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New Blood [Double CD]

Peter Gabriel Audio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
Price: 8.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Peter Gabriel - Live in Athens 1987


Peter Gabriel’s new concert film “Back to Front – Live in London” will be released on 23 June 2014. Simultaneously made available on DVD, Blu-ray and DVD / Blu-ray Deluxe Editions this release captures the complete live performance of the “So” album from start to finish, and includes the classics: “Sledgehammer”, “Solsbury Hill”, ... Read more in Amazon's Peter Gabriel Store

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Frequently Bought Together

New Blood + Scratch My Back + Live Blood
Price For All Three: 37.43

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  • Scratch My Back 13.99
  • Live Blood 14.95

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Oct 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Real World Productions
  • ASIN: B005F435UI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,048 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. The Rhythm of the Heat
2. Downside Up
3. San Jacinto
4. Intruder
5. Wallflower
6. In Your Eyes
7. Mercy Street
8. Red Rain
9. Darkness
10. Don't Give Up
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. The Rhythm of the Heat (Instrumental)
2. Downside Up (Instrumental)
3. San Jacinto (Instrumental)
4. Intruder (Instrumental)
5. Wallflower (Instrumental)
6. In Your Eyes (Instrumental)
7. Mercy Street (Instrumental)
8. Red Rain (Instrumental)
9. Darkness (Instrumental)
10. Don't Give Up (Instrumental)
See all 13 tracks on this disc

Product Description

BBC Review

Last year's Scratch My Back saw Peter Gabriel reimagining his favourite songs by other artists - from Bowie to Bon Iver, Elbow to Paul Simon - via orchestral arrangements. No drums, no bass, no guitars. Taking that exquisite, elegiac work on tour - with the gigantic New Blood orchestra - necessitated adding some of his own material, similarly refashioned. So this time he's covering, if you will, his own stuff - radically reshaping it into forms both grander and sparser. Like its predecessor, New Blood is sonically minimalist but emotionally huge. The songs' raw nerves are laid bare, their emphases subtly altered and re-lit.

He doesn't simply revamp the obvious calling-card numbers: there's no Sledge Hammer or Games Without Frontiers, for example, and Biko isn't included despite a stirring rendition in the sibling 3D concert movie. Don't Give Up is here, with Ane Brun tackling the Kate Bush parts with a Björk-like tremble that seems jarring on first listen but increasingly moving with each return visit. More often than not, Gabriel appears intent on shifting the surface and context of the songs as much as possible. The Rhythm of the Heat without percussion is an insane idea on paper, but the 46-piece orchestra work their fingers to the bone finding equally valid ways to drive it forward. San Jacinto is completely unaffected and profoundly affecting, Gabriel's sandy, soulful voice somehow both understated and magniloquent.

There's a groundswell of opinion among fans and critics that his third solo album, usually known as Melt, was his finest, and its intense, twitchy, paranoid opening track Intruder is here lean and streamlined, its breathy presence even more accentuated. Arranger John Metcalfe realises Gabriel's ambitions throughout, whether it's on the comparatively jaunty Solsbury Hill or the sweeping power of Red Rain. And they can shuffle In Your Eyes all they like, but its chorus remains stoically hooky and uplifting.

Ever curious, Gabriel inserts five minutes of 'ambient noise' - in truth, near-silence - recorded on, where else, Solsbury Hill, by the name of A Quiet Moment. This album's a string-driven thing swinging between bravado and bleakness, and always beautiful.

--Chris Roberts

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CD Description

New Blood is a continuum of Peter’s previous Scratch My Back album - the song-swap project where he covered the songs of others, all to an orchestral backing. Thanks to the precise arrangements by John Metcalf and Peter, the treatment was so successful that Peter very quickly knew where he wanted to take it next, and work began to apply the same principals to his own songs.
Great care has been taken, and much discussion shared, in deciding what songs were included on New Blood. It wasn’t simply a case of giving the big numbers an orchestral re-rub. Indeed, some of the big hits are missing in favour of lesser-known material. But the intention wasn’t a deliberate obliqueness; it was more a case of finding the songs that would be enhanced by the massed strings, brass, woodwind and percussion.
“The orchestra provides different dimensions to the music that weren’t there initially,” confirms Peter. “Rock artists work slowly in studios, building up layer by layer, and one of the great, powerful advantages of an orchestra is all these musicians playing at one moment with all sorts of colours and personalities.”
And in front of orchestra, taking centre stage when necessary, retreating into the shadows when not, is Peter’s rich voice. Retaining its trademark emotive power, it returns to lyrics written 20 or 30 years ago, reinvesting them with new meaning and heightened poignancy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Gabriel rises to another level 17 Oct 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Old standards, maybe, but this new set of renditions raises Peter Gabriel's oeuvre to a new level. Fantastic orchestrations by John Metcalfe (just listening to the last minuet of 'Don't Give Up' gave me serious tingles down my spine) delivered by him and the New Blood Orchestra, brilliant reinterpretations by one of our Greatest Living Englishmen, together with some top-notch backing vocals by Melanie Gabriel, Ane Brun (haunting on 'Don't Give Up' - and what a fantastic voice) and Tom Cowley add up to this being a really valued addition to any PG collection. This is the icing on the cake! Can't wait for 'and I'll scratch yours'.... Incidentally there's free 24-bit download link included (until 10/10/12 in the Deluxe 2-disk version - not certain about any others). Seriously recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Gabriel - New Blood 25 Oct 2011
Format:Audio CD
Watching Peter Gabriel's stunning performance with the New Blood Orchestra on Jools Holland's Later the other evening proved inspirational. OK, so the luxury of being a multi-millionaire can unburden you of the restraint of record company executives waiting their next fix of "...where's the next hit single" but trust me, an indulgence this album is not. From a listener's point of view in many ways you wind up willing that each track will surpass itself and that the recording will never end. I know I did and the sumptuous banquet spread out before me like an episode of a Heston Blumenthal TV show proves that the adage "...there's life in the old dog yet" certainly has legs. It's with this expectation and hope that Gabriel rises to the challenge making you feel justified that you have faith in his outpourings are met with a sigh of relief when he easily achieves each goal. The songs included here are a snapshot of his career to date including the powerful horns/strings led "Rhythm Of The Heat", the exquisite "Downside Up" (with additional vocals from his daughter Melanie) and the energising pulse of "Solsbury Hill" with its gloriously majestic trumpet counter melody as a finale. To my knowledge Peter Gabriel has never recorded an `Unplugged' session for MTV and, if that is the case this CD could well be his homage to the genre. As long as we are blessed by performers of this calibre I can't think of a finer way to celebrate Britain's musical heritage. Unquestionably my album of the year!

Pete Fyfe
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gabriel does it again 9 Nov 2011
By Dale
Format:Audio CD
I have been listening to Peter Gabriel for nearly 40 years and to this album for a couple of weeks, and it really grows on you.
I saw Scratch My Back at the O2 and frankly was not impressed with the cover versions, the album is even worse, but the second half of the concert livened up and became a good night out, including a great rendition of Solsbury Hill.
Then this CD came out and I was unsure whether Peter had done the right thing. His vocals strain on some tracks (as usual), so occasionally I actually prefer the instrumental versions. But whichever you are listening to, the orchestrations are beautiful, they bring a new dimension to these songs; this is no musak re-working of old favourites, it's a genuine re-interpretation. I can listen to the album repeatedly all day as I work.
Disappointments? Solsbury Hill is always a triumph live, but this version just fails to capture the sparkle of the song, it falls a bit flat. And 'A Quiet Moment'? If I wanted that I could always switch the CD off and I still haven't worked out why there are 2 versions of 'The Nest That Sailed The Sky', perhaps I'm not listening hard enough. But how often do you buy a double CD where every track is brilliant? I can forgive the occasional lapses for the quality of the whole. Beautiful orchestrations, beautiful playing, crisp recording and superb song writing, what more could you ask for?
Successes? Darkness and Intruder are really atmospheric - the orchestra makes them feel even more threatening; San Jacinto is possibly even better than the original, while Red Rain is just astonishing.
Whatever you do don't buy this and listen once, give it a chance to work into your soul and demonstrate that all those old hit songs can have a secret second life as orchestral pieces. Unlike many albums, this just gets better with every listening.
Now Peter, about an album of new songs .......
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great songs, but a missed opportunity. 16 Oct 2011
Format:Audio CD
Scratch My Back split opinion: it was very slow - monotonous even, and very sad. But it also stripped back the songs to their melodic roots, and then surrounded Gabriel's voice with judicious arrangements which served to support, rather than combat, his voice.

New Blood sounds a similar project, an album of orchestral versions, but this time of Gabriel's own songs. I like it, and some songs are brilliantly done. But there is much less of a sense of reinterpretation. Why keep the bass-line from Don't Give Up? Or the tinkling from Mercy Street? Or the twinkling spashy opening to Red Rain? Sometimes it feels like the score has just been handed round, but with the parts changed from electric to acoustic instruments. So the strings are taking the hi-hat rhythm, the bass is doing the drums, the wind the synth section. If you listen online to his version of Secret World on the New Blood tour, you can see this evidently. If it had been someone else's song, and he'd covered it on Scratch My Back, you can be sure they rhythm would have been jettisoned in favour of a more simple bash at the melody. Instead, a whimsical piano and percussion riff runs through the whole thing, in exactly the same way as the synth and drum riff did in the original.

Perversely then, I feel like some of the versions make unnecessary changes to the fabric of the originals. Why cut the last minutes, the climax of Downside Up, when you have a minute-and-a-half long instrumental opening? Why change and simplify the slow chorus of Digging in the Dirt? Why does Ane Brun not pronounce the 'p's in Don't Give Up? Or Don't Give U' as it might now be titled. On the tour, Solsbury Hill had rather a fun ending, interpolating Beethoven's 9th and other classical tunes - not here.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Virgilijus
5.0 out of 5 stars New blood
Heard a couple of tracks live on Jools Holland. Bought the album and am really impressed with it. Good re-working of his classic tracks
Published 7 months ago by V. Frain
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Artist
Got this for my sister for Christmas as we all love Peter Gabriel. Have just seen him at the O2 in London which is now the fourth concert of his we have been to. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Gilda Holmes
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Gabriel orchestrated
Many, but not all, of Peter Gabriel's best known songs with an orchestra instead of a rock band - certainly different and worth a listen.
Published 9 months ago by P. Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab
I bought this for my husband as a gift. He is delighted would recommend as a gift or for yourself
Published 13 months ago by A. E. Messer
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendida esecuzione di Peter Gabriel
Un gran bel CD. Belli i brani di Peter Gabriel e molto buona la qualita' di registrazione di questo cd. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Maurizio Urso - Arte Nuova International ltd
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Fantastic service and value, I will use your great team again and wish you all well.

All the best and wish you well.

Published 18 months ago by Kevin Murphy
2.0 out of 5 stars New Blood
Expected much more, not vintage Gabriel but clever of course, well produced but seemed to me to be very pretentious......
Published 19 months ago by James Edwards
1.0 out of 5 stars BORING GABRIEL
Published 21 months ago by NIDGE
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic CD
Adds a new depth to PG's music and have found it extremely moving. I have been a huge fan since early Genesis and this has added a new dimension to some of the older and best... Read more
Published 24 months ago by Mac Cricklade
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