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Peter Gabriel

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Peter Gabriel Peter Gabriel 4 [Aka: Mask, Aka: Security] album cover
3.94 | 711 ratings | 58 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Rhythm of the Heat (5:18)
2. San Jacinto (6:29)
3. I Have the Touch (4:36)
4. The Family and the Fishing Net (7:04)
5. Shock the Monkey (5:29)
6. Lay Your Hands on Me (6:11)
7. Wallflower (6:35)
8. Kiss of Life (4:16)

Total Time 45:58

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Gabriel / lead & backing vocals, piano (7), Prophet-5, Polymoog, Fairlight CMI, Linn drum machine, programming, surdo (1,8), arranger & co-producer

- Jill Gabriel / backing vocals (2)
- Peter Hammill / backing vocals (4-6)
- David Rhodes / guitar (2,4-8), backing vocals (1-3,8)
- John Ellis / guitar (2,4,6), backing vocals (1,3,6,8)
- Larry Fast / Moog, Prophet, Moog bass (2,4,8), drum machine (1-5,7-8), Fairlight CMI programming
- Stephen Paine / Fairlight CMI (4)
- David Lord / synths (6,7), piano & effects (7,8), Fairlight CMI programming, co-producer
- Roberto Laneri / treated saxophone (4)
- Tony Levin / fretted (1,7,8) & fretless (6) basses, Chapman Stick (2-5)
- Jerry Marotta / drums, surdo (1), percussion
- Ekome Dance Company / Ghanian drums (1)
- Morris Pert / traditional Ethiopian pipes (4), timbales (6), percussion (8)
- Mark Crabtree / Fx
- Stuart Nevison / Fx

Releases information

Artwork: David Gardener, Malcolm Poynter & Peter Gabriel

LP Charisma ‎- PG 4 (1982, UK)

CD Charisma ‎- 800 091-2 (1983, Europe)
CD Real World Records ‎- PGCDX 4 (2002, Europe) Remastered by Tony Cousins

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PETER GABRIEL Peter Gabriel 4 [Aka: Mask, Aka: Security] ratings distribution

(711 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PETER GABRIEL Peter Gabriel 4 [Aka: Mask, Aka: Security] reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lucas
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The first of PG's albums to blend rock sensibilities with african influences. The vocals are dramatic and passionate and drums play a huge role in the music, as they relate to african inflluences. This album is IMHO PG's swansong, as it deals with interesting rythm sections and proves that PG is able to mix two different cultures with genius. Some people regret PG's departure from Genesis but I think that it eventually was a good decision because it allowed him to write a different music but as challenging as the music he contributed to Genesis. This album is an absolute classic in PG's discography.
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars There are good musicians on this record: Tony Levin on bass and Larry Fast (SYNERGY) on keyboards. The songs are varied: pop hit ("Shock the Monkey"), mellow, full of beat and floating ("Lay Your Hands On Me"), catchy and relaxing with piano parts ("Wallflower"). The drums, beat and percussions are omnipresent. Some patterns are a bit irritating, especially on "I Have the Touch" and ""Kiss of Life". Let's say that the record is very unequal: I have to skip some parts to find the better bits. I appreciate the more mellow parts.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review by daveconn
4 stars Peter GABRIEL dug deeper to find the animal within, exploring two very different paths in the process that led to a sort of future primitivism on "Security". Not only is the music ahead of its time, but somehow it manages to be ahead of GABRIEL's own vision. As intelligent and ambitious as these songs are, GABRIEL fails to bring most of them into focus, and you get the sense that the singer only had a vague idea of what the final product might sound like. At least that's the impression left on me by works like "The Family And The Fishing Net", "I Have The Touch" and "Wallflower". This suspicion was confirmed in part when GABRIEL released a far superior version of "I Have The Touch" a few years later that finally balanced the song's disjointed giddiness with its worldbeat sensibilities. That balance is already evident on the wonderful "Shock The Monkey" (with a video that made plain the album's theme of a modern man lost in a primal world), far and away Security's most immediately accessible track. The rest of the record takes time to sink in, from the subtle but stirring "Lay Your Hands On Me" to the spellbinding "San Jacinto".

"Security" is well worth the effort, as the arrangements are so rich in subtle detail that nuances are discovered with each sitting, eventually revealing the power and unlocking the obscured majesty of songs like "The Rhythm of the Heat" and "San Jacinto". And yet it's not the stunning achievement of his last album, here suffocating under too many layers, but a necessary step toward the cooly confident So. In a real sense, "Biko" and "Wallflower" and "Red Rain" are the same image articulated by an evolving artist (and listeners may favor one period or style of composition over another as their tastes dictate). I've always been impressed with the record, and over the years continue to go digging in it for hidden treasures, but it's never been the rewarding experience of the works around it. Note that the original elpee featured a sticker with the title "Security" that, when removed, rendered the album again untitled.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album of ex Genesis lead singer is excellent. Gabriel has explored his musical talent further and pushed beyond his limit. The music of this album is totally different with what he had contributed so far with Genesis. The opening track "The rhythm of The Heat" is very nice. It goes smoothly to second track "San Jacinto" where Gabriel demontrates his clean vocal and nice timbre at low voice. This is one of my favourite track together with "The family and the fishing net" and "wallflower". Some tracks I don't rate highly, ie: "Shock The Monkey" (too poppy), "I have the touch". But overall, this album is excellent. Even the track "San Jacinto" ,"The Family and the fishing net", and "The Rhythm of the Heat" make this CD worth buying. Don't miss it! Enjoy the theatrical voice of Gabriel. But don't expect you will hear some sort of "Fly on A Windshield" or "Firth of Fifth" music in this album.
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Another excellent example of high class composition. 'San Jacinto' has to be my favourite Gabriel song along with ' Exposure' for stretching his vocal abilities. This albums has a nice balance of song framework starting with the swealtering ' Rythm of the heat'. The only weak song IMO is the last one ' Kiss of Life' but other than that listen to ' Wallflower' or ' The family and the fishing net'. Listen to ' Ovo' for similarities to the fishing net song. 'Shock the Monkey' was a great single too. To create this after the immaculate PG3 album makes you realize what an astonishing musical force Peter Gabriel is.
Review by Guillermo
3 stars I`m not always in the mood to hear this album and others by Peter Gabriel, but I recognize that he is a good musician, always experimenting with new music influences. This album has a lot of influence from African rhythms, and in this album Gabriel made the African drums the focus of this album. This album, as the three before it, is also called "Peter Gabriel" in the U.K. and in other parts of the world, but the U.S. record label called it "Security", and in my country, the album was relased as "Peter Gabriel" in the cover but in the label it says "Peter Gabriel 4". My favourite songs from this album are in the Side Two of the L.P. : "Shock the Monkey","Lay your hands on me", "Wallflower" and "Kiss of life". The other songs are in better versions in "Plays Live" (also "Shock the Monkey" is better in this live album). This 4th album by Gabriel really moves the "primitive" factors of the listener`s mind.And sometimes is disturbing.I really imagine a "primitive tribe dancing around the fire" in some places of this album.
Review by Muzikman
3 stars Peter GABRIEL's fourth release titled "Security" (only in America, to generate better sales than his previous self-titled releases) was the album that put him over the top in the U.S. This was due in large part to the smash international hit "Shock The Monkey," which by the way has never sounded better. Although the dark and serious side was still present in GABRIEL's atmospheric soundtracks and lyrics, there was a new lighter and more rhythmically complex element due to a lot of percussion, giving it all a decidedly Latin world flavor. This was the beginning of a new era for GABRIEL and rock music as whole, with many artists following his lead.

I found this to be a fine effort with the tried and true GABRIEL atmospheric touch in place with polished production and the usual stellar musicianship provided by key people performing and producing in all phases of the musical processes. This was the beginning of a new phase is Peter's career, what was to come next would move GABRIEL to yet another level, giving him a more powerful presence in several segments of the music industry.

Rating: 3.5/5

Review by FloydWright
3 stars I'm sorry for the bluntness of what I'm about to say--but I find it rather hypocritical of some to constantly pick on PHIL COLLINS for making GENESIS turn pop, yet refuse to call PETER GABRIEL on it when he does the exact same thing on some songs on this album. The double standard is ridiculous, and I'm going to say it: the poppy-sounding songs on this album drag the rating way down. I enjoy some pop, but some of this sounds mindless, even when the lyrics underneath might be good (and they aren't always!). While I liked the lyrics to "I've Got the Touch"--but the music was awful. "Kiss of Life" was not so good musically, either...but by far the worst offender was "Shock the Monkey". What was that? Terrible, is what it was.

The other huge problem with Security is the incredibly muffled mixing, which made even some of the good parts impossible to hear without running the volume up to absurd levels. The volume level I have to use is so obnoxiously off from the other albums I own that there really is no excuse for it. So, combined with the three miserable tossers of songs, the album just barely makes the grade as a 3.

The truly good songs include "Rhythm of the Heat", "San Jacinto", "The Family and the Fishing Net", and "Lay Your Hands on Me"...musically innovative and lyrically intriguing, all of these are what make the album. The percussion section is incredibly rich and GABRIEL's Eastern-seeming vocal stylings do very well to add to the "world" atmosphere, and as others have said, the lyrics tend to focus on some of the most "primitive" aspects of our lives and emotions, some of our deepest spiritual yearnings. "Rhythm of the Heat" and "Lay Your Hands on Me" seem to evoke the wish to connect with something beyond what we perceive with our senses, but conversely, "San Jacinto" and "The Family and the Fishing Net" focus on some of the more difficult parts of a "primitive" life--including the terrible destruction that occurs when such a culture comes into contact with a "modern" culture that has no respect for it.

"San Jacinto" in particular details a Native American's look at the destruction wrought by the invading settlers and the way in which America has now commercialized much of what's left of their culture. This song is especially helped by the bass work of TONY LEVIN, and the most powerful section actually seems to recall some of the darker songs like "Yet Another Movie" and "Terminal Frost" on PINK FLOYD's 80s album A Momentary Lapse of Reason (undoubtedly helped by the fact that both albums shared LEVIN!). This is the song that I think I found the most moving of any on the album.

However, I have to warn you: I don't think this album deserves the kind of kudos it's getting at all. Where it's good, it's fantastic...but where it's bad, it's truly awful--and I have to reiterate, if you're going to call COLLINS on stuff like that, then don't shy away from pointing it out when GABRIEL does it! Just barely a 3.

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars I have seen Peter Gabriel solo many times and every concert was a wonderful visual, musical and emotional experience, this man is so pure and so creative! But I had problems with his studio albums, I enjoyed it far less than the concerts, especially the second and third album. But on this fourth album I enjoy the ethnic and emotional touch. Peter Gabriel had went through an intense psycho-therapeutical process, the result was that he succeeded to sound more direct from his heart and feelings ("Lay your hands on me" tells about the poor emotional bonding with his parents). People from the venomous musical press in the UK blamed Peter Gabriel that he integrated the African sound because of his feeling guilty about 'the way Britannia ruled the waves in the past' but in my opinion this is rubbish! Peter Gabriel is a very curious, inventive and creative personality who discovered that the African sound was ideal to blend with his musical ideas and personal feelings and emotions. This resulted in impressive and very compelling songs like "The rhythm of the heat" and "San Jacinto". And "Shock th emonkey" is a mirror for the whole human race!
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!!

Also known as "Mask" or "Security" (since the first four album did not have names or numbers), this is probably the "proggiest " album , maybe not in terms of musicianship , but it is certainly the most dramatic songwriting The Gabe had done since his leaving his former band. Actually , this album gives me very mixed feeling as it is also the most "new wave" sounding of his album.

Rythm Of The Heat and San Jacinto are probably the most stunning song on this album and are excellent dramatic and enthralling tunes , taking their time to evolve and pass thru a few moods. The last two tracks on side reveal less appeal to me as the sounds are simply too new wave-ish for me. Actually a much superior version of Touch will appear later.

The Stunning starter on side 2 , Shock The Monkey is really a shocker and not just for monkeys but all humans too. It came with a shocking videoclip , but it is also the blueprint for later huge successes such as Sledghammer anf Big Time (Success) in the following mega selling SO album. Lay Your Hands On Me is another excellent track , exactly the archtype Gabe track you have come to expect by now. Walklflower is a rather neat piano dominated track that fits well in the album and the last track is unremarkable.

This album is maybe my fave from The Gabe , but it does announce the future mega success of SO.

Review by Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is arguably the best of Peter Gabriel's solo albums. I remember seeing him live in 1983:, when the album had just come out: a mesmerising performance indeed from one of rock's greatest musicians and lyricists. Unfortunately, this record is mostly known for the hit single "Shock the Monkey", which is a nice song but not really representative of Peter's creativity. On the other hand, it contains some of PG's best- ever compositions, notably the powerful, intense "San Jacinto", a tale of Native American rites of passage on the background of modern-day society, with one of Peter's strongest vocal performances ever; the eerie, intriguing "The Family and the Fishing Net", featuring the atmospheric sound of Ethiopian pipes; the heavily percussion-driven "Lay Your Hands on Me" and the stirring, majestic "Rythm of the Heat", which opens the album in style.

As we have come to expect from Peter, the standards of songwriting and musicianship are first-rate, with a special mention for bassist extraordinaire Tony Levin and electronic keyboard wizard Larry Fast. Obviously, we are miles away from the pastoral soundscapes of Genesis' heyday; nevertheless, "Peter Gabriel 4" is progressive in the true sense of the word. Don't miss it.

Review by Chicapah
4 stars This is the album where the mainstream finally GOT Peter Gabriel. A lot of us wondered what took them so long. But this one sounded so incredibly good and due in a very large part to the addicting, infectious beat and charismatic atmosphere of "Shock the Monkey," his appreciative audience expanded a hundred fold. He was also astute enough to take advantage of the power of the video revolution and turn it to his advantage by making a clip that engaged and intrigued the viewer instead of just showing some dudes slinging their hair around. "San Jacinto" is one of the most powerful pieces of music he's ever produced. It's hypnotic and stunning in its breadth. The album was still probably a "shock" to the casual record-buyer of the time when songs like "The family and the fishing net" and "Wallflower" came on but I'd like to think that Mr. Gabriel succeeded in expanding their musical horizons just a little (if not considerably). It has its usual darker moments as PG continued to battle his many inner demons but the uplifting and joyful "Kiss of Life" is the perfect ending to this cd. By now he had rid himself of over-association with Genesis and was starting to be known for his own volume of work that had little resemblance to his former group's revered catalogue of symphonic prog. It's also admirable that he was able to find acceptance by the masses while retaining his avant-garde attitude and his integrity. Thanks to albums like this one the early 80s decade of music was not a completely vapid wasteland.
Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is my fav solo album by PG due to incredible "dark" atmosphere and wonderful "ethnic" percussions and sounds. Forget about "Shock the Monkey" (which is nevertheless a good song by pop standards) and "Kiss of Life" (which is largely disposable track). All that remains is Gabriel at his best, including amazing drummer Marrota and guest appearance by Peter Hammill. Absolutely recommended and please allow several listens until it gets you inside his world.
Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Peter Gabriel's solo career up to the release of his fourth studio album yielded two excellent albums and one slightly underwhelming (but still very good) album. This is the last of his albums in his series of unnamed and untitled albums (so logically in the series it is called Peter Gabriel 4). Anyway, utilizing essentially the same lineup as his previous three ventures (at the core), he adds some more dynamics to his sound by recruiting Van Der Graaf Generator's Peter Hammill on backing vocals for a few tracks as well as a wide range of African music and African influences. So in the end this album is a fusion of rock and african music sensibilities, and for the most part it's quite nice. That said, I do think that along with the second album that this is the weakest of his first ventures, as only about half of the songs really stay in my mind and are really incredible, with the left being somewhat mediocre material. Still, though, this is a pretty good album, but it comes with a warning from me.

All of the songs I like actually come within the first half of the album. It opens with Rhythm of the Heat. The forbidding opening drones and the subtle instrumentation break out into a brilliant Gabriel vocal performance. Towards the ending, the song picks up with a thundering african drum section and it hits a crescendo of sound at this point and doesn't really reach that much intensity again. The second song is also just as brilliant. San Jacinto opens with a quiet keyboard laying down a foundation and another slow build up musically and vocally. Gabriel's vocals and lyrics here are quite effective and poignant at the same time, offering a lush description. The chorus of, "I hold the line! San Jacinto" is a powerful and moving section that is nothing truly short of brilliant. I Have the Touch is a bit of a throwaway and it is sandwiched between the previous San Jacinto and the superb following track The Family and the Fishing Net. It's a bit of a pushy, urgent piece lyrically and the music isn't terribly interesting. The Family and the Fishing Net makes up for the previous piece, though. A fantastic mood and atmopsheric piece, it has that same buildup quality that the first two tracks had, but the story that Gabriel tells is well conceived and his vocals are very dynamic (and Hammill does a backing vocal job on this track as well). Probably my favorite track off of the album.

Shock the Monkey is the next piece, and in my opinion it's the last truly interesting piece on the album. The dynamic musicianship is complimented perfectly by stellar vocals from Gabriel and Tony Levin really shines here with a precision stick performance. Lay Your Hands On Me, Kiss of Life, and Wallflower round out the album with some okay, if not on par performances from everybody. Lay Your Hands on Me despite the dramatic vocal performance from Gabriel does not really grab me and there is really no evolution to the piece at all. Wallflower is a forgettable piece that despite having an interesting keyboard motif and melody, and like Lay Your Hands on Me, does not really grab me at all. The same sentiment could be said with Kiss of Life, which is in my opinion the worst song on the album and one of my least favorite Gabriel songs up to that point.

In the end, Peter Gabriel's final untitled album would prove to be one of his most unbalanced, and despite having some incredibly crafted and dramatic pieces is riddled with pieces that don't really make the grade. If you're looking for any connection with Gabriel's past, you may find bits and pieces (speaking of his solo career as his disconnection from the Genesis sound came immediately). It's a good album, but nothing that I would call brilliant. 3/5.

Review by russellk
5 stars There is more raw power in the first three minutes of this PETER GABRIEL album than in the entire careers of most popular musicians.

Peter Gabriel III (Melt) ended with 'Biko', an attempt to make us accept our culpability for what happened to a non-western culture in South Africa. Peter Gabriel IV (Security) begins by taking us to the heart of not one, but two non-western cultures (African and North American) in the first two tracks. Instead of berating us for what we've done, GABRIEL shows us the human face of those we've marginalised.

And, finally, his music matches the power of his lyrics. It's hard to imagine anything more visceral than 'The Rhythm and the Heat'. His long and continuing association with world music begins here, with African musicians lending authenticity to his message. 'San Jacinto' is a more fragile thing, but no less powerful - GABRIEL sings "I hold the line", an extroadinary assertion of self in the face of overpowering odds. I can't remain unmoved whenever I hear GABRIEL sing this line. 'Shock the Monkey' is well known, and 'The Family and the Fishing Net' ought to be. Possibly the most obscure of GABRIEL'S lyrics, this chilling song about sex and marriage presages his preoccupation with gender trouble on subsequent albums. And I do mean chilling. His use of metaphor here paints an extraordinarily frightening picture of the all-consuming nature of love, comparing marriage to an occult rite, and again the music matches his vision. Such rhythms, such soundscapes were what GABRIEL was born to deliver.

If side 1 is absolutely essential listening for anyone interested in music, side 2 is less so, though still excellent. 'Lay Your Hands on Me' is an impressive piece, for example. For me, Peter Gabriel IV is PETER GABRIEL'S crowning achievement. He will write songs with this power again, but never a sequence such as he offers on side 1 of this record.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In a successful fusion of the modern with the ancient, Peter Gabriel brought his post-art dramas together with the sounds of tribal dance and reached down into ancestral memory in a most contemporary way. The brainwave trance 'Rhythm of the Heat' introduces us to his fourth album, with wood sounds and a wall of Moog and CMI. The touching 'San Jacinto' moves mountains with power and dignity, Gabriel's sympathetic yearn, and a nicely unexpected finish. Robotics on 'I Have the Touch', a great dancehouse number with cutting guitar chimes from David Rhodes and Gabriel's soulful voice showing his range and stellar falsetto, and the troubled 'The Family and the Fishing Net' with its psycho-sexuality and bizarre images as it coaxes memories of Genesis. The bread and butter of hip FM radio was 'Shock the Monkey', an engaging pop tune bristling with nervous energy and veiled commentary. The quiet hugeness of 'Lay Your Hands on Me' features Jerry Marotta and Morris Pert's dual percussion, the haunted but hopeful 'Wallflower', and the set closes with Cuban dance bit 'Kiss of Life'. A good prog record, a great pop one.

Review by obiter
2 stars Another Fabulous line up of musical talent and superb lyrics.

Side One Rhythm of the Heat is an intense beautifully crafted piece. My favourite. San Jacinto keeps the intensity but introduces a native american theme. I have the Touch drags for me. The Family and the Fishing Net is another interesting track: a more mystical ethnic feel/

Side Two For me Shock the Monkey is a banal early 80s pop number. I always fast forward through this track now. Lay Your Hands on Me is an interesting track. Atmospheric, unusual rhythm (gorgeous percussion) and vocal, and a supreme confidence in leaving space and silence. Wallflower is for me just too drab. It's slow (painfully and annoyingly slow like the laggard on a hiking trip). So the song is also political. I'm not against political content in songs and there is little doubt that the lyrics of this song are excellent. A fabulous protest poem. I would just like the music to be good as well. If this song was a dog I would have referred it to a vet for an opinion on whether it should be put down. Maybe the the Kiss of Life could resurrect the poor beast. Or maybe not.

I do not warm to this album at all. I often read the lyrics without the music. the musicianship is excellent but this album remains one of the least played in my collection.

Review by Zitro
4 stars Peter Gabriel 4 is when Peter Gabriel started putting a significant emphasis on primitive percussion and world music. This is not the most accessible album of his at all. At first, it brought some tediousness to my ears. However, if you are willing to let the music grow on you, you might find this among your favorite Peter Gabriel solo albums. The music focuses more on atmosphere/tension and is helped by an outstandingly clear production.

The defining track of the album is the opener "Rhythm of the Heat" which excels at intense African percussion and unusual riffs and harmonies. It also features great use of dynamics, with it slowly building up to an explosion of drums. "San Jacinto" may appear to be not much more than a synth loop at first listen, but it ends up being a restrained piece of art full of emotion and powerful vocals at its climax. "I Have the Touch" and "Shock the Monkey" are mainstream attempts that succeeded. The latter has a cool beat and is somewhat catchy, but I can't stand the rhythm and instrumentation of "I Have the Touch".

Between these radio-friendly tunes, you have the very experimental and eerie "The Family and the Fishing Net" which features Ethiopian pipes. This song relies more on soundscapes and atmosphere rather than melodies so it's another song that may need repeated listenings. Another atmospheric tune is "Lay Your Hands on me" which focuses on mesmerizing percussion work that starts simple and then gets pretty busy near the end (like the opening track). It also has some proto-rap and vocal harmonies from other vocalists. The album ends with a surprising amount of joy with the latin-influenced "Kiss of Life" which has a ridiculously catchy synth riff and a danceable rhythm.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars I know what I (don't) like (much)

The good album, bad album trend continues with this largely disappointing collection of slightly longer songs. Released in 1982, this was the last of Gabriel's eponymous albums the unofficial subtitle of "Security" being rather less obvious than the previous three. Gabriel's desire to experiment with new sounds and technical innovations led him to invest in a FairLight synthesiser/sampler, which Larry Fast used for the first time on this album.

The opening track, "The Rhythm Of The Heat", picks up where "Biko" left off on the previous album, with pulsating African rhythms. Gabriel gives a fine vocal performance on the song backed by a tribal chorus. Unfortunately, the atmosphere of there song is lost when the percussion takes over in an ever more dramatic, but entirely prosaic build up to the track ending.

Thereafter we have a succession of rather dull pop based songs, some of which are extended by a couple of minutes for no obvious reason. There are hints on "I have the touch" of future songs such as "Sledgehammer", but the ideas here are largely under- developed, generally failing to capture the listener's ear. The album dips to its lowest point on the seven minute " The Family And The Fishing Net", a dull understated dirge which completely fails to justify its length.

"Shock the monkey" was Gabriel's first hit single in the US, who overlooked the perhaps too British "Solisbury Hill" and "Games without frontiers". Gabriel states that the rather obscure lyrics are not in fact about animal rights, but simply relate to jealousy. Quite why the song was a hit single at all is something of an enigma. It has a strong beat, but it is rather ordinary and certainly lacks the quality of the other singles mentioned.

For me, the best track here is the atmospheric "Wallflower". The song is more representative of what would follow on subsequent albums, with Gabriel's voice sounding assured and strong.

In all, a disappointing album, which continues the pattern of the good PG albums being the odd numbered ones! It is interesting to observe here just how far removed from prog Gabriel was becoming. Those who cite his departure from Genesis as part of the reason that band strayed from prog, should listen again to albums such as this for evidence to the contrary.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars While Gabriel's first four albums have their moments of interest, Security is probably the most excruciating for me to get through. After the first two mediocre albums and a better third one, Pete takes another step backwards with Security. Whereas the third album took the wanderings of the first two and added sophistication, focus, and fun, Security retains the sophistication but loses the focus and fun. Of course it has good moments here and there but it is such a dry, smug album that appeals to almost no side of my relatively open musical palette. It wanders and wanders and just never gets anywhere. I have little to say about the songs other than they just crawl for me. "San Jacinto" has some very good vocals but could really use a kick in the... "The Family and the Fishing Net" features some interesting bass playing. "Wallflower" is probably the closest I come to liking anything here, it's a pretty song. In "Kiss of Life" you can hear some of the influence of his friend Kate Bush who was doing "The Dreaming" around this time. While he may have been the big star having been in Genesis, she was cleaning his clock in these days at putting out delicious progressive flavored pop-rock music that was not only inventive but had a real infectious grab on you. Precious little grabs me on Security.

With his first four solo albums behind him for better or worse, his future work would raise the bar considerably on a commercial level. Some would hate the more mainstream directions and while I often bristle at it, in Pete's case I think it may have been a wise move. His record in these fairly explorative early albums has not been particularly solid in my view. I repeat that if you cherry-picked the best tracks from these first four albums you'd have one hell of a good one. But as they are I find them full of filler and many more strikes than home runs. Better stuff would come down the road.

Review by JLocke
4 stars SECURITY (As it was referred to by my father) was the very first Peter Gabriel album I ever heard, and is still one of my favorites, if not the very favorite. Some things to not about it: I was unaware until very recently that Tony Levin was the bass player on the record, but that is a definate plus, but also when I first heard the record, I had no idea what progressive rock was or even what Gabriel's sub- genre, ''Crossover rock'' meant. All I knew was that it was one of the most original-sounding musica; works I had ever heard. Peter Gabriel was called a 'musical genious' by my uncle, who is also a big fan of his, and I have to say I agree with him. Especially for an 80s era album, it was daring to do something that went against the grain of traditional 'hit' recordings of the time, what with all of the african influences clearly present here, as well as the electronica side of things which were used in a way that did not date them, unlike many of the other 80s records were. Certainly, there are moments that are a little more 'poppy' than others, but overall this album is a wonderful example of what true progressive music is all about, as it is very eclectic and doesn't really seem to hold to any given genre.

''The Rhythm Of The Heat'' starts out with a very unusual percussion beat, and already, because of the booming, echoing quality of this album's production, I feel like I am in a distant country away from everything I know to be familiar, and then Gabriel comes in with a cry, followed by big booming drums (The percussion plays a huge role all throughout this record, which helps push the African influence to the forefront), Gabriel then delivers the first lyrics heard on the record: ''Looking out the window, I see the red dust clear, high upon the red rock stands a shadow with a spear . . . ''. The world music feel on this effort is very strong, and there are many different types of instruments incoorperated to make this amazing eclectic effort somehow work. Whenever Peter yells out ''The rhythm has my soul!'', I get the chills. To tell you the truth, it is very difficult for me to determine exactly what instrument is getting what result in terms of the unusual sounds to be found here, but I suppose that is a good thing, because it really gives the record an otherwordly feel to it all, and it is like this for the entire album (Abliet a few exceptions here and there). Soon a wall of sound is produced from continuous, ferocious drumming, and then the song ends instantly.

''San Jacinto'' - Wow, what an amazing track! I can hardly begin to describe how the intro to this song makes me feel every time I hear it. Possibly some sort of african or otherwise foreign bells are being rung as alongside some really dream-like keyboard playing from Gabriel (the latter is often hard to make out unless you are listening through the headphones, but it is there). I truly wish that I had a wider knowledge of world instruments, as I would love to know how these wonderful sounds were created, but sadly my education musically stops at rock instruments. Anyway, as I was saying, the opening of this track is great, and then when Gabriel begins to sing the hauntingly beautiful first verse, I melt away every time. The man has possibly the most amazing singing voice in prog history, and this song surely proves that. After a few bars, the drums come in, as prominent as ever. I would also like to mention how wonderfully layered this song is, as by this point there is so much stuff going on that all contibutes to the completel-ness of it, even if it is hard to make out one specific part, if one were to be taken out of the equation, it would completely change the sound of the song. So yes, the layers of this album are very complex and beautifully done, nothing feels like too much or unnecessary, it just all seems to fit. Eventually, Gabriel sings out the words ''I hold the line!'' while a powerful guitar chord rings triumphantly in the background, and it gives this track a form of majesty that truly makes me very emotional each time I listen to it. The song seemingly ends, but then instead of switching to the next track, another lovely section is introduced which seems to feature many different sorts of flutes playing in the background as Gabriel sings the final few verses. At this point the song does indeed end, leaving me aching to hear more.

''I Have The Touch'' - This is the first straightforward song on the record, with a much more 'produced' and 'electronic' feel to it, but it still has this punch to it that keeps it from heing simply another pop tune. And as always, a powerful vocal performance from Peter. Keyboard, synth percussion and guitar play a fairly big part on the track from what I can hear, and it is the first song that doesn't feel as open as the others, and the mood is ultimately a big 'brighter', where as with the previous two songs the emotion I felt as I listened was a mellow, slightly dark emotion. This song has a much more bouncy edge to it that would appeal to more general listeners. I am especially fond of the breakdown near the song's end where Gabriel repeats ''I need contact!'' over and over in a very hard hitting statement. Once again, the blistering drumwork comes in to finish the song with a bang.

''The Family and the Fishing Net'' - Ah, gee, well . . . this song doesn't really do much for me, and is mainly the reason why this record didn't get a full five stars from me. It just seems to have no direction for the longest time, and doesn't begin to get even slightly catchy until the 03:17 mark, and while prog music doesn't necessarily have to be catchy to be good, the more obscure parts of this song don't have any effect on me at all, good or bad. It's just mediocre. But then again, that is just my opinion. However, if you want to scare your kids to death you could always crank this song up in their headphones and send them off to bed, but other than that nothing really that amusing will come of this track. Near the edn of it all, it does tend to get a bit cheerful in it's tone, but the light at the end of the tunnel is introduced too late to really redeem this track for me. I mean, sitting through six-and-a-half minutes for thirty seconds of genuine enjoyment seems rather pointless to me. Anyway, this track is the one that gets skipped over when I play this album generally.

''Shock The Monkey'' - The first Peter Gabriel song I ever heard in my life, and I think had it been any other song from this album, I would not have enjoyed it, but because it was the most radio-friendly song, it appealed to a six-year-old, who got hours and hours of enjoyment out of simply repeating the same track over and over again. Again a more electronic song in nature, the beat is fairly fast-paced, and the rhythm, melody and instruments used make it a very enjoyable song even for more elitists among the prog crowd. The section that remains my favorite is the moment when we hear the soaring guitar chords ringing out in the distance as Gabriel (or is it Peter Hammill?) gruffly barks ''SHOCK!'' repeatedly. The song ends fairly abruptly, making way for the album's 'epic', ''Lay Your Hands on Me''

''Lay Your Hands on Me'' - Amazing, amazing, amazing! We hear an ambience created by keys, then suddenly the drums come booming in, setting the stage for a very epic, evolving journey. Gabriel does some dramatic spoken word work here, which preceeds a very uplifting build of many different instruments which creates a truly overwhelming sense of granduer. We then get a small taste of the song's chorus, before everything receeds to start over once again. We then hear some flute work, followed by more powerfull percussion. This incredibly uplifting drum beat continues throughout the second buildup, which then leads into the full-blown main themse of the song, where Gabriel sings out ''I am ready! I am willing! I believe!, accompanied by backing vocals which shout out the song's title in an almost chant-like unison. Truly powerfull stuff. I may not be exactly sure what this song is about, but all I know it is uplifts my spirits considerably whenever it is played, and has even brought me to tears before, because it is so beautiful. Gabriel's incredible voice leads the way in this march of hope and power. A drum breakdown then follows, which is accompanied once again by the goregous chanting of 'Lay your hands on me!'. This goes on until the song's abrupt, but powerful end.

''Wallflower'' - This begins with one of the most beautiful flute melodies I have ever heard, and sets the tone for this very calm, personal track which shows the softer side of everything, including Gabriel's vocals, which act as a sort of lullaby for the listener. A very hopefull note is made with his ''Hold on'' lyric, which he re-iterates over and over again. More or less, each verse in the song is the same, yet each tie he repeats it, the song gets bigger, more hopefull and more powerful. Ah, the drums! Once again they help give the track a very uplifting power with their continuous playing, and some great piano work is also present here. The flute also makes a reprise before track's end. ''And I will do what I can do!'' he yells at the very end, finishing up the last really good song on the album.

''Kiss Of Life'' - Not a bad song by any means, but certainly the most out of place. Everything about makes me think of party music. I'm waiting for someone to start doing the hokey-pokey or limbo, or something. The lyrics are actually pretty funny in this song, whether that was intended or not, and the only really enjoyable melody is the chorus: ''Burning, burning, burning with the kiss of life!''. Like I say, certainly not a bad song, just not very good compared to everything that preceeded it. This is my second-least-favorite, beaten only by ''The Family and the Fishing Net''. On the bright side, this is the most straightforward song in terms of being able to hear the more traditional instruments.

All in all, ''Security'' is a truly amazing piece of work, with only two weak songs on the entire thing. That deserved four stars, I believe, especialy when you consider all the other trash that is out there in the prog world. Absolutely an excellent addition to anyone's collection, but no, not essential. However, I do think it is a great introduction to Gabriel's solo work, but that may only be because I heard it first. If all you want is Genesis, you won't like this, but if you wanna hear what else Gabriel can do, try this out, you may just find you like his solo stuff much better than anything Genesis ever did.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
4 stars Peter Gabriel's fourth album followed in the trend of not having a title like his three previous albums. Instead people referred to it as Peter Gabriel 4 or Mask. However, in the U.S., Geffen Records apparently gave it the title Security. I recall when I purchased this the word Security only appeared on the 33 1/3 rpm vinyl record label. The album sleeve made no mention of the title.

With another all-star cast of musicians, Peter Gabriel took his interest in world music another level deeper incorporating many African rhythms and percussion into this selection of songs. The percussion on many of these songs is simply amazing. The lyrical content became even darker than his previous album, often close to disturbing. Along with this, the instrumentation became more electronic giving the album a colder, bleaker atmosphere. The cause of this is partly Gabriel's compositions, but may also be due to this album being one of the earliest digitally recorded albums and the use of the new and extremely expensive Fairlight CMI sampling computer. The Fairlight CMI would become a popular synthesizer system throughout the 1980s that many top names of that decade eagerly acquired.

In many ways this album could be considered quite progressive, in the literal sense of the word, but not necessarily in the traditional sense defined by the prog rock genre. Nobody else (as far as I know) was making music quite like Peter Gabriel at this time. He combines African rhythms and percussion, world music, new wave, and synth pop together to make something rather unique. Although pop song structures are prevalent (like Shock the Monkey), some songs differ considerably from this mold.

This album is probably even more groundbreaking than Melt, Gabriel's previous album, particularly in regard to experimental rock. I'm finding it difficult to fit into the traditional prog rock mold, and in some ways that's a good thing. This is definitely not a masterpiece because it is more tailored toward mainstream pop music, but it sure is an intriguing album. Four stars seems fitting in my opinion, although I still feel uncomfortable giving this an accurate rating.

Review by lazland
4 stars This is a great LP, and the first LP where we can definitively state that Gabriel shook off the heavy hand of Genesis weighing upon him and emerged as a major talent in his own right (and, yes, I have all his solo works. III is still, in my opinion, under the Genesis shadow, as great as it is).

San Jacinto remains my favourite Gabriel track of all time - his plaintive vocals capture the seriousness of the subject matter perfectly, and you can tell he means it. Walflower is, I think, even better than Biko in drawing to our attention the mass cruelties perpetrated on prisoners of conscience across the world.

The world music crossovers Rhythm of the Heat and The Family & the Fishing Net both bring fantastic atmosphere to the piece, and the drums at the end of the former are particularly fantastic.

Shock the Monkey was a great single, and I am amazed it was never as big as later tracks such as Steam & Sledgehammer.

Lay Your Hands on Me would perhaps have been better left as a great live curiosity when Gabriel jumped into the audience. Kiss of Life closes the LP with a mad world/jazz crossover and these two tracks just make it a four star review rather than the perfect five.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars Peter GAbirel's fourth consecutive album to bear his name only for title (although it seems it was released under the title Security in America), was a logical step forward with the successful formula he used on his brilliant third album. His combination of high tech instrumentation with tribal rhythms reaches its peak here. Everything that he developed on third is taken to a new level completely on Security.

Incredibly, this highly artistic, daring and groundbreaking work would be his most commercially successful LP up to that point. Thanks to the fact that, as much as his music was complex, he never really lost his touch for the great melody lines and his great sense of humor, even when dabling on some serious subjects (like in I Have The Touch), OK, sometimes his music is too elaborated and oblique for the mainstream (The Family And The Fishing Net is maybe the most notorious case), but still enjoyable and not too much out there. Maybe the best exemple of his craft is Shock The Monkey, an absolute irresistible song that is hardly your choice for the pop market both on the lyrical and musical side), but one that still made the charts.

His new found love for the african music quite influenced this project, as the great opener The Rhythm Of The Heat clearly shows, but not only. San Jacinto explores the native american culture in a very clever and unique way. Also we have to credit the incredible band that played with him (Jerry Marotta on drums, Tony Levin on bass and N/S Stick, David Rhodes on guitar and, above all, synth genius Larry Fast). Never again he would find musicians of that caliber that fitted so well to his music.

It was hard to believe that Gabriel would deliver another masterpiece so soon after Third. But he did it. LIke that album Security only grows with each listening. And even today, more than a quarter century after its release, it still sounds fresh, modern and innovative as it did in 1982. conclusion: an essential CD, a masterpiece of progressive music. Five stars.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Call it "4", "Security", "Mask" or whatever, this Gabriel 1983 album has to be regarded as a definitive cornerstone of what the signature Peter Gabriel sound has come to be (at least, that's how I see and hear it). This is the point of no return that "3" aimed at; this is also the point of reference concerning Gabriel's evolution as writer and performer for his following studio efforts ("So", "Passion", "Us"). "4" is a triumph of the meeting of Western rock's technology and exotic tapestries (North and Middle Africa, mostly). The album kicks off with the mysterious, intense 'The Rhythm of the Heat', a powerful opener that pretty much relies on the sense of restrained energy that ultimately leads to an incendiary percussive explosion. The pulsating atmosphere that comes out droning in the sung section comes out conveniently based on synthesized layers, rhythms and samples, sounding modernistic and telluric at the same time. The arrival of the multiple celebratory drums makes the impending menace become an exciting reality. 'San Jacinto' perpetuates the general feel of mixed modernity and ethnic ground on a very different mode: more melancholic, denser, darker yet Retailing a powerful melodic framework. This tale of longing trapped in a world of cubicles finds a perfect conveyor in Gabriel's calculatedly affected singing through the exquisite keyboard orchestrations that dominate the track. The climax is awesome, and so is the languid coda that seems to portray the longing's obscurity. 'I Have the Touch' goes to a catchier appeal, providing a mixture of R'n'B-infected techno-pop and African rock. 'The Family and the Fishing Net' picks up this extroverted vibe and takes it to a rougher level. It features wild guitar (not too distant from the most guitar-oriented songs from teh "3" album) and colorful bagpipes among the ever. dominant waves of synthesizers and a solid rhythm framework. This is the first song including special guest Peter Hammill as support vocalist. The next one with this special trait is just 'Shock the Monkey', the amazing hit single off "4". This song recaptures much of the lively spirit delivered in track 3, but it sounds more ballsy and bears a more interesting melodic development. It is, indeed, catchy enough as to justify its status as hit single, but it definitely doesn't indulge in pop sweetness or banal lyrics: the words reveal the anger and fear that emerge from jealousy (that destructive energy that stems from the lover's id), and the instrumentation echoes them with effective colors. This song states a perfect balance between the stamina of rock and the lively swing of R'n'B in tune with teh album's overall scheme. 'Lay Your Hands On Me' is yet another terrific number in this album - the last one with the distinguished Hammill as guest backing vocalist. It stands somewhere between the atmospheric density of 'San Jacinto' and the magnetic colorfulness of the sung portion of 'The Rhythm of the Heat'. The ominous synth layers and effective rhythmic arrangements fit well in the process of surrounding Gabriel's chant, drowned as it is in the vulnerability of the man who needs to feel the real expression of caring and affection. The falsetto lines during the choruses and the track's title letanies are really moving. With 'Wallflower' Gabriel brings some of his most introspective side: the slow pace and the concise piano chords make room for the delivery of Gabriel's lines, full of messages against police torture and state terrorism. The song's mood is obviously dramatic, but Gabriel and the remaining instrumentalists stay clear away from the temptation of making things too corny. It definitely bears a less pamphlet-like mood than 'Biko' (a great song, anyway). The album's closer is the lively 'Kiss of Life', a clear provider of contrast against 'Wallflower'. Working in a role of album ender, 'Kiss of Life' brings an air of optimism with its African rock colors ordained on a rhythmic combination of 4/4 and 10/8. "4" stands out as a Gabriel master work, and of course, as the statement of his own musical voice's confirmation.
Review by Negoba
5 stars Riding the Wave of Creativity to Success

When Peter Gabriel found his voice on his third solo album, it was no surprise that he simply took the sound and ran with it on the fourth. Named Security or Mask, the disc takes a few ideas (world music and pop) further than the previous album, but for the most part, the album is simply more great music coming from a similar place. Opening in dazzling fashion, the album settles into a collection of great work, solidifying the fact that III / Melt was not just a one-time gift.

1, Rhythm of the Heat - Perfectly named, this song is propelled by an African drum section pulsing like a heartbeat. I actually saw this song performed by a local prog group in the early 90's, which was one of my motivations for exploring Gabriel's early catalog. As the title suggests, the song is not only dark and intense (PG's forte) but also warm in feeling. It pulses with life and this slight tick towards positivity is the major contrast between albums 3 and 4. The vocal performance is top notch, Gabriel truly at the peak of his form. One of my favorite PG tracks ever.

2. San Jacinto - This may well be the prototypical Peter Gabriel solo track, almost universally lauded as one of his best. Intense vocals, great lyric, perfect dynamics. The programming is perfect on this song, and still sounds as fresh as when it was first released over 25 years ago. The 1-2 punch to lead off this album is one of the best ever recorded.

3. I Have the Touch - This song introduces Gabriel's pop sound, which is a bit more upbeat and danceable, with more obvious verse-prechorus-chorus-bridge structures. At the same time, the sense of texture, intelligence lyrics, and emotional intensity remain. Drummer Jerry Marotta gets a chance to fill plenty of space on this song to great effect. The song actually functions quite well on this album, placed between the intense openers and the most challenging song on the album.

4. The Family and the Fishing Net - If anyone thought Gabriel had completely abandoned prog, this song disabused them of the idea. A dark and twisted story song with spooky synths, this song's multi-sectioned, near-epic structure and layers are clearly a nod to the old fanbase. The only song nearing this one in the solo catalog is "Moribund the Burgermeister" on the debut.

5. Shock the Monkey - Again choosing a pop song to break the intensity after the very challenging fourth track, this was Gabriel's biggest hit to date. Despite its pop pacing and structure, the lyric and delivery are remarkably dark and disturbing. It's actually a bit surprising that this song was as popular as it was. In fact, it was the video that propelled the song, a pattern that would eventually gain PG superstardom on the following album.

6. Lay Your Hands on Me - This song plays a very nice balance between dark intensity and a more pop-styled chorus to create a song that is always better than I expected when I listen to it. A spoken word verse allows Gabriel more lyric freedom, using a face two inches away delivery to grab the listener firmly. The near spiritual chorus releases the tension without letting the listener free. A brilliant piece of sonic artwork which also showcases some powerful playing by Levin and Marotta.

7. Wallflower - This quiet, almost ambient piece starts warm and gentle and grows gradually. Continuing his long series of songs on depression, here Gabriel sings a near- lullaby for the victim to emerge. Whether this love song is directed at a part of himself or a specific person is hard to tell. The music itself is fairly straightforward, but very pretty.

8. Kiss of Life - Powered by a frenetic rhythmic track, this is another song that is always better than I remembered. An energetic way to end the album, we get the other end of the world beat spectrum that would increasingly permeate Gabriel's music.

Security is probably even more flawless than its predecessor, with every single track succeeding in its intention. At the same time, where III / Melt developed a completely new sound, IV develops the sound only modestly. This is possibly drummer Jerry Marotta's best album with Gabriel, and most of the new territory explored on this album is in the rhythm section. All the same, the songwriting is superb and Gabriel's vocal delivery stellar. Before coming back to the album for this review, I had intended to give it four stars. But the songs I had remembered as simple pop are actually quite compelling, and the high points are as powerful as ever. There are some who may bemoan that this is a less risky album than its predecessor, but for me it is still a masterpiece. That is, a true master of the artform creating his best work at the top of his game.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Peter Gabriel" is the 4th full-length studio album by UK rock artist Peter Gabriel. The album was released in September 1982 through Charisma Records in the UK and Geffen Records in the US/Canada. The Geffen Records version features the title "Security". The album is also often refered to as "Mask" because of the mask on the front cover artwork and also as a way to distinguish between the first four Peter Gabriel albums which all just bear the title "Peter Gabriel". A Deutch language version of the album was also recorded and released under the title "Deutsches Album".

The music on the album are for the most part mainstream vers/chorus build pop/rock tracks featuring Peter Gabrielīs distinct vocals as the primary focal point. Highlights to my ears are the opener "The Rhythm Of The Heat" with itīs tribal percussion and Peter Gabrielīs intense vocal delivery and the ballad type track "Wallflower". Deeply emotional singing by Peter Gabriel on that one. Besides the the rather silly pop song "Shock The Monkey" the rest of the tracks are decent too. The world music influence that was initiated on the previous album on the "Biko" track is even more dominant on this album.

The musicianship are generally on a high level, but I wouldnīt expect anything else with session musicians like Tony Levin (bass), Jerry Marotta (drums, percussion) and Larry Fast (Moog, Prophet, Moog brass, electric percussion), playing on the album in addition to the mainman himself, who should also be mentioned for this strong performance. The sound production is among the strongest on the first four albums by Peter Gabriel. The eighties were sneaking into the sound with reverb and synthetic synths claiming a more dominant role in the soundscape, but itīs still organic enough to not sound cold. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is an astonishing album where impeccable song writing, a passionate performance and undisputed originality merge together seamlessly. I've always thought it the pinnacle of Gabriel's career but look, that's not what PA says, strange.

I fail to see how this could be called mainstream in any possible way. Except for the preceding Gabriel album there is next to nothing that sounded even remotely like this album. Certainly not in what came before, but often in what came after, as in the dark and sparse atmospheres of the Massive Attack album Mezzanine, which comes close to the unique atmosphere that is created here with the minimal percussion and unique keyboard effects.

Such an amount of originality is what I call the opposite of mainstream.

The songs are sure accessible and bound to appeal to a wide audience but again they are nothing like your standard 3-chord driven verse chorus rock song. Every track takes an entirely different approach, sometimes it's done by the tribal percussion, sometimes it's due to the cymbal-free drum kit, at other times it's by the intense emotionality of Gabriel's voice. Whatever the reason, every track had something that did not belong in pop music. Or have we forgotten that this album was from 1982?

The Rhythm of the Heat and San Jacinto are my favourites here. The first for its raw power, the second for its eerie beauty and sweeping melancholy. I Have the Touch and Shock the Monkey come closest to what might be called pop music. Not because they were intended as such but just because they somehow struck a chord with the tastes of the times, when originality, intensity and integrity were preferred over soulless technical swagger.

Yep, don't come nitpicking to me about the 80's. It was a wonderful era for music and this is one of its essential masterpieces.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Great Peter Gabriel album. I think, your point of view on this album will depend on your starting position: if you are old (Gabriel period) Genesis lover, you wouldn't find too much of mellow symphonic rock there. But if you bored to death with all that Genesis -clones all around , just listen a new sound of great Gabriel.

For me it is easy - I never could listen Genesis too much ( monotonious, boring mellow sound, long neverending repetetivous compositions, sleepy rhythm and voice,etc,etc). So, Gabriel solo works are much more interesting. And this one is one of the great.

Great musicians there not only play competent support to Gabriel's voice, but build new ,dark, almost cold athmosphere. Tony Levin /Jerry Marotta - two great musicians from period,when Genesis became just nice legend.Rhythm section are so perfect there! Peter Hammil and John Lord are not so feelable on music. Great using of african drumming, very unusual rhythms, suberb combination of african drums and pipes with some modern synth sounds.Rich bass/stick pulsation. Space in between didn't filled with usual keyboards or even guitar! Almost revolutionary sound ( for time of recording).

Yes, music is dry,soft and rounded, so for unprepared listener it often works as pop-oriented sound. But it isn't. Just try to listen few more times!

Yes, there are MTV top hit "Shock The Monkey" on this album. Yes, this song is more pop oriented. But believe me, if all MTV air will be filled with song like that, I can even watch that channel time to time!

Absolutely great album for listeners having their ears wide opened!

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album was a bit of a letdown for me considering, but how would it possibly be any different considering that Peter Gabriel 3 - "Melt" was Gabriel's greatest achievement. I guess that Peter had no real intention to make another artistic statement with Peter Gabriel 4 aka "Security" or "Mask" and instead chose to follow the same basic pattern of follow-ups to great classics like Queen's A Day At The Races and Deep Purple's Who Do We Think We Are, to name a few. The basic problem is that the artist is under a great deal of pressure to top his previous effort and therefore decides to make a change in direction instead of continuing pushing uphill.

Eventually this effort actually payed off for Peter Gabriel in terms of success and record sales. Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad album, I just don't see any really outstanding tracks and the best material here isn't anywhere near the compositions off the previous album. I'm always amazed when any popular artist releases a slightly weaker follow up release and actually get away with it. Things get even weirder when great artists like Peter Gabriel get the attention that thy deserve with on of the weaker release.

This is a good, but non-essential release for anyone interested in the experimental aspect of Gabriels music.

**** star songs: The Rhythm Of The Heat (5:18) San Jacinto (6:29) I Have The Touch (4:36) The Family And The Fishing Net (7:04) Shock The Monkey (5:29) Lay Your Hands On Me (6:11) Wallflower (6:35)

*** star songs: Kiss Of Life (4:16)

Total rating: 3,91

Review by fuxi
4 stars I cannot imagine what this album sounds like to someone born after 1990, as so many Progarchives users are. Perhaps it smacks a little too much of the early eighties (abundant use of orchestral synths and all) and it does not even have the advantage of sounding "quaint" and "antique", like early Genesis.

But if you can reconcile yourself with its unique idiom, there are a lot of treasures to be found. Generally speaking, Gabriel continues in the (largely) experimental style which characterised his third solo album, but where PG III was dark and ominous, PG IV is life-affirming, predominantly festive, exultant even. I tend to see III as black-and-white, but IV is in vibrant multicolor.

Many of the tunes are among the best Gabriel has written. In any retrospective box set of his work, I would definitely include "The Rhythm Of The Heat", "San Jacinto", "I Have The Touch" and "Kiss Of Life". Only two tracks turn out to be disappointments. "The Family And The Fishing Net" purports to deal with Weighty Themes, but as a piece of music it doesn't stand up; and "Wallflower" is a rather bland and unconvincing ballad.

By the way, have you noticed how Gabriel keeps returning to that triumphant climax of "Supper's Ready"? We've seen the gorgeously symphonic second half of "Humdrum" on his first solo album, and now he employs a similar effect in "San Jacinto", surely one of his strongest compositions. Once a symphonic progger, always a symphonic progger; in spite of all those fashionable New Wave trappings!

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars No shocks here

This album was Peter Gabriel's fourth album in a six year period. It was also the last of his four albums to be called simply 'Peter Gabriel'. His next studio album, that was still several years away at this point, would constitute a slight change of musical direction for him. It is thus very natural to draw a line just after Peter Gabriel 4 (or rather after the live album that he released the following year) between tho phases in Peter Gabriel's solo career; "the early" and "the later" Peter Gabriel, if you like.

For those who have heard his first three albums, there are really no big surprises here. It is possible, however, to trace a development over his four first albums away from Rock and towards experimental Pop. Rhythm was clearly more important than melody for Gabriel at this point and the rhythms are not conventional Rock rhythms. There is absolutely no question about this being Prog, it isn't. This is Art Pop, at best.

Once again, Gabriel had a couple of hit songs, most notably Shock The Monkey. And once again, I am left unimpressed and wondering why Gabriel is held in such high regard among fans of progressive Rock. This is by no means bad, but also not as strong as his previous album. I'll take 80's Genesis over this any day!

I think that Gabriel made a wise decision to release a live album after this and then take a rest for several years before the release of So in 1986 (he did work on movie soundtracks in the meantime though, something he would do more often in the future), he crearly needed some time away after this.

If you are about to explore Peter Gabriel's solo output, I would recommend to start with either Peter Gabriel 3 or Peter Gabriel Plays Live. The latter features tracks from all four of Gabriel's solo albums up to this point.

Review by Matti
3 stars The fourth eponymous Peter Gabriel album is the most percussion-heavy and the starkest of them - or any of his albums (and it seems to be the most respected here). It has some fantastic tracks in it, but somehow the LP that I have has never been much played. It may be the way it is produced that makes it a bit difficult for me to digest, plus the fact that there are two songs I can't stand. Those are 'I Have the Touch' and 'Kiss of Life'. The latter attempts to be joyful with some Caribbean style rhythm, but its sharp and hollow synth sounds sink it down fast. Hmm, "hollow synth sounds", to some extent these words describe in general the sound of this album. It is slightly sinister and depressing, evoking images of empty and cold cement rooms. Of course the video of 'Shock the Monkey' affects to these images too. The heavy, almost tribal-like percussion on many tracks effectively adds to the cold atmosphere.

I probably have said this same thing with #3, but here it is even more true: I strongly prefer live versions in Plays Live. That superb live album consists mostly of tracks from the 3rd and 4th albums. For example 'San Jacinto' is absolutely great song live but here it misses something. This album is full of exciting material but it's not produced in the best possible way, I think (some reviewers praise its production - well, in the end these are matters of taste!). That material was very much used also in the sountrack of the Alan Parker film Birdy, to a great effect. Speaking of Birdy, it's quite a coincidence that the emotional ballad 'Wallflower' almost could have been included in the film as a song too, with lyrics dealing of a troubled mind locked in a hospital. Instead it was included as a brief instrumental theme.

Unarguably this is a strong classic among Gabriel's discography, but I punish the stark and hollow sound by giving it only three stars. (That's unfairly two stars less than I gave to peter gabriel #3... OK, let us say this is 3,5 and #3 is 4,5 stars. The other is rounded down and the other up, but blame it on my feelings.)

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An album I worshipped when it came out and which received daily spins on my turntable, it slowly lost its lustre and now rarely receives much attention. Occasionally, I get in a Tony Levin mood or want to try to recapture the amazing experience of listening to "The Rhythm of the Heat," "Lay Your Hands on Me," or "San Jacinto" for the first time, but otherwise, the rest of the album has been relegated to things passé and out of date. The genius of incorporating the Ekome Dancers, Tony's ChapmanStick magic, as well as all of the samples funneled through his Fairlight CMI are now overshadowed by the overly-compressed and overly-clean sound as well as the over-familiarity with the song's more pop-oriented songs ("Shock the Monkey," "Kiss of Life," "I have the Touch," and the tribute to then-imprisoned Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, "Wallflower"). Impressive at the time; technologically dated now. Still, a nice step toward's Peter's "big" sound with his next album, "So"--and fun stuff to experience live in the concert hall.
Review by Warthur
5 stars Peter Gabriel had already revealed an increasing fascination with traditional African music in his previous solo album - particularly in the closing track Biko - but it was on his fourth solo album (the last one to go without a title) that he chose to incorporate aspects of world music into his sound on a wholesale basis. Working in parallel with others experimenting in this direction such as Talking Heads or the 80s King Crimson (which Tony Levin takes some time out from to lend his talents to Gabriel once again), Gabriel creates an intoxicating feast of interweaving rhythms and danceable beats with sufficient art rock sensibilities that it makes sense in the context of the rest of his solo career. It's possibly his most original and accomplished song-based album.
Review by Hector Enrique
4 stars The fourth of the albums called simply Peter Gabriel, or Security to differentiate themselves, closes a cycle in the music of the ex-vocalist of Genesis, to enter lands a little more accessible for the big market, but without losing its great composing quality.

Security shows us, like the 3 previous albums, a large number of collaborations by renowned musicians (Tony Levin, Robert Fripp among others), to deliver us small great speeches related to their concern about abuse of political prisoners (Wallflower), the near disappearance of American Indian culture (San Jacinto), or the importance of finally continuing to trust people (Lay your hands on me), the latter song that during his live performances, Gabriel threw himself with his back to the public and walked the front rows in this way, in a clear representation that despite everything we must trust.

All this within a wide spectrum of sound experimentations, taking Flockloric elements from different cultures, in what could be considered as an introduction to world music.

As for the songs themselves, I consider the highest points to be Wallflower, the sensitivity and depth with which she describes the confinement and the abuse, accompanied by a whispering piano and a melancholic and sad atmosphere, with Gabriel's almost bleeding voice is from the deepest part of the disc. Also San Jacinto, with that special voice, and accompanied by a dramatic narration that grows to become a kind of redemption for the American Indian. The aforementioned Lay Your Hands on Me, which despite being an apparently unnecessarily long song, shows us some verses and an evolution that far from boring allows us to enjoy a deep Gabriel, accompanied by instrumentation that complements and adds value to the song message. The The Rhythm Of The Heat, shows us a more than interesting participation of African drums.

Shock the Monkey must be one of the best known songs, if not the most, with a good rhythm and exploration of human jealousy through the observation of a monkey. Of similar style and rhythm we have I Have the Touch.

I consider that both The Family And The Fishing Net and Kiss Of Life, very good compositions that without reaching the level of the rest of the album, show Gabriel's interest in expanding his musical horizons.

In short, an excellent album and the end of the first part of his solo work.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I guess I'm not the only one with mixed feelings for this album, on one hand you got fantastic stuff like "San Jacinto", on the other hand there is some pop songs with the typical 80s sound we could live without. But unlike people usually think about Gabriel's fourth album, I would say this on ... (read more)

Report this review (#1164867) | Posted by BatBacon | Thursday, April 24, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The previous Peter Gabriel album was a work of art. As for this one - "The Rythm of the Heat" - very strong track with very powerful afro rythm throughout. This track is a brilliant opener to the album. It is easy with this track to get the feeling of being amidst a group of tribal drummers. ... (read more)

Report this review (#947894) | Posted by sukmytoe | Monday, April 22, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Peter Gabriel's fourth album - also known as Security - is one of my favourite Gabriel solo albums. Opening with the tribal drum work of "The Rhythm of the Heat" it also displays Gabriel's early moves toward what is known as world music. Keep in mind this album predates Paul Simon's Graceland by a g ... (read more)

Report this review (#618610) | Posted by FunkyM | Tuesday, January 24, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars At a time when Genesis and Phil Collins had completely sold out to the pop world, Peter Gabriel was rising to new heights with albums like Melt and Security. I had the great fortune to see Gabriel perform the tracks from Security live and was up front at the stage when he jumped into the aud ... (read more)

Report this review (#542170) | Posted by By--Tor | Wednesday, October 5, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars From 1982, SECURITY, MASK, PG 4, whatever you want to call it, is at the top of the charts in my book for all-time Peter Gabriel albums. At almost 30 years old, this is still as fresh as the first time I listened to it. "San Jacinto", "I Have the Touch", "Family and the Fishing Net", "Wallflower ... (read more)

Report this review (#493186) | Posted by mohaveman | Saturday, July 30, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Peter Gabriel is definitely an amazing artist. His music gives us different ways, ranging from lucid dreams and beauty to the terror, despair. He is the kind of artist that will widely respected by both the prog community and by lovers of pop music. But the career of Peter Gabriel is not pro ... (read more)

Report this review (#483653) | Posted by voliveira | Saturday, July 16, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is not just another review of Peter Gabriel 4. Itīs rather the story of Peter Gabriel 4. Yes itīs a lengthy story and it could have been done even longer. Pandora's Box knows no end. Once you start to write the story will bud by itself. Like in a botanical garden, the Japanese cherry tree carri ... (read more)

Report this review (#463578) | Posted by Per Kohler | Saturday, June 18, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Peter Gabriel's "Security" is a very revealing album. By that I don't mean that it reveals anything we didn't know about PG, but instead it unveils the true character of many so-called "prog" music fans. Granted, music is one of the most subjective art forms and no single piece of music will app ... (read more)

Report this review (#229270) | Posted by wbiphoto | Friday, July 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is a prog masterpiece - in fact its a very versatile record with pop songs (Shock the Monkey, I have the touch) World Music (Rhythm of the Heat, Kiss of Life) and a prog masterpiece (The Family and the Fishing Net - disturbing lyrics, disturbing music - but just fantastic once you got ... (read more)

Report this review (#167678) | Posted by strayfromatlantis | Wednesday, April 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Nice album. Peter Gabriel's first real incursion in world music (San Jacinto, Rhythm Of The Heat) and pop music (Shock The Monkey). Very difficult, indeed, to get into. Not as difficult as for the second album ('Scratch', ah ah), but this ain't a commercial album anyway - Pete Gab' will do much ... (read more)

Report this review (#163996) | Posted by Zardoz | Saturday, March 15, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I like to look at music as a living thing - Peter Gabriel, 1981 Frustrated with the musical and geographical limitations of western rock music in 1981 Peter Gabriel sought out alternative sources of technology and spirituality to create opaque atmospheres and images which probed into the de ... (read more)

Report this review (#159527) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Tuesday, January 22, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Undoubtedly, my favorite in his catalog. This is him at his artistic peak as a solo artist. I've never heard anything quite like this in my life. This continues his work with world influences that would culminate in "Passion". The percussion, especially is very world-driven. I knew this was ... (read more)

Report this review (#136346) | Posted by White Shadow | Wednesday, September 5, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A reasonable good album. Gabriel allows more etnic and folk rhythms to form the core of his difficult to access pop rock. And that's one of the things that appeals to me most in Gabriel recordings, he never uses an easy route for the music to evolve from, and the music is always challenging. ... (read more)

Report this review (#94090) | Posted by tuxon | Wednesday, October 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When I was younger, my father had introduced me to many prog style bands that would later influence my taste in music. Bands such as Pink Floyd, Yes, Kansas, and even Led Zeppelin were all among my father's Record and Cd collection. But "Peter Gabriel 4" was one of the few albums that stuck in ... (read more)

Report this review (#50152) | Posted by M Joel | Wednesday, October 5, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Naaahhh.. you can't do that to me after that wonderful "melting face" album. Yes, it's still very good, (ok, he's Gabriel you know) , but it's too much cheesy for my tastes (shock the monkey.. don't you know you're gonna...WHAT!!!... oh well, so much for those good old Gabriel Lyrics), looks ... (read more)

Report this review (#24013) | Posted by | Friday, May 6, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Characteristic Peter Gabriel's solo albums are very different compare to his former group, Genesis. Like others Peter Gabriel's solo album, "Peter Gabriel 4" is a world music album. Majority songs on the album very hard to be listened, domination of percussion sounds as causal factor. B ... (read more)

Report this review (#24012) | Posted by torro | Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is pretty good, although not up there with "So" and "Us". I really like the songs, "I Have The Touch", "Shock The Monkey" and "Kiss of Life". The song, "Kiss of Life" is not a "normal" Peter Gabriel-style song in that it's not dark - it's actually UPLIFTING and makes you feel happy! He ... (read more)

Report this review (#24011) | Posted by | Saturday, March 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In the beginning I must say, I do not like the world music. I mean the term. This is often, very often, nothing but an obscure cloud wherein pseudoartists without their own ideas use to hide themselves and play great magicians. But not Peter Gabriel. If something deserves to be named a world o ... (read more)

Report this review (#24010) | Posted by | Saturday, February 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Gabriel 4? This is SECURITY! At least that's what the album cover said when I got it. And oh, what a happy day that was. While already a huge fan of GENESIS and ANTHONY PHILLIPS by the time this album came out, this was my first PG solo album. There is not a weak song here, no fillers, just gr ... (read more)

Report this review (#24003) | Posted by | Thursday, December 23, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've been having a hard time deciding which Peter Gabriel solo album I like the best. The two that rival are this mesmerizing album and the bone-chilling "Us." In terms of quality, I find "Peter Gabriel 4" to be the better of the two. There are many albums that were released in 1982 that were ... (read more)

Report this review (#24000) | Posted by | Saturday, July 17, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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