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


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

4.21 | 932 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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 does have some good contributions. First off, there are A LOT of musicians who worked on this record, something that Gabriel tones down in the future. Robert Fripp returns again for guitar contributions for the last time with some pretty impressive guitar sounds for 1980; Phil Collins offers some drum contributions. And the best of all, this song has extensive use of a xylophone, yes A XYLOPHONE. I have never seen albums even contain a xylophone as a lead or melody before, EVEN A SOLO.

"Bum-bum-tsst bum bum tsst Bum-bum-tsst bum bum tsst" "dududin din din-dindun Aaaaaah aaah din din dun Aaaaaah aaah" I know, that Peter uses, his voice to convey such a tone. I know, that variety is here, through weird guitars screams and whistling. With those clippers, sneaking around, without chorus, making a sense of daaaaaaaark. With staccatos, he makes a, really good mooooooood...

He is the intruder. "Bum-bum-tsst bum bum tsst Bum-bum-tsst bum bum tsst"

The next song, No Self Control is really neat where Fripp uses some cool distortion. It also opens and contains a lot of XYLOPHONE action. Peter's vocals here show his ability fast-paced vocal and quick range changes. Kate Bush also provides some backing vocals of "No Self Control". The sound sort of decays as it approaches the end.

Start/I Don't Remember opens with some synth sounds and pretty cool jazz soloing, then whips into Peter's rampant scat vocalizing, and guitars. This contains the only recorded piece with Tony Levin on this record as he uses his Chapman stick to provides an unusual but freaky bass tone. The lyrics are pretty straightforward and a rather groovy chorus to listen to. It's something of Gabriel's that's rather fun to sing along to.

Another famous song of his, Family Snapshot. It opens with piano and Gabriel's singing for most of the song. After two verses, it delves into a groove that sounds reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen stuff. Gabriel has some strong singing with a bit of rasp, while most of this "sax section" of the song has no real structure. This continues until the character has "let the bullet fly", and the sound returns to a quiet piano/Gabriel singing piece. I have to say that I believe this to be the saddest part of the album that could easily bring someone to tears.

And Through the WIIIIIIIIIIIIRE, I feel knocked out. There's a lot of shouting powerful vocals from Gabriel on this song as there is some crazy guitar. Not much to say about this song except for that.

"A one......two......a one, two four" The percussion is drum machine/kit for this song, but Games Without Frontiers has it all. It has cowbell, basses that don't even sound like guitars, and Kate Bush provides "Jeux sans frontiers" for us. Gabriel goes into his extensive verses about a game show, using his slap-stick vocals to make some political jabs here-and-there. The chorus is the most catchiest on this album, "If looks could kill they probably will in, Games Without Frontiers, War without tears". It's a success in combining experimentation with prog.

Not One Of Us is one of those, commonly noted before, majority looking down on minority songs. There's some studio chatter in the opening, then a loud siren. More staccato guitars with some kind of gated sound, weird sounds, and Gabriel singing and making noises through a distortion filter. Some really good base line and set of vocals. "You make look like we do, talk like we do, but you know how it is, YOU'RE NOT ONE OF US". It's only water that there is a good cross of weird sounds, multi-voice choruses, and drum/bass to get you going.

Lead A Normal Life is one of my favorite pieces on this album, primarily for being a minimalist piece. Most of the song comprises of a xylophone riff and a piano playing in the background. But there are two or three breaks: the first time being a distorted low-volume guitar with Gabriel wailing, then Gabriel giving the only set of vocals with piano, and then the same guitar. After that, a soft drum comes in along to the beat then fades out. Truly a relaxing song.

Biko is the legendary Gabriel song out there, opening with an funeral song recorded from Stephen Biko's funeral. The song opens with the surdo sound and some grunts. Guitars begin to layer, and then Gabriel comes in with his lyrics. There is his powerful singing on "Biko, biko, because, biko", and the "Hear them Nigel! The man is dead"-whatever he's singing, I don't remember!!. The song mostly goes through this repetition with the surdo and vocals, until approaching the end with the chanting "ha, ah, aaaaaaaah". The song fades out nicely, segueing into another portion of the song presented at the beginning. It seems the song ends here, but a surprise (yes I'm spoiling it) gated snare sound comes to end it. Almost like ending where it began.

Truly one of Gabriel's finest accomplishments that can be liked by all for its ingenuity, variety and strength. A masterpiece of progressive music.

FromAbove | 5/5 |


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