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Peter Gabriel Big Blue Ball album cover
2.76 | 147 ratings | 5 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Whole Thing (original mix) (5:27)
2. Habibe (7:12)
3. Shadow (4:28)
4. Altus Silva (6:07)
5. Exit Through You (5:52)
6. Everything Comes from You (4:42)
7. Burn You Up, Burn You Down (4:31)
8. Forest (6:17)
9. Rivers (5:45)
10. Jijy (4:00)
11. Big Blue Ball (4:52)

Total Time 59:13

Bonus tracks on Digital Downloads:
"Habibe (Stefan Goodchild Remix)" - US only
"Whole Thing (Adrian Sherwood & Jazzwad Remix)" - UK only
"Story of the Big Blue Ball, Pt. 1" - bonus video

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Gabriel / vocals (1,5,7), keyboards (1,5,7,11), piano & organ (11), bass (5), drone (9), co-producer

Track 1
- Karl Wallinger / guitar
- Paul Allen / guitar
- Francis Bebey / flute
- Alexis Faku / bass
- Tchad Blake / tom tom
- Tim Finn / backing vocals
- Andy White / backing vocals
- Chuck Norman / programming

Track 2
- Natacha Atlas / vocals
- Stephen Hague / keyboards
- Tim Whelan / baglama
- The Hossam Ramzy Egyptian Ensemble / strings
- Hossam Ramzy / drums & percussion
- Neil Sparkes / drums & percussion
- Chuck Norman / programming

Track 3
- Papa Wemba / vocals
- Reddy Amisi / backing vocals
- Juan Manuel Cańizares / guitar
- The Papa Wemba Band / percussion
- Tchad Blake / frame drum
- Laurent Coatelen / bongos

Track 4
- Iarla Ó Lionáird / vocals
- Joseph Arthur / vocals
- Vernon Reid / guitar synth
- Michel Sanchez (Deep Forest) / piano, keyboards
- Eric Mouquet (Deep Forest) / piano, keyboards
- Tchad Blake / keyboards, harmonium
- Ronan Browne / uilleann pipes
- Noël Ekwabi / bass
- The Papa Wemba Band / congas
- James McNally / low whistle
- Chuck Norman / programming

Track 5
- Joseph Arthur / vocals, guitar
- Karl Wallinger / guitar, backing vocals
- Tchad Blake / bass, shaker, tambourine
- Justin Adams / backing vocals
- Chuck Norman / programming

Track 6
- Sinéad O'Connor / vocals
- Sevara Nazarkhan / backing vocals
- Richard Evans / guitar, mandolin, recorder
- Rupert Hine / keyboards
- Angie Pollock / piano
- Guo Yue / flute
- Ged Lynch / drums
- Joji Hirota / percussion, drums, Chinese drums

Track 7
- David Rhodes / guitar
- Justin Adams / guitar
- Tchad Blake / guitar synth, organ, shaker, hi-hat, frame drum
- Sherman Holmes / backing vocals
- Wendell Holmes / backing vocals
- Jules Shear / backing vocals
- Karl Wallinger / backing vocals
- Jah Wobble / bass
- Wendy Melvoin / bass
- Billy Cobham / drums
- Arona N'diaye / djembe
- Chuck Norman / programming

Track 8
- Hukwe Zawose / vocals
- Vernon Reid / guitar
- Levon Minassian / duduk
- Arona N'diaye / percussion
- Chuck Norman / programming
- Stephen Hague / programming

Track 9
- Márta Sebestyén / lead vocals, flute
- Vernon Reid / guitar synth
- Stephen Hague / accordion
- Karl Wallinger / bass
- Chuck Norman / programming, drone

Track 10
- Rossy (Paul Bert) / vocals
- Jah Wobble / bass
- Arona N'diaye / percussion
- Chuck Norman / programming
- Stephen Hague / programming

Track 11
- Karl Wallinger / vocals, acoustic guitar, double bass, keyboards
- Stephen Hague / accordion
- Manu Katche / drums
- Tchad Blake / kick drums
- Chuck Norman / programming

Releases information

Almost eighteen years in the making, "Big Blue Ball" is a project featuring several artists from all around the world, a mix of western, African and Asian musicians. Produced by Peter Gabriel, Eric Mouquet, Karl Wallinger, Michel Sanchez and Stephen Hague ; Engineered by Alex Swift, Ben Findlay, David Bottrill, Marco Migliari, Paul Grady, Richard Chappell and Richard Evans

2LP Real World Records, Classic Records USLPRW150 (2008, US)
2LP Rykodisc, Classic Records USLPRW150 (2008, US, blue vinyl, Limited Edition)

CD Real World Records USCDRW150 (2008, US)
CD Real World Records USCDRW153 (2008, US, different Artwork)

Digital album with bonus track

Thanks to ? for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy PETER GABRIEL Big Blue Ball Music

PETER GABRIEL Big Blue Ball ratings distribution

(147 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (26%)
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)

PETER GABRIEL Big Blue Ball reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Originally recorded at Real World studios over numerous sessions between 1991 and 1995 this album has finally seen the light of day. Like a large jigsaw puzzle and through mainly the erstwhile efforts of Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger ( World Party fame) and mixer/producer Stephen Hague after many hours and hard labour, Big Blue Ball is now available to the listeners.

The music is a collaboration of sorts from various artists. Much more useful to view the credits section , but mainly Karl Wallinger, Joseph Arthur, Tim Finn ( Split Enz/Crowded House fame), the ubiquitous David Rhodes on guitar, Deep Forest and Tchad Blake to name a few. First class production and sound quality gives this album the distinct Gabriel wall of sound with the Passion,Us world music elements also.

The album kicks off with the typical Gabriel rocker Whole Thing. In fact if you are looking for similar strong songs in this vein on the album check out also Exit Through You and ' Burn You Up, Burn You Down ( the last one also off his recent Hits album release. Joseph Arthur works well with Peter Gabriel as does Karl Wallinger in delivering three solid tracks. Other noteworthy songs are the beautiful Altus Silva and the highlight for me River with world renowned Hungarian vocalist Marta Sebesteyn delivering a perfectly plaintive voice. The final track is the self titled Big Blue Ball written and sung by Karl Wallinger and is a very uplifting positive song to end this environmentally conscious album on.

For any Peter Gabriel fans I strongly recommend getting this. For me this even stronger than the Ovo release. A solid three and a half stars.

Review by Slartibartfast
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
3 stars Buy yourself a couple of these and you'll have a pair of big blue-balls... If that ball was to roll down that hill it would crush those poor sheep!

This is not a Peter Gabriel album, nor is claimed to be anywhere on the album cover. It's more of a Peter Gabriel and Friends album along the lines of an LP I have from years back, the WOMAD album. And what a bunch of friends, many names from the world of prog and far too many artists I'm not familiar with.

To be certain, Peter did produce all of the tracks which were recorded at his Real World Studios, spanning 1991 to 2007, but was not present as a musician on all of them. The tracks he did appear on: Whole Thing, Exit Through You, Burn You Up Burn You Down, Rivers, and Big Blue Ball would be a comfortable fit for a Peter Gabriel album.

It's a mostly world music oriented album, but don't dismiss the non-Gabriel tunes, they're cool in their own right. If you're not close-minded to world music there's stuff here that might just expand your musical horizons.

Review by Negoba
2 stars This is NOT a Peter Gabriel Album ? but It's Not Bad

BIG BLUE BALL is another of the Peter Gabriel's Real World projects, not a solo album by any means. As most know, Gabriel has been active in promoting world music for nearing 30 years now. In the 80's he coordinated the WOMAD festival, and his work (along with Paul Simon's) were instrumental in the world fusion surge in popularity during the 90's. Gabriel still spends most of his time recording and promoting various world artists, and this disc may have simply been a fundraiser for that effort. BIG BLUE BALL is a record of three collaborative sessions in 1991, 1992, and 1995 at Real World studios covering a huge span of musicians. Strangely, this project was not put in to finished form until 2007 for 2008 release.

There is one good Gabriel song on the album, the opener "Whole Thing." It's fairly typical of the US era, featuring plenty of world percussion along with Gabriel's big studio sound. The melodies are good, and it would have stood up as a nice album track had US had a real follow- up (which many of us would have appreciated in the mid to late 90's).

The rest of the album is a sampler of other bands and Gabriel friends. Karl Wallinger of World Party and the Waterboys actually had a large musical role in the album, and singer Joseph Arthur leads several songs. The variety is quite nice, from African voices and percussion to Middle Eastern tonalities to Celtic flavors. Some of the programming is pretty dated, with the ethno-rap "Jijy" sounding particularly dinosaur-like. Overall, this is a pleasant disc to put in on a drive, seamlessly returning to track one for a continual world beat background music. Unfortunately, none of the songs really blow me away. They are all good, but none are truly excellent aside from the world instrumentation.

It's also very hard to give this much prog cred as it wasn't released until long after these sounds were part of common culture. Even in 1995 when the last session was recorded, listeners already would have been somewhat familiar with these sounds. (Thanks in part to Gabriel's own efforts). I got the disc used and certainly don't feel cheated, but this is a non- essential novelty. 2/5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Big Blue Ball is not so much a PG album as it is the result of several uber sessions of his Real World studio. Many different artists and styles are found here, more so than on your typical (if there is such a thing) release from Peter Gabriel. These artists include the expected, such as Papa ... (read more)

Report this review (#1358164) | Posted by Progosopher | Friday, January 30, 2015 | Review Permanlink

1 stars We all know that Peter Gabriel is a very brilliant sales manager of himself. This album is merely a commercial operation, maybe to give contribution to the musicians who performed the songs. I Think it's not more than this (unfortunately More than This is one of the most beautiful songs of his la ... (read more)

Report this review (#178679) | Posted by progpromoter | Saturday, August 2, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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