Sunday, December 13, 2009

scratching post

Seems like 2010 is the year many legendary luminaries will return from the musical wilderness. Sade is making a much heralded return nine years after her last studio album. Now, Peter Gabriel breaks his long silence with a nearly ten year absence with a new longplayer due on February 15. Only one week after Sade unveils "Soldier Of Love".

PG returns with an album of covers cleverly titled "Scratch My Back". Gone are the monosyllabic titles. That's not the only thing that has disappeared. Peter describes it as a very personal record with twelve songs performed only with orchestral instruments and voice. Peter has recorded the album's eclectic array of cult favorites and classic tracks without any guitars, drums or electronics. It's quite a departure for him. You knew he couldn't just record a bunch of "other people's songs", to quote Erasure.

He performed Paul Simon's "The Boy In The Bubble" at last year's WOMAD festival. I'm very curious to hear his take on "Heroes", which is such a massive, signature tune for David Bowie that it's nearly impossible to imagine anyone else recording it. Covering Radiohead is quite a monumental challenge, even for an artist of Peter Gabriel's stature. So there will be plenty of surprises when "Scratch My Back" finally sees the light of day.

And as far as I know, it's the first album sleeve to feature two, dried apricots in the act of fornication.

The following is tracklisting for PG's forthcoming longplayer, only his eighth studio album in 32 years. Please note that the artist who recorded the original is listed next to each track.

1. Heroes (David Bowie)
2. The Boy In The Bubble (Paul Simon)
3. Mirrorball (Elbow)
4. Flume (Bon Iver)
5. Listening Wind (Talking Heads)
6. The Power Of The Heart (Lou Reed)
7. My Body Is A Cage (Arcade Fire)
8. The Book Of Love (The Magnetic Fields)
9. I Think It's Going To Rain Today (Randy Newman)
10. Après Moi (Regina Spektor)
11. Philadelphia (Neil Young)
12. Street Spirit (Radiohead)


  1. Hmmmm... I wonder if he will be rerecording "The Book Of Love" or using the same recording from the "Shall We Dance" soundtrack. Either way, a lovely song. :-)

    i am really psyched to hear the Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Randy Newman and Radiohead covers as well. What an amazing collection of songs!

  2. I can't say I've given a damn about peter gabriel for the last 23 or so years. But mamacita! does that cover ever look "familiar!!!"

    See the 2006 REVO BSOG® cover art, here:

  3. Alessandro LiccardoDecember 22, 2009 at 4:54 PM

    I've always loved "Listening Wind" and I'm curious about his own version. "The Book Of Love" from Shall We Dance is already a favourite, so I don't really care if he decided not to re-record it.

    The Magnetic Fields are also coming back!