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Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel (3 -

PETER GABRIEL (3 - "MELT")

Peter Gabriel

 

Crossover Prog

4.21 | 614 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars Fripp is no longer producer but appears here again with Tony Levin(pre-Discipline of course), and synthesist Larry Fast and drummer Jerry Marotta are back as well. In addition, somebody named Phil Collins, Kate Bush and Paul Weller are on this album. Weller was from The Jam, one of the most popular bands in the UK when this album was released. The producer is now Steve Lillywhite, who will go on to work with U2. This was a #1 album in the UK and his former band Genesis was also topping the UK charts the same year. Within seven years they both will become hugely popular on both sides of the Atlantic.

This was a unique album in many ways, most notable are the use of the then brand new Fairlight, a sampler/digital synth; as well as drummers Marotta and Collins being forbidden to use cymbals. Instead of using the handy hi-hat, they were now forced to make good use of the snare rim and tom-toms. This made the music have an 'African' feel sometimes, which was popular at the time with some New Wave and post-punk groups. Gabriel at the time offered to make several versions of the album in different languages; for whatever reason, then West Germany was the only country to take up the offer. Thus this third, still untitled album, as well as the fourth untitled album(to be called "Security" in the US) were released in German versions.

According to legend, the opening track "Intruder" was the first ever use of the now famous "gated drum" sound. This became a staple of 1980s rock music, and like all good ideas quickly became overused. This song is very creepy yet strangely melodic in places. I like the elastic band sound of the guitars. A marimba 'solo' in the middle. Nice "hey, hey" vocals. Cool guitar string scratching near the end. "No Self Control" has an interesting mix of Fairlight and marimba. The vocals are catchy here. I like when the drums and guitar come in, great part. Kate does some background vocals later in this song.

"I Don't Remember" is a great song. Levin makes good use of the Chapman Stick here. The chorus is really good and catchy. Nice processed, atmospheric guitar during the verses. I like Peter's imitation of Tarzan in this song. Love how the song gets slowed down near the end. "And Through The Wire" is the only song featuring Weller. This is another great song with a great chorus. The verses are just as good as the choruses. "Games Without Frontiers" was the big single from the album, and the best song on it. Great minimalist guitars here. Love the whistling-like synth melody during the chorus. Kate's vocals are great; she is singing in French about dogs or something. For the longest time I thought she was saying; "she's so funk-ay". Love the electro beat at the end.

"Not One Of Us" has great lyrics. Good use of the Fairlight here. Very New Wave sounding chorus. I like how it skips the second chorus, only hinting at it. Good drumming near the end. "Lead A Normal Life" is perhaps the most experimental song on the album, but it's also the weakest. "Biko" is of course a song about the anti-apartheid activist who died in the custody of South African police. It's a good song but gets a little bit too repetative. I once knew a guy from Germany named Nico. Me and my friends used to drive around with him in the car; when this song came on the radio we would sing along, but change "Biko" to "Nico". I don't think he was too amused.

This is the best thing PG did solo. The next album is similar in style but a bit more commercial sounding. Gabriel's record company did not want to release this. Eventually it came out on a different label. There weren't too many albums this good or original topping the charts in 1980. A great effort. 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |

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