Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.
Peter Gabriel solo is quite a different listening experience compared to his days with Genesis. I love both parts of his career equally (about 7 years with Genesis, 35+ years solo). His solo albums have incorporated radio friendly pop anthems, post-punk inspired noise, African rhythms, and Nine Inch Nails inspired industrial compositions – sometimes within the same track. Don’t Give Up was a duet with Kate Bush, released as a single from the 1986 album, So. Kate Bush provides an ethereal voice of hope in her verses, in response to Peter’s dour voice of resignation. The musical backing segues from a dark acoustic backing during the verses (Peter Gabriel) into an uplifting anthem during the chorus (Kate Bush). This is one of my favorite Peter Gabriel songs – solo or with Genesis. The lyrics seem to be ripped from the headlines of the last 5 years, not 1986. This is not a statement of damnation – it just shows that we don’t always have the answers needed when dealing with employment needs for hard-working, honest people. Often the unemployed are judged harshly but as the great author Arthur Nersesian once wrote “I had grazed along the surface of her actions and made deep judgments”. I think that applies to how people today can judge people who are working very hard, looking for employment. That’s what this song is all about, along with retaining a belief in self and never giving up. Key lyrics:
moved on to another town
tried hard to settle down
for every job, so many men
so many men no-one needs
don’t give up
’cause you have friends
don’t give up
you’re not the only one
don’t give up
no reason to be ashamed
don’t give up
you still have us
Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores lesser known tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.
These days most people remember Genesis for the radio friendly songs of the 80’s and very early 90’s (and probably think a few Phil Collins solo tracks are Genesis). Those in the know might proclaim their love of the early 70’s era of Genesis – boldly stating that Peter Gabriel is the only singer for Genesis that they admire. I tend to appreciate both eras for what they were but definitely have more love for the Peter Gabriel era. An interesting fact is that prior to becoming prog superstars, Genesis was basically a Bee Gees influenced pop rock band. This lasted for all of one album and a few non album songs. My favorite track from this era is “That’s Me”, released in early 1968 as the flip side of the single “The Silent Sun”. The track features an impassioned vocal delivery by an 18-year-old Englishman named Peter Gabriel. Rounding out the band is Anthony Philips on guitar, Tony Banks on keyboards, Michael Rutherford on bass & guitar, and John Silver on drums (Phil Collins didn’t appear on a Genesis record until 1971 with the release of their 3rd record, Nursery Cryme). Gabriel’s vocals have a weight far beyond his years and the music provides a mysterious Rock ‘n’ Roll backdrop. Go ahead and play the track embedded at the bottom of this short piece and find yourself amazed as an 18-year-old Peter Gabriel belts out these key lyrics:
They told me things about me that I didn’t know
But I could tell they’ve told me lies
And it really goes to show
That everyone was wrong
And they don’t understand my ways
But it’s not me that’s going wrong, it’s them
Part 2 of a series that will run every Friday throughout 2012 as I discuss records that have affected me throughout the years – Flashback Fridays
I wasn’t completely honest with you in last weeks column. Although by the age of 19 I had sworn off mainstream music (mainstream in the USA, anyway) I had a very dark secret. I tried to bring up this secret with friends at parties or over heated discussions about music whilst we all drank coffee. All to no avail. You see dear reader…I love Genesis. Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins – it doesn’t matter who is on vox (though I prefer Peter Gabriel). Heck, I am reduced to tears by the performance of “Against all Odds” by solo Phil Collins at Live Aid. I’m not sure how it started or why, but I do suspect my dad’s record collection had something to do with it.