's synthesizers pave the way for songs like San Jacinto and set the tone for Peter's first 3 albums. Jerry Marotta drumming is just great (How many drummers would be able to perform a song without the use of their cymbals? Not Phil Collins, that's for sure) Of course there is Tony Levin (need I say more?) and David Rhodes who still perform with Peter to this day.

I happened to be at one of the concerts that were recorded for this album. I wasn't familiar with PG's music and went on the suggestion of a friend; so in many ways this album was my introduction to Peter Gabriel and his music. (See Larry Fast's website for a listing of sites: It may not a great introduction for the beginner, but it is an absolute must for any Gabriel fan. My sentimental attachments aside; this is a very good album.

Beware of the remastered /abridge version this CD (called 'Plays Lives - Highlights), you'll be cheating yourself out of 4 songs!

pstankovich | 4/5 |


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