Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Games Without Frontiers" by Peter Gabriel

Song#:  0294
Date:  08/16/1980
Debut:  90
Peak:  48
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Rock, Art Rock



Pop Bits:  Gabriel embarked on a solo career when he left Genesis in 1975. His first of four self-titled albums came out in 1977 and did well, hitting the UK Top 10 and generating the UK #13 hit "Solsbury Hill" (#68 US). His follow-up second disc didn't fare as well, but 1980's "Peter Gabriel" (aka "Melt") became his first to really reach a sizable audience. Considered by many critics as his masterpiece, the album hit #1 in the UK and #22 in the US. It featured this lead single with guest vocals by Kate Bush.

ReduxReview:  I know folks slam the post-Gabriel Genesis, but when he left, I liked Genesis a lot more - well, up until they when totally Philly (Collins) pop. But I can say the same for Gabriel. His solo output has had some brilliant moments and in a lot of ways, artistically trumps most anything Genesis put out. He's theatrical, experimental and dark, yet he can retain a sense of pop music and not go overboard. This song is excellent and one of my favorites of his. If all you know is "Sledgehammer," you are missing out.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Each of Gabriel's first four albums were simple titled "Peter Gabriel." To distinguish between the albums, nicknames were given to each based on the cover image. "Peter Gabriel" #1 is usually referred to as "Car," then #2 as "Scratch," and #3 as "Melt." When #4 arrived it remained a self-titled album in the UK and elsewhere, but his US record company (Geffen) demanded it have a title, so it was released as "Security" in the US, which is now what it is commonly referred to worldwide.  2) This song's title is a translation of a European game show name. Originally in French, it was "Jeux Sans Frontières" and it revolved around teams competing at unusual skill games dressed in unusual costumes. Kate Bush's background vocals repeat the show title in French throughout the song, however it is often misheard as "She's So Popular."

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