Peter Gabriel – Peter Gabriel (1977)
New Business Idea: Form a travel company, offering tours of famous hills referenced in song.
On the travel itinerary:
– U2’s One Tree Hill in Auckland, New Zealand
– Fats Domino‘s Blueberry Hill, supposedly in New Mexico (“there’s a New Mexico?“)
– Peter Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill in Somerset, England.
Three songs, three continents, if one were so inclined, this reeks of potential!
Sticking with grouping items in threes, Peter Gabriel’s solo debut excels in three areas:
1) Its Personnel
– Robert Fripp is quickly climbing my list of underrated guitarists. With his work here and on Heroes, he had quite the year in ’77.
– Add another winning production to Bob Ezrin’s already impressive resume.
– Then there’s also the matter of the terrific lead singer.
2) Its “Normal” songs
– Solsbury Hill is a timeless tune, with an equally evergreen acoustic intro.
– The cowbell in Modern Love propels the song forward. On par with the Bowie tune of the same name (though each artist has written stronger songs, both Modern Loves are never less than agreeable).
– Humdrum starts with subtlety before growing into a majestic midsection. Great lyric about not needing a stethoscope as well.
3) Its “Weird” songs
A few months ago, when I was raving to my friend Mark about Kate Bush, he started singing Kate’s part from Don’t Give Up (her 1986 duet with Peter Gabriel). He didn’t disagree with my praising; I also didn’t disagree when he mentioned “she’s a bit of an odd duck.”
She’s not alone; one listen to the opener here, Moribund the Burgermeister (heck, even a glance at the song name itself), and Peter could easily join the eccentric waterfowl club. Speaking of business ideas, there may be band name potential there…
Which is where I’m thankful for the Maya Angelou quote, “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”
Mercifully, neither Kate nor Peter wasted much energy trying to be normal and created plenty of amazing music instead.