Although Peter Gabriel has shied from the limelight during the past decade, Universal's state-of-the-art reissue of his catalog should help remind record buyers of his status as an uncommonly creative

PETER GABRIEL
Peter Gabriel 3
PRODUCER: Steve Lillywhite
Real World/ GEffen 069-493-279


Peter Gabriel 4/ Security
PRODUCERS: David Lord, Peter Gabriel
Real World/Geffen 069-493-280


So
PRODUCERS: Daniel Lanois, Peter Gabriel
Real World/Geffen 069-493-284


Passion
PRODUCER: Peter Gabriel
Real World/Geffen 069-493-285



Although Peter Gabriel has shied from the limelight during the past decade, Universal's state-of-the-art reissue of his catalog should help remind record buyers of his status as an uncommonly creative, humanistic talent. Upon leaving Genesis in the late-'70s, Gabriel took awhile to find his true solo voice, with Peter Gabriel 1 and 2 brimming with energy but lacking cohesiveness. It was with 1980's Peter Gabriel 3 that the artist kicked off a golden decade. The hit "Games Without Frontiers," a charmingly oblique anti-war single, and "Biko," an homage to the titular South African political prisoner, are high points on a strong album. But with 1982's Peter Gabriel 4 (titled Security in the U.S.), Gabriel created a masterwork of towering sonic and emotional power. Employing African rhythms and textures both organically and synthetically, Gabriel fashioned primal, percussive mini-dramas; the hit "Shock the Monkey" is merely the entry point into a traversal of psychology, eroticism, and cultural otherness. And as expertly remastered by Tony Cousins, the thundering climaxes of such 4 tracks as "Lay Your Hands on Me" will test the mettle of any top-end sound system. Seemingly spent by the avant-intensity of 4, Gabriel developed a more playful brand of art-pop. More than a year in the making with super-producer Daniel Lanois, 1986's multiplatinum So yielded a slew of hit singles, including "Sledgehammer" and "In Your Eyes." As the '80s closed, Gabriel conjured another enduring gem in Passion, the score to Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ. Passion taps the talents of top world-music artists, as well as some age-old Middle Eastern motifs; yet the end product is a testament to Gabriel's vision, with his soundscape not only enhancing Scorsese's images but also producing a singular aural experience. The other reissues include a one-disc version of 1983's Peter Gabriel Plays Live, 1985 film score Birdy, 1990 best-of Shaking the Tree, and 1992's slightly disappointing solo set Us. New packaging includes rare session photos, with the initial pressing in limited-edition Digipacks.—BB

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print