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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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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Oct. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Real World Productions
  • ASIN: B008BSPQ2A
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  Mini-Disc  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,932 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Red Rain (2012
2. Sledgehammer (2012
3. Don't Give Up (2012
4. That Voice Again (2012
5. Mercy Street (2012
6. Big Time (2012
7. We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37) [2012 - Remaster) (2012
8. This Is The Picture (Excellent Birds) [2012 - Remaster]
9. In Your Eyes (2012

Product Description

Product Description

Remastered edition of the classic Peter Gabriel album, released to mark its 25th anniversary. Originally released in 1986, So became one of the defining albums of the era and landed an international array of multi-Platinum certifications. It includes the iconic hit "Sledgehammer".

BBC Review

Summer 1986. A British singer has just knocked his old group off the top of the American charts. Twelve years previously, he'd been performing 23-minute epics inspired by Arthur C. Clarke, naming songs after Labour Party slogans, and dressing up a knight. But this was a different world, and this appeared to be a very different Peter Gabriel.

But once you look past the bombast of Sledgehammer (Gabriel's biggest hit, which pushed Genesis' Invisible Touch off the US No.1 spot), you notice how easily its artful ideas slipped inside the 80s mainstream. Before its well-known salvo of sexual euphemisms, the song begins with a sampled Japanese flute, and a horn figure inspired by John Coltrane.

Elsewhere, the sultry pull of Mercy Street is driven by Brazilian percussion, and references to the life of poet Anne Sexton. We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37), inspired by a controversial set of 1960s electro-shock experiments, could be off the second side of David Bowie's Low. And all this on an album that went triple-platinum in the UK, and five-times that stateside.

But for many, Gabriel's 80s success remains a benchmark for po-faced pretentiousness in pop, while musical soulmates like Kate Bush escape similar criticism. Certainly, time has not withered how special she sounds on the album's greatest track Don't Give Up. But it's unfair how she’s said to soar while Gabriel gets derided, as he gives us so much to enjoy here.

Big Time's satire on 80s corporate excess is as cheeky and fun as ABC's (How to Be A) Millionaire. Red Rain is as powerful and thrilling an album opener as that era can offer. In Your Eyes is as back-of-a-cab-at-2am as big ballads can ever be, but when Gabriel sings, “I want to touch the light / The heat I see in your eyes,” his voice has a timbre, and a tenderness, that can't be ignored.

Hindsight shows this is an album put together with care. It's also worth noting that this remaster beats a 2002 attempt that didn't meet Gabriel's expectations, and that the deluxe box set contains So DNA, a disc exploring the evolution of each song.

Newcomers might also hear ideas that recall contemporary bands like Elbow, who covered Mercy Street as part of Gabriel's covers project Scratch My Back/I’ll Scratch Yours.

It's time innovation in pop was celebrated properly, rather than sneered at. This reissue reminds us how successful such experiments can be.

--Jude Rogers

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mike the Fish on 17 April 2013
Format: Audio CD
Okay, many of us love the album and not much needs to be said about it here if you're looking at the box set. The content in this set is disappointing and there is much duplication:

We get the main album twice: CD and vinyl. The massive book in the box states that In Your Eyes was moved to the beginning of side 2 originally as it would not cut satisfactorily at the end of a vinyl side, yet here it is cut at the end of a vinyl side in the box. The LP, by the way, was cut half speed and sounds excellent. It is very bassy, and some may prefer the bass lighter, more open sound of the 80s cut. The CD also sounds good, is not compressed to the eyeballs and is not overbright.

We get Live In Athens twice: spread across two CDs and on one DVD. The stereo mix is not great, the 5.1 mix is near pointless as it seems to be mainly ambience sent to the rears and what information is sent is very quiet. Also it appears that there has been some vocal overdubbing on In Your Eyes as the lip sync isn't great, and a note gets held even after PG has closed his mouth at one point.

The So DNA CD: this is of historical interest, but of limited listening pleasure. Each track (possibly aside from This Is The Picture) is a medley of different versions of the same track showing the changes from inception to nearly completion. What is interesting is just how much change there was in many of the tracks, and how much PG seemed to struggle to get the lyrics straight. While this is at times fascinating, I would probably have preferred complete alternative mixes from later on in the recording with parts that didn't make the final mix. We Do What We're Told contains a modern guess by PG at what was an early version, and then goes into a mix from the sessions.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Syriat TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD
Peter Gabriel's So was the second album I ever bought. I wore the tape out so much it had a constant drumming noise each time I played it. Released 25 years ago it was the first of his albums that wasn't eponymous (at his record company's insistence). It propelled him into the limelight. Before he had a few hits, but this was a real breakthrough, due to the innovative Sledgehammer video and the more mainstream sound of the album.

Taking the original album alone this is a five star product (with one minor quibble which I will get to). The songs are as good as ever and have been used for varying reasons since. Don't Give Up is as painful a listen as it was back then. It's a beautiful sound with point and counterpoint of Gabriel and Kate Bush expertly deployed. Sledgehammer is as good as ever and Mercy Street sounds cleaner and more haunting on this remaster. The world sensibilities of Gabriel were always somewhere in the mix and whilst he wasn't as overly political on this offering as previous ones (Biko, Games Without Frontiers) he used the influences well on tracks like In Your Eyes and the mood on Red Rain. Big Time is possibly the only track that has dated. It could only be a product of the 80's and whilst almost certainly a piece about the excesses it isn't the timeless single others are. Don't Give Up has as much to say about our austere times now as the time it was conceived. So to the quibble. In Your Eyes is a beautiful track and used to be the opener to side two (as was on my tape). Here it is the closing track. Quite why the tracks have been reordered I don't know and it could have done without it to be honest.

The extras are what really lets the side down. The booklet on this version contains no information other than lyrics and credits.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Julian Stevens on 2 Dec. 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is the PG album that all his diehard fans seem to have scoffed at as a sell out to commercialism (as did all the diehard Pink Floyd fans at DSOM when that came out). For me, though, as someone who finds much of his other work somewhat indigestible or simply inferior, none of that matters at all. This is, without question, a great album in just about every respect, not just the songs but the recording and the performances (from a host of notable studio musicians) and the way it all hangs together quite superbly. So what if Sledgehammer is a bit on the commercial side? It rocks! Apparently, it took a year to record (at his own studio in Box, a few miles east of Bath) and to finalise the mixing and mastering.

The digitally remastered edition improves just a bit on the original CD issue, which was pretty good to begin with, though the track order has been (slightly) rearranged, as compromises had to be made to the original track order due to the limitations of vinyl. If you want to hear the album as issued originally, the track order is 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 5, 6 and 7. Track 8 is a bonus cut, not on the vinyl, so stick it where you like (my preference is at the end).
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Red on Black TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD
Let us begin accentuating the positives since having "So" all polished and spruced up in a remaster after 25 years is like seeing an old friend in a new light and a smart suit. It is the case that the album has something quintessentially eighties about it and if you examine the "visual look" of the band in the accompanying live concerts its all high turned up collars, rolled up sleeves and those ridiculous long coats that passed for high fashion at the time. And yet unlike much of the music of that period it does transcend the decades and is a five star product. Everyone of course remembers "Sledgehammer" and its ubiquitous music video not least Gabriel' s "plastic" face distortions and two oven-ready chickens, headless and featherless, dancing along to the synthesized flute solo in the middle of the song. It was one of the most played videos on MTV of all time and the song remains a pop classic. Equally the cynicism of "Big Time" with its allusions to the eighties greed and corporations perfectly captured a cultural mood of avarice not least the great verse "my parties all have big names/and I greet them with the widest smile/tell them how my life is one big adventure/and always they're amazed". Opener "Red Rain" is packed full of drama and a brilliant husky Gabriel vocal which has made it such a staple of his live shows. While you can still see John Cusack holding that huge beat box above his head in the Cameron Crowe film "Say Anything" outside of Iona Skye's bedroom and blaring out the stirring "In your eyes". It was completely soppy but very endearing all the same.Read more ›
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