25 July 2016 - PETER GABRIEL





PETER GABRIEL

G'day folks,

Welcome to some details on a very famous singer and songwriter. Once a member of the band Genesis, Peter Gabriel is a British singer and songwriter who had such hits as "Games Without Frontiers," "Sledgehammer" and "In Your Eyes."

Synopsis


British musician Peter Gabriel started the progressive rock group Genesis in the 1960s. After breaking from the band in 1975, he has gone on to enjoy tremendous success as a solo artist. His 1986 album So featured such hits as “Sledgehammer, “Big Time” and “In Your Eyes.” Gabriel later released Us (1992) and Up (2002). He is also one of the founders of the WOMAD Foundation and Real World Records. 

 Early Life

 

Born on February 13, 1950, in Woking, England, musician and singer Peter Gabriel has created such hits as “Shock the Monkey,” “Sledgehammer,” “Big Time” and “In Your Eyes.” He grew up on a farm in Coxhill near Chobham. His father Ralph was an electric engineer and avid inventor. His mother Edith passed down her love of music to her son. After attending local schools, Gabriel went to Charterhouse, a boarding school, at the age of 13.
At Charterhouse, Gabriel explored his interest in music. There he and friend Tony Banks perform together in a band called the Garden Wall and met fellow musicians Anthony Phillips and Mike Rutherford. The four eventually join forces to form the future progressive rock act Genesis. 



The Genesis Years 

Gabriel released his first single with Genesis in 1968, and the band released its first album From Genesis to Revelation in 1969. This record failed to attract much notice, but the group finally began to catch on with listeners by 1971’s Nursery Cryme. This album broke into the UK’s top 40 album chart. Their next effort, 1972’s Foxtrot, climbed higher, reaching the number 12 spot. The band was probably best known, however, for its live shows. 
 Gabriel gave intriguing performances on stage, often involving costumes and props. 

Genesis continued to thrive professionally over the next few years, but tensions began to emerge within the band. Gabriel took time away from the group to work on a project with director William Friedkin in 1974. "Genesis, at that time, were not into anyone having extracurricular activities," Gabriel told Rolling Stone. And there was also a certain jealousy, because as frontman I was being credited as sole creative source of the band, which was really unfair,” he added. Gabriel’s last album with Genesis was 1974’s The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway



Successful Solo Artist 

After leaving Genesis, Gabriel soon embarked on a solo career. He put his first self-titled album in 1977, which featured the song “Solsbury Hill.” Quickly following up this initial effort, Gabriel released his second self-titled record the following year. One of the album’s best known tracks was “D.I.Y.” With 1980’s Peter Gabriel, he experienced his first major success on the music charts. The song, “Games Without Frontiers,” was a top 5 hit in Britain and made the top 40 in the United States. Another track from the record “Biko,” written about slain anti-Apartheid activist Steve Biko, “became a very important song for me,” Gabriel wrote on his website. “I’d not written an overtly political song before and was wondering if it would be accepted.” Interested in many of types of creative expression, he helped found the World of Music, Arts and Dance Foundation, better known as WOMAD, around this time.

 The organization held its first festival two years later. Gabriel also branched out into different music genres, composing the score for the 1984 film Birdy.
 Gabriel reached even greater heights with So, his fifth studio album, in 1986. The energetic, catchy song “Sledgehammer” became a big hit for him, propelled in part by the accompanying creative video. “Big Time” was another popular, rhythmically driven track from the album. Gabriel also demonstrated his gift for slower, more dramatic songs such as “In Your Eyes” and “Don’t Give Up.” "In Your Eyes" drew a cult following after it was featured in the soundtrack of Cameron Crowe's iconic 1989 teen romance film Say Anything.



To support human rights, Gabriel participated in two tours for Amnesty International around this time. He also went on to win his first Grammy Award in 1989 for Passion: Music from The Last Temptation of Christ, which he wrote for Martin Scorseses film The Last Temptation of Christ. Around this time, Gabriel also helped establish the Real World Records label. He returned to the rock music scene with 1992’s Us, which featured such popular songs as “Steam” and Digging in the Dirt.” For both of these tunes, Gabriel picked up Grammy wins for their imaginative videos.

Nearly a decade after Us, Gabriel released Up (2002), which failed to match the success of his earlier efforts. Still songs such as “Signal to Noise” and “The Barry Williams Show” received positive notice. More recently, Gabriel worked on a pair of themed albums. First came Scratch My Back in 2010, which offered listeners Gabriel’s take on the music of other artists. Many of these artists returned the favor by covering some of Gabriel’s classic songs on And I’ll Scratch Yours (2013). In 2016, he announced that he will be touring with Sting that summer.

 Personal Life 

 

Gabriel is married to Meabh Flynn. The couple has two sons, Isaac and Luc, together. Gabriel also has two daughters, Anna and Melanie, from his first marriage to Jill Moore.

 

Clancy's comment: Good for him. 

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