Peter Gabriel – Peter Gabriel I

Peter Gabriel IPeter Gabriel’s first solo effort is an eye-opener for this kid who’d heard little of the former Genesis frontman until 1986’s So. I’ve always been impressed and inspired by the vast expanses of Gabriel’s musical style, and his 1977 album is no exception. So much has been made of Gabriel as world music spokesman and human rights activist, I sometimes think we’ve forgotten the splendor of Peter Gabriel, rock musician. The straight-ahead pop of “Solsbury Hill”, the harmonies of “Excuse Me”, and the orchestral-rock anthem “Down The Dolce Vita” speak to that oft-overlooked ability that Gabriel has to synthesize different styles, and come up with tunes that cross genre lines without sounding like cheesy attempts at crossovers. The music is also boosted by Bob Ezrin’s crisp production – I really wish Ezrin had produced the second album as well (which was instead handled by Robert Fripp). While Fripp clearly had a seminal influence on Gabriel, 3 out of 4there’s something clean and uncluttered about Ezrin’s presentation on the first album that I really liked. Rather than cloaking the vocals with layers of instrumentation – and, for the record, contrary to some reports, Peter Gabriel can sing – the vocals were crystal clear here. Come to think of it, so was everything else, and that’s something that I miss occasionally in Peter Gabriel’s thickly layered latter-day output.

Order this CD

  1. Moribund the Burgermeister (4:19)
  2. Solsbury Hill (4:20)
  3. Modern Love (3:37)
  4. Excuse Me (3:20)
  5. Humdrum (3:23)
  6. Slowburn (4:34)
  7. Waiting For The Big One (7:26)
  8. Down The Dolce Vita (4:43)
  9. Here Comes The Flood (5:54)

Released by: Atco
Release date: 1977
Total running time: 42:25