Tuesday, March 24, 2020

"Don't Give Up" by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush

Song#:  3082
Date:  04/04/1987
Debut:  91
Peak:  72
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Gabriel was at a career peak with his album So. Three singles had already hit the Pop Top 40 including the #1 "Sledgehammer" and the #8 "Big Time." To follow up the latter tune, this next single was issued out. The duet had already been a hit in the UK reaching #9, but it couldn't get anywhere in the US. It stumbled after a few weeks and fell of the chart. By the summer of '87, the album would be a double-platinum seller. Just over a decade after it was released, the LP would reach the five-million mark.

ReduxReview:  This is a beautiful and inspirational song. Gabriel and Bush were much bigger stars in the UK than the US so I'm not surprised this was a hit at home for them. It was like a major superstar duet. Although Gabriel had broken through in the US with his two previous Top 10's, Bush was still a mystery to most Americans, so the duet didn't have the same allure. It also wasn't the most pop radio-friendly track. I figured that it wasn't going to get anywhere on the chart. Regardless, it was one of the highlights from the LP and Bush's haunting voice was an inspired add.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Photographer Dorothea Lange captured some of the most striking and memorable images from the days of the US depression and the Dust Bowl. It was her photos that served as inspiration for this song. Gabriel wanted to make the song a duet with a US country singer whose roots would be reflective of the song's message. His ideal partner was Dolly Parton, but she ended up turning down the offer. He then turned to his friend Kate Bush and she accepted.  Several artists have covered this song over the years. Due to the lyrics, it has become a bit of a go-to charity song and most remakes have been recorded as benefit singles. In 2005, Alicia Keys and U2's Bono did a version to benefit the charity Keep a Child Alive. The tune was retitled "Don't Give Up (Africa)" and it got to #79 on the Pop chart. Australian singers Shannon Noll and Natalie Bassingwaighte hit #1 in their home country with a version that benefited Beyond Blue, an organization that addresses depression, suicide, and other mental disorders. Besides charity singles, other artists have recorded the duet including versions by Willie Nelson and SinĂ©ad O'Connor, P!nk and John Legend, and even Gabriel himself with two different partners. He performed the song on tour with Paula Cole, which ended up on his 1994 Secret World Live album. Then he did the tune with Norwegian singer Ane Brun for his 2011 LP New Blood, which featured Gabriel remaking his older songs in new orchestral arrangements.


No comments:

Post a Comment