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Peter Gabriel

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Peter Gabriel Birdy (OST) album cover
3.06 | 229 ratings | 7 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. At Night (2:45)
2. Floating Dogs (3:02)
3. Quiet and Alone (2:35)
4. Close Up (from Family Snapshot) (0:56)
5. Slow Water (2:54)
6. Dressing the Wound (4:10)
7. Birdy's Flight (from Not One of Us) (3:05)
8. Slow Marimbas (3:24)
9. The Heat (from The Rhythm of the Heat) (4:48)
10. Sketch Pad with Trumpet and Voice (3:12)
11. Under Lock and Key (from Wallflower) (2:25)
12. Powerhouse at the Foot of the Mountain (from San Jacinto) (2:20)

Total Time 35:36

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Gabriel / flute, drums, keyboards, composer & co-producer

- David Rhodes / guitar
- Larry Fast / keyboards
- Jon Hassell / trumpet
- John Giblin / bass
- Tony Levin / bass
- Jerry Marotta / drums
- Manny Elias / drums
- Morris Pert / percussion
- The Drummers of Ekome

(Credits are just a guess based on the musicians' past participations)

Releases information

Instrumental Soundtrack from Birdy, the 1984 film directed by Alan Parker
Includes original compositions and adaptations of tracks on Gabriel's third and fourth albums

Artwork: Marc Bessant

LP Charisma ‎- 206 995 (1985, Europe)

CD Charisma ‎- CAS CD 1167 (1985, UK)
CD Real World Records ‎- CASCDR1167 (2002, Europe) Remastered by Tony Cousins

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PETER GABRIEL Birdy (OST) ratings distribution

(229 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(19%)
Good, but non-essential (45%)
Collectors/fans only (21%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

PETER GABRIEL Birdy (OST) reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Muzikman
2 stars Peter GABRIEL started his soundtrack career with "Birdy", a riveting and emotional film about two young men that go off to war, starring Nicholas Cage and Mathew Modine. I remember the film and really didn't pay too much attention to the music playing in the background; I don't think that many folks really do unless it has a dominating presence. When I listened to this I could understand why it didn't get my attention. It's all atmospheric and meditative background music. This is not to say that this music has no value or purpose, it most certainly does. I am accustomed to being excited and totally mesmerized by GABRIEL's music, so this was disappointing. This is the first release by GABRIEL that I really didn't enjoy. I felt it was boring and uneventful.

Ratin: 2.5/5

Review by Matti
3 stars Usually soundtracks don't work so well as their own. (If they do, they often differ a lot from the actual score heard on the film; Vangelis is a good example.) Gabriel's first film contribution shows Gabriel's talents in creating atmospheres. In film the music is used too sparingly, but as an album it's not for repeated listening. The decision to recycle material from Peter Gabriel albums 3 and 4 is not a bad idea at all; the songs really had this potential. In many cases it's just a fragment, e.g. piano intro of 'Family Snapshot' or outro of 'San Jacinto'. The most powerful track is 'Birdy's Flight' based on ending of 'Not One of Us' - the drumming is deliciously multiplied and the original song really pales in comparison. But as an album per se Birdy has quite little to offer in its shortness and such a cold, lonely, sad atmosphere. The film has a wider palette of emotions. And as a literature lover I must add that Alan Parker's film is not even closely as great as the novel by William Wharton.
Review by Guillermo
3 stars I saw the film "Birdy" in a cinema in 1985 or in 1986, and I saw it again on TV years later. The story told in the film, as other reviewers wrote, is the story (if I remember well) of two childhood friends who are years later recruited to go to fight to the Vietnam War. One of them (Birdy)became obsessed with birds since childhood, and his friend looks at his behaviour with some surprise until both are hurt in the war and are send to the Military Hospital. In the Hospital Birdy`s fascination with birds leads him to think that he is one of them to the point that he retires from the real world adopting birds` behaviour. This strange (and fictitious, as the final credits of the film say) mental illness is shown in the film as the final outcome of the effects of war in the mind of Birdy. The final scene of the film is very funny, with Birdy jumping from the Hospital Room`s window, trying to fly, with his friend being frightened by this, but Birdy laughs at him as he really jumps to a roof which is below the window.

The music of Peter Gabriel for this film works very well with the scenes shown in the film. Gabriel has a lot of talent to make music for films like this. Most of the instrumental music for this film was done with Gabriel re-working the music of some songs from his third and fourth albums. The mood of the music is adapted very well to the scenes in this film. I particularly liked very much "Close Up (from Family Snapshot)" , "Birdy's Flight (from Not One Of Us)" and "Under Lock And Key (from Wallflower)" . The musical themes are reprised several times in the film working very well.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Birdy is an 1983 soundtrack of the movie of the same name. It consists mainly of an instrumental reworking of themes and melodies of the two preceding albums, but there are also some new pieces composed for the occasion.

It's a mesmerizing and ambient album, with sparse instrumentation and lots of new sounds. The opening At Night only has some slow repetitive percussion and some dark dry chords on what sounds like flutes and a mellotron that was smothered under 10 blankets to muffle the sound. Brilliant. Pieces like Quiet and Alone, Slow Water, Slow Marimbas and Sketch Pad maintain a similarly gagging claustrophobic mood.

Most of the remaining tracks are derived from known songs. While they are certainly deserving, they list among the sort of things fans have more need for then anyone else. But when it comes to soundtracks this is up there with the best, Birdy is an amazing album but should be approached with an open mind. 3.5 stars

Latest members reviews

5 stars Peter GABRIEL has signed some landmark soundtracks such as 'BIRDY' which we are going to dive into. The very deaf sound, bass to represent the invading universe of the dark side! 1. At Night and the animal entrance, jungle, wild, oppressive atmosphere, flute and soft, murky synths 2. Floating Do ... (read more)

Report this review (#2310805) | Posted by alainPP | Thursday, January 30, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars At the foot of the tracklist of Peter Gabriel's "Music From The Film 'Birdy'" sits a very telling footnote: "Warning: This CD Contains Recycled Material And No Lyrics." Really, on a factual level, that just about says it all. This all-instrumental, largely synth-based CD contains some new mat ... (read more)

Report this review (#24028) | Posted by | Thursday, July 8, 2004 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Peter Gabriel music in instrumental form reworked for a film about the after effects of the Vietnam War on two childhood friends. The compositions are retitled but the sources remain obvious and easily recognizable to fans of his first four solo efforts. Some of the music which didn't make it into ... (read more)

Report this review (#24027) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Sunday, March 14, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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