Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Peter Gabriel (1980 album)

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Recorded  Spring–Summer 1979
Artist  Peter Gabriel
Label  Virgin Records
Length  45:32
Release date  23 May 1980
Producer  Steve Lillywhite
Peter Gabriel (1980 album) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumb8
Released  23 May 1980 (1980-05-23)
Studio  Bath and Townhouse in London
Genres  Progressive rock, Pop rock, Art rock, New wave, Experimental rock
Similar  Peter Gabriel albums, Progressive rock albums

Peter Gabriel is the third album by English rock musician Peter Gabriel, released in May 1980. The album has been acclaimed as Gabriel's artistic breakthrough as a solo artist and for establishing him as one of rock's most ambitious, innovative musicians. Gabriel also explored more overtly political material with two of his most famous singles, the anti-war song "Games Without Frontiers" (which became a number four hit and remains his joint highest charting single in the UK) and the anti-apartheid protest song "Biko", which remembered the murdered activist Steve Biko. The album was remastered, along with most of Gabriel's catalogue, in 2002.


This album is often referred to as Melt owing to its cover photograph by Hipgnosis.

Peter gabriel mercy street 1986 hd


Gabriel's ex-Genesis band mate Phil Collins, who succeeded Gabriel as Genesis' lead vocalist, plays drums on several of the album's tracks. In particular, Collins played drums on "Intruder", which has been cited as the first use of Collins' "gated drum" sound. This effect, as created by Steve Lillywhite, Collins and Hugh Padgham, was featured on Collins' and Genesis's recordings throughout the 1980s. The distinctive sound was identified via experiments by Lillywhite, Collins and Padgham, in response to Gabriel's request that Collins and Jerry Marotta not use cymbals on the album's sessions. The sound was significant enough and influential enough that it has been claimed by Gabriel, Padgham, Collins, and Lillywhite. The drum sound on this album has been noted by Public Image Ltd as influencing the sound on their album Flowers of Romance, whose engineer, Nick Launay, was in turn employed by Collins to assist him with his first solo album, Face Value. Paul Weller, who was recording with his band The Jam in a nearby studio, was asked to contribute guitar to "And Through The Wire". Gabriel believed Weller's intense guitar style was ideal for the track.

The album, produced by Gabriel and Lillywhite, was Gabriel's first and only release for Mercury Records in the United States, after being rejected by Atlantic Records, who handled U.S. distribution for Gabriel's first two solo albums and his last two albums with Genesis. Upon hearing mixes of the album's session tapes in early 1980, Atlantic A&R executive John Kalodner deemed the album not commercial enough for release, and recommended that Atlantic drop Gabriel from their artist roster. By the time the album was released by Mercury several months later, Kalodner, now working for the newly formed Geffen Records label and having realised his mistake, arranged for Geffen to pursue Gabriel as one of their first artist signings. Geffen (at the time distributed by Atlantic sister label Warner Bros. Records) re-issued the album in 1983 after Mercury's distribution rights to the album lapsed, and had marketed it in the United States until 2010, when Gabriel's back catalogue was reissued independently by Real World Records. (Coincidentally, Mercury is now sister label to Geffen after Mercury's parent PolyGram merged with Geffen's parent Universal Music Group in 1999.)

"I Don't Remember" was performed as early as on Gabriel's 1978 tour for his second album. An earlier studio version was to be the A-side of the first 7" single released in advance of the album by Charisma in Europe and Japan, but a Charisma executive thought Robert Fripp's guitar solos were not radio-friendly enough. This earlier version wound up as the B-side of the advance "Games Without Frontiers" single instead in those territories. To date, it has not officially been released on CD. The album version of this song appeared as the A-side of a 12" single in The United States and Canada.

Track listing

All tracks written by Peter Gabriel.


  • Peter Gabriel – lead vocals (all except 3); backing vocals (1, 5, 8); piano (1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10); synthesizer (3, 4, 7, 8); bass synthesizer (7); drum pattern (10); whistles (7)
  • Kate Bush – backing vocals (2, 7)
  • Dave Gregory – guitar (4, 5)
  • Robert Fripp – guitar (2, 4, 8)
  • David Rhodes – guitar (1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10), backing vocals (1, 4, 8)
  • Paul Weller – guitar (6)
  • Larry Fast – synthesizer (1, 2, 3, 7, 10), processing (2, 4, 8), bass synthesizer (7), bagpipes (10)
  • John Giblin – bass (2, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  • Tony Levin – Chapman stick (4)
  • Jerry Marotta – drums (4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10), percussion (7, 8)
  • Phil Collins – drums (1, 2); drum pattern (1); snare drum (5); surdo (10)
  • Dick Morrissey – saxophone (3, 5, 9)
  • Morris Pert – percussion (1, 2, 9)
  • Dave Ferguson – screeches (10)
  • Steve Lillywhite – producer; whistles (7)
  • Hugh Padgham - engineer; whistles (7)
  • Artwork

    The photo was taken with a Polaroid SX-70 instant camera. The sleeve's designer Storm Thorgerson said: "Peter himself joined with us at Hipgnosis in disfiguring himself by manipulating Polaroids as they 'developed'... Peter impressed us greatly with his ability to appear in an unflattering way, preferring the theatrical or artistic to the cosmetic."

    Critical praise

    In 1989, the album was ranked No. 45 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Albums of the 80's".

    In 2000, Q magazine placed the album at No. 53 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.

    In 2006, Q placed the album at No. 29 in its list of "40 Best Albums of the '80s", the only Gabriel album to make the top 40.

    Ein deutsches Album

    Ein deutsches Album (English:A German Album), released in July 1980, is a German-language version of Peter Gabriel. Gabriel sang German vocals on top of completely new recorded instrumental and backing vocal tracks. The German lyrics are translations from the English. Two years later, Gabriel released Deutsches Album (1982), a significantly altered version of his fourth album Peter Gabriel (1982) (Security in The United States and Canada). In February 1980 German-language versions of "Games Without Frontiers" and "Here Comes the Flood" were released as a single in Germany. German adaptation was done by H. Konigstein

    All songs written by Peter Gabriel. "Texte" (that is, lyrics) by Peter Gabriel and Horst Königstein.

    Side one
    1. "Eindringling" – 5:00
    2. "Keine Selbstkontrolle" – 4:00
    3. "Frag mich nicht immer" – 6:04
    4. Combines the instrumental "Start" with the German version of "I Don't Remember".
    5. "Schnappschuß (Ein Familienfoto)" – 4:26
    6. "Und durch den Draht" – 4:28
    Side two
    1. "Spiel ohne Grenzen" – 4:07
    2. "Du bist nicht wie wir" – 5:32
    3. "Ein normales Leben" – 4:21
    4. "Biko" – 8:55


    2No Self Control3:56


    Peter Gabriel (1980 album) Wikipedia