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Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel 1 [Aka: Car] CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel

Crossover Prog

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3 stars .this review was written for all the genesis fans that missed the Gabriel wit so much that they've started browsing through his solo career. this is the album you're looking for. the tracks you're looking for are:"Moribund The Burgermeister" lyrically this one seems like a brother of "the giant hog-weed" musically the songs make a balanced mixture of arena rock and humuristic prog-rock. the second gem is "Excuse Me" which is a happy little Broadway tune ,that mind remind you of another little Broadway tune called "counting out time". the over depressed blues "waiting for the big one" offers some interesting changes. and off-course how can we forget the single ,a country song in 7\8 who would have imagine? the gorgeous "sols-bury hill" and the haunting "Humdrum". the rest of the songs are nice and all,some off which are even quite good(check out "dolce vita" and here comes the flood")but the rest of the album seems like a nice Gabriel attempt to become an average rock star.
Report this review (#23894)
Posted Thursday, November 20, 2003 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the first album by Peter Gabriel. It is not extremely progressive. There are omnipresent aggressive rock guitars. "Moribund The Burgermeister" still has some "Lamb lies down on Broadway" influences, especially the miscellaneous original vocal expressions provided by Gabriel himself. The acoustic "Solsbury Hill" was a huge hit, which I personally find only good; it has a bit the style of Kansas' "Dust in the wind". "Modern Love" is a more ordinary and conventional almost hard rock track a la The Who, full of straightforward aggressive electric guitars and background organ. The intro of "Excuse me" has exuberant retro lead & backing vocals, a bit like the Van Halen's "Happy trails" track; the track itself, full of banjo and acoustic string instruments, has a slight Beatles-esque style. "Humdrum" is a really good track: it is very subtle, fluid and progressive: Larry Fast expands his keyboards in the end, forming an impressive floating texture. Speaking of keyboards, Larry Fast does not sound very much futuristic nor electronic, as he used to do on his Synergy's records: he is rather down to Earth here, often playing accessible piano parts a la Supertramp, like on "Slowburn", which by the way also contains an electric guitar solo a la Supertramp. There is even a bluesy song: "Waiting for the big one": cabaret piano and bluesy electric guitars are played through a slow rhythm; the end seems to contain Gospel chants. "Down the dolce vita" has some very good participating orchestral arrangements: there is an interesting use of simultaneous symphonic orchestra and rock/hard rock elements. The last track, "Here comes the flood", is an EXCELLENT song: it slowly starts with delicate & subtle acoustic guitars and piano textures; then Gabriel sings loudly, producing a moving slow rock ballad.
Report this review (#23913)
Posted Thursday, April 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars W hen the most theatrically inclined member of a theatrical band like GENESIS quits the company, you assume he has big plans in store. As it turned out, Peter GABRIEL toned things done considerably in an effort to find his own muse as well as his own musical identity. Just when it seems he has something up his sleeve on the opening "Moribund the Burgermeister", GABRIEL wears his heart on his sleeve with the next track, "Solsbury Hill", addressing the need to leave GENESIS. The rest of the record is a little choppy, as GABRIEL tries his hand at modern rock ("Modern Love"), lounge singing ("Waiting for the Big One") and barbershop ("Excuse Me"). The closing "Here Comes The Flood" taps into the quiet intensity that would become one of his hallmarks, though the song has since been re-recorded with better results.

Although it's arguably GABRIEL's most uneven record, it's important if only because he never made another quite like it. His second album borrowed parts of the first ("Modern Love", "Humdrum") and threw out the rest, resulting in a more consistent but also more guarded record. On this effort, you can hear GABRIEL finding his own voice, having a little fun, and not being afraid to make mistakes. Given the interest in his music relative to the number of albums he's recorded, a lot of folks will buy this record eventually. But don't make it your first choice expecting to hear any connection to GENESIS; better to spend your money on Steve HACKETT's "Voyage of the Acolyte" instead.

Report this review (#23893)
Posted Saturday, April 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars From "MORIBUND THE BURGERMEISTER" to "HERE COMES THE FLOOD" this debut effort by MR. GABRIEL does it all{except "kitchen sink sounds" !!}I was in a MUSIC PLUS store {now gone}and purchsed the beautiful,high quality import pressing upon it's release for I believe a mere $5.99...Worth every cent.The special surprise element{among many in the line-up}is truly LARRY FAST{SYNERGY}adding brilliant electronic substance and "horizon" to the band's sound.This is another one of those practically untoppable debuts than gives the listener hope and a sense of being while experiencing it.I believe this one and "SECURITY" are my personal favorites due to their more differing content{from first track to last of each}.With a very broad line-up as well,nothing seems to be lost in the mix{due obviously to exceptional engineering skills} which is the infamous "cherry on the sundae" for this moving first release.
Report this review (#23901)
Posted Sunday, June 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "I walked right out of the machinery"

After leaving Genesis, for his first solo album Gabriel played it pretty safe. While the music here is more commercial than that of (Gabriel era) Genesis, his distinctive vocal style means that the overall sound still has something of a Genesis feel to it.

"Solisbury hill" gave him an immediate hit single, and included a parting side swipe at his former band mates ("I was feeling part of the scenery, I walked right out of the machinery"). "Morbund the Burgermeister" makes for a powerful opener which would have sounded good on "The lamb..". "Modern Love", is an upbeat number, not the Bowie song of the same name, but in some ways similar. "Excuse me", is an amusing, old fashioned track, while "Here comes the flood" with its quiet verse, bombastic chorus structure makes for an excellent closer.

Needless to say, Gabriel's vocals dominate the album, with little in the way of instrumental work, and thus it is less prog orientated than the music he made while with Genesis. It is however a very accomplished first solo outing which does lean heavily on his experience with the band, recommended.

Report this review (#23902)
Posted Saturday, July 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Ex-Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel released his solo debut, called "Peter Gabriel," in 1977. It was a diverse, artfully incoherent, frequently inspired exploration of a new musical vision, crackling with the energy of an artist liberated from a confining group situation. It boasts the classic, acoustic smash "Solsbury Hill" as its featured track, but there are several other worthy cuts on the disc, like the emotional "Here Comes The Flood" and the gloriously pomped, atypically Genes-ish prog-pop of "Moribund The Burgermeister"
Report this review (#23904)
Posted Thursday, July 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Hard on the heels of The Lamb, Gabriel broke the mould and released his first solo LP. What a cracking job he did too. Moribund the Burgermeister is a ' burbling' beauty. Solsbury Hill definitely one of the most complete songs he has ever written, the Alice Cooper like Modern Love.Further highlights on side 2 are Slowburn and the epic, Here Comes the Flood. It's great when you get a debut solo of this high calibre cos you know it can only get better.
Report this review (#23905)
Posted Friday, July 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars This album is probably my least favourite of all of Peter Gabriel's solo albums. Despite (or more probably because of) the assistance from big names like Tony Levin, Robert Fripp, Allan Schwartzberg, Jimmy Maelen and Steve Hunter, the album is overproduced and shows little of what Peter Gabriel would bring forth in his solo career. Bob Ezrin's production doesn't suit the former lead singer of Genesis well, and as a result, the album sounds quite gothic.
Report this review (#23906)
Posted Friday, August 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of Gabriel`s most accessible albums. "Moribund the Burgermeister" is the most close song to the old GENESIS, with theatrical vocals. "Solsbury Hill" is one of the best songs in this album. "Modern Love" is a "rocker". The humorous "Excuse Me" has Tony Levin playing a Tuba solo! "Humdrum" is the best song in this album, and is one of my favourite songs from Gabriel as soloist. Very good arrangements in this song, with maybe Fripp on classical guitar (!) and great keyboards. In this song, Gabriel sang with emotion. As a soloist, Gabriel started to be more himself almost all of the time, and not always acting as a character in a weird story, as he was in GENESIS. This is the reason why I prefer Gabriel as soloist than as a member of GENESIS: he sounds more "authentic" here. "Down the Dolce Vita" is "explosive", with an orchestral arrangement. "Here comes the Flood" has some flutes and recorders played by Gabriel, and he sounds "authentic" in this song too, singing with feeling.A very good album. "Slowburn" and "Waiting for the Big One" are good songs too, but they are less interesting for me than the rest of the songs of this album.
Report this review (#23908)
Posted Saturday, October 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Gabriel's debut album after he left Genesis with a major shift in musical style from the band he was leaving. The album was made during the time when the world music industry was dominated by punk where bands like Camel, Wishbone Ash, Jethro Tull et al were all marginalized by the three-chord rush and anti-establishment sneer of The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. Gabriel approached Robert Fripp (King Crimson) during his tentative steps out of musical retirement. Fripp played on the demos recording session for this album and was persuaded to join the subsequent tour band, which also included Tony Levin, albeit performing unseen.

Down The Dolce Vita has been my all-time favorite since I heard the song the first time when I was lent a cassette containing this track dated back in 1978. My second best include: Here Comes The Flood (which I also like the later acoustic version as well as Growing Up live version), Excuse Me (for me, it was my first introduction to humorous prog music), Solsbury Hill (has become a masterpiece in live version due to its energetic style), Humdrum (a nice mellow track).

An album that you must have it if you want to take steps in prog journey with Peter Gabriel's music direction. You would notice how his music has shifted significantly from this debut album to the groundbreaking UP album. Interesting. Recommended! (3.75 / 5). GW, Indonesia.

Report this review (#23909)
Posted Monday, December 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Peter GABRIEL's first solo album, better known as the "Car" album, was originally released in 1977. After an enormously successful stint with GENESIS, GABRIEL felt it was time to move on and explore all of his diverse musical taste rather than stay in the more strict musical confines of a group.

Featuring the guitar work of Robert Fripp, and the incomparable Tony Levin playing tuba and bass, his first solo outing features progressive-rock, pop, jazz, and flat out rockers. Peter also shows his adeptness on vocals, keyboard, flute and recorder.

This is the first in a series of comprehensive remastered efforts by Geffen Records (A subsidiary of the Universal Music Group) of GABRIEL's entire catalog. The artist was involved first hand with every step of the process.

"Solsbury Hill," now a FM radio staple, was Peter's first big hit on his maiden solo flight. The tightly woven melodic tune had everyone in the world humming, and it proved without a doubt that GABRIEL had what it took to be a huge success with or without GENESIS. The quirky "Excuse Me" would be one of the indelible stamps that would identify GABRIEL's many different sounds in years to come. Although the song was different than what people had become accustomed to hearing him sing, it was easy to get used to. Gabriel continued to be the consummate varied showman as he was with his former group by offering a marvelous cross-section of material for his faithful followers. "Modern Love" was a great rocker while "Here Comes The Flood" was an intense rocking prog-rock multi- instrumental affair with layer upon layer of stellar musicianship that anyone could enjoy and identify with. This was another show stopper that he would rely on for many years to stir the audience. Actually, every song on the album is outstanding.

This is awe-inspiring debut that would start a trend of excellence that continues to this day.

Report this review (#23911)
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Few months later the release of this album, I was born...but I just imagined how early Genesis fans felt when this record hit the racks!...Just hearing the opening track Moribund The Burgermeister, ppl would get amazed, because it was a track that was alike some others Gabriel recorded with his former band. I mean the change of voices and the theatrical mood of the song.

The rest of the material is more accesible, yet varied. Solsbury Hill, his second most popular track after Sledgehammer, the naive Excuse Me, the bluesy Waiting for the Big One, the breathtaking orchestra sound of Down the Dolce Vita and a great ballad Here Comes The Flood makes this one a worthy addition to any collection.

This is easily one of his best records...

Carlos S.

Report this review (#23915)
Posted Saturday, April 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
3 stars Peter Gabriel is my hero, for me he is the one who shaped Genesis, especailly live. Unfortunately I was at about 13-14 years old at the time Genesis performed legendary albums like "Foxtrot" and "The Lamb .. " so I have never seen the magical Genesis. When Peter Gabriel I was very curious to his music. This first solo-album is the last effort that contains progressive and bombastic pieces like "Moribund the burgermeister", "Waiting for the big one" and "Down the dolce vita". On later albums Peter shaped his own, very unique sound, from pure rock inspired (even punk elements) to the world music, he gradually went more and more away from the progrock scene. He stunned the world with his creative mind (the "Sledgehammer" video is still a visual masterpiece) and even sold millions of his solo- albums. But this first album is still my favorite one, mainly because most of the songs sound as a strong bridge between rock (great guitarplay from Hunter and Fripp), symphonic and pop, later that balance would be disturbed by an urge to protest against his former musical style (on II) and a wish to create emotional music (III and IV), inspired by the world music. I lost interest in Peter Gabriel from the succesfull album "So", this was too much poppy for me. So thumbs up for number one!
Report this review (#23917)
Posted Saturday, May 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Transitional albums are fun. They usually feature some familiar elements combined with some fresh new elements as well. Although the Genesis influence isn't really present on Gabriel's solo debut "Moribund the burgemeister" would have fit in easily on "the Lamb lies down on Broadway". But "Moribund" also shows some elements that would become Gabriel's trademark in the decade to come. In the interesting percussion parts you can spot slices of African drums. The chorus is pretty majestic but the arrangements shows the signs of what there is yet to come over the next couple of years.

On the subsequent live tour Gabriel performed just one track from his former band which is odd for an artist who just has released one album on his own. It seems he already wanted to get rid of his past back then. On the lovely "Sollsbury hill he refers to his old band in the lyrics for example this : "I was feeling part of the scenery, I walked right out of the machinery". Bob Ezrin did the production for this album and it's impossible to lie about this. Wherever he goes his big sound comes along, just listen to The Wall, Alice Cooper or Kansas' late eighties album. Even compared to the sound of Genesis this sounds extremely bombastic or pompous. Songs like "Modern love" and Slow burn" could almost be called American heavy rock : heavy guitar chords, guitar solo's that sound like anthems, energetic vocals with Gabriels voice dubbed in the chorus, a rocking piano underneath. Only some details on the background are referring to the good old Genesis or progressive rock in general even though the line up features the likes of Robert Fripp and Larry Fast but a lot of guitar parts are played by Steve Hunter, a typical American rock musician. Though these songs have definitely strong melodies and are highly enjoyable Gabriel would never to be seen in this area again and that must have been the influence from Bob Ezrin who's impact on the album is more than just producing the record. He even brought in some musicians.

"Waiting for the big one" was another one off experiment. A blues song which refers to Randy Newman if it wasn't for the chorus, very strange to hear him in this area but no one could call this a bad song. In the end the chorus is sung by a choir and that makes an excellent introduction to the orchestral "Dolce vita" which is another American sounding melodic rock song. This is one of the only tracks to contain an excitable song structure. Mostly I'm fond of the idea to bring in orchestra's in rock music but these orchestral section are sounding so bombastic, it's getting close to annoying. Many people seem to prefer the piano version of "Here comes the flood" but I do like the original version more cause of the full blown sound and let's be honest the emotional guitar solo is splendid. Another version of this track ended up on a solo effort from Robert Fripp. The atmosphere on "In a hundrum" has some similarities but the accordeon adds a lighter touch. This is the only track to have an atmospheric dreamscape reminiscent to Genesis. On these songs Gabriel seems to turn himself into a talented song writer.

The music on this album is a lot more rock than progressive. Springsteen's Born to run meets Genesis ? Something like that ! This melodic stuff is accessible and does contain excellent musicianship at the same time as you can hear on the details which you can easily hear on the remastered edition. But no real instrumental excerpts can be spotted. You can't possibly call this an essential addition to any prog collection apart from the fact that Gabriel use to be the front man of one of the greatest progressive rock bands ever. As a rock album I would rate this album much higher, after all, I still consider this amongst my all time favourite Gabriel albums. The melodies and atmospheres that are present on this album are astonishing. 3,5 stars

Report this review (#42037)
Posted Monday, August 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars Being a Genesis fans in the later 70's and being a Torontonian at the time , this album brings a lot of memories. It was recoded in Toronto and produced by "local boy" Bob Ezrin (ex-ali9ce Cooper and future Floyd's The Wall). I still remember friends stalking all possible studios in the city to spot The Gabe, even to undue hours of the nights. ;-)

when this album finally got released , it went under intense scrutiny from all of us Genesis addicts, deconstructing the song lyrics for hints. yes Solsburry Hill actually gave us the reasons for him leaving Genesis. But to have called this album prog rock (or art rock), was pushing it a bit. Moribund has cool prog tones , but this is the only track that could be classified as such IMHO. We could be talking of a sort of progressive pop, but anyway what an outstanding pop album it is. Certainly a wide spectrum of tunes are presented to us , from the blues Waiting For The Big One , to the poppiest Solbury Hill. Please not that there is a more definitive version of Here Comes The Flood on Fripp's Exposure solo album.

Outside Fripp, the cast of musicians also gained a lot of recognition from this album and became Gavriel's backing band for a while with Larry Fast and Tony Levin coming to the forefront. If memory serves me well , Wagner and Hunter were the two feuding guitarists in Cooper's Welcome To My Nightmare film. Over all a good pop album but really not a prog one.

Report this review (#46384)
Posted Monday, September 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars By the time I got into Genesis Peter Gabriel had already left. My mate said Gabriel was far better than Collins. I felt Collins was good and defended him. I bought this album out of interest because I obviously had started to discover Gabriels contribution to Genesis. 'Moribund the Burgermeister' was obviously not written for the Top Of The Pops fans and certainly would'nt be appearing on that show EVER. However,'Solsbury Hill' was a track which could appeal to all and is a timeless classic. This album has lots going for it. Excellent musicians,superb compositions and sheer and utter class. The final track 'Here comes the flood' is one of my favourite tracks (the acoustic version is even better). Oh,and some bloke called Robert Fripp plays on it.
Report this review (#54870)
Posted Sunday, November 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars It is strange to see such a low rating for this wonderful album... In my opinion this first solo album of Peter is his best solo work. The best thing about this album is that there is no weak track here and stylistically the album is very diverse. The album starts with "Moribund The Burgermeister" which has some Genesis sound (esp. from "TLLDOB") - a great opener. Everybody knows "Solisbury Hill". Though being a typical pop-song, it's a high quality track which I love listening to. "Modern Love" and "Slowburn" are good guitar tracks with nice transitions and harmonies. "Waiting For The Big One" has lots of blues which we never knew in Genesis. Personally I love blues and REALLY ENJOY THIS TRACK. "Here Comes The Flood". At first I did not like this track. But after a couple of listenings I realized that this might be the most beautiful rock-ballad ever written. Wonderful song and wonderful ending for an album. To sum it up: a very good rock album. Although it does not have lot of prog elements it's very enjoyable. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Report this review (#57273)
Posted Monday, November 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not prog, but I'll give it 4 stars, ebcause it is fairly great most of the time.

Starting off with the Lamb Lies Down-esque Moribund the Burgermeister, the album already sounds poppier than Genesis. Oh well, this is good enough for me! Great melodies and vocals, poor Moribund can't handle the peasants! Goofy voice in it brings it down, but still good.

Solsbury Hill, classic. Wonderful. Melodies, Lyrics, music, that great horn riff... Everything spectacular. Listen to it on here.

Modern Love is a rockier number, poppier as well. Chorus is nice, and I like the bridge. Good melodies all around, and since Gabriel dominates this album, this song is a good one.

Excuse me is a goofy babershop quartet. Terrible song, I skip it everytime. "It shows his sense of humor..." Well then, sorry Gabe, you're sense of humor sucks. Cringeworthy at best.

Humdrum starts off pretty good, slow, nice melodies. However, a strange... Italian? sounding riff soon comes in, but even then it stays pretty good. An alright song, but the worst of the good songs on here.

Slowburn is a pretty catchy song, the verse melody almost reminds me of Rush. The chorus is great, overall a good song, but not outstanding.

Waiting for the Big One is the other terrible song of the album, along with Excuse me. Jazzy/bluesy, but painfully so and not prog either. 7 wasted minutes.

Down the Dolce Vita... second best on here, maybe even best, it gives Solsbury a run for it's money. The opening orchestra motif is EPIC! And then it soon changes to almost disco-esque riffs, but it is still dark and epic, and I love it. The bridge is amazing too, and the breakdown. Whoever played guitar on this track (Fripp, maybe) should be commended. Amazing track.

Here Comes the Flood is the third best song on here, after Soldbury Hill and Down the Dolce Vita. Good ending song, Chorus melody is excellent, and the verses are slow and haunting. However, I have another version of this track without the whole choir singing the chorus, just Gabriel himself the whole way through on piano and vocals and no one else (apart from a rare Fripp solo at the beginning) and it is better- it sounds more heartfelt and less cheesy. That said, this is still a fantastic song.

So all in all a strong album, just what you imagine a solo album to be like: the solo person dominates the album, which in this case is usually AWESOME! Only duds are Excuse me and Waiting for the Big One. highlights: Solsbury Hill, Down the Dolce Vita, Here comes the Flood. But Moribund, Mordern Love, Humdrum and Slowburn are all good too. Strong album.

Report this review (#70535)
Posted Sunday, February 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I am a compromised fan of Genesis-Gabriel Era. This release is a kind of middle age crisis with Gabriel trying to escape from Genesis memories and fighting for find his own emotions and music.

Anyway this album has great songs such as "Moribund the Burgermeister", with Gabriel's voice at the peak of his career. There is some songs that sound like radio hits as "Solsbury Hill" and "Slowburn". Also there is deep, beauty and very personal songs such as "Humdrum" and the classical "Here Comes the Flood"... And one -maybe the only one- real prog song of the album, the epical "Down the Dolce Vita"

For this album Gabriel worked with superb musicians as Tony Levin, Steve Hunter, Robert Fripp and Larry Fast (Synergy). The result is not bad but neither good. Anyway, I really enjoy this album yet. For me, looks like a lost album made by Genesis.

Report this review (#74796)
Posted Wednesday, April 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I think this is a good album. I enjoy listening to it, even though it's not even close to the music he was doing before his departure from Genesis. (except perhaps for moribund the burgemeister, modern love, and here comes the flood, that remind me to the 'the lamb' sound... Like I was saying this album is very enjoyable, its very good music, not 100% prog but definitely not completely mainstream music. My favorite song is the first one 'moribund the burgemeister' this is the most proggy track on the album and 'here comes the flood', very emotive track IMO. Another track that I want to mention is 'Excuse me'... it kinda reminds me of 'harold the barrel'.. it's definitely not as crazy, but it is also full with silly sounds and a 'funny' way of singing'. I also like 'solsbury hill' because he gets to say goodbye to his genesis days... anyway... this album is worth some spins specially if you are a genesis fan who wants to know what happened to his frontman after his departure... It's far from being a proggresive music masterpiece though... 3 stars.
Report this review (#82384)
Posted Saturday, July 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Upon his exit from Genesis, Peter Gabriel became a recluse in the next few years only to come back with this album in 1977. He draws a number of guest musicians, including Robert Fripp and Tony Levin, on this album and also strays away from the symphonic sound that was identified with his past ventures with Genesis drastically. The sound on this album is a quirky mix of glam rock, barbershop quartet, bombastic classical, quasi-disco, and blues, but they are all mixed well together and there seems to be a cohesive flow within the album. While not terribly progressive, this album is a strong foundation for the mega career that would follow for Gabriel, and it would also provide one of his biggest hits (and one of his most personal songs) in Solsbury Hill, the "story" of why he left Genesis.

Moribund the Burgermeister opens quietly with some vocals from Gabriel but soon breaks out into a guitar driven rock anthem, with an interesting chord progression and a quirky chorus section in which Gabriel says, "I will find out. I will find out,". Solsbury Hill is a gentle acoustic tune with a great 7/4 motif and a very uplifting feeling throughout. The distorted choruses and the great hammering chords at the end really give this song that triumphant edge. No wonder it's one of his biggest hits. Modern Love is a poppier number but it still retains a rocky edge and it has a nice chorus/bridge. It's not the best song on the album but it's not a bad song at all. Excuse Me opens with a barbershop quartet and it really sounds cool. When Gabriel comes in with the main vocal, the piano in the background is really fun and quirky. It's a bit of an off the wall track, but I really enjoy it. Great guitar from Fripp on this track.

Humdrum continues the rocky edge of the album with solid guitar and bass work, as well as some great keyboard work from Larry Fast. Slowburn is a bit of a throwaway, and my least favorite song on this album. It doesn't really seem to go anywhere terribly fast and it seems more like filler than anything else. Waiting for the Big One is a bluesy number with some great soloing and a nice breakdown towards the end. This is also the longest song on the album, running at 7:14, and it doesn't really get boring at all. Down the Dolce Vida begins with a bombastic orchestra hammering out triumphant notes that break into a disco type chords and patterns, but the epic orchestral score is what really makes this song great. Here Comes the Flood ends the album with an epic chorus and some emotive vocals from Gabriel. This song is only improved on Robert Fripp's album Exposure, in which Gabriel sings this song solo while playing the piano, a beautiful piece on this album, though, and it really ends the album well.

In the end, Peter Gabriel's first solo album marked the beginning of a new era for the vocalist. His work would only improve, though, but this album acts as a high mark for his career and shows that he didn't need Genesis to make fun, engaging, and quirky music. Recommended to all, as it would make a very excellent addition to your collection. 4/5.

Report this review (#82965)
Posted Thursday, July 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Some nice songs, one or two great ones, but the production spoils it all. With the sensitivity of a rhino, Mr. Ezrin gives Gabriel's song a "commercial" rendering that ruins most of them. Whatever Gabriel wants to say - heavy metal guitars don't help. Funny, the brainless Hunter is all over the place but Fripp is almost inadible.
Report this review (#85109)
Posted Saturday, July 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Peter's first outing is very strong, even though it is a bit all over the place. It seems like he's desperately trying to find himself musically. There are many different styles of music on this album and there isn't a bad song on it. On this album, you get prog (Moribund), pop (Solsbury Hill), rock (Modern Love), barbershop (Excuse Me), blues (Waiting for the Big One), and a slight symphonic edge (Down the Dolce Vita). My favorites here are "Moribund", "Solsbury Hill", "Humdrum", "Down the Dolce Vita", and "Here Comes the Flood", although I prefer the version on Fripp's album. "Solsbury Hill" is still probably my favorite song, not just on this album, but out of everything. Overall, This is a very good album and won't disappoint. 3.5 Stars.
Report this review (#87754)
Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Unlike may reviewers in this website, I discovered Genesis "backwards", i.e the first album I heard was "And then there were three", when it was just issued in 1979 or 80. I found it great, and then started to explore the Genesis related artists/groups.

I bought Gabriel 1 in 1980 (the same day I bought "Duke"), and I found it much more interesting than the then Genesis production. I made my mind straight away with the idea that Genesis was inferior to Gabriel (I had not listened carefully to Hackett's solo work at that time).

What attracted me in Gabriel's first opus was the versatility of that guy. While I was listening to this album, I kept admiring Gabriel's ability to produce great music in many various styles and tones:

- Moribund the burgermeister, Humdrum, and Here comes the flood are excellent progressive tracks. For sure they could have been more developed but it's well balanced, well sung, well "crafted" music. Here comes the flood strongly reminds me of the end of "Supper's ready" (which means to me Genesis at its best)

- Solsbury hill and Excuse me are very good ballads, very catchy, the kind you'll never forget after you've heard them once.

- Modern love and Slowburn are rock tracks, very classical. Gabriel's voice is pretty good on these tunes.

- Waiting for the big one is bluesy-rock, ŕ la Tom Waits. It's the longest track of the record, and the coolest one: it's jazzy, very relaxed. I like the lyrics too.

- Down the dolce vita. To be honest, I don't like this track: its sounds is realy typical of how heavy some productions were around 1980. It reminds me of Survivor's Eye of the tiger (remember the "Rocky" OST?): bombastic, over-produced, useless.

To sum it up: a demo of Gabriel's ability to succeed in any musical style, joyfully. 4 stars (because of the heavy production).

Report this review (#89179)
Posted Thursday, September 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Peter Gabriel's first solo album was a huge success to me personally. Lyrically, 'Peter Gabriel 1' is another noteworthy accomplishment. This album is a step away (not necessarily forward or backward) from Gabriel's previous sound with Genesis. Gabriel, I think, was being more creative and experimenting a bit more on this. He tried a bluesier tune (waiting for the big one) and barbershop style (excuse me), and a very poppy song (Solsbury Hill). The other tracks are nice (for the most part) and vary to keep it interesting. The album concludes beautifully with one of Gabriel's best songs 'Here Comes the Flood'. There is a piano version as well (not on the album), but I find the instrumental a bit more powerful. Great album overall, good for an introduction to prog, methinks, and definately to the Gabe's solo works.
Report this review (#93406)
Posted Wednesday, October 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Gabriel started his solo carreer with a great album, to compare his solo work with Genesis material is not really fair to Gabriel, since that's another time another story and another direction.

the album distigueshes itself by good melodies, and a huge variety in styles, ranging from the Queen styled vaudeville (Excuse me) to some David Bowie type of glam (Modern Love), though that is more based on the Fripp guitar than on the title which of course reminds you of Bowie, but it's of course another song. Some Genesis style also pasts, mostly because of his typical voice, but the music also draws back on some of the music of The lamb (Humdrum, Here comes The Flood and Slowburn).

down the Dolce Vita somewhat reminds me of the Bee Gees, but with symphonic orchestration and a very good vocal line, without a doubt my favourite song of Gabriel together with the also present Sollsbury Hill with it's fabulous acoustic guitar intro.

The only disappointing song is Waiting For The Big One, which has a more jazzy approach, the rest is certainly enteraining and on occasion very good. Gabriel left Genesis, and also departed from the style Genesis used to play, with this album he became in control of his music, which was more pop oriented, but with some special quality that sets him apart as a brand of his own.

Not a masterpiece, but surely a very good debut and it belongs to his better albums for sure.

Report this review (#94011)
Posted Tuesday, October 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In spite of somewhat subdued production and poor sound, which may be attributed to a low-quality vinyl press of Yugoslavian release that I had listened, Gabriel's debut is an excellent work. It is filled with many varied-style songs. If uneven, the album contains many of his best moments in the entire post-GENESIS career. From the opening "Moribund" experimental, via chart-topper "Salisbury Hill", through the symphonic remnants of "Here Comes the Flood", Gabriel made a definitive "post-progressive rock" album, anticipating his later pop avant-garde works and even the world fusion trend of the 1980s. Listening to this music, it is obvious where the most of creative energy of the classic GENESIS albums lied, especially when compared to "And Then There Were Three", which appeared the following year.
Report this review (#109417)
Posted Tuesday, January 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Moribund: the lyrics wind around you, while a musical theme and structure can't help but brings you more of what Garbiel fans have come to expect. Solsbury: A bright light of hope and happiness throbs along in this tune. I was afraid leaving Genesis would spoil the musical spell Peter can cast with his words. No, it's time to look deeper into who Peter Gabriel really is. A musically and lyrically talented experimentalist. Modern: How true, how modern love can be a strain. Is it worth it? Sit back and go to the next level.What's to take issue with, the musicianship of this lineup? Music with vision! Excuse ME: just a bit a fun fellas! I'm not the man I used to be either. Who says a banjo doesn't belong in progressive's no holds barred....eclectic! Humdrum: Nothing's gone from the emotional development of what PG has been developing all along with Genesis. The acoustic guitar shades are like a soft musical background. Slowburn: Excitement! The guitar arrangement is the locgical extension of many themes from Genesis. Yet it, isn't afraid to take chances in other directions too. Waiting for the big one: articulate, willing to borrow styles that suit the sentiment of this tune. Down the Dolce Vita: And why not? The arrangement for the electric guitar and brass section are great. Here comes the flood: the future direction progressive rock should take was never better and more clearly pointed out here. Change is hard to take, but the very best music evolves, and moves on. Here tune close to the heart of any progressive rock fan. A pure pleasure to listen to. I was glad Peter left Genesis. There was no place else to go if you want to keep the creative flame going without going a bit stale.
Report this review (#114878)
Posted Sunday, March 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars The split between GENESIS and PETER GABRIEL was, in my opinion, a good thing. The first fruits were two excellent GENESIS albums, along with this slightly underwhelming PETER GABRIEL offering. Having called this album underwhelming, however, does not do justice to GABRIEL'S stellar career that followed.

I don't know what other fans of GENESIS expected from this album, but it certainly was not packed with multi-part, GENESIS-style songs. Instead GABRIEL crafted a solid if unspectacular art-rock album. All GABRIEL'S trademarks are here: moments of high emotion (Solsbury Hill, Here Comes The Flood), examples of his eccentric, hit-and-miss humour (Excuse Me) and quasi-operatic numbers (Down The Dolce Vita), along with a more troubling part of his songwriting, the underdeveloped song (Humdrum, Waiting For The Big One).

I find it interesting that GABRIEL prefers a stripped-down version of 'Here Comes The Flood' (as on the compilation 'Sixteen Golden Greats' to the bombastic version presented here. I'm of a different opinion. This version of 'Here Comes The Flood' isn't subtle, but it is powerful; and part of what made GENESIS essential listening was the lyrical and instrumental power of their work. Both versions have their charm, but this version is progressive.

Any potential purchaser of PETER GABRIEL'S albums must be aware they will be listening to something quite different to early GENESIS. If you are able to put GENESIS to one side - as GABRIEL himself did - you will have yourself an enjoyable and challenging album. But remember, GABRIEL'S best work was to come.

Report this review (#115802)
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Interesting album with highs and lows, but leaving an overall nice impression. Still, I guess it was sort of a dissapointment for Genesis fans at the time of its release, because of the very few nods to Genesis and progressive rock in general. Obviously, this is not necessarly a bad thing if the music has quality, and Peter gave us a lot in his solo career.

Moribund The Burgermeister is a good proggy opener with a great theatrical performance by Gabriel and a somewhat dark sound imo, but warning, is not a representation of the album as a whole by any means.

Solsbury Hill is a beatiful song, I don't know what else to say about it, is just pure beauty to me.

Modern Love is a straight rocker, nothing spectacular but is ok.

I find Excuse Me annoying, here we have a dose of PG's theatricality but with music not interesting enough to back it up.

Humdrum is beatifully composed and performed, subtle and gentle with good melody.

Slowburn sounds like a Queen song but with PG on vocals to me, I'm not saying it's bad, in fact I find it pleasant.

Waiting For The Big One.... yikes, I understand it was kind of an experiment and probably PG had a lot of fun recording this one, but I don't like the style and on top of that is soporific and way too long.

Well it seems I'm not the only one who finds certain similarity between Down The Dolce Vita and Eye Of the Tiger (the Rocky song), still I think is a good song but nothing memorable.

Here Comes The Flood closes the album on a high note, with that anthemic chorus that Pete sings so well, a good solid song.

So imo what we have here are 4 highlights, 2 fillers and 3 good-but-not-great songs. All in all a good album but far from being PG's finest.

Report this review (#122461)
Posted Thursday, May 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars When this album came out, I wanted to BE Peter Gabriel. (Or Bowie, as he then was.) (OR Pete Townshend.) Wot! Leaving one of the world's leading prog bands because they were getting too commercial, or because PG wanted to follow his muse... How noble! And then he came up with an album ALMOST as good as the things he'd done with Genesis!

Back in '77, I played PG1 a lot and thought it was a virtually immaculate collection. The opening number, "Moribund the Burgermeister", was plainly weird, but theatrical in the best possible way. Fortunately, it was followed immediately by "Solsbury Hill", the least annoying hit single Peter's ever had (pardon me, I just can't stand "Sledgehammer"), and by a great rocker, "Modern Love", with which I totally identified, as I was desperately looking for a girlfriend. (Peter screams and shouts as if he's back in "Back in NYC" - a true delight!) Then you got some comic relief in the shape of "Excuse Me" (undoubtedly arranged with help from Tony Levin, Mr Barbershop himself!) and finally (to finish off the original A-side) the majestic beauty of "Humdrum". Friends of mine who hated prog used to say, 'It sounds just like Genesis', and it is indeed remarkable that on quite a few of his albums Peter would return to grand symphonic gestures in the style of "Firth of Fifth" and the "Supper's Ready" finale. ("San Jacinto" is another such piece.) I loved him for it.

The B-side took a while to get going. "Slowburn" never meant much to me, but all the same, I found it remarkable that, via producer Bob Ezrin, Gabriel had caught hold of some of the musicians who made Lou Reed's BERLIN and ROCK 'n' ROLL ANIMAL such a delight, notably guitarists Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner. "Waiting for the Big One" seemed a half-way convincing homage to the great Randy Newman, only it never sounded amusing and went on for far too long. Then, suddenly, with a thunderclap, you were hit by "Down the Dolce Vita". Like Neil Young before him, Gabriel borrowed the entire London Symphony Orchestra, who must have been desperate for cash at the time. Specially arranged by Mike Gibbs (one of the great jazz-rock composers of the 1970s), the orchestra made you feel as if you were watching a pirate movie, although "Dolce Vita" rocked as well - I can't remember how many times I played air guitar to that one! After the storm had subsided, you were left with the pure, ethereal beauty of "Here Comes the Flood", one of the loveliest songs Peter has written. You must remember there was no trace of a "piano-and-vocal-only" version at that time. My friends and I thought the orchestral version was just great. Even my fifty-eight year old dad was bowled over. Mr Gabriel touching the Sublime!

Report this review (#126410)
Posted Wednesday, June 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars When it's time to leave, it's time to leave. Peter Gabriel left Genesis, and he left an awful lot of the things that we had grown so accustomed to from him behind with them. This is a new Peter Gabriel searching for his place in the musical world, and he visits some strange new locales on this quest. Peter has never shown off his vocal versitility like this.

4 stars: It's not quite a masterpiece, but it's a brilliant example of a talented individual dipping into various styles to see where he fits in.

Moribund the Burgermeister (very good) kicks off the trip. This tale of monster terrorizing a village, complete with all of the vocal theatrics that Gabriel throws in, is the closest that Gabriel gets to what he had been doing with Genesis. The music, on the other hand, doesn't really sound like something Genesis would do. Save that for the next song.

Solisbury Hill (excellent). What can I say about this brilliant song? This is a mellow acoustic number that wouldn't have sounded out of place if it had been released by Genesis, and it's definitely the high point of the album.

Modern Love (average). Ok, the first place we visit after leaving Genesis country is hard rock with this song, which features hard driving rock andvery choppy riffs, and has an early example of Gabriel's witty sexual double entendres, which were later to drive the song Sledgehammer.

Excuse Me (average). And next we stop by and hear a barbershop quartet! Once again, Peter's wit rescues this from what could have been a disaster.

Humdrum (excellent). A wonderfully grandiose yet meditative song that (taken together with the next one) kind of points in what direction Peter wants to go. From it's very simple intro to it's expansive ending, this is one great piece. I just wish I had a clue what the lyrics were about.

Slowburn (good). The same kind of sound that is featured in the last song, but here it is played more uptempo and lacks the majesty of the last track.

Waiting for the Big One (average). Peter sings the blues! Way back when I first heard this, I'd have rated this as good, but now I have actually heard a lot of blues and realizes that Peter doesn't have a blues bone in his body. Still, it's an interesting try.

Down the Dolce Vita (very good). Peter returns to prog land for a brief visit and we are all very glad to so see him, since he is bringing a musical gift like this one (complete with orchestra.)

Here Comes the Flood (very good). A sad, slow, well-crafted pop ballad ends Peter's magical musical journey.

Report this review (#126836)
Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Peter Gabriels first attempt at a solo album, and quite a good one! Here Peter Gabriel is trying to find his sound outside of Genesis, outside of hardcore prog music and a sound a bit more pleasing to the masses. He tries classic rock, some horns, ballads, and even jazz. But I find the progressive songs the best, that being the quirky opener, moribund the burgermeister, and the acoustic radio hit Solsbury hill, which, as commercially accepting it is, it's in 5/4 time!

This album also has to do with some closure from leaving the band that made him an international prog hero. Solsbury hill is all about him and Genesis, and how he felt he was being sucked into the "machine" of being a rockstar, and how the band was being led by outside people, more than the band itself. Another small thing the album gives us is Gabriels apparent fascination with everyday modern life, Humdrum, another day in a one way world (next album), and Lead a normal life (album after that), all show Peter Gabriels opinion towards normal citiszen life, and how he thinks life just goes on unless you brake through the barrier that is normality.

As far as the music goes, like I said, it's very diverse, there are some very amazing and wonderful songs here, and some that are not so good. My favirote songs are Moribund the burgermeister, Solsbury hill, Humdrum, here comes the flood, all of them show off Peter Gabriels songwriting skill as well as singing. Now the rest of the songs are good, but either sound like a wannabe classic rock song, or a weird swiss alps heel clicker. The albu is well recorded, probably due to his excellency Robert Fripp who helped produce this album. Though you can barely here much Fripp on this album, the lead guitarist, Steve Hunter, is excellent and his work on the jazzy tune, Waiting for the big one is excellent.

Gabriel would go out to produce a bad album, an amazingly beautiful album, then as history goes, shock his monkey with huge fame, and multiple grammies, emmies, or whatever other muzac awards there are. As for this album, a great start to one of my favirote songwriters epic journey in music.


Report this review (#132485)
Posted Friday, August 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Two things come to mind when considering Gabriel's first solo effort. On one hand, given that he had a few years to create this album, one could say it's a rather disjointed mess. This is the best he could do? On the other hand, you can almost hear the huge sigh of relief burst out of Pete as he delights in the prospects of complete control of his artistic intentions. It sounds to me as if he just decided to ease into his new status quo by clearing some of the cobwebs from his attic. The results are mixed but the overall experience is interesting.

Highlights include "Moribund," a nice quirky number that rocks but seems half-baked. "Solsbury Hill" is one of Gabriel's finest tracks bar none, lyrically and musically. Dealing with his angst of divorce from the band the real story is the music here, the most delightfully catchy little number that justifiably was a huge hit. While you might be burned out on it from radio overkill it has to be acknowledged that it's a fine piece of songwriting. "Modern Love" is passable rocker that almost makes me think of what Joe Jackson would soon be doing with "Look Sharp." "Here Comes the Flood" is another classic Gabriel track deserving of its reputation. Really beautiful and a hint of what was coming from Pete in the future.

Some of the other tracks really stiff with moments of silliness (Excuse Me), unconvincing blues (Waiting for the Big One), mediocrity (Humdrum and Slowburn), and even a bit of a disco-sounding beat (Down the Dolce Vita.)

While there are some good moments here my belief is that Gabriel 1 is for fans and not something I could recommend to people. It's not awful but aside from the bright spots I can't quite get to 3 stars. About 2.4 stars.

Report this review (#138879)
Posted Monday, September 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
3 stars A fun, classic bit of poppish art-rock from a terrific singer/songwriter who-- in my opinion-- records music here that is with very few exceptions better than anything from Genesis.

Gabriel's songs here are all catchy, filled with melodic hooks and thanks in part to his excellent backing band, contain many outstanding instrumental moments as well. Many different styles and moods are present, from straight-ahead pop sing-a-longs, lazy- tempo blues, and big, sweeping epics complete with symphonic flair. Gabriel delivers more memorable vocals here than on any of his Genesis albums and really seems to be more in his element.

A solid, fun listen which will connect to some more than others, but is deservedly respected as one of this great artist's gems.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Report this review (#145158)
Posted Tuesday, October 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The fact that this album is currently rated here as 3.54 comes as a shock to me. I am a massive Peter Gabriel fan, and I happen to think that this is his finest album as a solo artist. Firstly, for any Genesis fans, this is Gabriel's only solo album that really reminds you of Peter's time with Genesis. There are several excellent songs to look out for on this album. The first is the infamous "Solsbury Hill" a beautiful acoustic sounding song written about Gabriel's time with Genesis, this is widely regarded as the best song of Gabriel's early solo career. Second is the awe inspiring "Slowburn", which some fans of more timid rock may be put off by, but most will find a cacophony of interesting and brilliant musical choices. Finally is the magnificent "Here Comes The Flood", my favourite track on the album and possibly my favourite Gabriel track all together. Never have I heard a rock song with such contrast, from it's beautiful piano based introduction to the powerful 80's power pop chorus, this song is guaranteed to blow you away. This album really showed the world that Peter Gabriel could stand on his own two feet, and that it was only the beginning of his musical career. 5 stars.
Report this review (#152940)
Posted Tuesday, November 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Peter Gabriel´s first solo album is one of his most accessible work and showed that he could be very versatile, songwriting wise. With the solo exception of the opening track, Moribund The Burgermeister, which could be an outtake from The Lamb Lies..., the album is quite different from everything he has ever done with Genesis. Every track has a unique style and ambience. He dabbles with hard rock (Slowburn), blues (Waiting For the Big One), Symphonic Rock (Down The Dolce Vita), eletronic progressive (Humdrum) and so on. It even includes a doo wop/dixieland tune (Excuse Me) complete with Tony Levin playing a tuba solo! And it works! Well, with his talent and the talents of a bunch of the best studio musicians available, how could he go wrong?

Of course there are some of his swipes at his old colleagues in Genesis in the lyrics of the aforementioned Excuse Me and the beautiful Solbury Hill, one of the highlights of this album. This great song has one of the most interesting and effective riffs in prog history and very inspired lyrics about his leaving from Genesis. Here Comes The Flood is another classic that closes the album and promises greater things in the future, that would eventually happen.

All in all Peter Gabriel proves that the singer could easily have a life without his old band. Even with the help of some heavy weights like Robert Fripp (King Crimson) and synthesizer wizzard Larry Fast, Gabriel is the star of the record and dominates the show all the time. With a strong production and fine arrangements this is a testimony of his greatness and a must have for any prog fan.

Report this review (#154497)
Posted Thursday, December 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars The solo album that Genesis fans were dying to hear. Did it reach the expectations? maybe, maybe not. This is a quite strong release. Luckily, it does not sound like a Genesis clone and shows elements that will appear in his future solo albums: he has not yet found his sound, so this album is quite diverse. On the other hand, this is far from a masterpiece and to the disappointment of prog diehards, it is not very progressive and does not have deep epics.

The opener reminds of Lamb Lies material, with theatrical music, different vocalizations (different characters) and humor. However, the album really smokes when Solsbury Hills starts. This commercial success has a natural sounding 7/4 theme and excellent vocal melodies. Modern Love is a standard hard rock number which doesn't leave a big impression. Excuse Me is amusing if you pay attention to the lyrics, but it is quite uncomfortable to listen to this silly barbershop quartet. The next two tracks are solid: Humdrum is a prog-related grandiose ballad with powerful vocals while Slowburn is a guitar-led rocker. Waiting for the Big One is a surprising tune, with a lounge-like blues tone, but so much more.

The last two tracks bring a great closure to the album. Down the Dolce Vita is a theatrical progressive rock song with bombastic choruses featuring an orchestra, some dramatic instrumental moments, and unusually upbeat verses. Here Comes the Flood is a ballad that alternates between laid back piano verses with big, symphonic, anthemic refrains. I think it is much better than the acoustic versions he does live nowadays.

Report this review (#158593)
Posted Monday, January 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars After leaving Genesis in 1975, Peter Gabriel began his solo career with this eponymous debut in 1977. This was the first of what would be a series of untitled albums. Gabriel originally wanted his albums to be considered as consecutive issues (like a magazine), rather than as individual works. Although he did this for four straight albums, his fans still gave them names. Because the album cover featured a picture of a car, this album is often referred to as Car and sometimes just as Peter Gabriel I.

Gabriel brought a number of talented musicians to perform on his first solo effort. These included the famous bassist Tony Levin, King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, guitarist Steve Hunter (known for his work with Lou Reed), popular session percussionist Jimmy Maelen, synthesizer expert Larry Fast, and guitarist Dick Wagner (known for his work with Alice Cooper).

With an experienced line-up, Gabriel put forward a very nice debut effort. But if you were expecting more of Genesis, you were definitely not going to get it on here or on any future solo releases. Instead, Gabriel crafted some really intelligent music more in the vein of pop/art rock. About the closest contemporary artist I could compare this with is David Bowie, although the two of them sound completely different. In many ways, Gabriel sort of moved Genesis in this direction on their Lamb Lies Down on Broadway album, which featured many more radio-friendly shorter pieces.

Gabriel still retained some progressive tendencies, and for the most part would on future releases. Songs like Waiting for the Big One, Here Comes the Flood, and Moribund the Burgermeister showcased some minor nods to Gabriel's Genesis era. His lone hit off this album, Solsbury Hill, became a popular fan favorite and is the one song most associated with Gabriel's name.

A very enjoyable album and an excellent contribution to artsy-style rock, but because it's more in the pop rock vein, three stars seems like an adequate rating for this.

Report this review (#163745)
Posted Wednesday, March 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars To be honest, the first Peter Gabriel solo album is not a great one, and not his best work. There are some good tracks (Solsbury Hill, Here Comes The Flood, Down The Dolce Vita), but some fillers too (I don't like Excuse Me and Humdrum). In its globality, an honest, simple and efficient album, but Pete Gab' will do really much better in his next works.
Report this review (#163994)
Posted Saturday, March 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Peter Gabriel´s first solo album after leaving Genesis in 1975 was released in 1977. Peter Gabriel will always stand as one of the greatest, most influential and innovative progressive singers in my book. His time with Genesis spawned some of the greatest prog rock albums ever and it was probably with terror that the fans learnt he had left the band after the tour for The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Genesis would never be the same again. While Genesis soldiered on with drummer Phil Collins taking over the lead vocal duties it seemed that Peter Gabriel vanished. But in 1977 he emerged with his debut solo album.

The music is very different from the music Peter Gabriel did with Genesis as the symphonic prog rock style is only present in glimpses on this album. The songs on this album are generally shorter and more simple than what Genesis normally stood for. Some people embrassed Peter Gabriel´s new sound and found it new and exciting while others like myself don´t really see many positive things about this new direction Peter has chosen.

The songs are not that memorable even though they are simple and the only songs that stand out for me is Moribund The Burgermeister ( Clearly the best track here and the one that sounds most like Genesis in the Lamb Lies Down period), Solsbury Hill, Down The Dolce Vita and the sing along like Here Comes The Flood. The rest is forgettable and not very exciting.

So many great musicians have contributed to the album and names like Tony Levin ( King Crimson, Liqiud Tension Experiment) and Robert Fripp ( King Crimson) should evoke some interest in a prog fans mind. The problem is that this music is so simple and boring that even with great musicians like this it all hits the ground with a bang. Peter Gabriel sings with conviction in some songs while he sounds tired and indifferent in others.

The sound quality is typical late seventies on the way to the eighties. It´s a bit cold if you ask me.

The cover art is good. I´ve always liked the picture of the blue car with raindrops on the windshield.

This is a very disappointing solo album from Peter Gabriel. His approach to rock music is certainly different than the norm but that don´t neccessarely mean that his approach is good. Even with the aforementioned partially good songs I can´t defend giving the album more than 2 stars. A great disappointment.

Report this review (#176332)
Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
TGM: Orb
3 stars Review 67 (really), Peter Gabriel (1), Peter Gabriel, 1976


Peter Gabriel's solo career seems, from the range of stuff I've heard so far, to be the ultimate musical chameleon. Even the classic prog giants don't cover quite as much ground musically as I've heard from Gabriel, and I haven't actually heard all that much of him yet. This album, too, is musically very diverse, with subtle and obvious eclecticism pervading most of it. Despite the wide range of styles covered, I feel that Peter Gabriel (1 of 4) is a very successful album most of the time, and never slips so badly it causes a lot of annoyance. Down The Dolce Vita is, in my humble opinion, one of the finest pieces of (rock) music ever recorded, and the quality of the rest is hardly shabby either. Great stuff.

The highly eclectic Moribund The Burgermeister is a superb opener. Compelling quiet rhythm section work is supplemented with both Fripp guitar wailing and droning, water-drop effects and bursts of more standard strutting from guitar and synths. Gabriel's vocals acquit themselves brilliantly, with harmonies, the menacing 'I will find out' and some sarcastically used accents particularly standing out as both unusual and excellent. Lyrically, the song meddles in both entertaining and more serious ideas, without being too fixed to lose the mystery.

Solsbury Hill, probably Gabriel's second-most-known piece, is also fairly distinctive. Aside from the superb vocal (self-harmonising, if I'm not mistaken, with two different sounds that give a slight edge) and lyrical content, the upbeat banjo stands out. Tony Levin's jabbing and whumphing bass rhythm is quite compelling. As much as I feel the keyboard riff is a bit obnoxious, it does add some more options and layers to the music. However, the song really breaks out during the little mini-explosions on drums at the end of each verse and finally on the ending instrumental section, with a belting guitar and fun jabbering from Gabriel to boot.

The rocker, Modern Love, is a bit more conventional than the first two songs, but nonetheless very strong, with superb and fascinating swirly bass-work from Levin, the classic 70s high hammond chord, Andy 's drumming matches these with little crashes supplemented with tin-pot sounds and a solid beat. Gabriel is again a stand-out vocalist, albeit sounding virtually nothing like himself, much grainier than usual, and his innuendo-wrapped lyrics are at the same time amusing and quite compelling. The guitar chords are immaculate, even if a little upstaged by Levin.

The hilarious barber-shop quartet followed by unusual song that is Excuse Me also works in its own way, with a neat tuba provided by Levin, great vocals and fairly nice lyrics, solos and little melodies added by all things involved, including one particularly fine guitar burst and a weird little synth tone that sounds a bit piano-meets-tympani.

Humdrum is far more subdued, with a soulful vocal and sustained, soft piano contributing the opening verse, before a gorgeous recorder-guitar dominated break and a reiteration of the opening section with more contributions. A second, extremely pretty section features a gorgeous acoustic guitar part and lush keyboard parts. Not as memorable as the rest of the album, perhaps, but nonetheless I enjoy it every time

Slowburn is the second heavily rock-based piece of the album, and it too is very strong, with a completely different, but no less fascinating, bass part. Amusing 'aaa's punctuate some of the vocal sections, and the synths and programming are brilliant. The drumming and guitars are plain rock awesomeness, and the softer sections don't at all break the flow of the piece, but rather add slightly more emphasis to it. An odd soundscape thing with all sorts of synth ideas and glockenspiel leads down to the end.

Waiting For The Big One is a rather laid back song, with wonderful piano crawls, a light and cheery vocal, little guitar additions are the order of the day, and the rather larger guitar strut with large harmony feels a little out of place in the piece. Gabriel's vocal is, as always, tailored to the piece, with good range and sound, and a rather neat bluesy solo punctuates the middle.

The amazing Down The Dolce Vita is almost definitely one of my top twenty songs. Aside from the superb merge of the LSO with the rock band and utterly compelling rhythm guitar riff, Gabriel's vocal is again a stunner, with constant and effective flourishes, stark edges and amazing lyrics ("'So long', said four men to their families/be strong, 'til we get back home". Levin's bass jumps up at the high end, adding these little throbs of energy in between his more standard backing. The drums and percussion are forceful and have a great roll, and the orchestral jabs on the concluding verse. A final stark flute-based conclusion segues straight into Here Comes The Flood. This song alone would justify the album's price for me.

Here Comes The Flood is an amazingly emotional piece, with jaw-dropping vocals and lyrics ('stranded starfish have no place to hide') complimenting the soft piano, acoustics and backing organ, as well as the hollow percussion sound. The heavily harmonised chorus is effective and potent, as is the roaring guitar solo, and the piece gradually builds to its climax without losing any of its essence. The conclusion, I feel, is slightly too insubstantial, but that is the only gripe I have with the piece.

So, overall, a wonderfully diverse range of goodies here, and while it doesn't quite hit the masterpiece mark for me, it comes very close. Vital and enjoyable listening, and so far detached from Genesis that I don't think your opinion of one will have any bearing on your opinion of the other. Highly recommended. I look forward to hearing more of Gabriel's solo material soon.

Rating: Four Stars Favourite Track: Down The Dolce Vita

Edit: general harshlificasdhihing of ratings, again, (sorry to anyone who might be going through all my reviews to gather evidence to report me as a communist to the CIA...) and I felt there are some areas of reservation with this one that I didn't express in the review (most notably, the big chorus on Here Comes The Flood and a couple of the guitar tones), as well as it just not comparing as well to later Gabriel efforts. Some seminal stuff on here, but I think a three is more representative of its overall quality than a four.

Report this review (#180781)
Posted Monday, August 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars Ah yes. Peter Gabriel fearlessly picks his favourite colours on the musical palette here on his first album without being a part of the Genesis behemoth, never thinking twice about the strange colouring on the resulting musical painting.

While reserved at first - not to say disappointed - the fact that Peter Gabriel 1, Car or whatever you want to call it totally lacks any coherence and direction makes it surprisingly refreshing and vibrant, given necessary time and patience. A wild collection of new ideas and influences in a post-Genesis freedom (or trauma) makes up the nine songs here. It's an album both impulsive and playing it safe, depending on your point of view. The sheer difference in style compared with much of Genesis is in itself enormously progressive, but when it comes to the expectations of a generalized prog fan, this is also a step back. In other words; it's a display of independence, but for me personally, slightly hit and miss.

All the different styles are neatly distributed over the album and the sometimes drastic changes are great for keeping you interested while waiting for your particular favourites. Unfortunately I think the album quality drops after the first three songs, all ranging from good to great. Moribund The Burgermeister's subdued percussion and spaced-out, alluring sounds next to the explosive bombast of the same song creates a nice dramatic effect, augmented by the ominous 'I will find out' and the playfully sinister effects. Subtle and soaring found in the same song and the streak of absurdist humour hits exactly right to fully perfect this opener.

But it was track number two that managed to reach out to most, Solsbury Hill being the hit of the album. And it is perfectly understandable. Even while remaining one of the more exposed songs in the Peter Gabriel discography it sounds just as good as ever. Light-hearted, clear melody that invites to both foot-stomping and smile, this is a song made to be enjoyed by most listeners, whatever their preferred genre might be. Moving from quite humble beginnings, with a simple repeating keyboard phrase and Gabriel's voice over the guitar textures, fragile percussion and a jumpy bass performance adds some depth and variation before the finale; fat guitar chords, vocal playfulness and a new, triumphant little phrase from the keys. All in all impossible to dislike, and strong in that it never ever feels repetitive despite the simple outline.

Modern Love is the first track of what I bulk together as the rock-pop section of the album. More a personal name-calling than any proper classification, it also includes Humdrum, Slowburn, Waiting For The Big One and Here Comes the Flood. Varying in quality, Modern Love is the clear favourite of these. Ballsy and in-your-face with a classic, infectious Hammond drive and powerful by-the-book rock guitar. Actually, it reminds me of Bruce Springsteen quite a bit. The grittier vocal performance is stellar and oozes emotion.

Humdrum has potential, but the soft piano and accompanying vocals fail to captivate me, and the odd break does nothing to help it. Producing something that sounds a bit like accordion, coupled with click-and-pop drumming, it just jars this piece. Redundant, and much of this song gives the same impressions. Joint outtakes, and even though I like the feeling of the last minutes, the synth sounds are laid on a little too thick. Slowburn, riddled with discreet delicacies such as trickling effects, nice piano work and fragile percussion, is another truly rocking piece, but compared to Modern Love it lacks some of the magic. A bit too clumsy when rocking, a bit too unoriginal when slowing down. Waiting For The Big One is a pointless, boring blues-rock thingy according to me (can and will be debated) and unfortunately Here Comes The Flood is dragged through the mud by the refrain. To think that subtlety and force can be used so good and so bad on the same record. Yes, to me the refrain is downright cheesy.

With only two songs left to cover, a trend might be visible here. There are the amazing songs, the good/fair ones, and there are the pointless ones. Excuse Me falls into the last category. No matter how funny it may be, it shows the backside of the absurd humour and freedom of this record. More a flamboyant personal excess than anything else, this curiosity features both a Barbershop quartet and a tuba.

Down The Dolce Vita. Wow. Back to category one - amazing. This one should have closed the album. After an orchestral explosion, one of the best introductions this piece could have been given, the pyrotechnics continue with an amazing rhythm work; slyly funky, extremely driven. It then continues down this path, seamlessly merging with orchestral breaks and a fabulous middle-section with strings and a dramatic vocal part from the band. Rising in energy, with marching drums and determined guitar trailblazing (all set to a background of charged and strangely suspended percussion) it gets back on track for the final return to the song's backbone. Glorious.

I'm going to award Peter Gabriel 1 three stars. And yet I have said and still can say a lot more about it. It's an album that stirs up emotions of all sorts, and one that still slightly eludes me even after too many listens. As such, it still comes recommended.


Report this review (#182620)
Posted Tuesday, September 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars The solo career of a rock artist is a peculiar concept. Too often an artist is given complete creative freedom, becomes arrogant and produces an inconsistent mess; yet still other times they consolidate their strengths and produce a timeless masterpiece. Gabriel has done both on this 1977 LP. As is painfully obvious from emerging seconds of the opener, 'Moribund the Burgermeister', Gabriel shows us he hasn't fully found his niche or stride as a solo performer. Robert Fripp seems largely unused on this LP, however the licks that are audible in the mix are elegant and sophisticated, as only Fripp could muster. The rest of the band, save for bassist Tony Levin and guitarist Steve Hunter, aren't performing anything memorable most of the time, coming off as typical 'session' musician's working for a check rather than artist inspiration.

Odd, dissonant and entirely irrelevant, 'Moribund' is the single most bloated piece Gabriel has ever penned. Weird, uninspired rhythms pop in and out, Gabriel sings off-key, the band is incapable of gelling correctly, superstar producer Bob Ezrin seems for once to be out of ideas of what to do with Gabriel's quirky demos, sometimes painting a sympathetic dreamer hoping for love ('Modern Love'), other times portraying Gabriel as a genius following his muse to unexplored areas of artistic intrigue (the masterpiece 'Solsbury Hill', and the delicate beauty of 'Here Comes the Sun'). At various other points the bloated monster of debut albums rears its head though, to prove us that Gabriel isn't a god of rock, at least not just yet (the silly and embarrassing barbershop of 'Excuse Me' and the boring delicatessen 'Humdrum' that actually might have been Gabriel's mood when composing that song).

However, Gabriel's ambitions and unyielding experimentation don't go unrewarded on this LP (as the epic qualities of 'Waiting fo the Big One' and the quirky treasure of 'Down the Dolce Vita' prove Gabriel can master any style of music if he so wishes). Unfortunately, by this point in the LP the listener may be fed up with the abundance of filler connecting the beginning to the end of the LP, and as such, is no masterpiece, yet is no dud either. Rating: C+

Report this review (#185905)
Posted Wednesday, October 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 stars really!

Of all of the early Genesis lineup members, you would expect Peter Gabriel to have the most progressive solo career. Wrong, wrong, wrong. This contains experimental rock and pop rock, but without much of a prog relation. Nothing here has much technicality, or progressing solos like early Genesis had. That aside, all of the music is pretty good. Some of the stuff is very acquired taste, but nothing's horrible.

The first song MORIBUND THE BERGIMEISTER sounds something that could have been on The Lamb, and is a good song. SOLSBURY HILL is the big hit from this album, and got a ton of radio play. A good pop song, but nothing's that special about it. Everything else on the album basically goes at this speed. Not standout superb, but not bad. The best song on the album is probably the closer, HERE COMES THE FLOOD, which is a great song that I occasionally listen to on its own. Other highlights are WAITING FOR THE BIG ONE and DOWN THE DOLCE VITA.

Like I said, nothing's that technical, or progressive, but is just good pop rock music. It's actually tough to pinpoint at one specific genre because the music is varied. Some of the music is accessible pop, and some is acquired taste experimental rock. It's a good buy for any Peter Gabriel fan, but if you're expecting Foxtrot, you won't find it here. For starters with Peter Gabriel's music, I recommend going to his third album, which is more progressive, and is overall just better music.

Report this review (#194590)
Posted Sunday, December 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars So. this was Master Peter Gabriel's solo debut. A very good debut album this is, cleverly distanced from the Genesis trademark yet comprising a repertoire full of inventive art-rock resources in an ordained eclectic framework. To a degree, Gabriel uses some sonic sources that seem quite related to the aggressive, somber moods that plagued the most intense moments of the epic "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" - this album rocks, but all in all, it is not your standard rock'n'roll album. A host of the backing musicians came from Alice Cooper, and there is also Robert Fripp tempting his way back into the rock business, so they could really move comfortably in the artsy feel that Gabriel intended to approach from these earlier days. The opener 'Moribund the Burgermeister' pretty much perpetuates the dynamic theatrics of his good old Genesis days in its mischievous combination of psychedelic rock, surrealistic Cabaret and electronic adornments. It's been a long while since Gabriel blew this one off his live setlists, but it still remains a personal Gabriel fave of mine. 'Solsbury Hill' is, indeed, a classic that refuses to leave live setlists up to this day - this bucolic midtempo song happens to be closely connected to the acoustic side of Genesis, although it clearly bears a less melancholic mood, it is celebratory of the freedom found on the threshold of a new way of life. 'Modern Love' is a catchy rocker that sounds like Peter Green's FM-meets-Rolling Stones. Later on, other rockers such as 'Slowburn' and 'Down the Dolce Vita' will provide fluid combinations of power and sophistication: 'Slowburn' features what arguably is the best lead guitar solo in the album (played by guest Dick Wagner, another Alice Cooper alumnus), while 'Down the Dolce Vita' states an electrifying mixture of rock, funk and orchestral OST, plus a typically prog rock interlude. Brilliant! The Barbershop parody 'Excuse Me' brings clever musical humor in a proper dose, followed by the lovely semi- ballad 'Humdrum' that shows Gabriel's vulnerability in a delicate fashion (including brief French moods and Latin cadences). But the prize to the most vulnerable song in the album has to go the magnificent closer 'Here Comes the Flood', which flaunts its epic romanticism with polished majesty. This is another song that somehow has links to the Genesis trademark, and now that I think about it, a ballad like this was necessary in the first Genesis-trio albums so they could be more valuable as art works. Well, we won't skip 'Waiting for the Big One', a slow rocker set on a blues tempo that portrays a constrained bombast: the use of a choir for the last chorus is a weird, yet strangely effective idea. A very good debut album this is, let me say again, and as such it deserves to be marked as an excellent addition to any good art-rock collection.
Report this review (#200073)
Posted Wednesday, January 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Excellent, Exploratory Debut Screams Freedom

As most know, Peter Gabriel is perhaps my single favorite musician over time, and as I approached my 100th review here on ProgArchives, it seemed amiss that I had not completed my series of reviews of his solo work. I've been listening to his first four albums continuously in the car over the last days, and been greatly rewarded. I'd never quite listened to this work with an ear for criticism, and I've discovered some new detail in his work that I've missed even over 20 years of being a huge fan. I've also had to focus on weaker work that I'd glossed over. So here begins a bit of a detailed series of opinions from yet another PG nerd.

Peter Gabriel I (Car) was released in 1977, three years after Genesis' Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, and two years after his public exit from the band. It shows the artist full of energy, celebrating his freedom, and exploring a wide range of possible sounds. Some are quite progressive and some standard, but all are full of energy, well played, and thoughtfully constructed.

1. Moribund The Burgermeister (4:18) - This track virtually takes off where Gabriel left off with the sound of the Lamb. Though distinct from the core Genesis sound, it is quirky, experimental, and definitely progressive. As was his habit in Genesis, he adopted different voices to sound various characters in a strange story song. Well executed, I can imagine fans licking their lips with glee when greeted with this when they first listened to the album

2. Solsbury Hill (4:21) - Along with Pink Floyd's "Money" and the Beatles' "All You Need is Love," perhaps the most famous rock song ever written in 7. Driven by a folky acoustic line, this song sounds almost nothing like anything else Gabriel ever did. At the same time, it may be the best crossover prog song ever written. Beautifully poetic lyrics talk about emancipation and freedom in a way that far transcends the artist's exit from the band. Despite the complex time signature, the song is danceable, positive, a true pop masterpiece. The song continues to highlight the live show over 20 years later.

3. Modern Love (3:38) - This song could have been named "Modern Rock" for it was a very straightforward venture into the current rock sound of the time. The chorus riff is not unlike the Baby's 70's hit "Back on My Feet Again." It's well written and Gabriel gives a good performance, but it's probably the most straightforward cut Gabriel had done on record since the first Genesis hippy pop album. Here it works as a single track on an eclectic album. Unfortunately it became the template for the entire second album, Peter Gabriel's worst.

4. Excuse Me (3:20) - Now this is a fun little romp where Gabriel explicitly just says "I want to be alone." Starting with barbershop choir vocals and then transforming into a Randy Newman-esque satire, the song is playful and entertaining. Gabriel comes off as gleeful rather than angry or defensive, which this song easily could have been.

5. Humdrum (3:26) - This is one of the first glimpses of the dark, immediate intensity that was to become a Gabriel trademark.

6. Slowburn (4:37) - A strange mishmash of styles that actually works, this song centers on the rock sound found on "Modern Love" but varies things a bit more. Along with track 8, this song is a little overwrought, sounding a bit like a big stage production number. Aggressive bursts of harmony "Yeaaaah," seem comical now, but this style of music was certainly in style at the time. Again, this song is a little more varied in style than "Modern Love" and probably a little more enjoyable

7. Waiting For The Big One (7:14) - This song is a straight blues number dealing with the classic blues topic of hoping to move up in life. Gabriel's voice is not made for blues, but for this one song he pulls it off well enough. More importantly, the band really performs the style quite well, nailing the behind-the-beat execution while retaining plenty of energy. I feel the song works in the context of this album, again as a single try at a genre.

8. Down The Dolce Vita (4:42) - Upping the dramatic ante from "Slowburn," this rocker starts with the London Symphony and drops into a disco beat. As awful as that premise sounds, the song is actually listenable. Peter is just having fun, and that allows him to sound playful rather than pretentious. Though not a track I'd choose to listen to, it holds its place on the album.

9. Here Comes The Flood (5:56) - This song was dressed up by producer Bob Ezrin, but had always been intended by PG to be a simple piano and voice song. A powerful lyric with great dynamics, the song was re-recorded many times and appeared on Robert Fripp's Exposure album and then on Gabriel's greatest hits album in 1990. I personally like both versions and the contrast in styles, but there is no doubt that the later version is better. The song is so strong it overcomes the production and is a great finish to a very strong debut album.

Overall, Gabriel and fans had to be quite happy with this debut. While certainly not holding on to pure symphonic prog as fellow Genesis member Steve Hackett did, there are plenty of progressive moments here. More importantly, this is simply a very solid collection of well- written, well-performed songs that showcase the artist well. Along with two PG classics are two very strong progressive tracks, two fun novelty pieces, and three quirky rockers. Not bad for an artist stretching out his wings, exploring a new wide open realm of musical possibility. The masterpiece albums are yet to come, but this is certainly an excellent addition to any prog fan's library.

Report this review (#223857)
Posted Monday, June 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
2 stars Humdrum

He left Genesis for this? Gabriel not only abandoned Genesis, but he abandoned Prog too. This first solo album of his, is a Rock album pure and simple with only traces of his former band. Fans of Gabriel-era Genesis are bound to be disappointed by this "Humdrum" of an album. The album lacks direction and the music goes in all kinds of disparate styles with humour (Excuse Me), weirdness (Moribund The Bugermeister), Rock 'N' Roll (Modern Love, Slowburn) and Pop (Solsbury Hill).

Only two tracks are really good here; Solsbury Hill and the wonderful Here Comes The Flood. The latter is the album's only Prog-related moment as such with lovely acoustic guitar and a strong chorus. I think it is fair to say that Peter was not ready for a solo career at this point. He seems to be lost here, wondering in what direction he should go.

The albums Genesis did after Gabriel had left are extremely much better than this and also very much closer to what they did when Gabriel was still in the band. Given this, it is strange that post-Gabriel Genesis are often criticized for giving up on Prog while Genesis drifted towards Pop. It is true that they eventually did that, but so did Gabriel after all.

This album is worth having for the two strong tracks it contains, but as an album considered it is rather uneven and incoherent, and considered as a Prog album it is almost wholly misplaced. I am not very fond of Gabriel's solo career overall, but he did do better things later on.

Report this review (#226534)
Posted Monday, July 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Peter Gabriel's exit from Genesis in 1975 was a cataclysmic event. Not only did it put the existence of one of England's major band at risk, it also created high expectations for Gabriel himself. Almost 35 years later, both have more than survived the test of time.

Under Phil Collins' leadership, Genesis became one of the world's top bands in the 1980's and 90's, turning from a progressive rock band into a sophisticated pop hit-machine, while Gabriel became a groundbreaking musician and a moral leader to the Rock Stars, creator of World Music and Digital Sampling pioneer.

Upon leaving the band, Peter Gabriel began his solo journey, working on his first solo album with some of the world's finest musicians of the time, led by American record producer Bob Ezrin.

In retrospect, the album serves as a bridge between the complex prog sensibility of his Genesis days and the leaner, intellectual nature of his later work, culminating with his masterpiece "So".

The opening song "Moribund the Burgereister" demonstrates this path. The song's verses are built over a repetitive electronic drum pattern, reminiscing of later songs such as "Games without Frontiers" and "In your eyes", while the complex song structure borrows from earlier Genesis songs.

"Solsbury Hill", the album's hit single, demonstrates Gabriel's pure songwriting talent, telling the story of his departure from Genesis over a beautifully crafted melody.

Even as a solo artist, Peter Gabriel continues to be a collaborative musician, always influenced by the musicians he works with. On this album he chose to be backed by both the rock session royalty of the time and the more advnturous musicians emerging towards the end of the 1970's.

Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, guitar mercenaries extraordinaires who earlier played with David Bowie, Alice Cooper and Lou Reed give the album a contemporary American Stadium Rock edge on songs such as "Modern Love" and "Slowburn", while Larry Fast and Tony Levin (who went on to play on most of Gabriel's subsequent albums) represent the more experimental side of Gabriel's music, especially on "Here comes the Flood" which also features his friend Robert Fripp. Mike Gibbs' orchestral arrangements are exquisite and tasteful.

The album's monolithic and bombastic production is it's Achilles point, but what helps this album stand the test of time is the quality of the songs and the thrill of watching the first steps of one of Rock's most significant protagonists.


Report this review (#227028)
Posted Thursday, July 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Peter Gabriel is one hell of a musician, fronting Genesis and having a rather successful solo career, the same can be said for Phil Collins except for the musician part. Anyway back to the point, Peter Gabriel's first solo attempt is much more popy then most fans of genesis would have hoped, but regardless is very progressive, and frankly quite kooky in some instances. No matter how weird this album gets it's still one of the best albums peter Gabriel has ever worked on, it has everything from a hit single (Solsbury hill) to epic ("Down the dolce vita" and "Here comes the flood") to plain crazy ("Excuse me") while flowing quite comfortably. This album is great for fans of genesis, while fronted by Gabriel, and especially fans of "The lamb". If this album were lost or stolen it would be worth buying a thousand times. An easy 4.5 stars
Report this review (#230293)
Posted Thursday, August 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
1 stars I never really got the Peter Gabriel Fuzz. His vocals were never brilliant, not as good as the Gentle Giant, Yes, Jethro Tull or King Crimson vocals. His microphone techniques are sometimes unbearable, giving an unclear vocal line. The production of his voice in the studio has never been very intelligent in my humble opinion. Throwing him out of Genesis can easily be seen as a rightful act to interfere with his always growing role in the live performances of early Genesis. But, I'm not to judging on him, because he has also wrote great lyrics for songs like "The Giant Hogweed" and "Get em out by Friday". I bought this record for just 1 euro at my local second hand vinyl store to give it one more try.

The production of the complete record is awful. It fall right between the seventies and the eighties and one can hear the confusion around how to produce a record in this hard times for progressive musicians. The second thing that took my attention was the complete lack of progressive elements. I really disliked the dry parts of Moribund the Burgermeister, but some other parts are acceptable. Salisbury Hill is a nice 100% pop song, catchy and modern. Modern Love is bit more tasteless and has that very uncomfortable radio-friendly vibe of 'classic rock' radio-stations. Till now still not a interesting note is played. Excuse me starts of with classic vocal harmonies, but not sung very accurate. The rest of the song is an awfull country banjo song I wont spent any words on. Humdrum is a bit better, but still very unasked for. On side two nothing seems to change. Another poppy song 'Slowburn', a bluesy Waiting for the big one with (I must say!) some nice riffs but with a total strange vibe and lyrics sung out of tune. Simply the wrong pitch. It does make the blues song feel miserable. The ending is however beautiful, with a lot of melodic themes we've missed so far. And by the way... where is Fripp? Did he really work on this? Down the Dolce Vita is played with an orchestra. After the intro the radiofriendlyness rises to full pophit-potential. The parts with the orchestra make this song worthwhile, but not my taste. Some other parts like the click-clack sounds are very messy. The closing track Here comes the Flood is a bit better then the other songs of the album. You might call this symphonic rock, it's the best song of the album.

Now... before I started writing this review (accompanied by the record playing while I write about the songs) I intended to give this two stars... but now I must say this really not my taste. It has no progressive elements whatsoever and it is recorded messy. Yes.. sorry folks... this is not for collectors... this is for completionists in my humble opinion. One star. It still might appeal to Genesis fans and people who like radio friendly classic rock.

Report this review (#231346)
Posted Thursday, August 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Oh boy. I'm going to raise some peoples blood pressure with this one.

After recording the last great Genesis album, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Peter Gabriel seemed spent. He proved it by leaving the band, and going on his own, and producing albums which started out only slightly progressive, and getting regressively less progressive, and progressively less interesting with each release. He could have stayed with Genesis to do that.

The opening track, Moribund The Burgermeister, is the only truly progressive song on the album, and also the best song on the album. There are other bits of prog on the rest of the album, but in small supply. Humdrum is not a bad song, Slowburn has some nice sections, and Down The Dolce Vita has a good orchestral intro before turning somewhat mundane.

It may be that Gabriel, having a fairly well played hit on this album with Solsbury Hill, had a taste of what fortunes a pop hit can bring, similar to what happened to Kansas after hitting it big with Dust In The Wind. For it seems that after this album, the prog became hard to find in his music.

Report this review (#255069)
Posted Tuesday, December 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Could Gabriel make it on his own without his fellow band members backing him up? Well, apparently he could and this album demonstrates it quite nicely!

On his debut solo album Gabriel shows his complete eccentric body of work which is far from what his band effort could ever accept him do in Genesis. This is both because of the restrain of a rock band lineup and the fact that an artist of Gabriel's persona was just too bright to only remain a Genesis front man. Although I can't really figure out what Robert Fripp and Tony Levin are doing on this record I still consider it a great piece of contemporary Art Rock of an album. One particular track that has grown considerably on me is Down The Dolce Vita which I originally thought of as a filler.

From Moribund The Burgermeister to Here Comes The Flood it's a joy to hear such a variety of sounds and ideas from a man who has already given us so much pleasure during his early days.

***** stars songs: Moribund The Burgermeister (4:20) Solsbury Hill (4:21) Excuse Me (3:20) Here Comes The Flood (5:38)

**** star songs: Modern Love (3:38) Humdrum (3:25) Slowburn (4:36) Down The Dolce Vita (5:05)

*** star songs: Waiting For The Big One (7:15)

Total Rating: 4,25

Report this review (#255700)
Posted Saturday, December 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Peter Gabriel First album after leaving is great career at one of prog greatest bands. He got himself pretty great musicans to help him here the names include: Tony Levin on bass, Larry Fast on Keyboards and synth, and the god of progressive rock Robert Fripp. Don't expect it to be a lost genesis album(Like Steve Hackett's Voyage of the Acolyte"), This is something completely different from anything Peter have done before, and afterward. There are totaly nine tracks here:

1. Moribund The Burgermeister 4/5 great opener with some bizarre vocals.

2. Solsbury Hill 5/5 one of Peter's most well-known songs Acoustic-driven pop songs, amazingly done and never gets old.

3. Modern Love - 5/5 my favorite track from this album - very hard rocking with funny yet touching lyrics.

4. Excuse Me 4/5 another bizarre song, funny with an A Capella intro.

5. Humdrum 3/5 - moderate song with nice ideas inside.

6. Slowburn 4/5 great song with amazing vocals from pete and great solo.

7. Waiting For The Big One 5/5 the longest song in the album, very jazzy and cool.

8. Down The Dolce Vita 4/5 another hard rocking and well driven song, just love it with great intro.

9. Here Comes The Flood 5/5 one of peter's most beautiful songs ever made with fripp amazing guitar, great lyrics.

The first album by Peter Gabriel shows how big and talented he is and he can do very well without his fellow genesis friends. Love this album.

Report this review (#262472)
Posted Monday, January 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
2 stars Gabriel's solo career took an awkward start. I don't know what people expected, but from whatever point of view you look, be it past or present, this debut is an odd album. It was a huge step away from the prog rock of Genesis and compared to his later famous albums it's still a pretty standard art rock affair. In a way that means it's a unique item in Gabriel's career.

The compositions and vocals are adequate but never amazing. Moribund for instance is an adventurous tune, I especially like the creepy I will find out section, but the arrangement of the chorus is a bit overblown, like something Lou Reed would do in an orchestral mood. Apart from Salisbury Hill and Here Comes The Flood the album mainly consists of classic rock styled anthems and ballads that are too unremarkable to grasp my attention.

I've never found much charm in the art-rocking direction Gabriel started his solo career with. It was a field that was already occupied by superior performers such as John Cale and David Bowie. At least, this first one is a sincere and personal start of an exciting solo career and will probably sit better with people who like the 70's classic rock sound more then I do. 2.5 stars

Report this review (#263230)
Posted Friday, January 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars What a strange album! Genesis fans must have been abuzz when Peter Gabriel released his solo debut, but it seems that many were disappointed, and many were delighted. This album is one of many styles, a strange menagerie of genres, as though the newly emancipated front man was test-driving a variety of musical directions- perhaps that is the symbolism of the artwork! It seems this fellow was musically clutching at straws!

"Moribund The Burgermeister" Am I sure Rael has rescued brother John, or is he still stick in the otherworld with the Slippermen and the lamia? The opener of this album either represents Gabriel just stepping out in the direction he wanted to go, or it reveals that he truly is not as free as the rest of the album would lead listeners to believe. Either way, it is a satisfying and unquestionably progressive piece that could have been a part of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway- an amazing song in that imaginary context.

"Solsbury Hill" This is a masterpiece of music. It is inspiring. The debut single from Peter Gabriel tells of his departure from Genesis in a poetic and mythical manner. The piece is mostly in 7/4 time but sounds like the perfect pop song, and this is evinced by the sheer number of artists who have covered it and movie producers who have included this in the soundtrack of their films. I think the interaction between the acoustic guitar and the synthesizer is phenomenal, and the vocal performance is nothing short of fabulous.

"Modern Love" This painfully obvious attempt at a pop hit is so painful that Gabriel wore a fencing uniform in the even more awful music video. His vocals are good (how often are they bad?), but the composition itself just sucks- terrible pop rock song with horrible lyrics.

"Excuse Me" This off-kilter track opens with a Barbershop a cappella bit. Using tuba for the bass, jazz guitar runs, honky-tonk piano, and a jaunty bit of drumming, this is about as theatrically embarrassing as it gets. It is a novelty I can do without. Excuse me for saying so.

"Humdrum" Gentle electric piano and a soft vocal make up this initially relaxing track. The composition has some real progressive leanings, particularly in its wide variety of textures. Overall, this is a remarkable song.

"Slowburn" Like the previous track, this is a strange mishmash of styles, but not nearly as good. It fuses Queen-like rock with bittersweet quieter passages. The lead guitar is a majestic highlight of the piece.

"Waiting for the Big One" Continuing on in this bizarre soiree of styles, the album's longest track is a piano-led blues number. Gabriel's pipes were just not crafted to sing the blues, especially not this cheesy lounge music, but the guitar solo is something of a compensation.

"Down the Dolce Vita" After a cinematic introduction that will occasionally hurl itself back in, Gabriel goes disco. The clavichord is the main rhythm instrument during the first verse, but later there's a jumble of sounds and electric guitar, making this a real chimera of a song. Without reason, there's a fifteen-second Celtic passage at the end.

"Here Comes the Flood" Soft and sensual, this light piece has been accused (by the song maker, no less) of being overproduced, but I don't quite see it that way. This has the bite of rock music, yet has so much more going on. While I wouldn't consider it a masterpiece, it is a great closer to this highly eclectic debut.

Report this review (#269231)
Posted Monday, March 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Wow, Peter was really struggling here. Mumbled vocals, a complete mish mash of styles all thrown in, little or no hooks, messy production. Okay I'm going over the top a bit, this album is probably worth 2.5 stars, but I've given it 2 because I don't have the heart to give it a 'Good but not essential' three stars.

Gabriel's first two albums, which he didn't even bother to give titles to, find him a bit lost, as he seems to be jumping from style to style, writing sloppy songs, sloppy production and the songs are trying to pass on their novelty value or experimental value, rather than on strong songwriting ability. Moribund the Burgemeister will be quite enjoyable for fans of experimental music, as it sounds like a bizarre out-take from the Genesis double album 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway' with bizarre vocals, but no strong hooks, right? Solsbury Hill is probably the best song. It was a hit, somehow, but I can't see why, it's not particularly catchy but the best here. The remaining tracks are all interesting. 'Slowburn' might be a dig at AOR bands like Styx, there are a few lampoon Styx backing vocals, probably the best of the rest of the songs, with the possible exception of 'Here comes the flood', an epic ballad that closes the album. 'Down the Dolce Vita' is a heavily orchestrated disco song, and the other songs are all fairly enjoyable, though without the lyrics sheet it's a bit hard to understand some of the lyrics, one song, 'Waiting for the big one', is total mumbling. Now no-one needs a lyric sheet to understand the 'Melt' album (actually that was another untitled album), so which is the better album?

Report this review (#278676)
Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Peter Gabriel solo career is not really a progressive rock music, but as this excellent site says is a Crossover prog. In my opinion the musical quality of Peter Gabriel music, is good but not excellent. In fact none of the Genesis members could reach through their solo career the same level that they reach with the band, in the seventies or in the eighties or in the nineties. Peter Gabriel is not the exception, and I think that into the progressive rock world he is a bit overrated. Peter Gabriel I (Car) is in my opinion his best work, in terms of a studio album. (Plays Live carry his work to the highest level). Here we have a combination of a powerfull sound, some bombastic moments, and of course the superb and unique voice of Peter. The album has to some instrumental parts (not as long as I would like), something that his following albums lacks.

The best tracks are for me:

Moribund the Burgermeister: Great keyboards work, bombastic and powerfull.

Down the dolce vita: The other bombastic moment. What a voice! With the contribution of the London Symphonic Orchesta, and a superb guitar riff in the middle.

Here comes the flood: A powerful non conventional ballad, with a great chorus and a superb electric solo by Robert Fripp.

Modern love: Another powerful track based in a hard guitar riff in wich Peter shines with his voice.

The rest ar good too, but not so much. We have Solsbury hill, a high quality pop song which sounds much better in the live versions, specially in the Plays Live album. The same happens with Humdrum.

Four stars

Report this review (#281477)
Posted Tuesday, May 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I would like to give this album 5 stars, because it may be my favorite Gabriel album, and he is by all means a 5 star artist.

This review should be taken with a grain of salt, as it is rather uncharacteristic of Peter Gabriel's solo work in general. It is a pleasant anomaly, however, in my eyes, as I've always enjoyed PG at his most bombastic and theatrical. It has been said before, and it deserves another mention: this album still reeks of The Lamb, and in addition is possibly his most accessible work apart from "So". The high points of this album are, in my opinion, as moving as anything he has done anywhere else. The climax of Humdrum, the familiar driving rhythm of Solsbury Hill, the oddness of Moribund the Burgermeister, the rallying refrain of Here Comes the Flood (in all its overproduced glory)...all are fantastic moments in Gabriel's discography.

Again, this album is a bit different than his others. It is more aggressive, more catchy in short, it's more "rock n' roll". I like that, however, and I think it works well here. Were it not for a couple so-so tracks (Excuse Me, Waiting for the Big One), I might give PG1 5 stars. It has the same experimental feel as some of his later albums mixed with the bombast of his previous work with Genesis, and for this reason is an important transitional album that any Peter Gabriel or early Genesis fan should own.

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Posted Friday, May 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I must admit to having quite a little soft spot for this album. I got it when it came out, not too long after I had completed my acquisition of the complete GENESIS back catalog (my intro to GENESIS was with the release of "Trick of the Tail"), and so I was still growing in my appreciation for the 'Gabriel-era' Genesis at the same time as his solo career was launching. (I'd already heard his awesome version of "Strawberry Fields Forever" on a BEATLES tribute album released in 1976). Yes, every song on this album is completely different from the others, and, yes, there are some really weird styles represented here ("Excuse Me," "Moribund," "Waiting for the Big One"!) But there are also some really good, very memorable songs here. I remember all of the hullabaloo surrounding the fact that Bob Ezrin--of KISS fame--had been chosen as the album's producer. I think he did a very nice job. A good album with some great music.

My faves are "Humdrum"--which was amazing in concert--"Moribund" and "Slowburn."

2015 update: I have revisited this album and many of its songs in the past couple of years with typical enjoyment but a surprising discovery of the amazing compositional achievements of each and every song here. I think I had always downgraded it before because it was so diverse--"too" diverse for a prog album--and because it was not a flowing concept album. But, these are all GREAT songs and deserve to be recognized as such. Upgrade to four stars.

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Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was my second venture into Peter Gabriel solo territory. My first was number two. I can imagine Genesis fans at the time being disappointed with Gabriel's departure and less than enthused about this album. Number two was hard for me to get into after becoming a huge fan of the older Genesis music, but Peter went his own way and put out something not entirely different if you compare it to The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.

Two particular notables he assembled for this album: Robert Fripp and Tony Levin. I don't know if they were acquainted before, but this album has to be a major root of '80's King Crimson. I was looking at the credits and Fripp plays banjo, what the hell banjo? I think it may have been the only time he's played that instrument on an album.

The opening track, Moribund The Burgermeister had to be about as anti-Genesis as you could get. A parting shot perhaps? Solsbury Hill you could almost see as a Genesis song. Modern Love has similarities to Back In NYC, but in no way could I see this on a Genesis album. Excuse Me, seems Peter wanted a little more humor in music than what was done in his former band.

Back to some more seriousness in music are Humdrum (I'm listening to that one as I write this and getting goose bumps "As I drove into the sun Didn't dare look where I had begun Lost among echoes of things not there Watching the sound forming shapes in the air ") and Slowburn, two really intense tracks, but then he breaks it up again with Waiting For The Big One.

Back to seriousness, Down The Dolche Vita. (Ah Fellini Film reference I guess, never seen that one.)

The closer Here Comes The Flood is a tsunami of an ending. "Drink up, dreamers, you're running dry."

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Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars An album that receives more than its fair share of mixed ratings, the debut solo effort by Gabriel, following his self imposed hiatus after leaving Genesis, is, on first impressions, a mixed bag, but, ultimately, an album which rewards patience and, above all, an appreciation of an exceptionally talented artist starting on the long road to breaking free from his past and shouting out his own voice in the musical world.

An eclectic mix of guest artists was brought in to assist, although only one has lasted the course to still be with Gabriel to this day, that being the great Tony Levin on bass. Fripp featured on guitars, although not, pointedly, on the two most blazing exemplars of that instrument, Slowburn and Here Comes The Flood, both of which were played by the incredible instrumentation of Dick Wagner, who, this reviewer is quick to admit, has remained unheard of ever since. Fripp's more direct influence on proceedings would await the disappointing follow up, and this, in hindsight, is recognisable as Gabriel in his own right.

The opener is a deliberate attempt to resurrect the story telling he was famous with in Genesis alongside the humorous side so brilliantly portrayed on Harold The Barrel. It is a magnificent opener, but the other attempt at eclectic humour, Excuse Me, featuring a barber shop quartet, is less effective, to the point of being an annoyance, which is a shame because the lyrics are interesting in their depiction of a breakup.

The album spawned a hit single in the still evergreen and popular Solsbury Hill. A beautiful and aching paeon to the England he loved and found in spades in the West Country, it remains to me one of the most evocative short songs of all time, crying as it does to the need to belong and not be torn between conflicting loyalties and people. Talking of evocative, first side closer Humdrum is exceptional, giving us a lovely flute solo, almost jazzy backing, to a most incredible depiction of life in the "normal" lane. Almost certainly written as a description of life outside the music business and career he left, this is a track which, if anything, worked even better live, as the example on "Plays Live" shows more than adequately.

With the exception of Down The Dolce Vita, which is a little bit too knowing an attempt at something different for its own good, the second side of the vinyl LP I first purchased over 30 years ago now remains to this day a highlight of this great man's career.

Slowburn is simply amongst the best that Gabriel ever released, inside or outside Genesis. Wagner's guitar cannot be praised highly enough (it is simply to die for), and the rest of the band excel in both quieter and rockier passages backing a simply superb vocal and lyric that drags Gabriel, gloriously, back into Rael territory in its telling of a forlorn and doomed troupe.

Waiting For The Big One is another palpable attempt to move away from the Genesis heritage, but this one is more successful. The idea, in 1975, that Gabriel could possibly record what is, at heart, an old fashioned blues number, was unthinkable, and it is enlivened by some great guitar work in the solo bursts.

The album closer, though, saves the best until last. I am one of the few, I think, who believes that the solo Gabriel with piano and vocals version of Here Comes The Flood is better than the original heard here, but that statement is absolutely not made to denigrate at all the sheer beauty of this piece of music. It is, perhaps, the earliest example of Gabriel's later infatuation with bringing us stories of unsung heroes, those who willingly give up their lives and liberty for those less fortunate. The lyrics that expand the story are so painfully beautiful. "Stranded starfish have no place to hide", "and as the nail sunk in the cloud, the rain was warm and soaked the crowd", "we'll say good bye to flesh and blood", "it'll be those who gave their islands to survive, drink up dreamers, you're running dry". I could go on, but how such poetry can be transformed to such evocative music is, to me, the stamp of a true genius.

There will be younger members of the site who love classic Genesis but, for whatever reason, be reticent to explore the career of solo Gabriel because of mixed ratings. Don't be. The man is a truly exceptional artist, and this was the start of a very long and deeply satisfying journey. It has its faults, but, ultimately, its merits far outweigh those and give it a deserved four stars. An excellent addition to any prog rock collection.

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Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Peter Gabriel album that brought the world.

2 years later after his controversial decision to leave Genesis, Peter Gabriel brings the first of four albums to his name (self-centeredness? I think not), as well as a series of successful albums of his solid career.

I'm really happy with this 'lbum.Until then,my little contact with his solo career took the beautiful song "Down to Earth" that he composed for the film "Wall-e" (and he deserved to have won the Oscar for best instead of the silly song "Jai Ho") and fun "Sledgehammer" (the clip, as good as it was-and taste-which I did not deserve the MTV, but the video for "Land of Confusion").

In its entirety, "PG 1" (or "Car", as you prefer) is a fresh album, where there are already some of the influences of world music and strange elements that appear more strongly in the next few albums.

Now, a fact to be noticed is that while many complain that the output of the Genesis Gabriel led the decline, turning them into a commercial pop band, a few prog elements really here, then excused to say, he chose one way as easily as his former companions.Still, it is the kind of pop-rock that is worth hearing, without prejudice.

3,5 stars.

Report this review (#463118)
Posted Thursday, June 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Out of the scenery of course!


First of all, I just love his voice and the way how he uses it: after you get caught by Gabriel's great gift everything seems to be shining under your eyes. This is to say that someone who comes from the early Genesis may feel discordant emotions listening this release, don't forget about Wind & Wuthering's One for the wine and the shame when Collins sings All in a mouse's night. What a waste of good opportunities!

Main Theme

Talking about the disc we got a very nice start with Moribund..., fullfilled with digressions in Gabriel's voice and the mood in many parts of the album share the same feeling of The Lamb..., but while in few listening you fall in love with the lyrics (watch in Solsbury Hill, Here comes the Flood and the perfect opening), the music overall lacks of a real outstanding performance and apart from some tiny pieces in Humdrum & Down the dolce vita we got some plain tracks, the decadent piano in the jazzy Waiting for the big one maybe is the lowest point in the whole album. While this album may have a nice group of followers since its easy sound, sure Gabriel got a lot of weak parts where you miss a lot Bank's keyboards and Hackett's guitars, after all the poetry in Gabriel's composition is enough and with great moments like Here comes the Flood you can say easely that he got the point, too bad we don't have any flute part and this is the greatest missing in this album!


I must admit I like this album, even if it brings a lot of sadness, lasts a lot in the mind even if you put it away! The great moments are like a remembering of some time past which will never come back (I'm talking about great milestones of prog made with Genesis), in conclusion Gabriel understood before his former colleagues which path the music took in the 80s and he shifted into a more poppish attitude. Don't miss this ''Car'' if you liked Genesis compositions & lyrics, a good addition to everyone else but not essential since it's not prog! 3 stars.

Report this review (#464496)
Posted Sunday, June 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars (This is my 398th or 399th review, and the 400th will be on an artist that's No. 200 on my PA review list. I have an eye for lists - and symmetry! But here's one useless choice for you and a pleasure for me.)

My relationship with PG's solo material is slightly older than my relationship with Gabriel-era Genesis. I used to dig So when it came out fresh in 1986. That year and the next ones were my most active vinyl buying years. When I bought this one, I already owned several classic Genesis albums (and naturally knew almost the whole small discography of PG). That's to say, my expectations against this debut weren't anyhow spectacular or nervous as Genesis-fans must have had back then. Instead, I naturally compared it to the three other untitled "peter gabriel" albums. As we know, each has a character quite different from the others. My fave of them is still the 3rd (1980) but this one comes next. The 2nd was nearly disastrous in its under-production (courtesy of Robert Fripp) and poor songs. As if it was an antithesis for this, more or less over-produced kaleidoscope of styles.

The exciting opener 'Moribund The Burgermeister' is great in its Lamb Lies Down on Broadway -sort of atmosphere. Also I visualize its slippery synth sounds to be very nicely related to the cover art (still seeing cars awash with rain drops may make me think of this music. Funny.) 'Solsbury Hill' was familiar for me from Plays Live, and I was a bit disappointed with this hilariously bumpy studio version. The fast and bold 'Modern Love' shows Gabriel as a full-steam pop artist. Hmph. I don't think there's a PG fan who counts this among his favourite songs! 'Excuse Me' is yet another song saying "hey, I can do music in this style too". Barbershop quartet and such. Probably the most irritating song here. Side One ends with an intimate, sad, little (and in the end cathartically soaring, better shown on Plays Live) song 'Humdrum', one of my PG favourites.

Side Two suffers less from showing-off the styles and more from over-production. OK, there's the late nite blues crooning 'Waiting For The Big One' - but I like it. It succesfully mixes the intimacy of broken heart blues and the bigger sounds of polished art rock. The song is surrounded with sharper, edgier material. 'Slowburn' is not bad as an intensive song but the chorus's "Don't get me wrong - yyyeeeeeeaaahh!" featuring female backing vocals disturbs me a little. 'Down The Dolce Vita' is where the production really goes over the top, if it hasn't already done it by now. A shame, it would be a good proggy song but the heavy brass-loaded orchestration makes it almost intolerable. And finally, 'Here Comes The Flood', album's best known number (or is it 'Solsbury Hill'?). It's gorgeous, and I can truly forgive the massiveness of the chorus. Happily PG has done also more ripped-down versions of the song (e.g. on Fripp's Exposure album 1979). Speaking of the whole album, maybe PG felt too much pressure and therefore relied on (over-)production and a variety of styles more than was good for the result, but nevertheless it's full of excellent stuff and in my opinion should have a bigger status in PG's own eyes too. 3˝ stars.

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Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Making a clean break from the pastoral symphonic style of Genesis, Peter Gabriel's first solo album sees him apply his theatrical approach to singing to a set of intriguing art rock pieces, produced (and occasionally overproduced) by the legendary Bob Ezrin. It's an entertaining enough album - though I think it bogs down around the middle, with both Excuse Me and Humdrum being extremely skippable - but I can't help but feel that it represents a lost opportunity.

To my mind, Gabriel should have been able to something a bit more interesting and unexpected with a backing band including talents like Robert Fripp and Tony Levin (an encounter which would, no doubt, lead Fripp to recruit Levin into the reconfigured King Crimson some years down the line), but possibly this wasn't down to him - he's gone on record as feeling that the album was overproduced, particularly Here Comes the Flood, and having heard the sparser version he performs on Fripp's Exposure album I'm inclined to agree. A decent start but Gabriel hadn't quite found a compelling solo sound yet.

Report this review (#553401)
Posted Thursday, October 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars I got to know Peter Gabriel's work in a very ass-backwards way. First of all, it wasn't until early '76 after he'd gone solo I discovered how great his former outfit Genesis was. See, up till then I was such a rabid Yes freak I dismissed any group that did anything akin to what Yes was doing out of hand, thinking they'd only be an inferior imitation of the real thing. I was between bands at the time, working in a record store to make ends meet when "Trick of the Tail" was released. I was so taken with that album I actually entertained the far-fetched notion that I'd been wrong to snobbishly ignore them so long. Though Peter wasn't on that particular platter I soon realized what a gifted singer he was as I systematically accumulated the Genesis catalogue and developed affection for their brand of progressive rock music I found to be on a par with Yes' but wholly different. I wasn't upset that Gabriel had left the fold because their records from "Trespass" through "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" were all wonderfully new to me and, besides, the group had shown they were still going great guns without him. To be honest, it wasn't until Peter's 3rd disc came out in '80 that I deemed he was worth investigating and that was the beginning of a long-term relationship with his art that continues unabated.

I was aware of him, of course, but my infatuation with Genesis was so strong in the late 70s I didn't pay him the respect he deserved. I knew he was an eccentric kind of guy who'd been associating with the likes of Robert Fripp but, other than repeated exposure to the irresistible charms of "Solsbury Hill," I didn't hear much of his other stuff on the radio so I was content to stay ignorant about what I was missing. That changed when "Games Without Frontiers" caught my ear and I became acutely aware that he was creating interesting sounds that were right up my alley. I bought that album and, soon after, his 2nd and hungrily devoured both but, for some strange reason that escapes me to this day, I never delved into his debut until 34 years had passed since it initially hit the record bins. Yeah, pretty weird. I wholeheartedly agree. But better late than never, eh?

Starting with a tune called "Moribund the Burgermeister" would be considered a strange opening act for most anyone else but in Peter's imaginative sphere of existence (the same where the grotesque Slipperman lived) it was risky business as usual. The track's electronic rhythm is a distinct departure from Genesis' motif but the tune's theatrical aura is pure Gabriel and what his fans were relieved to hear he'd not abandoned. "This thing's really outrageous, I tell you on the level/it's really so contagious must be the work of the devil/you better go now, pick up the pipers, tell them to play/seems the music keeps them quiet, there is no other way," he sings as if addressing his flock. The aforementioned classic "Solsbury Hill" is next. It's most unexpected that he'd produce something so universally accepted (and enduring) when what was anticipated was music that'd be very eclectic and likely inaccessible to the masses. Yet its popularity eclipsed any single that Genesis had ever released up to that point yet it doesn't sacrifice any of its composer's uniqueness. So catchy was it that John Q. Public hardly noticed the unorthodox 7/8 time signature. Two poignant lines sum up his decision to move on in his career. "I was feeling part of the scenery/I walked right out of the machinery," he relates. "Modern Love" follows and this straight-ahead rocker is a step down, mostly due to the overall production being too busy, detracting from any potential impact the song might've had.

Then comes the eyebrow-raising "Excuse Me." A delightful, harmonizing barbershop quartet provides the focus as it evolves into a nostalgic 20s-styled ditty that proves Gabriel wasn't about to ride exclusively on the coattails of his previous persona. "I'm not the man I used to be," he explains with a wink. I first heard and fell in love with "Humdrum" on his superb "Plays Live" album so it's a special treat to now hear the original with its vast array of instrumentation. The opening words, "I saw the man at J.F.K./he took your ticket yesterday/in the humdrum/I ride tandem with a random/things don't run the way I planned them/in the humdrum," are indelible and Larry Fast's dense wall of synthesizers drenching the last segment are glorious. "Slowburn" gallops out as an aggressive rocker (I've read this is a rare version in that respect) but soon reveals it's much more complex in structure than found in typical rock & roll fare. The progressive arrangement is unpredictable and consistently dramatic. The slow, hard blues atmosphere he uses for the foundation of "Waiting for the Big One" came as a complete shock for this aging monkey. Topping that revelation, Peter takes on the countenance of a tipsy lounge singer, a tactic extremely odd in a novel yet attractive way. The number has a Randy Newman-ish tone I don't mind at all (he's a favorite of mine) as Gabriel slurs, "I pray the snow goes, be bad if it settles/'cos I follow my nose and the dried up rose petals/like the man says, sure hope Moses knows his roses/or we'll all be waiting for the big one." Steve Hunter's gutsy guitar solo is no joke and the ending is deliciously pompous.

Peter hauls in a regal symphony for "Down the Dolce Vita" and the churning rock beat roiling underneath offers a fascinating contrast to the orchestral score's seamless intrusions. There are many layers inside this hefty burrito but that's what adventurous, bold prog is all about. I surmise he's referring to touring when he sings "'So long,' said four men to their families/'Be strong till we get back home/and if not, take care of all the children/until then just hope and pray/we're gonna find a way to make it alive.'" I'm more familiar with the awesome, stripped-down version of "Here Comes the Flood" included on his best-of collection, "Shaking the Tree," but I find the haunting intro here sublimely sets up the somber mood he wraps around this beautiful song. On this cut his emotional voice delivers the undiluted power of the poetic lyrics dynamically. "Lord, here comes the flood/we'll say goodbye to flesh and blood/if again the seas are silent/in any still alive/it'll be those who gave their island to survive/drink up, dreamers, you're running dry," he cries mournfully. It does come off a bit heavy-handed (Gabriel has expressed that he felt it was overproduced) so I continue to prefer his later rendition but it still packs a punch that shouldn't be downplayed.

Peter wisely enlisted the help of bassist extraordinaire Tony Levin, drummer Allan Schwartzburg, Hunter and Fripp on guitars and Jozef Chirowski on piano along with Fast's synth expertise to construct his first project and, as such, is an impressive piece of work. It has some rough edges, to be sure, but they add to the ambience rather than erode the effective presence of his youthful enthusiasm. The album peaked at #7 on the UK charts (which isn't all that surprising) but it rose to #38 in the states and that's remarkable considering that Genesis still had barely more than a cult following here in 1977. By any measure what Gabriel achieved with this record is quite admirable and I'm only sorry that it took me so many years getting around to listening to it. My bad.

Report this review (#587425)
Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars A highly impressive start to a highly impressive solo career. All of Peter Gabriel's albums live in their own sound world, some more accessable than others, and the first one has one of the less accessable sounds to it, but like all, is a sound that can be warmed up to. There is much warmth in the production, actually, along with plenty of icyness, creating a dense yet smooth, foggy atmosphere that in places sounds like it was made just for 8 track. That production works great on some songs, like the opening, very original "Moribund the Burgermeister", where Peter Gabriel is still very much in theatrical mode, the truly rocking power-pop of "Modern Love", and the very progressive "Humdrum" and "Slowburn," not so much on "Waiting For the Big One" and "Here Comes the Flood," which are both otherwise very good songs. Actually, the songs are all great on this album, and it is clear that Peter Gabriel's songwriting not only further blossomed after his departure from Genesis, but had also benefited from the direction possibilities of taking a few years off in between. It's probably the most eclectic debut I've heard, and the songs are places in a very thoughtful order, lending a thrilling sense of adventure to the album. I really like "Solsbury Hill" a lot, and it remains one of his best hit singles. Very catchy acoustic guitar riff in 7/8, off-kilter panning, all with crashing guitar chords and layers of Gabriel's guttteral vocal effects at the end. There's some surperior singing throughout, namely in "Humdrum" and "Here Comes the Flood." (His voice is still very close to what it was on "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.") There is also stellar playing from a talented host of session musicians, including Tony Levin and Robert Fripp, as well as some of the members who would become Peter's full time band later on. It's a great album, and if you can let yourself soak into the unique production, you may even consider it a prog classic.
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Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I am quite shocked that this record seems to have so little love attached to it. Admittedly it takes some time to really appreciate and the switching of styles may appear haphazard and the production a little muddy (although it sounds fine to me in a Phil Spector 'Wall of sound' way) but generally what I hear is an exploration into the great unknown. Clearly for Gabriel this had to be set well apart from his Genesis days and so all instrumental twiddling is expunged in favour of songs..just songs! Yep horrors of horrors there are no extended instrumental work outs. However all is not 'lost' as you get at least a outing with the London Symphony Orchestra on 'Down The Dolce Vita'.

The opening track 'Moribund The Burgermeister' is a tricky opening rack. Talk about not making life easy for the listener! Over the years I have to come to love this little gem but its an incredibly twisted piece that needs time to settle (as do many tracks on this album). The background synth is so good. Gabriel sings 'I will find out' and you know he will (and he says so).

Solsbury Hill ,does this even need reviewing. Along with Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here and Kansas 'Dust In The WInd' this is one of my favorite prog singles. Fripps guitar signature at the end is sheer magic. If you don't have goosebumps at this point get someone to prod you to make sure you aren't dead.

Next up is Modern Love , something of an obvious nod to the exploding new wave scene of the time. Instrumentally its a tad ordinary but the sharp and humorus lyrics are the saving grace here. 'In Paris my heart sinks when I see the Mona Lisa , she gives my the wink and then shows me the freezer'. Ha!

Probably the most difficult track for me is 'Excuse Me'. Barbershop is something I know nothing about..Normally this sort of thing is harmless but in Gabriel hands in turns into an ode about wanting to be alone. Humour is again very much to the fore in the lyrics. Loads of fun but admittedly not everyone's cup of tea.

Humdrum is possibly one the tracks that for many drags the album down a notch. Its just very soft and melancholic. Not very cheery but the electric piano is gorgeous in a depressed Supertramp kind of way. It does a perk up a little in places but then is enveloped by what sounds like Mellotron (but most probably isn't) and returns to the general depression. I like this track very much.

Slowburn vies with Down The Dolce Vita and Solsbury Hill for my fave on the album. The complexity is delightfull taking you every place imaginable in just a few minutes.

Waiting For The Big One does nothing to take away the melancholic mood. It's basic bar room blues. Dull as dishwater and easily the worst track on the album but at least its sandwiched in between the two best tracks. One to skip.

Down The Dolce Vita is a juggernaut of a track featuring the LSO and with a mid section to die for. Turn it up loud!

Last but very much not least is the beautiful Here Comes The Flood. Gabriel is such a soulfull singer and the use of organ on this track is spot on. Exceptional.

So what does this album add up to. About 8 brilliant tracks and maybe one dud. I'm not prepared to deprive this commendable debut a 5 star album because of one filler. There is just so much that is good and 'kills' 99% of the releases recognised as 5 stars on PA.

Report this review (#914530)
Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Peter Gabriel without Genesis.

"Moribund the Burgermeister" - This sounds like it could have been one of the quirkier moments from the last Genesis album that Peter was involved with "The Lamb lies down on Broadway". A strange number that I find interesting for its structure.

"Solsbury Hill" - This track needs no introduction as it is a well known Gabriel composition. It is a track that I like very much indeed. A folksy number I could easily see on a good Strawbs album sung by Dave Cousins.

"Modern Love" - an upbeat rock number that to me is very early Bowie-esque. In fact Bowie did release a single in 1983 of a track by the same name - which isn't the same track at all, but which I find interesting to note all the same.

"Excuse Me" - A bit of fun which starts off like an old 50's blues soul number. I really enjoy the sound of this track.

"Humdrum" - A kind of ode to boredom and the ordinary. A track that I could easily see 10cc doing.

"Slow Burn" - An upbeat rock number with quirky passages.

"Waiting for the Big One" - A bluesy, jazzy track where Gabriel sings as if he is tipsy. I do pick up a lot of "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" on this track had that been a bluesier number and slowed down.

"Down the Dolce Vita" - Heavily orchestrated track intro until it rocks out and then is intersperced with orchestra along the way. A dramatic number.

"Here comes the Flood" - A nice emotive track done in a soft rock vein. Brilliant lyrics.

A very good album for its moods and its explorations. Looking at the people that Gabriel brought in to accompany him on this first solo release of his there are some big names there, Robert Fripp and Tony Levin not least among the cast. Is this prog music? For its exploration of various musical ideas I would say that yes it is. This isn't the Peter Gabriel of Genesis and anybody going into this album with that expectation will be disappointed however it is a very good effort from a man finding his own wings. Four stars from me.

Report this review (#947093)
Posted Sunday, April 21, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars A few years after his departure with Genesis, whilst he was experimenting with film amongst other projects, Peter Gabriel amassed material for his breakaway debut album. The music is surprisingly consistent and fully-formed, and despite the occasional musical or production flaw, one feels particularly protective of "Car" in any of its rough edges, and totally embraces the liberating moments. It's incredible how fully-formed an art rocker Gabriel was when the album was released, and was undeterred to do things entirely his way (keep in mind this was 1977 England - the time and place of an overwhelming punk revolution). This record seems to have become a hidden gem, as apart from the hits "Solsbury Hill" and "Here Comes The Flood", the rest of the songs on here are unfairly rarely mentioned in Gabriel's extensive repertoire. However, the record is truly astounding in several places and deserves to be heralded as one of Peter's most defining works.

"Moribund The Burgermeister" opens the record with some excellent sonics, with some equally good key transitions. The chromatic modulation (from Eb to E) in the chorus is a technique he repeatedly utilises on "Car" that gives the music such a devastating climatic lift. Thankfully, he carries this grandeur through with some majestic brass before reaching that devilish "I will find out" section. There's always something new being introduced on the repeats, so you really can't stand still (in a good way), and along with the songwriting talents, makes something much more significant than a "call to arms". Withholding the bar, the instantly recognisable "Solsbury Hill" features some innovative lyricism in a notably proggy 7/4 metre, with a very polished production. However, it's right on the brink of being clinical, and the impressive melodies are kind of weakened by the slightly feeble outro (with the fairly dull distorted guitar's single notes). Nonetheless, a more than commendable track that on the whole emanates such an organic emotion from the get-go.

"Modern Love", like the first track, has seriously grown on me recently, and is a contender for the album's best song. Musically, it's incredibly adventurous for such a high-octane art rock song, with some of Peter's typical awkwardly sexy lyrics. The delivery of the man himself is so empowering, and when then organ kicks in on the first verse, it's just perfect. The ever-changing atmosphere and modulations keep the blood pumping through the song, it's all laid out in a surprisingly rational format, and its unfamiliarly with many of Peter's fans baffles me. "Excuse Me" enters as a soothing barbershop quartet comprised of 4 Peters serenade you. Unfortunately, I don't think the full potential of this intro was really explored. He has all the right ingredients for these very intriguing chords, but doesn't seem to extend any further than sevenths (which are still rarely found). Anyhow, it picks up with a gorgeously lackadaisical delivery, teamed with those strangely comforting yet haunting lyrics. The kooky instrumentation adds a little something extra too, plus the regular usage of diminished/augmented chords that give it more personality.

"Humdrum" is quite a sudden transition from the previous little itty, so I couldn't fully appreciate it upon first listen, given the frame of mind I was in. A little sequencing flaw for me - many of the tracks could have been re-ordered to make it more fluent in my opinion, but this is really nitpicking. However, it stands out as a particularly emotive and heartfelt song, with plenty of room for a personal interpretation. The climaxes are still present, as are those lovely lilting bridges, but the lyrics evoke some other sentiment that I can't quite put my finger on. Once again, I think it's partially due to Peter's tentative vocal style that almost subtly erupts at its sonic peak. A fitting ode to close Side 1.

"Slowburn" then kickstarts the second, maintaining the record's consistency. The songwriting seemed to focus more on pairing a strong fervency with a certain experimentation (heard after "shooting down out skies"). It doesn't really pay off on close inspection, and can seem like a compromise of the two, creating a poor man's Queen song, but I can't deny the impassioned feel when you let it just roll over you. "Waiting For The Big One" began as my least favourite song, and I'm afraid continues to hold that wooden spoon little (despite my growing fondness). It can't quite compete with the rest of the album, and offers little variation throughout its testing 7 minutes (in which it transforms into a plodding, empty symphonic guitar line). Again, it sounds like a compromise between Peter's style and a jazzy blues, which isn't exactly his forte. The piano on the intro is quite forcedly bluesy, with overly blatant b5 octaves being regularly pounded. The chords aren't entirely flowing or consistent in quality, but there are some fantastic parts which are possibly the best part of "Car" to improvise to on any instrument. The intentionally feeble and spent vocals really save the song though, and withhold the bar somewhat.

"Down The Dolce Vita" thankfully gets you back into the real deal. Peter exudes just enough ostentatiousness for me, thanks to the at-times cacophonous brass-fronted orchestra (well amplified by the production), and the almost-unnecessarily-pompous percussive middle section. I seriously admire and just adore the ambition and courageousness of the songwriting and arrangements on here, as some even more startling key changes and vehement vocal expressions are introduced. Possibly in my top three tracks, and I'd seriously urge any symphonic prog lover to listen to this with a fresh mindset. Finally, "Here Comes The Flood" concludes the LP with an overpowering simplicity, as the waves crash in on that first unsuspected chorus. I slightly agree with the "over-production" argument on this track, as I've seen some truly inspired live performances of Peter singing alone with his piano. The final song has so much to offer, and is abundant with thought-provoking lyrics depicting an oddly picturesque flood. The lyrics bear such a despairing tone, and use quite a basic metaphor, and all of this somehow formulates into a fittingly submissive and modest exit.

A(-): One of many culminations in Peter Gabriel's career; his untitled debut is undoubtedly a noteworthy triumph of the 70s.

Moribund The Burgermeister: ***** Solsbury Hill: ***** Modern Love: ***** Excuse Me: **** Humdrum: ***** Slowburn: **** Waiting For The Big One: **** Down The Dolce Vita: ***** Here Comes The Flood: *****

Report this review (#1116494)
Posted Sunday, January 19, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars I will see this extraordinary artist perform his music live in Sweden in May, so I thought that as a little warm up for this great event (to me it just doesn't get bigger, Gabriel might as well be god) I gonna try to review all of his albums, or at least most of them.

The first album, or "Car" as we also know it, use to be my favorite album of his. But today things seems to have changed and, even though containing great songs like "Solsbury Hill" and "Here comes the flood", the overall experience of the album feels more like a punk-rock-glam revolt from his roots in progressive music. The elements we might recognize as prog mostly feel a bit overproduced, a bit to much.

I got mixed feelings about opening track "Moribund the Burgermeister", I have to admit its a pretty damn exciting song, but its far from the Gabriel I prefer. Its probably the song closest to his previous work on Genesis "Lambs lies down on broadway", as he sings with the same kind of theatre and attitude in his voice. I love the idea about switching between two moods in the song, one mysterious and a bit creepy and one more rock and awesome. This awesomeness (Im trying to write about awesomeness as an objective word, am I kidding myself?) is working some days when the sun is shining and everything is going your way, but most of the days its too much glamrock for my taste. With another way of tackling the song it could have been much greater. I don't know how many things i really need to say about "Solsbury Hills", its lovely and just makes me feel good about everything. I prefer the live versions though, more stripped down and personal. Next song "Modern Love" is just more of that riffing glam rock, so I leave that track alone. "Excuse me" just freaking funny, barbershop with great vocals and some twists and turns here and there. I guess its a proof of Gabriel not yet being comfortable with not being in Genesis, haven't really grown out of that flower costume yet. In this song it suits his just fine!

"Humdrum" is fantastic and probably the sound he should have aimed for with this album. It sounds like Gabriel is finding himself, instead of singing out out the heart of some strange character (as with Genesis, which he does great!) he sings out of his own heart and it just becomes so much more personal. The arrangement is great on this track, a bit more scaled down with a lot of keyboards och classical sounding guitar.

"Slowburn" is an okay song but, just as with Moribund and Modern Love, its a bit too much glam rock. Its a bit annoying to think he had the great Robert Fripp playing the guitars and made him play glam/punk instead of something more? Fripp-ish. "Waiting for the big one" use to be the big one I waited for the whole album through. Its an epic blues song, just as strange as it sounds. Gabriel is really finding a bluesy voice for this one, but I don't think it suits him that well, it might be a bit too acted. For epic and strange blues, see mr Tom Waits instead (Why in earths name isn't his music on progarchives? "Bonemachine", for christs sake!) "Down the dolce vita" is like Waiting for the big one, minus the blues. On a good day this is a great track, but most of the time its just too much.

Closing track "Here comes the flood" is one of the greatest songs he´s ever written, but you won't realize that before you hear the live version with only Gabriel´s voice and a piano. The studio version is dramatic as hell, but a bit too much glam here as well. I think he´s trying too hard to make it powerful, but forget how powerful the song is just in it self (or haven't discovered it yet) All in all, this is a good album and a really good debut. It doesn't leave many clues about the future and all the great albums he will do, it sounds more like someone trying hard to not create a progressive fairytale album, but in his voice he´s still there.

Report this review (#1162498)
Posted Friday, April 18, 2014 | Review Permalink

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