Monday, March 14, 2016

"Solsbury Hill" by Peter Gabriel

Song#:  1580
Date:  08/27/1983
Debut:  90
Peak:  84
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Former Genesis front man Gabriel scored his first Top 40 entry with "Shock the Monkey," from his fourth self-titled solo album (known as Security in the US). A US tour would follow with performances being recorded. Portions of some shows were then stitched together for a double live concert LP called Plays Live. To promote the album, this song was selected for release as a single. It didn't make much of an impact on the Pop chart, but the success of Security helped push the album to #44. In the UK, it would be his fifth Top 10 LP reaching #8.

ReduxReview:  Anyone who follows this blog knows where I stand on live recordings (not a fan). While I'm sure this was terrific to see in person, the live version doesn't really add anything to the already fantastic studio version. In fact, it is pretty dull sounding. I'm sure the double-LP is a nice item for anyone who saw Gabriel in concert during these shows or for die hard fans, but for me it's unnecessary. Oddly enough, as I write this entry I have been listening to Gabriel's first five studio albums quite a bit. He certainly did some brilliant work and I've been hooked on it lately. Faves I've repeated several times include "Moribund the Burgermeister," "Biko," "Intruder," and "Here Comes the Flood." Do yourself a favor - skip this live stuff and head straight to the real deal albums. (Note: the rating reflects the live single. The song itself in its original studio version is a definite 9.)

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is a live version of Gabriel's very first single as a solo artist. Taken from his 1977 self-titled debut album, the song would be a hit in the UK reaching #13. It also reached the US chart, but could only manage a #68 peak. The song is a bit of a reflection on Gabriel's decision to leave Genesis and head out on his own.  2) Plays Live featured one previously unreleased song called "I Go Swimming." That tune would get some attention at Rock radio where it would briefly hit the chart at #38. A studio version of the song would later be included on the soundtrack album to the 1984 Rick Springfield movie Hard to Hold.


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