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Peter Gabriel

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Peter Gabriel Peter Gabriel 3 [Aka: Melt] album cover
4.21 | 1018 ratings | 71 reviews | 41% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Intruder (4:53)
2. No Self Control (3:56)
3. Start (1:21)
4. I Don't Remember (4:42)
5. Family Snapshot (4:29)
6. And Through the Wire (4:58)
7. Games Without Frontiers (4:07)
8. Not One of Us (5:21)
9. Lead a Normal Life (4:15)
10. Biko (7:27)

Total Time 45:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Gabriel / lead & backing vocals, piano, synth (3,4,7,8), bass synth & whistles (7), drum programming (10)

- Kate Bush / backing vocals (2,7)
- David Rhodes / guitar, backing vocals
- Robert Fripp / guitar (2,4,8)
- Dave Gregory / guitar (4,5)
- Paul Weller / guitar (6)
- Larry Fast / synth, bass synth (7), synth bagpipes (10), programming
- Dick Morrissey / saxophone (2,3,5,9)
- John Giblin / bass
- Tony Levin / Chapman Stick (4)
- Jerry Marotta / drums, percussion (7,8)
- Phil Collins / drums (1,2), drum programming (1), percussion (5,10)
- Morris Pert / percussion (1,2,9)
- Steve Lillywhite / whistles (7), producer
- Hugh Padgham / whistles (7), engineer
- Peter Vogel / Fairlight CMI sampler
- David Ferguson / vocals - screeches (10)

Releases information

Artwork: Hipgnosis

LP Charisma Records - CDS 4019 (1980, UK)
LP Mercury - SRM-1-3848 (1980, US)

CD Virgin ‎- PGCD 3 (1987, Europe)
CD Real World Records ‎- PGCDX 3 (2002, Europe) Remastered by Tony Cousins

Numerous LP, MC and CD reissues

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PETER GABRIEL Peter Gabriel 3 [Aka: Melt] ratings distribution

(1018 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(41%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PETER GABRIEL Peter Gabriel 3 [Aka: Melt] reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
4 stars This is in my mind GABRIEL's finest and most complete work to date. Each song is very well written and performed in the tradition of this great artist. Although the first 3 albums have a similar feel to them, this seems to bring the best of them all into this recording. Peter continues to explore the deep and dark aspects of human nature in this recording and is helped by the presence of Phil COLLINS and Kate BUSH. All time classic tales like "Biko" and "Games without frontiers" adorn this recording.
Review by daveconn
5 stars You know the name, look up this number. Peter GABRIEL's third untitled release is as unconventional as his last was conventional. Exotic instruments, inventive arrangements (e.g., prohibiting the use of cymbals) and compelling character studies combine to create something unlike anything else from 1980. GABRIEL throws down the avant garde gauntlet with the opening "Intruder", a nightmarish song that sets the stage for a side-long study of psychoses. No sooner has GABRIEL declared "I am the intruder" than we find the felon has already gone over the line in "No Self Control" only to writhe under examination in "I Don't Remember". An Oswaldian allegory follows on "Family Snapshots" (beating Godley & Creme's "Lonnie" to the punch) and closes almost in a celebration of strangeness with ".And Through The Wire" (a precursor to "I Have The Touch").

Side two flips the perspective from the individual against society to society against the individual, "world music" in every sense of the words. "Games Without Frontiers" is a cleverly crafted pop shot at global fighting, the ugly head of prejudice roars on "Not One of Us" and the muted "Lead A Normal Life" rattles in its prison. It's all leading up to the closing "Biko" (or so it would seem): a larger-than-life ode to Stephen Biko that somehow turns social injustice into a sublime song of martyrdom. For the first time since "Lamb...", Peter GABRIEL was back to pushing envelopes. The album re-affirmed the singer as one of rock's leading visionaries and ranked among the year's best efforts (alongside Remain In Light, Scary Monsters and Vienna). More important, it established a workable idiom for Peter GABRIEL the solo artist, one he would fine tune over the years but never really abandon.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars There is very little to add to PG3 other than the fact that Peter Gabriel came of age with this album. Surrounded by sheer class in terms musicians he delivered the genuine epic album. Intruder is menacing and basically violates your psyche from the first note. Phil Colllins adding drumming second to none. No self Control probably the most accessible single on the record. John Giblin on bass, well who can fault such a diverse versatile bassist whose biggest claim to fame IMHO was his contribution on Simple Minds, the Verona tour and Street Fighting years era.Biko hit home when world guilt was truly at it's most aware, thank you PG for reminding the world of how dire oppression was in South Africa at the time. A politician deluxe and Real World began to flourish. For me the album is strong from beginning to end but No Self Control, Intruder and I don't remember are the best of a classic offering. Yes he went on from here with ' Security', ' So' and much more but never would he scale the heights of completeness with PG3.
Review by Guillermo
4 stars With his third album, Gabriel started to use African drums, and did some experiments which are very good in this album. Some things are weird, of course! Several songs are like the soundtrack of an horror movie, with processed guitars, saxes and synths sound effects, drum kits played without cymbals, paranoid lyrics, social-political songs, etc.My favourite songs from this album are: "Intruder", "Not self-control", "I don`t remember", "Family Snapshot", "Games without frontiers" (the best of all) and "Biko". This is not an album for daily listening, really, but as an experimental album, it has a lot of creativity.
Review by Muzikman
4 stars After a successful debut and a disappointing follow up, Peter GABRIEL put it all together for his quintessential masterpiece on his third self-titled album. This recording is full of great songs with panoramic views of the GABRIEL musical vision. The dark, chilling, and right to the heart of the matter moods are what made his songs so prolific and memorable. The music is just as fantastic, and that's what made the lyrics carry that much more impact.

"Games Without Frontiers" became one of his most popular songs and it quickly became a radio favorite, and it remains one today. "Biko" was a loud protest for an African prisoner of political injustice, and also a great song in its entirety. Peter knew how to use his music to carry a message, and that particular message was heard around the world and gave him more than just attention to his music. He reached his goal by bringing notice to a subject matter he believed in. "And Through The Wire" was another catchy tune that became popular on the airwaves. Progressive rock once was again the bedrock of all the GABRIEL tunes, with just enough pop injected to make the songs favorable to a large cross section of listeners and radio stations.

Per usual, an immensely talented roster of talent was at Peter's disposal for these sessions. Peter GABRIEL had arrived as a permanent fixture on the music scene and was a bonafide solo star without exception.

Review by Zitro
4 stars This is an excellent album from the genious behind Genesis. In his third solo album, he has succeeded in creating a disc full of experimentations, unique music, and amazing creativity. The musicians that joined are of first class (Phil Collins, Robert Fripp, Tony Levin) and combined with the musical genious of Peter Gabriel, this album was done. This is Peter Gabriel's Darkest album, and beware .. this is not like Genesis. It is more like Pop with experimentations.

The album begins with the scary and menacing INTRUDER, in which its sound effects help create that mood. After feeling fear, the next feeling is paranoia in the powerful NO SELF CONTROL which includes a breathtaking musical explosion in the middle. START is a soft symphonic piece that leads to the poppy I DON'T REMEMBER. FAMILY SNAPSHOT is a sad ballad about an assassin, and for me contains the best lyrics to ever been put in a song. AND THROUGH THE WIRE is a good rocker. GAMES WITHOUT FRONTIERS is a danceable pop song with nice vocal hooks about competition I think. NOT ONE OF US is a good pop with good bass playing. LEAD A NORMAL LIFE is an experimental melodic song and finally BIKO is a anthemic protest song which uses repetition to its advantage.

This is a very enjoyable Experimental Rock album. You do not have to like Genesis to like this since ... they have nothing in common! If you are interested in a unique writing style of pop, I would recommend this album. It is very enjoyable.

My Grade : B+

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Also refferred as "melt" (as the first four album had no titles at all - or numbers either), this album is the real start of Peter Gabriel's commercial success. I remember Michael Rutherford being quoted in the press as the album that finally justified his leaving Genesis. Since this album is hardly my favorite , I will leave Mr. Rutherford up to his judgment.

The first album where The Gabe actually really shows his interests in World Music. He will create Womad , that will quickly become bankrupt and have his old Genesis pals reform just for one concert. outside of the two megahits I Don't Remember and Games Without Frontier , obvious atempts at commercial success, the rest of this album is relatively easily accessible especially compared to his somber second solo adventure.

I found this album relatively uninteresting on a progressive note as from the opening track Intruder (maybe my fave on this album ) until the secondlast track Normal life , we deal with a sophisticated pop with many interesting twists , but nothing exhilarating for the average prohead unless he is an unconditional fan. The last track Biko (which I find rather over-long) is a poignant cry of freedom to Stephen Biko a martyr in his fight against apartheid in South Africa.

Hardly his most essential album as far as progheads are concerned.

Review by Matti
5 stars Peter Gabriel is reviewed surprisingly rarely! # 3 is my favourite - I enjoy most songs of 'So' even more, but this one's amazingly impressive on a thematic and narrative level too. If there's an album which could be a source of inspiration for a fantastic short story -or art comics- collection, this is it. (Who would be the writer? Hmm, some psychologically oriented, modern, dark-toned... J. G. Ballard, Ian McEwan, Patrick McGrath for instance.) The main theme is MENTAL SICKNESS (and global: wars, nationalism, racism). But there's a perfect balance, avoiding the album to be painfully depressive.

'Intruder', famous for its drum playing by Phil Collins, tells of a pervert who sneaks in homes of strangers. "The sense of isolation inspires... inspires me..." Basically a very monotonous percussion-based track, but strong as hell. Also 'No Self Control' deals with some sort of mania, and again the music reflects that perfectly. (PLAYS LIVE version sounds better but loses some of the tension.) What is the instrumental 'Start' (featuring sax, unusual in Gabriel's music) exactly about, I don't know but I like it.

'I Don't Remember' reminds a bit of 'Shock the Monkey' (on # 4) and lyrically I think it is as crucial to the whole as everything else: self-denial of having done anything bad. And then one of my favourite PG songs, 'Family Snapshot'. It narrates the assassination of some leader from the assassin's point of view. The song ends with a flashback of his childhood. "Friends have all gone home/ there's my toy gun on the floor/ Come back, mum and dad/ You're growing apart/ You know that I'm growing up sad/ I need some attention/ I shoot into the light". It gives me goosepimples. Only I wish the ending section wasn't mixed so quiet; PLAYS LIVE version is therefore better.

'And Through the Wire' I haven't got so deep into, and the chorus makes me bored, otherwise not bad. - SIDE TWO: 'Games Without Frontiers' gives some loose analysis on wars. A good single hit song, though KATE BUSH has quite a boring role of repeating "jeux sans frontiéres". Then comes 'Not One Of Us' about foreigner hatred - sadly still all too existent in the world. Apart from 'Lead a Normal Life' ("It's nice here with a view of the trees/ eating with a spoon/ they don't give you knives?") Side Two has a wider, sociopolitical point of view whereas Side One concentrates on individual psychology and mental issues. 'Biko' ends the album gorgeously; one of the first anti-racism songs and a definite classic. PG3 is a masterpiece of popular music with a meaning.

Review by Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As other reviewers have already pointed out, you shouldn't expect anything like Genesis on this album. After two competent, though hardly earth-shaking, solo efforts, in 1980 Peter Gabriel released his third album, considered by many his finest (though I have a slight preference for its follow-up, commonly known as "Security"). A dark, sometimes disturbing, passionate record, PG's third features such luminaries as Phil Collins (a great drummer, let's not forget it!), electronic keyboard wizard Larry Fast, Robert Fripp and Kate Bush - not to mention the inimitable Tony Levin and his legendary Chapman stick. The lyrics touch upon such subjects as madness, violence and racism, making for often uncomfortable (though always intellectually rewarding) listening. Peter's distinctive vocals range from the brooding lower pitch of "Intruder" and "Family Snapshot" to the higher, heart-wrenching lament that is "Biko".

The best-known track on the album, the rather successful single "Games Without Frontiers", is also the most optimistic, a paean to interracial friendship and understanding enhanced by Kate Bush's backing vocals. She also provides a more than adequate foil for Peter's voice in the intense "No Self-Control", also featuring the beautiful yet eerie sound of xylophones. "Family Snapshot" , with its deceptively quiet ending, deals with issues of political murder; while "Biko", its heavy, tribal drumbeat reminiscent of the tolling of a funeral bell, is dedicated to the eponymous South African civil rights activist, murdered in prison by the police."I Don't Remember", introduced by a short sax section titled "Start", is driving and obsessive, with Peter's vocals almost sounding like howls. My favourite track, however, is the opening "Intruder", the tale of a stalker characterised by Phil Collins's, apparently simple, haunting drumming pattern (which, incidentally, inspired the very similar one on Blue Oyster Cult's magnificent "Veteran of the Psychic Wars"): "Intruder's happy in the dark/ Intruder come and leave its mark/ I am the intruder".

For many prog fans, this record (like its followers) may be too poppy or not intricate enough - which is a pity, seen as Peter Gabriel is one of the most original and inventive artists currently on the scene. In the long years of his solo career he has proved that you can write songs which are at the same time accessible and challenging, not to mention musically valid, and progressive in the true sense of the word.

Review by Chicapah
4 stars I see this album as the one where Peter's studio technique caught up with his adventurous creativity. The sound is a quantum leap from the flatter tones of his first two solo offerings and it makes for an incredible listening experience. The true highlights are "Biko" (brilliant and timeless), "I Don't Remember" (Tony Levin's stick work is incredible and the rhythm is undeniable), "Games Without Frontiers" (a bonafide classic song) and "Family Snapshot" (an understated masterpiece). The other songs are excellent, as well. Mr. Gabriel was finding the narrow balance between originality and mass acceptance this go- round and the result is an album that has not become hopelessly passe'. In essence, the man just can't make a bad album.
Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Peter Gabriel left Genesis following the massive album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway to pursue a solo career. His first two solo albums were a mixture of pop and moderately progressive rock. His third one was his first album to be released in the 80s, and it's one of his darkest albums ever. Featuring a wide array of all-star musicians, from Phil Collins to Robert Fripp, this album is a stunning timepiece that really could have only been done by Peter Gabriel at that time. The musicianship on this album varies from dissonant chords to melodic saxophone solos. One word can be derived from this album, breathtaking.

Beginning with the unsettling chords of Intruder (which really has the Fripp vibe circa Larks Tongue in Aspic), the steady drumming and the amalgamation of the surrounding voices and instruments (especially this shrieking guitar noise in the background) gives this song a very uneasy feeling. Gabriel's vocal is very sullen and quiet, but in moments he really shines with an unsettling cry (and some whistling at the end). No Self Control follows with very groovy vibes and tuned percussion, as well as a very sparse and claustrophobic guitar in the background. Gabriel's vocal here is bitter and sullen. The chorus is where the song becomes more involving. The guitar is a real treat here with some meaty chords. The drumming on this track is also superb.

Start is a short instrumental with a nice saxophone solo from Dick Morrissey, and some nice synthesizers from Gabriel and Larry Fast. It's a nice little interlude between No Self Control and I Don't Remember. This song has some strong synthesizers and a nice beat to it. Tony Levin is a star on this track with a great stick line that gives the song a great groove. Family Snapshot begins with some somber piano and some emotional vocals from Gabriel. The background saxophone creates a more intense atmosphere as Gabriel whales and sings his heart out as the song becomes progressively more intense. Add a great bass line and some great guitars and you have one of the best songs on the album.

And Through the Wire has some nice crying from Gabriel and some very steady drumming and bass guitars. The lyrics for this song are also among the best of the album. Peter really knows how to arrange songs as this song has brilliant quiet sections and uplifting loud sections. Games without Frontiers was the hit single from this album, and I can see why. Some great percussion and guitar lines mold nicely with the restrained drums and the very consistent bass line. The whistling ushers in the chorus, which has a menacing feel to it. Gabriel's vocals on this track are also very strong. Not One of Us begins with some great chord progressions from the guitars, and then the snare drum brings in the rest of the band. Once again Levin provides a groovy stick line that takes the song into many different avenues.

Lead a Normal Life begins with some nice percussion and a melodic piano theme, but once the synthesizers and guitars kick in, the song takes a more disturbing turn. The alternating musical themes in the song really make it a unique one on the album. This mostly instrumental track is one of my favorites on the album. And finally, Biko ends the album with an inspiring Gabriel vocal. His rough vocal on this track is complimented by a nice choir and some tribal percussion. The dissonant guitar in the background helps create a tense atmosphere and it really ends the album well.

Overall, 3 is one of Peter Gabriel's most experimental albums. The "no cymbal" idea works well and allows the other instruments to breathe in the more hectic sections. This album is also great because of its quirky instrumentation and the song arrangements give it a very Talking Heads "new wave" feel. It may be one of the best Peter Gabriel albums to date, and he only went back to this type of sound for his next album, Security. All of the songs are strong and I can find no weakness on this album. Masterpiece. 5/5.

Review by bhikkhu
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This was the first Peter Gabriel album I bought. I heard a cut on the radio when it was released, and went straight to my local record store. (For you young people, that is what music stores used to be called. Though, the discs were much bigger). It got me from the first note of "Intruder," and has never diminished in its force. What an incredible piece of work.

I love all of his studio output, but he never topped this. Every song is a masterpiece, and fits together in an almost organic fashion. He had mastered his incorporation of world sounds, and gathered an amazing group of musicians to make it happen. It is a moody thing, complex, dark, and in the end, hopeful. There are grooves that can make the tightest booty sake, and poignancy that can bring a tear to the most macho eye. The closer is an anthem that I dare you not to feel the urge and chant along to.

The musicians are ultra-talented (a few being Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta, Phil Collins, Robert Fripp, Kate Bush, and even The Jam's Paul Weller), and play like it is their last performance. This is actually some of Mr. Collins' best work. How can you lose?

I could do a song by song analysis, but I wouldn't do the album justice as a whole.

Not only do I recommend this for all prog fans, I think all rock fans (and probably fans of any music) should have this album.

H.T. Riekels

Review by russellk
4 stars Now this is the real business. Finally PETER GABRIEL delivers what we knew he had in him, and it chills, challenges, sears and uplifts us. This is because, unlike his first two albums, he meets us halfway, writing powerful songs with meaningful lyrics, while still holding on to his core assets: his eccentricity, humour and passion.

Dave Connolly's review has it exactly right. This album is an exploration of individual and social psychosis - a concept album if I ever saw one. The listener gets the sense that s/he is being taken somewhere, and the destination won't exactly be pretty. From the simple-minded intruder, through loss of control and memory, fantasies of revenge, side 1 takes us to the end of ourselves. Side 2 applies the same technique to Us as side 1 did to Me: foolish playground fighters, abnormal exclusionists who, GABRIEL argues, are responsible for what happens to people like Steve Biko. There is very little in the rock world that carries more power than this.

So, then. Is this not a masterpiece? No, not quite: GABRIEL is not yet at his peak musically. A couple of the tracks remain underdeveloped (And Through The Wire, Lead a Normal Life) and so the flow necessary for a concept album as momentous as this one is interrupted. And I'm afraid I find the destination (Biko) just a little too trite for someone with the lyrical breadth of PETER GABRIEL. I know its a landmark in political pop, but I'm not convinced that his songwriting, lyrics or performance delivers the killing punch (as it were) this album required.

So, as close as can be to a masterpiece. This is perhaps PETER GABRIEL'S most important album, positioning him politically for all that was to come, including WOMAD. But musically, his best is still to come.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The third Gabriel album appeared during New Wave era, and it was really an influential effort to the legions of post-punk/alternative rock bands. It was also an avant-garde work drawing more connection to the groundbreaking works of Brian Eno and Robert Fripp, plus the instrumental rhythm section (Jerry Marotta-cymballess drum kit/Tony Levin-bass and stick) created a blueprint of ethno-tribal percussive beats that along with Gabriel himself, was to be copied in the decade to come.

The crimsonesque, dark metallic opener "Intruder" and the closing World Music/Afro beat of "Biko" encapsulate an excellent album, which also launched Steve Lillywhite as the one of the best producers of the 1980s (U2, Simple Minds, Talking Heads, the Pogues...). Amidst the entire electronic and ambient picture lies an unexpected hit single "Games Without Frontiers", a song that was the first Gabriel song that I heard, so I cherish pleasant memories on this. Kate Bush sings backing "jeux sans frontieres" during the chorus, which is French translation of the title. But, it also happens to be the name of a competition TV show, which was quite popular even in SFR Yugoslavia in the late 1970s/early 1980s. There were dozen or so national teams, mainly from continental West Europe, while Yugoslavia also took part in several annual occasions, "playing silly games" in historic locations (fortresses, seaside resorts) across these countries. It was some sort of teenage mini-Olympiad or something... English name of the game was "It's a Knock Out", which Gabriel sings just before the chorus. So, obviously, Adolf, Enrique, Sasha, Hans, Jane and Andre were very inspirational to Peter.

"Family Snapshot", "And Through the Wire" and "Not One of Us" are for me sub-standard songs and in retrospect they sound quite boring too. Overall, "Peter Gabriel III" is very good album and surely ranks among the best works of 1980. Highly recommended to prog fans especially those in favour of art/experimental pop music.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars He knows something about opening windows and doors. He knows how to move quietly - to creep across creaky wooden floors, and where to find precious things in all your cupboards and drawers.

And he does, too, on this black and beautiful record. He is the Intruder, after all, and he'll get no argument from me. He also has No Self-Control, and no memory of anything at all, for that matter. It is music such as this that moved Peter Gabriel to leave Genesis, and it was worth it. Among other things, the album is known for featuring drums sans cymbals, as heard on the first two electrifying tracks. After the throwaway 'Start', 'I Don't Remember' reflects the Talking Heads nu-pop and 'Family Snapshot' foresees Gabriel's nostalgic side. 'Through the Wire' is a tepid AOR tune but 'Games Without Frontiers' is a sallow-faced look at social politics and livens things up, and screechy tech-rocker 'Not One of Us' is mediocre but sports a sound that would be much imitated in later years. The gossamer 'Lead a Normal Life' takes some twisted turns but resolves, and a salute to Steve Biko at the end. Impactful, influential and in 1980, the perfect pop record.

Review by obiter
5 stars The album opens with the eerie ominous brooding of Intruder. No Self Control flips between manic episodes and tempered reasoned passages backed by the constant rainfall of percussion. I don't remember continues with the intense almost manic feel. Family Snapshot stops the listener in his tracks. You are forced to sit up and visualise the scene. The media, the cavalcade, the police outriders coming round the corner ... you see it through the sniper's (Arthur Bremmer's? ) eyes. A scintillating and gripping track. Through the wire at the end of the side provides a decent catchy rocky number about a long distance relationship.

The Eurpoean version of 1970s "It's a Knockout" (jeux sans frontieres) with not a hint of Stuart Hall: but with a nod to the tv series. And there's sharon who's a legal secretary from hemel hempstead ... oh no she's fallen in the drink ... time for arthur to get his dipstick out. What ever happened to Genaro and Guido? Joking aside was such a successful single that I doubt anyone has not heard it. Excellent, dark satirical and successfully commercial ... just like the game show.

Not one of us is another track in a more commerical format. I alwys like this track but at the time I much preferred The Jam if I was in the mood for that type of track. Lead a Normal Life is once again a superbly crafted song. Percussion dominates the delicate melody.

Biko: a moving and inspiring track about the famous activst murdered by the South Arican police whilst in custody.

The music is firmly and typically 80s to the modern listener. Odd, when you think that this album is from 1980, pre-dating most of what we would term as the classic "80s" sound. There is also a great deal more experimentation, challenging passages and excellent musicianship. Morris Pert on percussion and Tony Levin on the Chapman stick are superb.

Review by fuxi
4 stars For me, this album is the highlight of Peter Gabriel's solo career. Other albums of his may sport even better tunes ("Solsbury Hill", "Here Comes the Flood", "The Rhythm of the Heat" and "San Jacinto" are possible contenders) but none contain as fine as sequence as the first five tracks of PG3. Besides, "Not one of us" and "Biko" are not to be despised either!

PG 3 opens with the kind of drum pattern that would give Phil Collins his first mega-hit when he started using it for his own purposes on "In the Air Tonight". While it's hard (or even impossible) to say which of the two is the better SONG, "In the Air Tonight" or "Intruder", (you could argue Phil Collins came up with a more attractive melody) it will be obvious that Peter G. (ominously muttering: 'I am the Intruder!') offers us, on this very album, a series of portraits of (usually obnoxious) individuals desperately trying to assert their individuality. We're actually talking about quite a long series, which may have its origin in the protagonists of "The Musical Box", "Can Utitility", "Back in New York City", "Moribund the Burgermeister" and "On the Air". On PG3 all of these are joined by the resolutely irresponsible anti- heroes of "No Self-Control" and "I Don't Remember", and by the assassin of "Family Snapshot".

As other reviewers have pointed out, all these new characters seem to express their emotions through music which sounds clearly inspired, and which seemed more-or-less "avant-garde" when this album came out. Only after the fifth track does the album start to lag. "And through the Wire" and "Games without Frontiers" never sounded totally convincing to me. The latter, however, clearly shows that Gabriel was developing a political conscience - as do "Not One of Us" (one of the album's most powerful tunes, thanks to Jerry Marotta's drumming) and the album's final track.

In "Biko" I find the choruses really powerful and deeply moving: both the African choir sampled, and PG's own refrain which runs 'The man is dead, the man is dead'. Surely it was a masterstroke to combine this song's stately rhythm with sampled bagpipes: the best possible dirge any artist could have devised. PG's lyrics occasionally sound pedestrian, though. 'When I try and sleep at night, / I can only dream in red. / The outside world is black and white / with only one colour dead'. Hmm... Couldn't our man find some more striking words? When I think of Dylan's 'The Lonely Death of Hattie Carroll", for example, I don't find PG's version of a protest song particularly eloquent... But others obviously disagree: Robert Wyatt, for example, was sufficiently moved to record a cover version of Gabriel's tune.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Cymbolic

After the disappointment of his second album, Gabriel found his form again for his third. Once again simply titled "Peter Gabriel", the melting facial image on the cover led to this being dubbed "Melt" by the fans.

While not immediately apparent, Gabriel adopted a policy for the album of not allowing the drummers (mainly Jerry Marotta but also Phil Collins) to use cymbals. While Gabriel recognised that this would be challenging for them, he decided that cymbals were too much of a distraction when listening to the music.

The opening "Intruder" sets the tone for much of what is to follow, being a dark, menacing number, ironically with hints of the still to come "Mama" by Genesis. "No self control" is a wonderfully arranged song which harks back to Peter's first album, and once again finds him clearly energetic and inspired. Those who thought Kate Bush's first collaboration with him was on "Don't give up" might be surprised to hear her on backing vocals here. She also appears on "Games without frontiers", which was an obvious and hugely successful hit single, with satirical lyrics and infectious hooks.

"I don't remember" also features the pop basis of "Games..", with a catchy chorus supported by a pounding rhythm. It perhaps bears emphasising here that this album, in common with much of Gabriel's work, has only passing prog references, the songs being almost exclusively simplistic in composition and structure.

"And through the wire" is a fairly ordinary song, but is boosted by the presence of Paul Weller on guitar. The album finishes with a tribute to Steve Biko, who died in police custody in South Africa during the apartheid years. It's a haunting dirge, with biting lyrics and bagpipes combining in a deceptively simple structure. It contrasts perfectly with "Games without frontiers", and makes for a fine end to the album. The song also pointed the way towards his increasing involvement in "world music".

Gabriel's Genesis days were becoming a more and more distant memory with each solo album, and there's little here which would have made it onto a Genesis album. The music has little to do with prog, but it is nonetheless well presented and highly enjoyable.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "I don't remember, I don't recall. I have no memory, of anything at all" except for the memorable concert intro for this album's promo tour in 1981, when the arena's lights dimmed , "Intruder" blaring from the speakers and the avid fans waiting for the musicians to show up on stage. As usual with Gabriel, always expect the unexpected, especially in a theatrical live setting, where all seven musicians arrive each dressed in orange overalls, each with a portable Klieg light apparatus and each entering from a different entrance throughout the building, wildly sweeping beams of white light crisscrossing the cavernous hall's airspace. Visually spellbinding, as they meet in synchronized time, at the mixing console, seven columns of light create a pyramid like effect that has each spectator enthralled. Before a single live note is played, the accumulated fans are already hoarse from the exalted creativity of this much maligned artists. For those who incorrectly judge Gabriel as too pop for a once progressive icon, they have never attended one of his concerts! With that kind of context in proper perspective, this is undoubtedly Gabriel's solo career recording apex, a shimmering set of masterful songs, extremely progressive (the deliberate omission of any cymbals) in a percussive sense, thus giving Levin's Stick and Giblin's fretless a front and center showcase to blow the listener away (I consider this one of the finest displays of four string rumbling ever). The quality just keeps coming from "Intruder" on, with the genius simplicity of "I Don't Remember", the introspective "Family Snapshot", the imperial and apartheid critical "Biko", the Cold War sarcasm of "Games Without Frontiers" and the raging "Not One of Us". Just looking at the line up of musicians is enough to make one's head spin (Levin, Giblin, Marotta, Collins, Fast, Rhodes, Bush,.) and Peter surely delivers with some of his best vocal work ever. When music is this well slapped together, you got to give credit to his courage and his progressive attitude in creating such a milestone. Still welcome after all these years. 4 faded pics
Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars A creative step forward for Gabriel sees him experimenting with darker tones and increased use of the new decade's technology, giving the listener lots of unique songs filled with his usual outstanding vocals and fine instrumental work from his guest artists. Tony Levin delivers some groovy stick work, while Fripp cranks out his usual eccentric cacophony of noise and guitar work on several songs.

The real attraction are the songs themselves though, some of which are better crafted and more imaginative than on his excellent debut; unfortunately, a little bit of '80's pop cheese sticks its ugly head out and knocks the overall quality down a notch or two. This however, is not nearly enough to prevent me from recommending "Melt" to most anyone though, especially since it contains myriad styles and sounds to please a large base of listeners.

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

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Conventional wisdom has it that after two mediocre albums Peter finally delivers his first great work with "Melt." Not really-he delivers a better work, but not a great one. While undeniably better than the first two, this is the third album in a row that will likely underwhelm many progressive music listeners.

Even without a real diamond in the rough such as Here Comes the Flood or Exposure, Gabriel 3 is more focused and accomplished than the first two. The tracks are mostly uptempo art-pop songs with good drumming by Collins and some backing vocals by Kate, both of which were good choices. "Start" and "Lead a Normal Life" are nice mostly instrumental interludes. The latter especially provides some fine dreamy moments of piano without vocal where one can lose themselves momentarily. "Family Snapshot" is a real standout track with a great vocal and interesting development. There are a handful of decent pop tracks like "No Self Control" and "And Through the Wire." The album's closer "Biko" is a real yawn. The album is more noteworthy for Collins excellent cymbal-free drumming than anything else. That is one thing that makes the sound progressive even though the songs really are not.

If you have only heard modern Pete and you wish to go back and discover his roots, this is clearly the album to get. It is the best of his early works. It's still of marginal interest to prog fans in the grand scope of things and 3 stars is a generous rating.

Review by ghost_of_morphy
5 stars Everything comes together copacetically for the Gabe on his third solo album.

Everything you love about everything Peter has ever done shows up here. So why is it so succesful?

Firstly, Peter really gets a great group of musicians behind him. I can't stress that enough. A quick look at the credits should convince anybody that the musicianship behind the music comes from guys who have major chops.

Secondly, this album has a reliable and recognizable sound to it. The tracks just ooze a dark yet delicate, hypnotic atmosphere that Gabriel only aspired to in 2 and 4. This is an ALBUM, not a collection of songs like 1 was.

Also, Gabriel hits us with some of his best lyrical moments (as he was to do again in 4.) Who wasn't disturbed by "Family Snapshot" the first time he heard it? Who couldn't relate to the outcast theme in "Not One of Us"? Who didn't react to the menace of "Intruder" or the mourning tone of "Biko?" This is an album that has songs that SAY something. The power of that can't be easily ignored.

Gabriel finds his true sound here. The complicated rhythyms, the world music sounds, the stately procession of tones, and his concentration on his natural vocal range combine themselves into a wonderful melange that makes this album stand above the others.

I haven't even mentioned the songs here. Exquisitely crafted, they have a dark energy and deceptive simplicity that makes them memorable. Even the tracks that I find weaker ("And Through The Wire" and "I Don't Remember") are still solid contributions and would have been showcased on a weaker album.

So, if you have been searching for it, this is it. This is PeterGabriel's masterpiece. This is his gift to all of us who were listening to Drama and Dulke back in 1980. It's his gift to all of us who were trying to figure out where music had gone wrong.

5 stars.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
3 stars Peter Gabriel's third solo album (either called Peter Gabriel 3 or Melt) showed an improvement over Gabriel's preceding two efforts and an incorporation of new ideas and styles. Gabriel had acquired a recent interest in world music, particularly for percussion and this can clearly be heard on Games Without Frontiers and Biko. He brought in a new producer, Steve Lillywhite, and incorporated a lot of recording trickery and sound effects. One of the most notable changes was the used of the now-famous gated drum sound invented by Hugh Padgham and Phil Collins (who performs on this album). Gabriel also requested that his drummers not use any cymbals which helped give this album a more aggressive sound.

Lyrically and musically, Melt was much darker that Gabriel's earlier releases and many hailed it as the album they had all been waiting for him to make. To be honest, his previous two solo efforts could hardly compare to the great contributions he made during his Genesis era. To be even more honest, neither does this one. However, Melt is a significant improvement for Gabriel, who often seemed to be without direction. This album tied things together much more nicely and it shows in the performance, and especially his vocal delivery (which seemed a shadow of it's former self for quite some time). In the rock world, many consider Melt a groundbreaking effort, and maybe that is so, but try comparing this with Selling England by the Pound. See what I mean?

Melt is musically an aggressive form of pop/art rock. The pop song structures are still the same as before. Gabriel just incorporated some new sounds into it. Admittedly this is more progressive than his first two albums, albeit chiefly as tendencies rather than outright prog rock. If you're looking for any connection to early Genesis, you surely won't find it here. But if pop/art rock just bordering on progressive is your thing, this is probably one of the best to look for. It's also probably the best solo effort Gabriel ever released and I would recommend starting here. After listening to this, if you don't like it, you probably won't like any of Gabriel's other albums.

For me, I really enjoy this album. But I will be the first to admit that the progressiveness of this is far from what I wish Gabriel would have done. On a hypothetical Rock Archives site, this might be considered a masterpiece. In prog rock terms, three stars seems more suitable. Good, but not really essential.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Peter Gabriel's third album is very atmospheric and his vocals really shine on this effort. Every track has a peculiar, dark ambience that reaches through and penetrates the subconscious. I have never been able to get the haunting 'Games Without Frontiers' out of my head since the first listen. The song has infamy for many reasons. It was the first breakthrough single for Gabriel worldwide since his days with Genesis. It cemented him as a solo performance with a distinctive style.

It also boasts some of the most potent lyrics of any song on the radio during 1980. And Kate Bush's beautiful enigmatic 'Jeux Sans Frontiers' that begins and ends the track is hypnotic. For years it was debatable what she was actually singing. I have heard many interpretations, some hilarious, worth quoting here. Was she singing 'She's so popular?' or 'She's a frumpy gay' or even 'Share some opium', 'Share soulful three tears' or 'She's not from the Earth.' see here for hundreds more!

'Jeux sans frontiers' is actually french for the song title. Kate Bush mispronounces the actual phrase and that's why it sounds like 'She's so popular.'

anyway, I digress... back to the album. There is so much to recommend it. Highlights include, 'And Through The Wire', 'Not One Of Us' and 'Lead A Normal Life' among others.

This one of Gabriel's best albums along with the outstanding 'Up' and 'So'. Treat your ears to it soon.

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The rumours are true. Peter's third album is where it all finally comes together. A defining moment in the shades of grey that constitutes the dividing line between prog and non-prog, it is an adventurous, uncompromising piece of artsy defiance and inclusive accessibility.

With the exception of a few tiny drops in quality, the craftsmanship behind the album is flawless. I admire the genius it takes to create such a cryptic, counter-current work as 3, Melt (or simply Masterpiece as I prefer to call it) and present it with such ease and confidence in the hands of an ever growing audience. That's the biggest illusion of them all; this is in fact a very, interesting, progressive and transcending work.

Stunningly rewarding when you dissect the songs patiently and carefully, trying to reveal all nuances and all the detail in the production I really can't choose any particular highlights. There are so many skilled musicians involved, such carefully applied judgement, boldness and drive in the production and micro-management that many of the individual songs create small worlds of feelings and imagery even while lasting for a maximum of about seven minutes. A combination of awe-inspiring drums (no cymbals!), percussion, bass and Chapman stick and an awakening interest in world music also manage to do something only rhythms of that calibre can; they not only convey the heavy emotionality and spirit of the music psychically, no, they manage to go beyond that and actually appeal to some primal, often forgotten chord within you that resonate with the purely physical part of sound.

A pounding, hollow drum beat, mischievous percussion and gnawing, mistreated guitar on The Intruder really is a kidnapping of the mind.

Suspended and vulnerable as the initial stripped-down xylophone may be on No Self Control, there's still a return to the pounding frustration and fractured fragments of sanity, efficiently portrayed by some menacing guitar and a veritable collapse out of control in the forms of brooding, powerful drums.

Family Snapshot. Melancholic, quiet beginnings, lyrically progressing with a saddening inevitability, but it's getting stronger and stronger musically, more and more charged with emotion as the discussion unfolds in the head of the assassin in the song.

Take the chance and judge the other songs for yourself. Even though it may seem to be a thoroughly dark album, there are rays of hope now and then, adding to the depth and total experience, and surprisingly there are quality rockers such as And Through The Wire and I Don't Remember to contrast to the 'heavy' stuff and give room for some air. You're going to need it in the otherwise compressed atmosphere and dense sound.

And over all this there's of course Peter Gabriel's voice. Screaming his heart out, lurking deep and restrained or painfully howling it is perfectly clear that the man is a singer of singers, with an amazing palette of emotions and sounds to his disposal. Gives me the chills.

A spectacular ride. 5 stars.


Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars Peter Gabriel's third self titled solo album was a major break in his career. He finally found his own sound and the msuic is much more focused here than on all of his post Genesis effords. He found his voice and his style finally had come of age. It is a strange and beautiful soundscape combining the primitive (tribal percussion, punk guitars courtesy of Paul Welle of The Jam and Dave Gregory from XTC) with the modern (synths provided by the ingenious Larry Fast and Tony Levin's Chapman-Stick). The lyrics are disturbing, inteligent and inspired: he talks about racism, prejudice, war, psychopathology and general disajustments. Elaborated, complex and accessible at the same time A truly work of art.

The highlight of this very important and unique work is maybe Family Snapshot. I have never seen such deep and insightful look into a murder's life and crime in just 4 minutes and 27 seconds. The music sorounding those fantastic words matches perfectly the crime scene (and later the character's past in the last verse). Simply a unique little masterpiece. But there are really many other great moments in this CD (although none as powerful and brilliant as this particular track, but that would be asking for too much). Songs like the opener Intruder (with Phil Collins fantastic and dramatic drumming), Games Without Fronties, I Don't Remember, Biko and Not One Of Us are among his greatest ones ever.

Although Gabriel made excellent works before and after this one, this is surely his most satisfying, interesting and groundbreaking record in my opinion. Maybe his best as a whole. I don't have much more to say. Just listen and judge for yourselves. to me it is a masterpiece of prog music. An essential CD for any prog lover. 5 stars.

Review by TGM: Orb
5 stars Peter Gabriel 3, 1980


There aren't many occasions where describing my reaction to the album is probably going to explain more than describing the music itself, but I think this is one of them. As soon as I first heard Intruder, I was hooked by Peter Gabriel 3, I ended up humming melodies and singing lines of it subconsciously after one listen, I took out another hour the next day to listen to it again. It completely reversed my opinion of Gabriel's career (including pieces I'd previously heard and been apathetic to) after Genesis, got me hooked enough to head off to pick up Gabriel 4 as soon as I could, and has since gone for countless spins on the various CD players around the house. It was instantly memorable, moving, interesting and stunning. There are so few albums like that out there. The album does have one slightly weaker patch (Not One Of Us), but even that's a damn strong piece in its own right, and the diversity, experimentation and arrangement prowess of the whole album makes it an essential buy for anyone.

The opening Intruder showcases all the album's merits. The arrangement is very complex and even challenging to follow, with all sorts of carefully masked synth tones and piano touches seeming fresh and unexpected as ever after what must be at least thirty or forty listens. The most obvious melodies come from the synths and a pretty much unique guitar tone, laid over the hammering Phil Collins drum part, though a couple of stretching, creaking dissonants take over from these without pause. The vocals are masterfully arranged and performed, with just the occasional hint of force between the psychopathic, rapacious, yet very controlled lead vocal, just occasionally daring to hold on a moment more to instill the sense of fear so crucial to the song. A short whistling melody leads us on without letting go of the emotion at all, before launching into the emotional resignation/certainty/need of 'I am the intruder'. The lyrics are brilliantly written, and perfectly convey the idea of Intruder with alliterative bursts, a building sense of need, of greed and even of addiction, as well as the clever metrical arrangement of 'creep across creaky wooden floor' indicating the unwanted creak of floorboards by itself. Anyway, an extremely impressive opener. Memorable from the very first listen, and yet building up more and more impact every listen. Not to mention the plain unusual nature of the lyrical content in the context of rock music (or indeed, any music). A confident and challenging opener, and one that shows that Gabriel is deadly serious about this album. Anyway, a clunky description on my part, but it's simply too complicated and multi-emotional to sum up in a few words, but too well focused to suit an enormous review.

No Self Control opens with a grabbing synth melody and launches straight into the deceptive glockenspiel part (something, and I'm not entirely sure what, makes it sound at first as if it's much faster and denser than it is... and breaking it down only provides a temporary insight. Take your attention away for just a second, and it suddenly seems very fast and dense again). A heavily treated sax part features, along with various percussion choices, adding a bit of clattering excess as well as hungry, forceful drive to the song. The amazing Kate Bush provides backing vocals (both subtly as an extra rhythm feature and harmonized to cut off Gabriel's manic 'chorus' vocals). Again, Gabriel manages to very briefly and effectively convey a complex emotion, with all sorts of ingenious flourishes, and even if it's probably not as complex as Intruder, it's equally challenging and bizarrely catchy. One of the very best songs of the 1980s, and Gabriel's vocals and lyrics are unique, interesting and very well used.

The brief Start is more of an introduction to I Don't Remember, and features a rather neat juxtaposition of the soulful clean jazzy saxophone and the occasional bass thrum with a synth undertone that becomes dissonant as the sax reaches the sort of height of its clean and rather neat solo. Very, very neat, especially as a lead-up to I Don't Remember.

I Don't Remember is the first of the album's two 'straight rockers', with a sterling performance from the unmistakable Tony Levin on a chapman stick, as well as quirky plain rocking melody underneath Robert Fripp's incredible guitar whirling and very controlled soundscape things. The vocals are simply brilliant, especially the wordless bits, and the brief electronic moments as well as the strange distorted vocal melodic lines are something that I can hear again (though not as neatly included) in quite a few of the standard radio-one things. The sort of cathartic cleansing of the gently thrumming end of the song again shows a grasp of melody, an appreciation of arrangement and an admirable neglect for genre borders. Anyway, fantastic, groundbreaking stuff and proof that people were still doing interesting and creative things in the 80s.

Family Snapshot is the album's focal point, even if it's not the only highlight, and is another really rather genreless thing, containing understated piano-and-voice parts, bursts of rock excess and even a rather big-band-esque synthesised brass part. The lack of cymbals here, in particular, calls for inventive percussion, and even makes it more effective. Despite the top notch nature of the music (particular kudos to the subtlety of the synth and bass), the emphasis is squarely on the vocals (self-harmonies and all) and the lyrics, which are simply brilliant. The sheer menace of 'I've been waiting for this' with Gabriel's gritty and emotive voice simply needs to be heard. Powerful, moving and personal.

The rocking And Through The Wire bursts out of the nothingness with its catchy, eclectic guitar riff and rather neat John Giblin bass part (and another unusual percussion performance. Sure, others at the time were fiddling around with cymbal-less percussion, but managing a straight rock piece with it is damned inventive). The lyrics and vocals are good fun, and at the same time are moving and meaningful. The gradual descent into 'we get so strange across the border' is fun, as is the reflecting piano-and-synth bookends (the latter almost always coming as a surprise... it pops in at the middle of the deceleration thing, but I'm never quite sure exactly what it's decelerating from or just exactly what paves the way for that synth to come in). Again, an extremely interesting piece.

Games Without Frontiers is probably the most openly 'pop' piece of the album, with an incredible catchiness, masses of melody, and, while the backing parts are always interesting and strong, the melodies and dynamic are so strong and well emphasised that they take most of the attention. The lyrics are typically quirky, although still classy and clever, and the vocals are a pretty weird sort of non-specific-nationality style. The synth sound is simply awe-inspiringly good, with a sharpness and edge about it, as is the synth-bass and the incredibly well-arranged little electronic section at the end of the song. Finally, a note for the performance of the album: Kate Bush's backing vocals on this one are simply amazing. Just so incredibly silky, soft and capable. I mean. Wow. Anyway, great tune, and evidence that pop can, in fact, be progressive, in case anyone's still in doubt about that.

Not One Of Us is certainly the weakest song of the album (at least, in my view), even if it remains an extremely interesting piece, and very well arranged (particularly the little bit of interplay between the bass and the vocals), it ends up being admirable for its intelligence rather than its emotion. The vocals are again, excellent, and the synth tones and general Frippery are definitely challenging, interesting, and creative stuff (three adjectives that really do sum up this album). The piece does pick up towards the end, with the sort of freakishly twisted worldy mass vocal + drums contrasting with Gabriel's main vocal. Still, a very strong piece, just not as moving as the rest of the album, perhaps due to the viewpoint that Gabriel takes.

The beautiful Lead A Normal Life is (at least, in my eyes) a sort of sequel to Family Snapshot, with brief, and rather haunting vocals in between two insrumental atmosphere creatures, with another deceptive glockenspiel part, ethereal piano, some very subdued drums and the occasional wail of force and straight-out-rebellion, as well as a bizarre treated sax part. Incredible stuff.

The grandiose Biko really takes on the world vibe that's been carried by a lot of the percussion throughout, with a very interesting synthesised bagpipe from Larry Fast. The arrangement is simple, the melodies obvious, the performances all sound relatively simple compared to the previous ones, but still it simply has effect, it has power. The momentum, the basic appeal, the universalism of the song is unstoppable. Gabriel's lyrics take on a bitter irony, while the vocals give a straight, one-dimensional answer. The whole feel of the piece is simply so strong it takes away any quibblings and leaves behind just one statement. The final sharp drum thu-thud echoes the initial sound of Intruder a bit, rounding off the album to good effect.

Don't think there's much more for me to say. Forgive the rather clunky description of Intruder, and go ahead and buy this album as soon as possible. Superb, superb stuff.

Rating: Five Stars

Favourite Track: Intruder, No Self Control, And Through The Wire and Games Without Frontiers are all favourites. No Self Control, if I had to choose.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After a very good debut album and an irregular (although still good) sophomore effort, Peter Gabriel found himself facing the arrival of the 80s within a changing musical scene with its corresponding changing avant-garde scene. This was the time in which he grew more interested in the textural use of modern musical technology and, most of all, the amalgamation of exotic (African, Asian and Arabic) rhythms and cadences within a pop-rock framework. His quest was one of music that could be attractive while tremendously innovative, cleverly conceived while retaining a strong emotional expression. You can really feel the tension within the intruder's mind on the great opener 'Intruder' through the distant, mysterious vibe that flood the song's melodic development and menacing rhythmic drive. Things become more explicit for the next one, 'No Self Control', an exciting tale of compulsion whose explosive density flows only on a subtle level until the frenzy interlude brings an orgy of drums and percussion in parallel with Gabriel's augmented chanting and guest Kate Bush's demented harmonies. Great, really great, so far so great. Next is the paring of the pairing of the brief ethereal instrumental 'Start' and the neurotic rocker 'I Don't Remember'. The latter sounds quite close to 80s King Crimson with an extra touch of stylish post-punk. The other rockers 'And Through the Wire' and 'Not One of Us' are also quite entertaining and cleverly structured, let alone bearers of a modern sound, but they are really a bit far from the compelling greatness of 'I Don't Remember': you might as well call this as the last great rock song by Peter Gabriel. In between these rockers are two great examples of Gabriel's signature style: 'Family Snapshot' is a slow piece with a mysterious vibe wrapped in an elegant dramatic mood; 'Games Without Frontiers' is a dynamic exercise on psychedelic pop-rock filled with sophisticated exotic rhythmic sources. However, the exotic thing will be properly highlighted in the last two tracks. 'Lead a Normal Life' brings a dreamy atmosphere dominated by ethnic percussions and eerie synth layers/effects, with Gabriel delivering a very short vocal section somewhere in the middle. 'Biko' is one of the most enduring political songs ever written by Gabriel: this hymn to the assassinated human rights' leader from South Africa has a very emotional commitment to the causes of life and freedom, with the syncopated pace serving as a provider of strength and consistency. A lovely tune that conveniently closes down this cornerstone album in Gabriel's career. Album no. 4 will enhance and complete the definitive Gabriel's signature sound a couple of years later, but that's a matter fro another review somewhere else.
Review by lazland
5 stars This is a stunning LP and one that absolutely justifies a 5 star rating. I still remember the thrill of buying it when released as a spotty 16 year old, and the feeling hasn't really left me.

Intruder is a strong opening with menacing drum work from Phil Collins that influenced a whole new generation of rock drummers.

No Self Control was a great single, and the first Kate Bush & PG collaboration. The live version was, for me, a little too slow, but fascinating with the menacing towers threatening Gabriel on stage. The original studio version, though, is far better with a rich cacaphony of sound.

Start is a nice keyboard solo which leads onto I Don't Remember, a rocking pop song which should be played after each & every drunken bender!

Family Snapshot, for me, is one of the finest songs ever written, by Gabriel or anyone else. A mournful ballad about an assassin, it does have a twist when the plaintive vocals at the end revert to a deeply sad child mourning the loss of his parents marriage. My parents divorced at about this time, and the song still has a deep resonance. It is backed by very strong woodwind and guitar samples.

And Through the Wire could be compared to a Northern Ireland scenario, or Gaza in modern times, and is the most rock orientated track on the LP with fine guitar backing, but also a lovely synth sample backing Gabriel in the middle section.

Games without Frontiers needs no deep analysis - it was the single which, I think, brought Gabriel to the attention of a new audience previously sceptical about his prog roots. The video was fun, and it is simply a class pop single. For those of you unfamiliar with Kate Bushs' referral to Jeux Sans Frontiers, look it up on YouTube (under It's a Knockout in English).

Not One of Us is probably the weakest track on the LP, but it is still a fine rock track that has you tapping your toes in appreciation.

Lead a Normal Life is the only really experimental track, and Gabriel evokes images of a political institution under a dictatorship with soulful vocals and plaintive synth and percussion backing.

And so.. to Biko. Quite simply the finest political song ever recorded and the reason why Gabriel was top of the UK National Union of Students polls for many years afterwards. This track starts stunningly with the actual recording of tribesmen at Biko's funeral - it also ends the track before a crashing drum rattle. The chorus has had me shouting myself horse every time I have seen him do it live, the drums by Collins are again incredible. This track really has it all, including a very simple, but effective, guitar chord by David Rhodes.

This is an essential purchase for all prog music fans - no hesitation in giving it top marks. A work of genius from the genius!

Review by Negoba
5 stars Best Bounceback of All Time

In 1980, Peter Gabriel released III / Melt, arguably the best album of his career. After the exploratory debut and extremely lackluster follow-up, PG finally discovered his solo identity. Discarding modern pop rock for electronic studio experimentation, Gabriel established the sound and style that would carry him for the rest of his career (though he would add world music increasingly into the formula over time). Never before had he used his voice so much as a sonic instrument, never before had he successfully recorded the full breadth of his vocal range, and certainly never before had he ventured so wide with keyboard textures.

Designing an almost completely new sound for himself, Gabriel adopted a "no-cymbals" credo for his rhythm parts, a move that turn long time drummer Jerry Marotta from a solid session player into one of the most interesting percussionists on record. Phil Collins also returns and this record marks his first recorded use of the reverse gated drum sound that he would later use in the most famous drumming of all time, on his huge hit "In the Air Tonight." A variety of bass sounds are used - from Tony Levin's Chapman stick, to John Giblin's fretless work, to bass synths by Gabriel and Larry Fast. Building the songs bit by bit up from very consciously composed rhythm parts rather than stock beats, Gabriel adopts a new way of constructing music, with all textures being part of a whole.

Interestingly, while going beyond a normal singer-songwriter format, Gabriel succeeds in producing some of his best lyrics and vocal performances. Despite numerous vocal effects and layers, the words come out more clearly than either of his first two albums, and he is able to convey sadness, menace, humor, desperation, and hope with his full conviction.

1. Intruder - The first sounds we hear are Phil Collins' colossal drum beats, which were a very novel sound at the time. Gabriel takes the most progressive track on Scratch (Exposure) and improves it in every aspect. A more elaborate lyric and a scary vocal announce that the last album is being left firmly behind. Armed with new energy, PG is jumping headfirst into an experimental realm, what most fans had hoped for from the beginning. The bone-chilling whistle at the end of the song reminds of moments from Genesis, but Gabriel's development as an artist, his increased command of his sonic palette, has gone far beyond anything he did with his former band.

2. No Self Control - Astoundingly, the music gets more intense and frankly better on the second song. Collins plays like a demon on this tune, his work certainly spurring the change in Marotta's style. A textural masterpiece, the bell sounds and creepy guitar sounds make me think Robert Fripp must have contributed significantly to this song. The fretless bass is monstrous, the dynamics incredible.

3. Start - A brief instrumental break with heavily reverbed sax, this serves mainly as a transition between two extremely intense songs.

4. I Don't Remember - This is the first song to have a pop sound on the record. Still, the lyric and tone are quite dark and Gabriel relies heavily on a distorted vocal sound that appears on numerous songs on the album. This time, it is Tony Levin on the Chapman stick that provides the phenomenal bass work that act as the primary accompaniment. Some of my favorite lyrics appear here like "Stop staring at me like a bird of prey," and the entire first verse.

5, Family Snapshot - This song is a triumph, a perfect example of how far Peter has come since Scratch. Some of the basic theme is similar to PG II's opener "On the Air," but here the sophistication has been deepened by about 4 to 5 layers. The single phrase "Shoot into the Light" has so many implied meanings (compared to the straightforward Scratch lyrics) that despite hundreds of listenings, I find myself discovering new meanings found in this song. The dynamics here range from gentle and spare to accelerated and manic. Hidden behind the Lee Harvey Oswald ? like story is a more universal statement about the need to find meaning and recognition. The metaphor does have some limits, but Gabriel's vocal performance (perhaps the best of his career) makes this song drip with meaning and emotion.

6. And Through the Wire - This is the only song that harkens back to the style of the second album, though it's much better executed than any of those songs. Here the repeated refrain does get old, which happens nowhere else on the record. Still, the song is listenable and is only a minor hiccup on an otherwise flawless album.

7. Games Without Frontiers - Combining pop sensibility, one of the best opening lyric lines in history, and a chilling vocal from Kate Bush, this song once again showcases how far Gabriel has come as a composer and artist. Unashamedly electronic, the song still holds up 30 years later which is astounding given its reliance on technology.

8. Not One of Us - This one opens with a multi-colored texture feast courtesy of Gabriel and Fripp before settling into a dark pop song. The lyric is about division of ideas rather than the usual superficial demarcations, suggesting almost a scary need to segregate.

9. Lead a Normal Life - This one is a slow burner. A beautiful bell rhythm and almost ambient piano yield to distorted dissonance, perfectly depicting a mental patient in a pastoral asylum. Truly chilling, the song begs the question ? are we the patients and who is holding back the knives?

10. Biko - This compelling protest song about how the death of Stephen Biko brought attention to apartheid is a perfect ending to this near perfect album. Simultaneously beautiful and dark, armed with dead serious lyrics delivered with raw emotion, this song embodies everything that made this album work and the previous one fail. It also hints at the depths to which future work would rely on world rhythms and tonalities.

Gabriel took huge risks on this album, and in the end provided fans with perhaps the best music his genius would ever create. Interestingly, the record company dropped him for this record and only later came crawling back after it became clear what a monumental (and popular) piece of work this would be. It is the freshness of that risk that makes this album so powerful. Later albums continue to include phenomenal pieces of music in the style established here, but never quite capture Gabriel's desperation and full creativity simultaneously like this. It is an absolute masterpiece, a must have piece of every prog collection.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Third attempt: it's getting better!

When Peter Gabriel left Genesis to pursue a solo career, he wasn't quite ready yet to go about it on his own. This is evident on his first two solo releases that, despite a couple of strong moments on the debut, lacked direction. Apart from the wonderful Family Snapshot, there is nothing here that is quite as good as Solsbury Hill or Here Comes The Flood from the debut, but the strength of this third album lies in its consistency. Gabriel finally seemed to have a picture, an overall vision of where he was going and what he wanted to do and that made the much needed difference. Peter Gabriel 3 (aka "Melt" due to the cover art) thus was the best Peter Gabriel solo album up to that point (and possibly ever). Even his voice seems to be invigorated by the improvement in the song writing department and the production is also much improved over the weak Peter Gabriel 2 album.

Instead of jumping from one style to another, there is a nice flow to this album with each song more naturally following the previous one. This is still not Prog in any sense of the word and only glimpses of Gabriel's old band can be detected here (and this is really more similar to post-Gabriel Genesis than to anything from the time when Gabriel was in the band). In my opinion, Gabriel never managed to do anything that surpasses (post-Gabriel) Genesis.

Interestingly, Gabriel's old band mate Phil Collins guests on drums here. Larry Fast, Tony Levin and Robert Fripp return to provide synthesizers, bass and guitar respectively. Kate Bush contributes background vocals.

If you want to explore Peter Gabriel's solo career, the present album is a good place to start

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Peter Gabriel" (sometimes titled "Peter Gabriel 3 - Melt") is the 3rd full-length studio album by UK pop/rock artist Peter Gabriel. The album was released in May 1980 and features "Biko" and "Games Without Frontiers", which are two of his best known songs. The album was also released in a German language version titled "Ein deutsches Album", probably as a result of Peter Gabrielīs dedicated German audience.

As with most of Peter Gabrielīs solo albums, "Peter Gabriel 3 - Melt" features quite a few prolific session musicians. Among others Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta, Phil Collins, Robert Fripp and Kate Bush.

The music on the album is mainstream oriented pop/rock with some alternative/experimental elements, a world music influence and a tiny nod towards progressive rock. Peter Gabrielīs distinct voice is in focus most of the time on the vers/chorus structured tracks. All tracks are pretty easily accessable but few leave a lasting impression as few of them feature catchy choruses. The closing track "Biko" is the track that made most of an impression on me with itīs african percussion and african choir type singing. Not that itīs especially great, but more because itīs a very different sounding track compared to the rest. The material are generally composed in a competent manner, but as mentioned the tracks are not that catchy. "Peter Gabriel 3 - Melt" is an album Iīve listened to quite a few times, and I still canīt remember more than a couple of tracks off it.

The sound production is professional, well sounding, and suits the music well. I guess this is what youīd call clever pop/rock with itīs slight experimental touches, high level musicianship and sophisticated lyrics, but personally I prefer pop/rock which are either more experimental or more hook laden and catchy than this. To my ears "Peter Gabriel 3 - Melt" falls between two chairs and quite frankly it just doesnīt excite me one bit. Itīs still a quality release in many ways though and a 3 star (60%) rating isnīt all wrong.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I doubt that Gabriel will ever again release an album as wild and adventurous as this one! The previous statement can be considered both a good thing, since Peter Gabriel 3 - "Melt" will always remain a unique album and bad one since... well I'm sure that you can name the reasons yourself.

Although Biko is considered somewhat of a classic I never really truly love that track and instead turned my attention to the great album opener Intruder, the mellow and subtle Family Snapshot and my all-time favorite Gabriel composition beautifully titled Lead A Normal Life. Besides the music my second favorite thing about this album is the cover art which I completely adore. In fact, I love it so much that I even purchased a vinyl copy of the record and hanged it up on a wall. This have shocked a few of my friends but so far no negative remarks or any critique has been addressed towards this my choice my fine art gallery.

This release made Gabriel an artist in his own right leaving Genesis sound far behind. A definitive Art-Rock masterpiece and a must have in you progressive rock music collection!

***** stars songs: Intruder (4:54) No Self-Control (3:55) Family Snapshot (4:28) Games Without Frontiers (4:06) Not One Of Us (5:22) Lead A Normal Life (4:14)

**** star songs: Start (1:21) I Don't Remember (4:41) And Through The Wire (5:00) Biko (7:32)

Total Rating: 4,60

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What got into Peter? Right from the first second this album nails your head to the floor. After two directionless albums, the forceful percussive beat and weird instrumentation of Intruder is the most exciting thing Gabriel had recorded in his entire career. Regardless how good he was with Genesis, this album writes music history, almost for its entire 45 minute length.

The most remarkable innovation is the world music inspired percussion. Jerry Marotta was forbidden to use any cymbals and the resulting effect of the dry and powerful tribal rhythms is crushing. Some uncanny guitar, piano chorus effects and amazing vocals create a stunning masterpiece. Most of the album follows in the same path, combining clever songwriting with African percussion and beats. Highlights are plenty, No Self Control, Games of Frontiers and Biko are well known classics, but also the upbeat I Don't Remember and Not One Of Us never cease to amaze me. The minimalist Lead A Normal Life is very powerful, even if it just has some repetitive piano, vibes and Gabriel's distorted vocals in the background. Actually, only the awkward And Through The Wire reminds us of the albums that preceded.

While not his best in my book, this is easily Gabriel's most defining album, it's a groundbreaking experiment that is blessed with superb compositions, originality and unconventional musicianship. Prog was dead, but music was alive and kicking in 1980.

Review by The Truth
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I'm truthfully surprised this album is rated so high. I mean I really enjoy it but it's prog-pop, not the everyday prog fan's cup of tea. In fact, I thought many would despise it...

However I absolutely adore this album. Simply good pop music, what pop was supposed to sound like.

Intruder introduces us to the overall sound of the album, aggressive and abrasively powerful pop. Gabriel screeches out the lyrics in a very un-human way to give the song a mechanical feeling, something you get from the album alot.

No Self Control is more mechanical sounding prog-pop but this is much more catchy than Intruder.

Start is a short little sax intro for I Don't Remember which is a massive pop rock track that is one of Gabriel's defining moments. Catchy and complex, every prog fan's dream (don't know about the catchy part).

Family Snapshot is a soft piano-driven ballad in which Gabriel puts alot of emotion into his vocals. It reminds me pretty clearly of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway-type music.

And Through the Wire is a mediocre little pop tune that somehow gets stuck in your head so it's not a total fail.

Games Without Frontiers is the best track on the album, another catchy, complex, and mechanical sounding tune. The chorus is also pretty meaningful: "If looks could kill they probably will in games without frontiers, war without tears."

Not One of Us recalls I Don't Remember and keeps the mood and emotion that song had with a slightly different beat. Catchy and original all the same.

Lead A Normal Life is a slow track that is just downright beautiful, I nice shift in mood from the aggressive music before it. The piano just kind of plucks your heartstrings.

Biko is another great track, slow and soft but catchy and still pretty pop-laden. It's a great track and one of Gabriel's greatest.

It's pop, a lot of proggers apparently got over it. I did too haha. Great album, barely missing the 5 star mark.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars NO CYMBOLS! I read that BRUFORD and COLLINS were going nuts--it was so hard for them to not hit cymbols. There are so many great reviews above. I have very little to add. Does anyone remember the gorgeous song "Shossalosa" on the 'B-side' of the "Biko" EP? Some of the songs here do not stand up as well over time (IMO), but the creative, innovative genius behind this album cannot be denied. I like the comparison to TALKING HEADS' Remain in Light, for "'Melt'" is definitely on a creative par. Only, Remain in Light stands up better over the years. I also agree with the reviewers' averages: This album rates right up there with Passion and Us as Gabe's three best solo albums. Plus he actually got Kate to sing with him! This is also the album that "invents" the gated drum effect. And previews Gabe and Kate's infatuation with drum machines and the Fairlight CMI.
Review by stefro
4 stars Gabriel's strongest post-Genesis release, album number 3(known by fans as 'Melt'), found the singer moving yet further away from his theatrical prog roots, now weaving a bold, avant-garde- tinged, electric post-pop sound featuring a stew of bleakly ironic lyrics and experimental twists that mined a clever balance between his artistic ambitions and his commercial aspirations. Ably assisted by, amongst others, bassist Tony Levin, Synergy's synth-wizard Larry Fast, guitarist Paul Weller(yes, that one) and former bandmate Phil Collins on drums, '3' starts off with the darkly-paranoid 'Intruder', a song written by Gabriel especially for the slick new 'gated reverb' drum sound that he and Collins had stumbled across during recording sessions (the new sound would be used cunningly by Collins for his mega hit 'In The Air Tonight', as well as by Genesis for their song 'Mama'). Filled with a foreboding sense of dread and wonder, 'Intruder' is a slyly laconic and highly-atmospheric piece, with Gabriel's daunting lyrics undercut by Collins slow, simple, rocksteady drumming and Levin's slithery bass. The effect is both unsettling yet uplifiting, showcasing Gabriel's ability to insert pop hooks into the most avant- garde of material yet still retain popular appeal. Elsewhere on '3' Gabriel conjures up chart- bothering electro-pop('Games Without Frontiers'), retro indie ('I Don't Remember'), and, most memorably, catchy metallic pop with the anthemic 'And Through The Wire', which features blistering rhythm guitar from Weller and some ambitious synth workouts courtesy of Mr Fast. Both original in sound(and technique) and highly inventive, Gabriel's third self-titled album proves a marked improvement on both his slickly-produced debut and it's indulgent, lacklustre follow-up. Miles away from his previous incarnation as the lead singer of Genesis, '3' is the sound of a complex musician in full flow and his finest album to date. Fans of Genesis might not know what to make of it all, though those who admire the likes of Talking Heads, Talk Talk, The Smiths and Silver Apples should certainly investigate. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I have to agree with Finnforest when he says that this record along with Gabriel's first two studio albums are underwhelming. Wow 1980 was such a good year for me and the song "Games Without Frontiers" was all over the radio here in Canada at that time. I still love that tune. In fact Gabriel has released a few songs that i'm a big fan of.The problem for me is that the rest of his music does little for me. And this his most popular album is no exception. Lots of great guest appearances on this one as well. It's interesting to hear the BRAND X combo of Phil Collins and Morris Pert on the first two tracks.

"Intruder" opens with drums as experimental sounds join in. Reserved vocals around a minute. Percussion follows. Whistling comes in late to end it. "No Self Control" is vocal and percussion led early. It kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes then the opening soundscape returns to end it. "Start" is a short piece with synths and sax. "I Don't Remember" has Levin with his Stick along with Fripp on his guitar. A catchy tune. "Family Snapshot" opens with piano and reserved vocals. It builds then kicks in before 2 minutes.Sax too. A calm before 3 1/2 minutes to end it.

"And Through The Wire" picks up quickly.The guitar, vocals and drums standout. A real toe tapper. "Games Without Frontiers" sounds like it was stuck on this album from another recording session. I mean it sounds nothing like the other tracks. Kate Bush adds some backing vocals here.Easily my favourite track. "Not One Of Us" has some prominant bass and guitar on it. Fripp guests here.This one's catchy and it turns more intense late. "Lead A Normal Life" opens with some light instrumental music before the reserved vocals arrive after 1 1/2 minutes.The vocals are brief as it turns instrumental again to end it. Cool song. "Biko"is a powerful song that opens and closes with African singing. A top 3 track for sure.

A good album but I don't seem to enjoy it nearly as much as most do. Underwhelmed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review by Warthur
5 stars With a range of talents old and new in the backing group - old hands like Robert Fripp and Phil Collins, and new stars like Paul Weller and Kate Bush - Peter Gabriel delivered his first true solo masterpiece with this third solo album. Tracks range from dark, neurotic songs such as I Don't Remember, Intruder, No Self Control and Family Snapshot - the latter of which shows the most of the old Genesis theatricality of any of the songs of this collection - to the thoughtful and allegorical like Games Without Frontiers and the steadfastly political like the closing Biko. With world music influences creeping in on the closing number hinting at Gabriel's future direction and a masterful fusion of art rock sophistication and new wave menace, the album is a perfect showcase for Gabriel's dramatic, emotive vocal delivery.
Review by Hector Enrique
4 stars Gabriel's third solo album, III or Melt, is among his best works. Once again, with the collaboration of a large number of renowned musicians, among whom his ex-companion from the Genesis era, Phil Collins, Robert Fripp of the King Crimson and Kate Bush, among others, stands out, he manages not only to be interested in the value of his compositions musically speaking, but also for his lyrics with deep messages that in many cases are statements committed to his beliefs, something that although it occurs frequently within the music scene, it is always remarkable, beyond points of view that may be divergent.

Undoubtedly Biko (in honor of Stephen Biko, who died during apartheid in South Africa in the 1970s) is one of Gabriel's best known and most representative songs, and one that demonstrates his activism for the defense of human rights.

In my opinion, a song that stands out and I consider as one of his best songs, to which I return every time I listen to Gabriel's discography, is Family Snapshot, inspired by the book 'An Assassin's Diary' by Arthur Bremmer, who he describes as shoot a public political figure not for ideals but above all for the fame that such a fact generates. The rhythm changes, the voice with that particular Gabriel style, in just over 4 minutes, makes the song not let you breathe until the end. Definitely the best of his repertoire, and rarely sung live, I suppose by how demanding his performance must be.

On a superlative level we can also find I Don't Remember, And Through The Wire, Lead A Normal Life, Not One Of Us and Games Without Frontiers, a song that he wrote in the days prior to the 1980 Olympic Games, and that gave account that many times political and nationalist interests motivated behaviors that affected the relationships of individuals and societies. For this song he had the collaboration of Kate Bush in the second voice

Both Intruder, No Self Control and Start, I consider that although they are within the overall idea of ​​the album, they do not shine like the previous ones.

With this work Gabriel established himself more and more as a composer and musician who tried (and succeeded) to transcend the borders of the progressive world, incorporating elements of different cultures around the world into his musical proposal.

Latest members reviews

4 stars The third Peter Gabriel album was a milestone for multiple reasons: It is considered his artistically best album. It features first world music inspiration, be it in the experimental "Biko" or in a more restrained way "Lead a normal life". On a less significant note, the supporting cast is st ... (read more)

Report this review (#2992709) | Posted by sgtpepper | Monday, February 19, 2024 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review #144! If this isn't just the best pre-80's art pop album out there, I'm not a human. Every song on here (some more than others)has it's own little dose of charm and Gabriel pizazz. There's of course the hits, then the pseudo-hits, but what really get me here are the one or two not-h ... (read more)

Report this review (#2976891) | Posted by Boi_da_boi_124 | Sunday, December 24, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars PG3 or how to make a concept album from a simple album? PG and programmed emancipation for the cause of music! 1. Intruder with a title that I use as an intro yes it's easy; how to get into an album that revolutionized the world, the musical world? cries, voices, a monolithic vocal, marimbas, a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2310803) | Posted by alainPP | Thursday, January 30, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4.25: the third album by Peter Gabriel and their most acclaimed in the community. This album includes the collaboration of Phill Collins in the drums The distribution for this album in the United States had a lot of problem, mainly because Atlantic Record didn't consider it the it would be a comm ... (read more)

Report this review (#2114024) | Posted by mariorockprog | Thursday, January 3, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars From a compositional standpoint, the idiosyncratic Gabriel hasn't merely chosen the path less traveled, he's clear- cut a gaping glade clean through the forest. Whether as the outrageously caparisoned front man and storyteller of Genesis, or as a visionary solo artist delving into world music and ... (read more)

Report this review (#1873967) | Posted by The Dark Elf | Saturday, February 10, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "And the eyes of the world is watching now" To think of the surprise when his fans heard this album for the first time is really interesting, its a long jump from preceding album. But the choice to leave the more rock oriented music for this artpop is great, there seems to be a lot more room ... (read more)

Report this review (#1163905) | Posted by BatBacon | Monday, April 21, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The third Peter Gabriel solo album. Phil Collins and Kate Bush are here which bodes well. "Intruder" - a track that holds a lot of menace in the music and lyrics. Collins is very good on this track and I also love the Marimba section of the track. "No Self Control" - I love the drums again o ... (read more)

Report this review (#947305) | Posted by sukmytoe | Sunday, April 21, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Let me start out by qualifying that I am not the greatest Genesis fan. I think most of the Gabriel-era albums are quite bothersome and the Collins-era is just bubble gum. I have said that - get your stones ready - I prefer Collins vocals, but I always try to "progress" and give people second, third ... (read more)

Report this review (#827047) | Posted by PinkYesGongMachine | Sunday, September 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Peter Gabriel has been one of, or actually the only, soloists in prog that has stayed with me the hardest. His third album I believe to be a feat of his career, one such that is worthy of every prog listener to listen to. Sure, it doesn't have all those crazy synths all over the place, but it do ... (read more)

Report this review (#769093) | Posted by FromAbove | Sunday, June 10, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I think that had it not been for the magnificent cover of the album, I probably would never hear it again. I know that this only justifies my poor judgment of any record out there. Let's start with the opener. Oh, dear, it took me a long time to develop my own interpretation of what Peter Gabrie ... (read more)

Report this review (#613886) | Posted by Dayvenkirq | Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 7/10 Enter Duke and Discipline. Peter Gabriel 3 or Melt is the best-known work of this amazing artist (and considered by many as his masterpiece). Of course is an effort far more successful than its predecessor Scratch, which was a disappointing effort from all aspects. Now world music and ... (read more)

Report this review (#463673) | Posted by voliveira | Saturday, June 18, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Rarely is an artist able to mix artistry and listenability in such a graceful manner that the two become indistinguishable. Of course, I suppose if anyone was going to do it it was Peter Gabriel, who, not satisfied with being in the greatest progressive rock band to ever exist, decided he woul ... (read more)

Report this review (#299434) | Posted by 40footwolf | Friday, September 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I need to begin stating here that my love for Genesis is inmense. But I don't have any respect for the solo recordings from Peter Gabriel. They are not my cup of tea, except this one who has a special place on my heart. I remember all of It. Singing "Biko" with a lot of friends beer in hand an ... (read more)

Report this review (#296028) | Posted by steelyhead | Tuesday, August 24, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It may seem like I'm giving everything 5*, but I'm starting by loading/listing my very favorite albums of all time. The real classics. So bear with me. I didn't really get into this until the mid 80s, and not even sure why I started getting into Gabriel. This was before I appreciated/knew ... (read more)

Report this review (#273750) | Posted by akajazzman | Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Another masterpiece of the Genius of Peter Gabriel. The beginning is "Intruder". Very serious, the affrican percussion along with some sound like an old opening door. Games without frontier is really nice, the lyrics are just fantastic. Biko is also really good. This album is so good that when I w ... (read more)

Report this review (#237379) | Posted by amontes | Saturday, September 5, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Have you ever listened to an album and suddenly been hit by a strange sense of nostalgia? It's almost as though you're overwhelmed with this funny feeling that you were first in line when the album hit the market?or right there, with the band members, during the drama bleeding from the nine-month ... (read more)

Report this review (#224921) | Posted by UltimaPrime | Wednesday, July 8, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Games without frontiers... Peter Gabriel's thrid studio album, and not a bad effort, I must say. Several of the melodies are memorable and catchy, while not delving too deep into pop. Although I would consider this an art pop album above any other genre terms. The progressiveness of some tracks ... (read more)

Report this review (#211413) | Posted by Alitare | Wednesday, April 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is my favorite solo effort from Peter Gabriel. It's a dark album filled with sparse minimalist compositions; the imagery this music conjures is like a bleak monochromatic painting of an industrial wasteland. Depressive but ultimately fascinating and strangely beautiful. 'Intruder' is my ... (read more)

Report this review (#202019) | Posted by AdamHearst | Saturday, February 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Peter Gabriel's Melt is certainly the strongest in his series of four untitled albums. The first glimpse of World Music shines through here and while this is still clearly the work of the man behind the mic on The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway there is an increasing willingness to move further away ... (read more)

Report this review (#168948) | Posted by TheRocinanteKid | Monday, April 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It seems like PG has found his sound and style in this one, or maybe he was still looking for it but while doing so he just delivered some of the best songs in his career :p Anyway "3" is a HUGE improvement from the 2 previous releases. The album has a sense of unity and the musical style is dark, ... (read more)

Report this review (#129212) | Posted by mistertorture | Wednesday, July 18, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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