Peter Gabriel Biography

Review The Artist (4)

Source: http://www.primenet.com/~carmina/pg/
Peter Gabriel-photo
BORN: February 13, 1950, London, England

Peter Gabriel has been writing songs for some 30 years. Before he hit the 'big time', he started writing songs while at about 11 or 12 years old. "The first song I wrote was called 'Sammy The Slug.' Everyone else was writing about girls, and I was writing about slugs, which shows what I was interested in." (PG quote).

While attending Charterhouse school in Surrey, England, he met up with Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Anthony Phillips and together started the band Genesis. Their first single "The Silent Sun" was 'on the air' in 1968. Anthony became ill and had to leave Genesis so the other band members went 'looking for someone' to replace him and the drummer, and in the fall of 1970 Steve Hackett and Phil Collins joined up. From 1967-1975 Peter Gabriel was part of this Genesis progressive song writing collaboration with songs ranging from classical and mythological themes to the humorous and absurd.

Feeling a need for a bit more of 'home sweet home', Peter Gabriel left Genesis and puttered around gardening and writing songs. In 1977 he released his first solo album which was a diverse collection of music ranging from classic pop to barbershop quartet to blues to grandiose orchestrations. From then on, Peter Gabriel has been a world explorer (and creator) of rhythms and sounds, an innovative musician often mixing today's newest technologies with the world's oldest instruments, and a catalyst for bringing more "World Music" musicians to a world wide audience.

Just as his music is layered with rhythms, wonderful instrumentations, and emotional vocals, his lyrics are layered with meaning and images which touch the listener. One of the most frequently asked questions about Peter Gabriel's music is "What is the meaning of the lyrics...where did he get the idea for this song?" We thought it would be fun to put together a list of quotes from Peter Gabriel with his 'perspective' on what is behind his lyrics. There are also other sources referenced when it is significant to a song. Have a look.

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Not just music, an experience! | Reviewer: Sean McNamara | 9/8/13

I got my first exposure to Peter Gabriel when I was in the US Navy in the very early 80's. I was familiar with post-Gabriel Genesis, probably since Abacab, but was completely ignorant of this incredible exerience-maker, Peter Gabriel. I had some friends that were very big Peter Gabriel fans, and I was introduced to his solo and earlier work with Genesis.
What strikes me most about Mr. Gabriel's works are that many of them cease to be just songs. In a typical song, music and lyrics are blended to tell a story or convey a mood. Peter Gabriel's works transcend the mere song. They are vehicles that engulf us in an experience through which every layer of sound and each word paint moods, feelings and truly touch your soul. It seems to me that he takes the best of every music and culture he encounters and weaves it into his already rich tapestry, where the sound, the experience is sophisticated and yet primal, all at once. It knocks down walls between us all and allows us to share, for all too short a time, a common human experience that is nothing short of genius.

The Man...The Musical Genius | Reviewer: Lesli | 10/18/11

I have been a Peter Gabriel fan since 1973 when I used to purchase the Genesis albums in the "Import" section of the music store. Since then I have followed Peter Gabriel throughout his musical journey with a vast variety of sounds, both wonderful and unique. I am in awe of his lyrics as well as his talent for his orchestral arrangements and at times find myself tearful at the beauty of those fantastic arrangements. Create on Peter as I look forward to every new and wonderful piece!!!

A True Artist | Reviewer: Scott | 11/24/10

The "works" of Peter Gabriel are a catalog of pure genius! The breadth of his talent to conquer any combination of instrumentation, rythym, sound and lyrics is exceedingly rare in the world, period. He is driven to an extreme not only to continue to open new doors in music and challange other musicians to join him in this dance to unite the world, but to bring awareness to the world stage. His timeless music comes from his heart and transcends the limits of thought. There are too few contemporaries of musical contribution of his caliber, in fact I can count them on one hand. "Scratch My Back" is a perfect example of how he can take something from the past, using his Merlin-like mind, and bring a whole new appreciation and presentation of music that can heal the soul.....And "Go Pledgmusic.com!"

Lost | Reviewer: sandra | 5/12/07

Where are the list of quotes from Peter Gabriel with his 'perspective' on what is behind his lyrics.


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