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Peter Gabriel

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Peter Gabriel Play: The Videos album cover
3.83 | 82 ratings | 8 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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DVD/Video, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Father, Son
2. Sledgehammer
3. Blood of Eden
4. Games without frontiers
5. I don't remember
6. Big time
7. Lovetown
8. Red rain
9. In your eyes
10. Dont give up
11. The Barry Williams show
12. Washing of the water
13. Biko
14. Kiss that frog
15. Mercy street
16. Growing up
17. Shaking that tree
18. Shock the monkey
19. Steam
20. The drop
21. Zaar
22. Solsbury hill
23. Digging in the dirt

Total Time: 141 minutes
NOTE: Music videos compilation, with new surround sound mixes by Daniel Lanois and Richard Chappell.
Dvd extras:
- "Games without frontiers" from the dvd "Growing up live"
- "Modern love" music video
- "The nest that sailed the sky" music video
- Trailer for "Growing up live, a family portrait" dvd
- Trailer for "Growing up live" dvd
- Trailer for "Secret world live" dvd

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Gabriel / vocals, piano, keyboard bass, keyboards, sythetised bass
- Kate Bush / backing vocals, vocals
- Tony Levin / bass, stick, backing vocals
- The Black Dyke Band / brass
- Manu Katche / drums
- David Rhodes / guitar, 12-string
- Daniel Lanois / guitar, tambourine
- Mark Rivera / saxophones
- Wayne Jackson / trumpet, cornet
- Don Mikkelsen / trombone
- Shankar / violin
- Gus Isadore / guitar
- Steve Lillywhite / whistles
- Hugh Padgham / whistles
- Jerry Marotta / drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Simon Clark / Hammond, bass

Releases information

DVD Wea Corp (2004)

Thanks to Psychoskull for the addition
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PETER GABRIEL Play: The Videos ratings distribution

(82 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(51%)
Good, but non-essential (9%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

PETER GABRIEL Play: The Videos reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Always thought I would never buy a DVD of videos because my interest is having the chance to experience my favorite bands on stage (living in Perú, very rarely had the opportunity) and also by the fact that usually this compilations gather the most commercial tracks which are not necessarily the best ones.

But today went to the music store and the owner knowing my musical taste offered me "Peter Gabriel Play the Videos" at 5 bucks!!! /even when he has a lot of Prog' customers, seems nobody had real interest for a video DVD), so I said what the hell, most tracks are good and five bucks don't make me poor, instantly bought it and honestly can't regret my decision

As in any Gabriel release, the production, sound and video are very good and the concept of the videos are (Or were in their time) innovative plus some good extras.

This DVD seems as a video biography because you can watch and listen Peter Gabriel songs from 1977 to 2003, and even when some of them are not my favorites (like Shock the Monkey or Sledgehammer) the rest of the material is excellent and the videos in all the cases (except Don't Give Up) are impeccable.

About the tracks, I have nothing to say because along our lives we've seen this videos in many musical programs and are reviewed here in their respective albums (seems a common phrase when reviewing compilations), but it's always nice to dive in the past and watch the evolution of one of the most representative Prog' vocalists along 26 years of solid and prolific career.

Also it's refreshing to remember those images of Peter with a monkey mask or walking through Solsbury Hills and singing Shaking the Tree on a fishing boat or a very emotional Gabriel almost crying in Biko ( A great song rarely included in his concerts)

Another addition that makes even better this good DVD are the personal comments that Peter adds before each track, an illustrative extra not featured in the box.

I believe "Peter Gabriel Play the Videos" is not essential, but surely is a good addition to any prog' collection, so according to the guidelines I have to rate it with 4 stars.

Review by russellk
4 stars For anyone who hasn't heard PETER GABRIEL, this is an interesting and rewarding place to start.

On the 'Play' DVD PETER GABRIEL provides what in effect is a 'greatest hits' compilation, with the added bonus of consistently excellent videos. Normally there is considerable dispute about the selection for such compilation albums, but it's hard to think of tracks that ought to have been included. These are not necessarily GABRIEL'S best tracks, but they are representative of his career.

As brilliant as his music is, the real treat here is the video material. 'Sledgehammer' won an amazing nine MTV video awards and, though it may look a little lame now, was years ahead of its time. Clips such as 'Kiss that Frog', 'Digging in the Dirt', and the Sean Penn-directed 'Barry Williams Show' are equally startling. Others, such as 'Father and Son' and 'Mercy Street' are more subtle but no less rewarding.

PETER GABRIEL is an innovator. It is as much apparent in his videos as in his music. This is well worth purchasing.

Review by Matti
3 stars I bought this video compilation last December for 12 euros, it's worth that sum all right. The over-colourful artwork of the package was awful, but it took me some time to get rid of a certain irritation about the contents, too: Peter Gabriel has always been among my favourite musicians but there are many songs I more or less dislike (in the hit department) and they all have to be here naturally. I mean 'Big Time', 'Kiss That Frog', 'Steam', 'Barry Williams Show', maybe 'Growing Up' too. Many videos are full of bright colours and digital cut-and-paste animation, and I've never valued that video style very much. And what comes to the Barry Williams Show, it's a strong criticism against all the sick reality-TV programmes, and the nasty video does that criticism well but I don't like the song. 'Sledgehammer' (never really liked that 60's soul pastiche either) was a groundbreaking video at the time but nowadays it looks quite pointless riff-raff to me.

Ok, I started this review negatively, but fortunately there's a lot of good stuff too, and the editing/production is topnotch just as you might expect from Gabriel. You can programme to see up to 18 videos in wished order; you can choose video introductions on or off. Besides trailers for other Gabriel DVD releases, bonuses include videos for 'Modern Love' (1977; probably considered too poor to be in the main set!) and 'The Nest That Sailed The Sky', an ambientish instrumental from OVO project.

Some notes on the videos: 'Mercy Street' (how nice that the song, very far from MTV stuff, is made into a video in the first place) is very artful B/W video in a perfect balance with the delicacy of the song itself. 'The Drop' from UP is another far-from-commercial song and the fine slow video is suitably in a rather abstract level. 'Father, Son' is a simple but beautiful dedication to Peter's father, featuring B/W home video shooting. 'Blood of Eden' features Sinead O'Connor. The tight embrace of PG and Kate Bush in 'Don't Give Up' is enough happening for the video, though the background colours could be less sugary. Tracks like 'I Don't Remember' or 'Shock The Monkey' have rather typical rock videos of the time with a sense of drama. 'Lovetown' is connected to Philadelphia (the praised AIDS/gay/courtroom drama) but has no clips of it. 'Biko' (live '87) includes clips from the apartheid film Cry For Freedom, and it touches one's emotions just as it should.

In general PG's videos have visibly less - nearly none at all - concert material or a band playing playback to music, unlike with most artists - with Genesis for example. That's because Gabriel's videos are more ambitious. The hi-tech results are not necessarily always superb in the narrative level. The best video of these? Maybe 'Digging in the Dirt' visually, but 'Mercy Street' otherwise.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Video clip? No way! But .

. this one is really different not because of it's Peter Gabriel, but it's also because of his passion to put pictures onto music. He has done it seriously, working with various film directors and spent significant time to build the pictures that surround the music. The result is an excellent video clip that attracts not only those who love clips but also those who actually do not like it - me, for example. Yes, I have never been attracted by any form of video clip. But this one by Peter Gabriel is something worth investing. Two strong reasons for this. First, I watched television program which broadcasted Peter Gabriel's clip "Sledgehammer" which had an interesting animation and quite fun and enjoyable to watch. Second, based on this watching TV experience I then purchased the laser disc (LD) version of Peter Gabriel videos for "US" album. The laser disc is really excellent and all videos are presented beautifully.

This DVD contains 23 clips and most of them are very attractive clips with excellent animation and picture shots, plus DVD extra which is also good viewing. The opening "Father, Son" is a very catchy song depicting the relationship between Peter and his dad. It's a touchy clip, I believe, backed with wonderful song that reminds me to "Here Comes The Flood" (piano version). "Sledgehammer" is a video full with animation that I first saw in television program and it has some funny characters as well. "Blood of Eden" is one of my favorite Peter's tracks that I love.

My favorite is "Big time" because the song has uplifting mood and upbeat tempo. The clip has a wonderful animation and it makes me smile and laugh outloud due to funny presentation. This clip was directed by Stephen R. Johnson and produced by Prudence Fenton. It's taken from SO album (released in 19 May 1986). Stewart Copeland of The Police sits at the drums stool and two bass stick players Tony Levin and Jerry Marota contribute to this track.

"Lovetown" is also another excellent clip. Directed by Michael Coulson and produced by Jacqueline White. This song is taken from The Philadelphia Movie Soundtrack released in 21 February 1993.

"Don't give up" is probably the one with the cheapest production cost because it only showcases Peter Gabriel is hugging Kate Bush while singing - the whole clip. It also the case with "Washing of the water" which showcases water flows. It's a wonderful clip and it's simple.

Well, knowing that actually I hate video clips but this one I like it, I can tell you that I recommend you to have this DVD with you as your collection. It's a pleasant viewing overall. The audio quality is also superb. Highly recommended.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars More videos!!

This time im into one of my all time favourite artists, and to be honest what really got me into his music were his videos. When i was younger and didn't really know what progressive rock was about, my parents introduced me to his music but with his Passion album, the soundtrack of The Last Temptation of Christ, which actually is not representative of his music. And then at school a teacher put a couple of videos Kiss that Frog and Sledgehammer and i just said wow, that is not Peter Gabriel, those videos and music has nothing to do with what i previously knew (Passion), so those videos caught really my attention and then i remember i decided to search for his music.

What caught my attention firstly was not really the music, but the videos, the visual effects, the colorful and imaginative images that i was watching, made me think that this artist was different from the usual kind of artist, and i was not wrong, Peter Gabriel is uninque.

So then with the time and years i really got into his music and got several of his albums and DVD's, first i bought P.O.V, then Secret World and then Growing Up, all of them are concerts which offers his manificents performances on stage and what better represents his music, Secret World is a superb DVD i would have loved to witness a concert like that. But then there was something missing, and with his last DVD called Play: The Videos i felt complete, i mean i discovered him because of his video clips, so this DVD filled what was left in my collection.

So this DVD features more than 20 videos, probably his most representative and better known songs, songs that walk around all his years as a solo artist, since the 70s until now, so here you will have a full covering of what is Peter Gabriel's music about (and also visually talking). With more than 2 hours of great music i can't help but feel happy with this Video and i have to suggest it to all the people who likes his music, and also to those who dont really know his music.

His videos have something that really make you want to go for more and more, his videos catches your attention immediately and mantain you watching until the very end, his videos provoke something unique, while you are watching you may feel part of the video itself, like a charachter or something, and the video along with the music transmits you something, a clear example is the first time i see the video of Don't Give Up, the version where Peter and Kate are spinning and holding each other, it transmited me peace and tranquility, i almost wanted to cry.

So overall his music and his videos are worth getting, he is a true artist, a unnique musician. Here my favourite videos are Dont Give Up, Sledgehammer, Red Rain, Games Without Frontiers, Mercy Street and Kiss that Frog among others.

If you want to spend good time watching some video clips, what better way of doing that, than with Peter Gabriel's videos. Highly recommendable, 4 stars!

Enjoy it!

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Big time

I am not a big fan of music videos and neither am I a big fan of Peter Gabriel's solo career, but this is still one of the better music video collections I own (which admittedly is not that many as most of my favourite bands never did music videos - which is true of Prog bands in general). Peter Gabriel has always been a very visual artist ever since his days with Genesis, and though none of his solo material is Prog by any means, his videos are undoubtedly "arty". Indeed, the visual aspect of Peter Gabriel's persona is much more "progressive" than his music!

The main feature of Play: The Videos contains 23 music videos spanning Peter Gabriel's solo career. The oldest song is Solsbury Hill from Gabriel's first solo album from 1977, but the video features added footage from 1990 and the overall feel of the video is modern. His weak second album is not represented at all and all of the remaining songs are thus from the 80's, 90's and 2000's. The commercial So album is amply represented here with as many as six videos being taken from that album (out of the album's eight tracks in total!). Several of these songs became big radio and TV hits and I vividly remember the video to Sledgehammer from TV when I must have been very young. I especially remember the dancing chickens! This one is a classic Pop video. (It is funny that post-Gabriel Genesis are so often criticised around these parts for "selling out" and being too "commercial" while Gabriel is held up as a "defender of the faith", when Gabriel's own music was every bit as commercial as that of Genesis, if not more so. Indeed, Genesis held on to their progressive roots for years after Gabriel's departure while Gabriel went in a quite different direction straight away. This overly positive attitude to Gabriel's solo material from Prog fans has always puzzled me).

Gabriel's studio albums have often been very uneven and a compilation like this one could have remedied that to a degree, but we get here both some of his best songs and some of his worst. Some of the music on this DVD is not taken directly from the original studio albums, but some are live versions or alternate versions. Washing Of The Water is one of these and I must say that I strongly prefer the album version.

A nice feature are the short introductions to each video (which conveniently can be turned on and off in the menu). Other extras are a further two music videos one of which is from 1977 as well as a live performance and a couple of trailers for other Peter Gabriel DVD's. You get an informative 22 page booklet and the surround sound is another thing that you don't get with the original albums, if you care for that sort of thing.

The best videos are not always for the best songs, but overall this is a quite good music video collection and the visuals often enhance the music in interesting ways. Play is not quite as good as Genesis's The Video Show, but it will probably appeal to the same people.

For the most devoted Peter Gabriel fans, this will be a very nice addition to their collections. From a Prog perspective however, this is not very interesting at all.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars A DVD with Peter Gabriel hits released over the yers, Issued in 2004 is a good compilation of videos where we can se mr Gabriel offering some of the most complex videos ever made by a musician, at least in the '80's. Truly amazing some of them, whwre the visual concept goes hand in hand witht he music. Also besides his better and well knoen pieces are some of them quite unintristing, but the balance between this factors are pretty equal, that sums up like a solid DVD spanninmg his almost entire career. A good place to stars if anyones wants to know his work, beside strictly by hearing his music, visualy worth it for sure. A rewarding from my perspectiv DVD, I like it, even my wife likes it even doesn't know s.....t. abut his musical legacy, is a pleasent DVD to watch with friends and talk about his abilitis as musician. 4 stars, the booklet has everything to offer from information of every piece from here, when was released from what album, musicins involved in the making of that tunes, all is great and very well done.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I must tell you this short tale, the atmosphere was ok :I was drinking a good beer in a pub in rome,comfortable sofa in a little room only for music-lovers, good-looking girls around me when i looked at the lcd tv and i saw All the greatest videos of the master of music Peter Gabriel!!!Incred ... (read more)

Report this review (#80381) | Posted by fred84 | Monday, June 5, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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