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Peter Gabriel - Don't Give Up (w/ Kate Bush) CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel

Crossover Prog

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4 stars I consider "Don`t Give Up" as one of Peter Gabriel`s best songs, and this song has one of the best lyrics he has written. The lyrics talk about unemployment, and this theme is very well treated with very human lyrics about how a man tries to resolve this situation in his life supported by his wife and family. Unemployment is a situation that many people in the world suffers daily and so this song was a very good gesture to a more or less "universal theme". There are two very video clips for this song, both with appearances by Gabriel with co-lead singer Kate Bush.

The "B" side of this single, "In Your Eyes", was also released as an "A" side of a single in the U.S. It is another very good song by Gabriel, a love song with very good lyrics. Both songs in this single were taken from Gabriel`s "So" album, which for me is his best and most accessible album. There is a live versionof "In Your Eyes" from the "PoV" live concert video which is great, recorded in Athens in October 1987. There is also an edited version of this same live version which I watched on TV (and I also recorded it in a videocassette in 1989). The original unedited version is good, but I prefer a bit the edited version because it has more "natural flow" and more close to the original studio version in structure, in my opinion.

Two very good songs in a very good single from a very good album from 1986.

Report this review (#1146096)
Posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars 1. Don't Give Up

What would have happened if first choice Dolly Parton had not turned down Peter Gabriel his request to be the female singer in this duet? Anyway, Peter Gabriel his good friend Kate Bush was willing to do the job, the rest is history! On the Internet I read: 'The song was inspired by the Depression-era photographs of Dorothea Lange, showing poverty-stricken Americans in dust bowl conditions. Gabriel saw Lange's images in a 1973 book titled In This Proud Land. He felt that a song based on this was wholly appropriate to difficult economic conditions in England under Margaret Thatcher. He composed lyrics within a situation about a man whose unemployment causes stress in his domestic relationship. The verses, sung by Gabriel, describe the man's feelings of isolation, loneliness and despair; the choruses, sung by Bush, offer words of hope and encouragement.'

The song starts in a dreamy atmosphere with a slow beat, a soaring flute sound from the Fairlight digital sampler and Peter Gabriel his fragile voice, with a melancholical undertone: 'No fight left or so it seems. I am a man whose dreams have all deserted. I've changed my name, I've changed my face. But no one wants you when you lose.'

Then there is Kate Bush her voice, sweet and encouraging, a huge contrast, what a brilliant idea! 'Don't give up. 'Cause you have friends.' The music remains dreamy, with that slow beat and soaring keyboards, as a frame for the painting with words. Fragile piano runs join, wonderfully blended into the emotional atmophere.

Halfway Peter raises his voice, it sounds very emotional, even desperate: 'Got to walk out of here. I can't take anymore. Going to stand on that bridge. Keep my eyes down below. Whatever may come. And whatever may go. That river's flowing. That river's flowing.' Now soft fretless bass play joins, And then there is Kate again, she keeps on supporting him and pointing at the positive things in life, so many people will recognize this situation, from both ends:

'Don't give up. 'Cause you have friends. Don't give up. You're not the only one. Don't give up.'

And the final words by Kate Bush: 'Don't give up. 'Cause I believe there's a place. There's a place where we belong'. Wonderful words, so supportive. In the short final instrumental part a hypnotizing climate with a slow beat and in the background celestial voices that sing 'Don't give up', to emphasize the unconditional female support.

2. In Your Eyes

A romantic ballad with Peter his distinctive voice, tender piano play and a slow rhythm. The music alternates between mellow and slow accelarations and the refrain is with Peter his voice and vocal harmonies. The use of the Fairlight delivers a pleasant musical colouring. In the end a female African singer adds a special flavour.

According to many sources the song is about Rosanna Arquette, I read on the Internet: 'Actually it was a kind of response to what the band Toto did. Their keyboardist used to date ms Arquette, but she broke it off with him for Peter. So the band got together and penned the song Rosanna for her. Funnily enough, she wasn't overly impressed, and was only truely blown away when Peter Gabriel released In Your Eyes in response.

My rating: 3,5 star.

Report this review (#1916881)
Posted Monday, April 23, 2018 | Review Permalink

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