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Peter Gabriel

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Peter Gabriel New Blood album cover
3.55 | 225 ratings | 4 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Rhythm of the Heat (5:41)
2. Downside Up (3:51)
3. San Jacinto (6:58)
4. Intruder (5:07)
5. Wallflower (6:25)
6. In Your Eyes (7:12)
7. Mercy Street (5:59)
8. Red Rain (5:15)
9. Darkness (6:10)
10. Don't Give Up (6:40)
11. Digging in the Dirt (4:57)
12. The Nest that Sailed the Sky (3:54)
13. A Quiet Moment (4:48) *
14. Solsbury Hill (bonus track) (4:35)

* Previously unreleased

Total time 78:32

CD 2 from Special edition:
1. The Rhythm Of The Heart (instrumental) (5:41)
2. Downside Up (instrumental) (3:52)
3. San Jacinto (instrumental) (7:12)
4. Intruder (instrumental) (5:07)
5. Wallflower (instrumental) (6:25)
6. In Your Eyes (instrumental) (7:13)
7. Mercy Street (instrumental) (6:00)
8. Red Rain (instrumental) (5:16)
9. Darkness (instrumental) (6:11)
10. Don't Give Up (instrumental) (6:40)
11. Digging In The Dirt (instrumental) (4:58)
12. The Nest That Sailed The Sky (instrumental) (3:54)
13. Blood Of Eden - bonus track (6:06)

Total time 75:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Gabriel / composer, co-arranger & co-producer

- Melanie Gabriel / vocals (2)
- Ane Brun / vocals (10)
- Tom Cawley / vocals, piano
- John Metcalfe / co-arranger, orchestrator & co-producer
- The New Blood Orchestra
- Louisa Fuller / orchestra leader
- Ben Foster / orchestra conductor

Releases information

Orchestral re-recordings from throughout Gabriel's career plus a new song, "A Quiet Moment"

Artwork: Steve Gschmeissner (photo) with Marc Bessant (design)

CD Real World Records ‎- PGCD13 (2011, Europe)
2xCD Real World Records ‎- PGCDX13 (2011, Europe) Bonus CD w/ instrumental versions plus 1 track

In addition there is a heavyweight vinyl version that comes with a bonus 7" featuring 'A Quiet Moment' and 'Solsbury Hill'.

Thanks to easy livin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy PETER GABRIEL New Blood Music

PETER GABRIEL New Blood ratings distribution

(225 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

PETER GABRIEL New Blood reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lazland
4 stars I have loved Gabriel's music for many years now, both with Genesis and in a solo career that has produced some exceptional music, although not nearly enough of it. This is the first studio album released by Gabriel from his own material since 2002's Up, and is, as with 2010's Scratch My Back, an album of orchestral interpretation, this time with Gabriel's songs rather than others.

For those of us who believe he is akin to genius, the question has to be asked, can you possibly improve on the original recordings? Is it possible to bring new focus to songs that we have enjoyed for many years now?

By and large, the answer is an unequivocal yes, although I must state that it does not work throughout the album. There are some very disappointing moments, and perhaps it might be better to deal with those first.

Don't Give Up is the biggest disappointment of the year to me. Whilst it was always going to be a thankless task for any vocalist to fill the (Big Red) shoes of Kate Bush, I'm afraid that Ane Brun comes nowhere near. It really doesn't work at all. Her voice lacks the sheer passion of the original, and the orchestration does not add one jot to the original, which was an orchestral piece anyway. It really is quite horrible, and a massive disappointment.

Digging In The Dirt lacks the sheer intensity of the source material, and for once the orchestration fails to match or exceed the darkness of the original. The vocals are stripped back far too much. It's good (you cannot really fail with material this strong), but it is only really at the close that I find myself taking a great deal of notice.

A Quite Moment is the "what's the point of this?" moment on the album. Almost five minutes of bird song, and nothing else, is a pleasant way to spend some time, but I really cannot see the point at all.

Lastly, that all time classic, Solsbury Hill, surprisingly, does not translate at all well to this format, and this was strikingly seen on the Jools Holland live sessions on BBC 2, where Red Rain was majestic, and this was, well, plodding and slow.

Those are the gripes over. Elsewhere, there is much to celebrate on this album, with some magnificent reworkings of excellent pieces of music.

Opener, Rhythm of the Heat is very strong. The orchestra adds a menacing tone, and lilts strongly during the "The rhythm has my soul" sequence. The backing vocals are far more sparse than the original, and the strings are more than adequate substitutes for the drum troupe found on the original, and the full orchestra builds to a huge climax.

Downside Up is simply beautiful, and, with daughter Melanie sharing the vocal duties, closer to the excellent live version than the rather limp original on OVO. She has the most gorgeous voice, and an oboe adds a lovely poignancy to proceedings. Strings back gently before taking centre stage and adding a whole new intensity to the song. The closing sequence on the original album is cut short on this version.

San Jacinto is just as wonderful here as it is on the original, a true highlight of an exceptional musical career. The complex music is tailor made for orchestration, and the intricate woodwind and percussion mid-section is wonderful to hear. Gabriel himself has rarely sounded better vocally, and the hairs are raised at the denouement. A pure classic, whatever the version.

Intruder is incredible here. The staccato use of strings and brass manage to make this version even more creepy than the synths and drum machine utilised on the original. This is a truly imaginative reworking of a highlight of Gabriel's commercial breakthrough album. The denouement brings forth a massive wall of sound that leaves you breathless.

Wallflower is probably my favourite Gabriel solo song. The orchestra doesn't really add anything new here, although the gentle piano utilised most certainly does, but, in this instance, I don't care. The song's fragile beauty and tribute to brave souls the world over will work whichever version you put on, and the backing vocals do really add a whole new beautiful dimension to proceedings. The close of the track was made for violins crying, and it doesn't disappoint. Melanie again shines in the main conclusion.

In Your Eyes is bright, bouncy, and the orchestration is wonderful at the start, a startling contrast to the somewhat moody passage on So. This mood returns when Gabriel enters the fray, but Melanie again backs wonderfully, and the whole song is far closer in mood and execution to the live version, and a joy to listen to, a reaffirmation of life and love. I don't even miss Youssou N'Dour when I hear this.

Mercy Street is wonderful to listen to again, with the female lead adding a great deal, certainly given the subject matter.

Red Rain is the surprise package of the album. The orchestra takes the pace of the original to both new heights and a supreme show of noise. This is bright, sunny, and rises to an almost impossible intensity prior to the almost silent close.

Darkness is rather more understated than the original. Dark and brooding, I love Gabriel's new gravel like take on the vocals, but also love the sunshine the flute brings to the brighter passages.

Lastly, The Nest That Sailed The Sky is a beautiful instrumental with soundscapes which take me back to Passion, which, to me, is the highlight of the great man's career. A delicate piano and backdrops create a loving, mournful pastiche.

So, there we are. Not a masterpiece, but, the weaker tracks aside, close to it. Really, though, with such material, you really can't fail.

The most obvious quibble, though, is the fact that it has been ten years now since we had a genuine Gabriel album of wholly original material. It's far too long. I know his old man is still alive on the cusp of 100, but, really, he needs to get a move on. There is clearly so much left in him to bring us, I hope he does so before it is too late.

3.5 stars if we had such a rating, but rounded up to four stars, an excellent addition to any prog rock collection, simply because the highs are sublime, and the lows do not really detract that much from the overall pleasure of this album, Don't Give Up aside.

Review by tarkus1980
3 stars Making the followup to Scratch My Back into what's essentially an "orchestral self- covers" album may show a disappointing lack of ambition, but this is a much more enjoyable album than its predecessor nonetheless. As on the last album, Peter follows a strict no percussion allowed, piano-and-orchestra-only rule (except for the weirdly out of place new track, "A Quiet Moment," which is some sort of ambient track I guess), but he makes one major improvement from his previous approach: instead of trying to cram all of the material into the same downbeat, ultra-minimalist, dirge-like mode that dominated Scratch My Back, he allows the arrangements to take on the same rich tapestry of atmospheres that made most of these tracks so enjoyable in the first place. There's some melancholy and darkness, sure, but there's also majesty and joy, and the result is that the album is a far less oppressive experience than its predecessor. Plus, Peter ends up finding some rather innovative solutions to the problem of how to handle the "no drums allowed" constraint when dealing with tracks that had once been percussion-heavy: "The Rhythm of the Heat," "Intruder" and "Digging in the Dirt" especially deserve high marks in this regard.

The song selection is fairly unpredictable for such an endeavour, and takes this album beyond the glorified greatest hits affair that it could have been. Security gets a surprising three tracks; aside from the aforementioned "Rhythm," the album also includes remakes of "San Jacinto" (no worse than the original) and "Wallflower" (extremely moving, and enough to lift my feelings towards the original a bit). The selections from So aren't as surprising, but we still get a lovely "Mercy Street" in addition to the fairly predictable "Red Rain" (lovely), "In Your Eyes" (cheerful but a little overlong) and "Don't Give Up" (arrrrrrrrrrgh). III gets the aforementioned "Intruder," OVO has two interesting selections in "Downside Up" and "The Nest That Sailed the Sky," Up gets "Darkness" (a little sillier in its melodrama here than in the original, but still fine), and of course the album ends with "Solsbury Hill" (lots of fun). This isn't a perfect setlist, but it's not a bad one either

If there's a general drawback to the album aside from the feel that it's mildly redundant, it's that Peter's daughter Melanie, featured on many tracks as one of the female backing vocalists (and serving as the sole one on "Downside Up") hasn't improved much since the Growing Up Live DVD, where she was a slight embarrassment. On the other hand, Ane Brun contributes some fantastic backing vocals, and this balances out the Melanie weakness fairly well. In the end, this album probably turned out about as well as it could have, and while it's a little pointless, it's still a blast to listen to a couple of times. Casual fans need not bother, but hardcore fans will probably enjoy this plenty.

Latest members reviews

4 stars As an old fan (solo as well as early Genesis) of him who quite liked "Scratch my Back" but loves most of his original stuff I wasn't too enthusiastic when I heard about Peter re-doing the orchestral thing. The good thing is, I bought "New Blood" nonetheless (luckily in the special edition as ... (read more)

Report this review (#818556) | Posted by madcap68 | Tuesday, September 11, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars All Quiet on the Western Front. This new work by Peter Gabriel's old glories with us again dressed differently. After the CD is ready to come out on DVD / Blu-ray concert in March at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. Marketing? One would think. is the reinterpretation of the orchestral repertoi ... (read more)

Report this review (#555111) | Posted by anywhere | Sunday, October 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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