Friday, April 10, 2015

"Shock the Monkey" by Peter Gabriel

Song#:  1223
Date:  10/23/1982
Debut:  80
Peak:  29
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Rock, Art Rock

Pop Bits:  Gabriel's post-Genesis solo career began to heat up in the US with his third self-titled LP that featured the #48 pop entry "Games Without Frontiers." This single from his fourth self-titled album (titled "Security" in the US) kept the ball rolling and it became his first US Top 40 hit. The song was also highly successful at rock radio hitting #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart.

ReduxReview:  That Fairlight-induced groove is unmistakable and pretty great. There was really nothing on the radio at the time that sounded like this. I think it still holds up very well. Even though I liked this song, it still took me a long while to get into his music. College helped. The songwriting class I took focused on a couple of his songs including "Biko" and that's when I started to really pay attention. For a lot of people who weren't familiar with early Genesis, this was their first true taste of Gabriel's solo work. And it's a good one.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  In 2002, musician Cevin Soling had the idea to pair music artists with songs that they would most likely never even consider recording. Basically, odd match-ups such as Devo covering Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Ohio." Or Lesley Gore doing AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap." The album was called "When Pigs Fly: Song You Never Thought You'd Hear" and this Gabriel song was included in the bunch. The artist select to cover the tune was Hawaiian crooner Don Ho. However, it wasn't the first song choice for Ho. Initially, Prodigy's "Firestarter" was suggested to him, but Ho thought his fans might have some issues with the lyrics, so "Shock the Monkey" stepped in.


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