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Big Blue Ball CD

14 customer reviews

Price: £10.71 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£10.71 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (28 July 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Real World
  • ASIN: B001BJH3UE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,977 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Whole Thing (Original Mix) (feat. Peter Gabriel, Francis Bebey, Alex Faku, Tim Finn, Karl Walllinger, Andy White)
2. Habibe (feat Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Neil Sparkes)
3. Shadow (feat. Juan Cañizares, Papa Wemba)
4. Altus Silva (feat. Joseph Arthur, Ronan Browne, Deep Forest, James McNally, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Vernon Reid)
5. Exit Through You (feat. Joseph Arthur, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger)
6. Everything Comes From You (feat. Richard Evans, Joji Hirota, Sevara Nazarkhan, Sinead O'Connor, Guo Yue)
7. Burn You Up, Burn You Down (feat. Peter Gabriel, Billy Cobham, The Holmes Brothers, Wendy Melvoin, Arona N diaye, Jah Wobble)
8. Forest (feat. Levon Minassian, Arona N Diaye, Vernon Reid, Hukwe Zawose)
9. Rivers (feat. Vernon Reid, Marta Sebestyen, Karl Wallinger)
10. Jijy (feat. Arona N Diaye, Rossy, Jah Wobble)
11. Big Blue Ball (feat. Karl Wallinger, Peter Gabriel, Manu Katché)

Product Description

Product Description

Almost eighteen years in the making, Big Blue Ball grew from three extraordinary Recording Weeks at Real World Studios in the summers of 1991, 1992 and 1995. Produced by Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger (of World Party, Waterboys) and Stephen Hague (Pet Shop Boys, OMD), BBB is a unique collection of stellar artists and songs - including Gabriel, Wallinger, Sinead O Connor, Natacha Atlas, Iarla O Lionaird and James McNally (both of Afro Celt Sound System), Papa Wemba, Joseph Arthur, Hukwe Zawose, Hungary s Marta Sebestyen, Tim Finn, Justin Adams, Jah Wobble, Billy Cobham, gospel group the Holmes Brothers, flamenco guitarist Juan Canizares, Japanese percussionist Joji Hirota, and many more...in all totaling 75 artists from over 20 countries. "It s like a wall of sound coming at you, listening to the planet from outer space, Karl Wallinger says of the final mix "It s a real world-view of music, a snapshot of the music-making continents at that time. It s a more apt time to release it now than ever before. I think it s actually gathered weight with time, because it s people from all over the world playing together, just getting on together. There s an iconic aspect about that which is probably more important now. Things have become more partisan. It s a timely reminder of how you can cooperate."

From the Artist

"One week in the middle of summer this craziness exploded in our Real World Studios. We had this week of invited guests, people from all around the world, fed by music and a 24 hour café. It was a giant playpen, a bring your own studio party. There'd be a studio set up on the lawn, in the garage, in someone's bedroom as well as the seven rooms we had available. We were curators of sorts of all this living mass. We had poets and songwriters there, people would come in and scribble things down, they'd hook up in the café. It was like a dating agency, then they'd disappear into the darkness and make noises - and we'd be there to record it." - Peter Gabriel, producer and performer.

"It used the facilities in the best possible way. It was what Real World was designed for. The way that it's built, the way the rooms are put together, the spaces like the big room that really came into their own. I don't think could have happened anywhere else." - Richard Chappell, recording engineer.

"It was an amazing feeling, with all of it happening at once. There were different producers in different studios. John Leckie, Phil Ramone, people you respect, it was fun to dive in -- I'd do guest guitar in one room, a bit of singing in another." Karl Wallinger, performer and producer.

"After all these years, it's a fine wine ready to be drunk," says Peter Gabriel, "It was the most fun music making I've ever had. I'd love to do it again."

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 Aug. 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
'Big Blue Ball' is a true world album in every sense of the word, with a hugely diverse and inspiring collection of artists in one place. From the wonderful album opener 'Whole Thing' you know you're in for a real treat. This song sounds strongly like a Peter Gabriel solo track, which is no bad thing at all. 'Habibe' has a beautiful Arabic feel, 'Shadow' is reminiscent of the Gypsy kings and 'Altus Silva' has heavenly celtic influences. Just some of the world influences on show here. There are haunting and moving lyrics on 'Everything Comes From You' and I could sit back and immerse myself in this track over and over. 'Burn You Up, Burn You Down' was originally heard on Peter Gabriel's 'Hit' CD and this alternative version is just as good nestled in the middle of this album. The sessions for this album became a hot bed of creativity and poetry and it is evident on every track. As Peter Gabriel described it, the sessions became like a musical dating agency with many artists coming together and writing and recording, and you can see that this album is the wonderful result of all those collaborations. The offspring of all those various musical liaisons. 'Rivers' has moving vocals and brooding emotion throughout and although my least favourite, the rap of 'Jijy' shows just how diverse and varied this album actually is. Finally you get the excellent and uplifting album closer 'Big Blue Ball' which tops off an evocative and stirring musical journey. It is rare for me to give a virtual track by track run down of an album but this offers so much variety, passion and beautiful music that every song here warrants a mention. A superb album and as you may have guessed, one I highly recommend.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By dalek78 on 28 July 2008
Format: Audio CD
Big Blue Ball is not a Peter Gabriel solo album, but a collection of tracks recorded at Gabriel's Real World Studios throughout three recording weeks in 1991, 1992 and 1995. It is the culmination of the work of musicians from all around the world, and it's nice to finally hear the results, albeit well over a decade later, which in Gabriel time is quite a fast turnaround.

Gabriel does take lead vocals on a couple of tracks, the first of these is opening number "Whole Thing" (as featured throughout Ewan McGregor's Long Way Down series), which is a wonderful song with one of the finest Gabriel vocals in a long time. The Gabriel and Karl Wallinger partnership really shines throughout this collection of songs, but most prominently on this track and the original version of "Burn You Up, Burn You Down" - the third version of this particular song, which differs from both the 2003 single release and the heavily synthesised version on Gabriel's Hit compilation.

The highlight for me though, is the Joseph Arthur/Gabriel duet, "Exit Through You", featuring a typical Gabriel groove, distorted drums and a wonderful performance from Peter. I was however, left craving for an all-Gabriel version, as this could have easily been a classic.

Nowadays, music making seems to be the last thing on Gabriel's list of priorities, and although as a visionary and ideas man, he's untouchable, there are still some of us who are craving for some new music from him, so for now, this is as good as it gets. Gabriel doesn't dominate the album though, only featuring heavily on the above three tracks, leaving a wealth of talent from across the globe, shine throughout the rest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By guzzifella on 7 Aug. 2010
Format: Audio CD
I've been a great Peter Gabriel fan and also loved the intelligent pop of Karl Wallinger's World Party, so when I discovered they'd been the main collaborators on Big Blue Ball it was a must-have. I was prepared to be disappointed. Albums made by chums getting together for a few days at their house in the country can turn out to be predictable re-hashes of past glories or self-indulgent noodling, but this contains some of the best material either has turned out.
There are other stand-out tracks from some of the world music artists Gabriel has nurtured and promoted. One or two tracks have the feel of a good riff that hasn't really gone anywhere, but there's not a single track on the album that I skip over when it's in the player, and that's very often.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marchespie on 28 Oct. 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A surprise release from Peter Gabriel, and an unexpected pleasure. Some of Gabriel's output over recent years has been patchy at best (like Ovo and the Rabbit Proof Fence soundtrack) and it seemed too much to hope that this collective effort could be as good as his most recent studio album Up. Ok, it's not as good as Up, and it's not a Gabriel solo effort, featuring a great many musicians and composers, but this compares very well with the music on Gabriel's Passion and Us.

It opens with Gabriel's Whole Thing, which begins relatively modestly and gently builds to a crescendo of layered vocals and percussion - worthy of inclusion on a PG solo album and in my opinion at least, better than anything on Us. The album abruptly changes tone with the eastern-influenced Habibe, which could have been taken from Anne Dudley and Jaz Coleman's excellent Minarets and Memories album. The album continues in a variety of world music styles, veering from Papa Wemba's fast-paced African pop to the Celtic flavour of Sinead O'Connor's Everything comes From You. Gabriel pops up all over the place, leading the vocal of the original version of Burn You Up, Burn You Down - a far looser and more entertaining take on the dancey one that was omitted from the UK release of Up. The album closes with Karl Wallinger's lovely title track - whatever happened to him after World Party?

Despite the huge variety of performers, singers, styles and compositions on the album (and sometimes within the same song), it actually works very well as a coherent album that can listened to from end to end. The production is also excellent. The only question it begs is why on earth has it taken 13 years to mix and master the material? Come on, PG, get your skates on, you'll be 70 before you release again at this rate!
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