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Peter Gabriel

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Peter Gabriel Secret World Live album cover
3.94 | 179 ratings | 15 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (58:57)
1. Come Talk to Me (6:13)
2. Steam (7:43)
3. Across the River (5:57)
4. Slow Marimbas (1:46)
5. Shaking the Tree (9:18)
6. Red Rain (6:15)
7. Blood of Eden (6:57)
8. Kiss That Frog (5:57)
9. Washing of the Water (4:07)
10. Solsbury Hill (4:44)

CD 2 (40:55)
1. Digging in the Dirt (7:36)
2. Sledgehammer (4:59)
3. Secret World (9:11)
4. Don't Give Up (7:35)
5. In Your Eyes (11:34)

Total Time 99:52

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Gabriel / lead vocals, harmonica
- Manu Katché / drums
- Tony Levin / bass, backing vocals
- David Rhodes / guitar, backing vocals
- Jean Claude Naimro / keyboards, backing vocals
- Paula Cole / additional vocals
- Shankar / violin, additional vocals
- Levon Minassian / duduk
- Papa Wemba, Reddy Mela Amissi, Styno Mubi Matadi / additional vocals

Releases information

Geffen GEFD2-24722

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy PETER GABRIEL Secret World Live Music

PETER GABRIEL Secret World Live ratings distribution

(179 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PETER GABRIEL Secret World Live reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I always been an early Genesis and Peter Gabriel fan because I believe he's one of the most adventurous musicians who is never afraid to change without betraying his style and his followers, but this CD doesn't impress me too much.

Peter's voice and compositions are outstanding, a band that includes Tony Levin and Manu Katche can't be anything but first class, the show and of course the DVD are brilliant but we are talking about a CD where the show doesn't counts too much.

Don't need to say much about the tracks because all are good, perfectly played and well known, but I expect something different in every album, and Secret World doesn't offer us any novelty, I really don't have much interest in buying CD with another version of "Solsbury Hills" or "Sledgehammer", which are grear but over played.

If I was rating the DVD I would give 10 stars if possible because it's magnificent but the album even though very good, is only a great addition if your a newbie but not essential if you have the previous.

Review by soundsweird
3 stars Hmmm.....a "live" album?? Did you notice the fine print that admonished "Based on a concert"?? Translation: "Well, yeah, there was this concert we recorded, and then we went in and re-recorded a WHOLE BUNCH of the vocals and instruments, did a WHOLE BUNCH of digital "sweetening", and, to top it off, laid down a few more tracks that weren't actually played at the concert".... Hey, I'm no purist. To me, the quality of the final product is more important than how the product got to that point. What really bugs me is the fact that PG sang the words "I was feeling part of the scenery, I walked right out on the machinery" on "Solsbury Hill", explaining the lyrics in a post-Genesis interview thusly: that he felt that Genesis concerts had become too big a production, losiing the human element, etc. HELLO!! How do you spell hypocritical? This ain't Las Vegas, Pete. When I saw him in 1984, it was all about the music. I guess I'm still bitter about his quitting Genesis, and for recording new vocals for the live "Lamb" on the Archive Box (see my review of that for more bile-spewing).... (Of course, this rant goes for the DVD, and for the "Growing Up Live DVD", too)
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As I have reviewed the DVD version which almost the same with audio CD. There is different set list between audio and video version. The video version contained "San Jacinto" that I love it very much but did not have the "Red Rain" (which actually I love as well). While the audio CD had the other way around: it had "Red Rain" but did not have the "San Jacinto". Overall, this is an amazing show of Peter Gabriel to promote "US" album that was released around the time of the show. It's a wonderful live act featuring best tracks of Gabriel until "US" album. It starts off excellently with "Come Talk to Me". It's a very nice duet with great solo drum. Yeah .. Manu Katche rules! I like his drumming style and sound. I guess, Manu Katche is one of the best rock drummers in the world. IMHO his style is similar with Phil Collins drumming with intense influence of African and world music. Bravo Katche! You did a great job throughout the show!

"Steam" is performed differently compared to studio version. The intro part has been added with a melodic segment, in ambient style, featuring Gabriel speaks Italian and some additional singing of "In your steam, we learn everything we've seen .." (or something like that..). Despite the disco nature of this track but I love it very very much, especially in this live version. "Across the River - Slow Marimbas" features Shankar on violin. "Blood of Eden" is my favorite track and performed amazingly by the duet of Gabriel - Cole. It's a mellow track with a great melody and composition. "In the blood of Eden lie the woman and the man ." what a tasty melody this segment is!

"Washing of the Water" is even a much more quiet track featuring mostly the powerful voice of Gabriel - the instruments sound appear very thin at the back, accompanying Gabriel's voice. Lyric-wise, this track is probably best to describe the tsunami experience that has just happened recently on 26 December 2004 in my country.

"Secret World" is performed more dynamic in live set than the studio version. "Don't Give Up" is another excellent track, performed flawlessly by the band. I like the positive lyrics of this track.

For me personally, this show is so great even though the DVD version is better, as you can see how great Peter Gabriel is - on stage. Highly recommended. Rating: 4.25 / 5. Keep on Progging!!. Progressively yours, GW - Indonesia.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Now this is a truly high class concert album! Peter's older material get a tight treatment along with the songs from "Us" album from a fine line-up, including MANU KATCHÉ on drums, TONY LEVIN playing bass, PAULA COLE singing and also SHANKAR on violin. The concert opens with an awesome male and female duet "Come Talk to Me". Overall the music is moody and pleasant, and the compositions are fine. If you like this kind of artistic pop/rock, I recommend to watch the concert film of this tour to get also the visual dimension for this stuff!
Review by King of Loss
4 stars I only own the DVD and until today, I only owned the DVD. After taking the ridiculously long test, I go to the library and surprisingly find this awesome live cd in there. I couldn't believe my eyes, but of course I've found everything from Genesis to King's X to Rush to The Flower Kings at the local libraries around here. This is the magical '94 live album of mostly Peter Gabriel's later material which include stuff of SO and of course, SOLSBURY HILL!

I have about 4 live versions of this song and it never seems to get old. The song performed on here is great, perhaps my favorite version of it, with the great production it has. Peter Gabriel, even with some 27 years of singing, has not lost it and still is amazingly awesome and this performance of Solsbury Hill and others show it.

The first disc, which continues Solsbury Hill contains many of his shorter songs, which includes mostly new material (as this cd is). It is filled with the great singing of Peter Gabriel, the bass lines (Yes, not the stick) of Tony Levin and Of course, Mr. David Rhodes' superb guitar playing. He performs an almost flawless performance of these songs and adds the amazing energy that is Gabriel live. The First disc is a fine live disc.

The second disc, which includes 5 songs, including the long, In Your Eyes. This song is perhaps one of the nicest performances I've heard Gabriel in years. After this live performance and this tour, we see Gabriel leaving the music behind and then coming back later on.

This disc is a must have for all Gabriel enthusiasts and this is the embodiment of great Pop/Prog Related Music. Highly Recommended- 4/5

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Since i have seen today some Peter Gabriel reviews (all of them very well done), i wanted to do a couple more by myself.

When you know an artist, a band or something, you have an idea of how are their concerts, i mean, i dont like to get into a band with a Live album or DVD, i always listen to studio albums first, the point here, is that if you know Peter Gabriel music, and his concert style, you could think alike me.

Peter Gabriel, loved or hated by some people , has done a great solo career in my opinion, carrying with him , his always theatrical style when he performs, this time im going to review this double CD live album, which is great im my opinion, let me tell you why. Some might say that Peter Gabriel died with Genesis, his prog heart died as well, and then he decide to do rock pop mainstream music with some prog ethnic hints, ok, it could be, i accept he is well known over the world and i listen some of his hits in my local radio, but in the other hand, some might say and appreciate his style, his lyrics, his music, his voice, The Whole Peter Gabriel.

If you know him, but not this live album, run and buy it please, here we will find a " Cd album, with 15 total songs, for that reason now i wont review song by song, juts mention them and it`s highlights (which in fact are so many).

The album starts with the always greta "Come Talk to Me", first great point of the album, i think it is a great song to open a Live concert, i know there are so many great songs, but this is the best to open the album. A parenthesis, here we have the exquisite talent of musicians such as Tony Levin (who doesnt know him), and one superb drummer such as Manu Katche, and a curious but great female vocals in the voice of Paula Cole. One thing that i like of this concert, is that here is Peter Gabriel for everyone, i m ean, for that people who wants to jump ,dance and shake their bodies, "Steam" is an example , excellent songs like the classic Sledgehammer or Kiss that Frog, other kind of compositions with a completely different mood such as the beautiful Dont Give Up, or the amazing Red Rain, and superb lyrically and musically songs such as the unforgetable In Your Eyes, Blood of Eden or Secret World.

As usual here we will appreciate african musicians, voices marimbas percussion, which has been always a personal Gabriel`s touch. The album is divided in 2 CD`s, one with 9 songs, and other with 5 songs, both are great ,and as i said above, here is Gabriel for everyone, a very enjoyable concert, amazing in my opinion.

For that reasons and because i dont find any weak point, i will give it 5 stars, sometimes live albums sound better than studio albums, because of the song selection or because the artist is inspired i dont know, what i know is that i like so much Peter Gabriel and this album is worth of 5 stars. Last point, the DVD is also better... so imagine if this deserves 5 stars, what does the DVD deserves?

Highly reccomendable, to any prog fan.

Review by Chicapah
5 stars Aside from the greatness that is Peter Gabriel's music; two names should be more than enough information for any fan of progressive rock to have a copy of this live concert in their possession: Manu Katche and Tony Levin. They make up one of, if not THE finest, tightest rhythm sections ever and their performances on this 100-minute recording are proof positive of that status. Taken from the 1993 tour supporting his classic "Us" album, this has to rank in the top five all-time best live shows ever released to the public. To call it a "must-have" is a gross understatement.

The wall of sound that opens "Come Talk to Me" is magnificent and Manu & Tony step right up to get things off to an impressive start. This rocking plea for honest communication is the perfect song to let Katche loose for a few moments to wow the crowd with his exquisite drum fills. One of the great things that Peter does throughout the set is to start many of his tunes with captivating, extended intros that really set the audience up. The atmospheric lead-in to "Steam" is a perfect example. This number kicks tail as the realistic horn section sound from Jean Claude Naimro's keyboards and Tony Levin's deep, growling bass lines take the spotlight here. "Across the River" is an ethereal, in-no-hurry instrumental that shows you just one of the ways a Gabriel concert is not your average, run-of-the-mill affair. The lush keyboards create a beautiful "floating" sensation before the strong piano and David Rhodes' guitar usher in the rhythm section where Manu kills. It then evolves into "Slow Marimbas," a very short piece where violinist Shankar gets to step forward.

If you don't have "Shaking the Tree" in your collection of Peter Gabriel's work then you are missing out on a superb song. Here singer Paula Cole struts her talented stuff on this celebration of womanhood and PG takes the opportunity to introduce his stellar backing group to his adoring crowd. Their echoing, enthusiastic shouts of "your day!" will send chills up your spine. A more relaxed rendition of the urgent "Red Rain" follows and it gives you a chance to turn your undivided attention to Peter's expressive vocal. Next is the wonderful "Blood of Eden" where Gabriel and Cole intertwine their voices in a fluid duet. The track benefits from their inspired detour away from the album version towards the end. The funky "Kiss that Frog" follows and it's just six minutes of undiluted fun. Katche and Levin's groove is irrepressible and Peter gets a chance to showcase his underrated harmonica skills.

The somber, humbling "Washing of the Water" gets a more expansive treatment than it received in the studio and it is breathtaking. Gabriel's passionate vocal delivery goes straight to the heart of the matter and it's not to be missed. The mood ascends immediately with the opening strains of "Solsbury Hill" and this happy version further cements its status as one of the all- time greatest prog songs ever. It's hard to beat. Next up is the intense psychological introspection that is "Digging in the Dirt" and it works like a charm before the rapt audience. Rhodes provides a cool guitar effect along the way. No PG extravaganza would be complete without the infectious, dance-inducing spell of his immortal "Sledgehammer" and this up-tempo performance doesn't disappoint.

The best cut, however, is the gorgeous, heart-wrenching "Secret World." I think this song might be my favorite PG composition of all time and I'm tempted to say that this rendition may even be better than the one on "Us." No matter, it is everything I love about Peter's art. It's relatable, engaging, and very emotional as the dynamic music takes the listener to another level of existence. The buoyant jam at the end is marvelous and you can tell the musicians are having the time of their lives. Paula Cole gets to shine brightly once again on "Don't Give Up" and it's amazing how they turn this sad song of desperation into a joyful expression of hope and faith at the end with the audience in full participation. The closer is the incomparable "In Your Eyes" and it more than rises to the occasion. All I have to tell you is that Manu's drumming is spectacular here. 'Nuff said.

One of my many regrets in this life is that I've never experienced a Peter Gabriel concert in person. I hope to remedy that one day if I get the chance. It's high on my "to do" list. In the meantime, this extraordinary album (as well as his 1983 release "Plays Live") will have to suffice. On a technical level it's as good as it gets and you really get the feeling that you are in the auditorium with them. The visuals are just as important as the music and the quality video shot during this same tour is in the same major league division as this audio CD but that's for another review at another time. Whether or not you already have some Peter Gabriel in your rack, this is required listening for any progger worth his salt. 5 huge stars.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The dip between the So and Up eras

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Peter Gabriel's work. I think he has some really amazing albums and some real duds. This live double album was recorded in Modena Italy in November 1993 and falls well short of his best work. The first problem is that half the tracks come from one of his weakest albums, US, which saw Gabriel pushing way too far into the pop realm with tripe like "Kiss That Frog." A bigger complaint is that I come to this album after having experienced the much more challenging and interesting work of recent years, UP, and the live video release of the UP tour (and the concert in person). Where the new and old material from the UP tour had bite and imagination, Secret World Live feels like a sing-songey regurgitation of the hits to please the crowd. This is the kind of show where everyone is dancing and singing along to the well-known choruses and predictable beats with very little "progressive" content to be found. That may not matter to you but if it does you could get bored here pretty fast with tracks like "Steam" and "Shaking the Tree" given an unbearable 17 minutes of combined space. Even some of the better tracks from SO lack the real spark of the originals/later live versions. The performances by the band and Gabriel, while professional and decent of course, lack the richness and depth of what I witnessed last time out. The sound here is a bit thin which is perhaps why studio overdubbing was necessary on this "live" album. To point out something positive here I have to turn to Paula Cole, whose uplifting vocals on "Come Talk to Me" and "Don't Give Up" are very moving-I really enjoyed her portions of "Blood of Eden" as well. While not a complete trainwreck I cannot muster giving this set 3 stars (thus calling it good) due to the set list and the less-than-fulfilling final result. A Fair rating is more appropriate. There are several peaks in the Gabriel solo career and I've acknowledged them, but the US era is one of the valleys. I recommend skipping this in favor of the superior "Growing Up Live" DVD. You'll get a much more compelling set list and the full video of a show that had twice the thrills and imagination of this ho-hum outing. 5/10

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Secret World is a Gabriel's best off from the time when he was at his most popular, the period following the more commercial albums So and Us, and the successful soundtrack Passion.

All but one of the songs are from the So/Us albums, and my preference for So over Us gets an exact reflection on this live album as well. The songs from So don't add anything to the originals but have at least a slightly different sound, the tracks from Us are done professionally but are entirely unnecessary and completely forgettable if I may say so.

This is a hit-album dressed up as a live one. It's quite appalling that the one track from before 1985 is Solsbury Hill, the completely overplayed mega-hit from Peter. I don't begrudge the man his success with the quality-pop from this album but I don't have any need for it. I'd stick to the studio originals.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I grew up to this CD, so I'm perhaps a little biased. Whenever my dad and I would drive somewhere in the car, we would usually be listening to Solsbury Hill, Red Rain, Blood of Eden, In Your Eyes, Don't Give Up, Shaking the Tree and the others from this album. I've never been able to enjoy Peter ... (read more)

Report this review (#450598) | Posted by TrickedTail | Saturday, May 21, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Peter Gabriel always attracts a good deal of criticism for his live releases. He has always been candid about his compulsion to tinker, tweak and perfect any material he puts out, and this can detract from the immediate and raw feeling that is presumably the whole reason you would buy a live ... (read more)

Report this review (#266558) | Posted by JonnyM79 | Tuesday, February 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Secret World is a decent album overall, but which I find falls into repetetiveness. But then, that's the problem with most pop music shows. Yet, when it comes to Peter Gabriel, he does set himself apart in the commercial genre. I kind of call him "mainstream fringe". His ability to create musi ... (read more)

Report this review (#239664) | Posted by SentimentalMercenary | Wednesday, September 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I tend to have a rather critical view of music, so you can understand, that when I give out 4 stars I mean it. I cannot find one track on this album which does not deserve the applause of all who listen to it. Not only does it feature the absolute classic, Climbing Up on Solsbury Hill, it als ... (read more)

Report this review (#85006) | Posted by hackett acolyte | Friday, July 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I remember seeing the special on PBS back in the 1990's when this concert first aired, and was nothing short of astonished. I finally found the CD release of the live concert a few years ago, and it has become one of my favorite live albums of all time. Many of the live versions of his track ... (read more)

Report this review (#69659) | Posted by | Friday, February 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of the most significant and important live albums ever recorded in music history. A performance that broke the lines and became a church; Secret World created the perfect experience, with perfect players with a perfect performance that very few will dislike, the show is symbiotic, integral ... (read more)

Report this review (#24082) | Posted by | Thursday, May 6, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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