Shock the monkey - Peter Gabriel - 1983

Peter Gabriel

Shock the monkey

Peter Gabriel

Source: Wikipedia

Peter Brian Gabriel (born 13 February 1950) is an English singer-songwriter, musician and humanitarian activist who rose to fame as the original lead singer and flautist of the progressive rock band Genesis. After leaving Genesis in 1975, Gabriel went on to a 

successful solo career, with "Solsbury Hill" his first single. His 1986 album, So, is his most commercially successful, and is certified triple platinum in the UK and five times platinum in 

the U.S. The album's biggest hit, "Sledgehammer", won a record nine MTV Awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards, and it remains the most played music video in the history of MTV.

Gabriel has been a champion of world music for much of his career. He co-founded the WOMAD festival in 1982. He has continued to focus on producing and promoting world music through his Real World Records label. He has also pioneered digital distribution 

methods for music, co-founding OD2, one of the first online music download services. Gabriel has been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts. In 1980, he released the anti-apartheid single "Biko". He has participated in several human rights benefit concerts, 

including Amnesty International's Human Rights Now! tour in 1988, and co-founded the WITNESS human rights organisation in 1992.Gabriel developed The Elders with Richard Branson, which was launched by Nelson Mandela in 2007.

Gabriel has won three Brit Awards—winning Best British Male in 1987, six Grammy Awards, thirteen MTV Video Music Awards, the first Pioneer Award at the BT Digital Music Awards, the Q magazine Lifetime Achievement,[14] the Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime 

Achievement, and the Polar Music Prize. He was made a BMI Icon at the 57th annual BMI London Awards for his "influence on generations of music makers". In recognition of his many years of human rights activism, he received the Man of Peace award from the Nobel 

Peace Prize Laureates, and TIME magazine named Gabriel one of the 100 most influential people in the world. AllMusic has described Gabriel as "one of rock's most ambitious, 

innovative musicians, as well as one of its most political". He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010, followed by his induction as a solo artist in 2014.

Gabriel recorded his first self-titled solo album in 1976 and 1977 with producer Bob Ezrin.
His first solo success came with the single "Solsbury Hill", an autobiographical piece about a personal spiritual experience on top of the Iron Age hill fort, Solsbury Hill, in Somerset, 

England. Gabriel has said of the song's meaning, "It's about being prepared to lose what you have for what you might get... It's about letting go."[28] Although mainly happy with the 

music, Gabriel felt that the album, and especially the track "Here Comes the Flood" was over-produced. Sparser versions can be heard on Robert Fripp's Exposure, and on Gabriel's greatest hits compilation Shaking the Tree: Sixteen Golden Greats (1990).

Gabriel worked with guitarist Fripp as producer of his second solo LP, in 1978. This album was leaner, darker and more experimental, and yielded decent reviews, but no major hits.

Gabriel developed a new interest in world music (especially percussion), and for bold production, which made extensive use of recording tricks and sound effects. His third album is often credited as the first LP to use the now-famous "gated drum" sound.[29] Phil Collins 

played drums on several tracks, including the opener, "Intruder", which featured the reverse-gated, cymbal-less drum kit sound which Collins would also use on his single "In the Air Tonight", becoming his signature sound in the 1980s. Gabriel had requested that his 

drummers use no cymbals in the album's sessions, and when he heard the result he asked Collins to play a simple pattern for several minutes, then built "Intruder" around it. The album achieved some chart success with the songs "Games Without Frontiers" (No. 4 UK, No. 48 U.S.), and "Biko".

Arduous and occasionally damp recording sessions at his rural English estate in 1981 and 1982 resulted in Gabriel's fourth LP release, on which Gabriel took more production responsibility. It was one of the first commercial albums recorded entirely to digital tape 

(using a Sony mobile truck), and featured the early, extremely expensive, Fairlight CMI sampling computer, which had already made its first brief appearances on the previous album. Gabriel combined a variety of sampled and deconstructed sounds with world-beat 

percussion and other unusual instrumentation to create a radically new, emotionally charged soundscape. The sleeve art consisted of inscrutable, video-based imagery. Despite the album's peculiar sound, odd appearance, and often disturbing themes, it sold very well. 

This album featured his first Top 40 hit in the U.S., "Shock the Monkey", as well as the song "I Have the Touch". The music video for "Shock the Monkey", which featured Gabriel 

in white face paint and a caged macaque, received heavy play on MTV. Geffen Records gave his fourth self-titled album a name in the U.S., Security, to mark his arrival on the label and to differentiate the album from the first three.

Alternate versions of Gabriel's third and fourth albums were also released with German lyrics. The third Peter Gabriel consisted of basically the same recording overdubbed with new vocals, while the fourth Peter Gabriel was also remixed and several tracks were extended or altered in slight ways.

Gabriel toured extensively for each of his albums. Initially, he pointedly eschewed the theatrics that had defined his tenure with Genesis. For his second solo tour, his entire band shaved their heads. By the time of the fourth album he began involving elaborate stage 

props and acrobatics which had him suspended from gantries, distorting his face with Fresnel lenses and mirrors, and wearing unusual make-up. Recordings of the 1982 tour 

supporting his fourth Peter Gabriel album were released as the double LP Plays Live. Some of the dates of his 1983 summer tour of the U.S. and Canada included a section opening for David Bowie.

The stage was set for Gabriel's critical and commercial break-out with his next studio release, which was in production for almost three years. During the recording and 

production of the album he also developed the film soundtrack for Alan Parker's 1984 feature Birdy, which consisted of new material as well as remixed instrumental tracks from his previous studio album.

Gabriel achieved his greatest popularity with songs from the 1986 album So. The album charted at No. 1 in the UK Albums Chart, and No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S. It is certified triple platinum in the UK, and five times platinum in the U.S. The album produced 

three UK Top 20 hits, "Sledgehammer", "Big Time", and "Don't Give Up" – a duet with Kate Bush. The album also produced three Top 40 hits in the U.S., "Sledgehammer", "In Your Eyes" (featured in the John Cusack film Say Anything), and "Big Time". "Sledgehammer" 

peaked at No. 1 in the United States, knocking Genesis' "Invisible Touch" off the top spot, and No. 4 in the UK. The ballad "Don't Give Up" was about the devastation of 

unemployment. Gabriel co-produced So with Daniel Lanois, also known for his work with U2 and Brian Eno. In 1990, Rolling Stone ranked So number No. 14 on its list of "Top 100 Albums of the Eighties".

Gabriel performing in Giants Stadium, New Jersey, June 1986 "Sledgehammer," which dealt specifically with the themes of sex and sexual relations through lyrical innuendos, was accompanied by a much-lauded music video, which was a collaboration with director 

Stephen R. Johnson, Aardman Animations, and the Brothers Quay. The video set a new standard for art in the music video industry, and won nine MTV Video Music Awards in 1987, a record which still stands as of 2015. "Sledgehammer" is the most played music 

video in the history of MTV, and in 1998 it was named the station's number one animated video of all time. A follow-up video for the song "Big Time" also broke new ground in music video animation and special effects. The song is a story of "what happens to you when you 

become a little too successful", in Gabriel's words. The success of the album earned Peter Gabriel two awards at the Brit Awards in 1987: Best British Male Solo Artist and Best British Video for "Sledgehammer". Gabriel was also nominated for three Grammy Awards: Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year.

In 1989, Gabriel released Passion, the soundtrack for Martin Scorsese's movie The Last Temptation of Christ. For this work he received his first Grammy Award, in the category of 

Best New Age Performance. He also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score – Motion Picture. The video that accompanied the album, ZAAR, was done by Stefan Roloff in his pioneering Moving Painting technique.

Gabriel released Us in 1992 (also co-produced with Lanois), an album in which he explored the pain of recent personal problems; his failed first marriage, and the growing distance between him and his first daughter.

Gabriel's introspection within the context of the album Us can be seen in the first single release "Digging in the Dirt" directed by John Downer. Accompanied by a disturbing video featuring Gabriel covered in snails and various foliage, this song made reference to the 

psychotherapy which had taken up much of Gabriel's time since the previous album. Gabriel describes his struggle to get through to his daughter in "Come Talk To Me" directed by Matt Mahurin, which featured backing vocals by Sinéad O'Connor. O'Connor also lent vocals to 

"Blood of Eden", directed by Nichola Bruce and Michael Coulson, the third single to be released from the album, and once again dealing with relationship struggles, this time going right back to Adam's rib for inspiration. The result was one of Gabriel's most personal 

albums. It met with less success than So, reaching No. 2 in the album chart on both sides of the Atlantic, and making modest chart impact with the singles "Digging in the Dirt" and the 

funkier "Steam", which evoked memories of "Sledgehammer". Gabriel followed the release of the album with a world tour (with Paula Cole or Joy Askew filling O'Connor's vocal role) and accompanying double CD and DVD Secret World Live in 1994.

Gabriel employed an innovative approach in the marketing of the Us album. Not wishing to feature only images of himself, he asked artist filmmakers Nichola Bruce and Michael Coulson to co-ordinate a marketing campaign using contemporary artists. Artists such as 

Helen Chadwick, Rebecca Horn, Nils-Udo, Andy Goldsworthy, David Mach and Yayoi Kusama collaborated to create original artworks for each of the 11 songs on the multi-million-selling CD. Coulson and Bruce documented the process on Hi-8 video. Bruce left 

Real World and Coulson continued with the campaign, using the documentary background material as the basis for a promotional EPK, the long-form video All About Us and the interactive CD-ROM Xplora1.

Gabriel won three more Grammy Awards, all in the Music Video category. He won the Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video in 1993 and 1994 for the videos to "Digging in the Dirt" and "Steam" respectively. Gabriel also won the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video for his Secret World Live video.

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