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Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel 3 [Aka: Melt] CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

4.20 | 915 ratings

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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.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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