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Peter Gabriel - Secret World Live CD (album) cover

SECRET WORLD LIVE

Peter Gabriel

 

Crossover Prog

3.94 | 156 ratings

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JonnyM79
4 stars Peter Gabriel always attracts a good deal of criticism for his live releases. He has always been candid about his compulsion to tinker, tweak and perfect any material he puts out, and this can detract from the immediate and raw feeling that is presumably the whole reason you would buy a live album rather than listen to studio releases.

On the other hand, with Secret World Live you get something rather unexpected and quite wonderful. Yes the polish is there, but a more natural version is available on the DVD release of the same tour for those seeking an authentic live sound. What we have here is probably the strongest touring line-up ever assembled by PG. In particular Manu Katche brings a strong jazz influence to the drumming, and Paula Cole is outstanding on female lead vocal. She acts as a perfect foil to Peter's voice which is probably in a sweet spot in this period - it has a more mature mellow quality to it than previous albums, but has not yet developed the hoarse rasp evident by the Growing Up tour ten years later. If you stop worrying about the live aspect you are treated to a wander through the expected areas of the PG back catalogue, but with significant reinterpretation - for example, both Secret World and In Your Eyes have extra sections, and additional tempo and mood shifts. The simpler album versions of many songs are reinterpreted as progressive rock in a live setting!

This disc is obviously essential for the PG enthusiast, but should also be considered for the casual fan who might enjoy a second look at some familiar work. It misses out on 5 stars because a 2-hour setlist will inevitably have at least one duffer (step forward Kiss That Frog), and his finest work (PG 3/4) is unrepresented, but scores a strong four - songs that grow and progress in their journey from studio to live performance.

JonnyM79 | 4/5 |

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