on 15 November 2003
It is impossible to put together an overview of such a large body of work as Peter Gabriel's without onitting huge chunks. Hit however manages to include the well know tracks and also gives a great insight to the slightly more "arty" side of Peter Gabriel. The second CD sub-titled Miss is fantastic with some wonderful atmospheric tracks. Overall it is a reasonble balance.
It would have nice to see some of the Birdy Soundtrack included and I would have included something from Plays Live but these are minor concerns.
If you are looking for an introduction to Gabriels career then this is an excellent place to start.
on 19 March 2004
Hit is a long overdue up-date to the previous Gabriel greatest hits package Shaking the Tree. Whereas that collection culled work souly from his four self-titled records of the late seventies and early eighties, culminating with the multi-selling pop classic So, this collection takes in songs from the majority of Gabriel’s output, from 1977’s eponymous debut, right up to 2002’s Up. This encompasses everything in between, from the mid-eighties eclecticism of PG3 and So, right through to 1992’s Us and soundtracks for Birdy, The Last Temptation... and Rabbit Proof Fence.
Of course, there will always be problems when putting together a truly definitive greatest hits package for an artist as prolific and idiosyncratic as Gabriel, with many reviewers here complaining about the omission of personal favourites like In Your Eyes, or Going Down La Dolce Vita (or for that matter, some of his more worldly, instrumental work), but I’d hazard a guess that this is as comprehensive as things could get. The collection is broken down into two distinct parts labelled Hit and Miss. Hit has all the more well-know, chart friendly favourites like Solsbury Hill, Sledge Hammer, Don’t Give Up (classic duet with Kate Bush), Games without Frontiers, Big Time and Here Comes the Flood... whilst Miss takes in the more leftfield, or experimental works like No Self Control, I Grieve, DIY, and the Tower that Ate People.
It’s nice to see that Gabriel is interested in giving us a strong cross reference of work that will satisfy both casual listeners and die hard fans alike, creating a best of... collection that actually comes close to representing that tag. Gabriel is one of those artists who will always be around creating diverse and interesting music, and as a result of this, he’s worked with some of the very best people in the business. Hit sees the addition of people like the aforementioned Ms Bush, guitarist Robert Fripp, former Genesis cohort Phil Collins, percussionist Ged Lynch, regulars Tony Levin and David Rhoads, as well as producers like Bob Ezrin (Lou Reed, Pink Floyd), Steve Lillywhite (the Pogues, Simple Minds), Stephen Hague (New Order, Pet Shop Boys) and Daniel Lanois (U2).
This is a great collection of music from one of pop’s great innovators. Songs like Biko, the Rhythm of the Heart and Downside Up (not forgetting the songs mentioned previously) are some of the most heartfelt and intelligent that any artist could possibly create. I suppose one complaint would be, that die hard Gabriel fans will no doubt have all the albums, soundtracks, collections etc already, so this collection will seem pretty superfluous. However, for those looking for an introduction to Gabriel’s musical world, you’ll find nothing better than this.
on 22 April 2010
This is a really good item for both collectors of Peter Gabriel and fans, but also for people new to his music as it contains all his greatest hits on disc 1 and some other songs on disc 2. It is really well produced and full of good tunes. It is definately not run of the mill and there are some surprises, being that some of the songs you would not guess that they were the usual Peter Gabriel songs. Really good for both playing in the car or at home on your stereo.
on 4 January 2008
There are plenty of reviews about the music, so I thought I'd offer a review about the actual sound, speaking as someone who has many of these tracks where applicable on earlier issues of the albums (including the excellent remastered issues).
Well, here we have the tracks necessarily mastered again for this compilation album, by Tony Cousins. And unfortunately, he seems to have followed exactly the same route that just about all remastered music is being taken these days - the compression route!
It's just not quite as dynamic, doesn't quite pack the same punch as the earlier versions of the tracks. Compare the respective versions of 'Sledgehammer' to hear what I mean. The new one has a slightly deeper and louder bass end, but overall sounds flatter. The funky drums just don't have the same impact.
Ditto 'Rhythm Of The Heat'. The version on PG4 (Security) Remastered is excellent (improved upon the original IMO) with the much used tom tom drums really coming through. This later master seems to have taken things back a notch. Again, like all the tracks, it has more of a bottom end to it, but the drum rhythm doesn't punch through like before.
I find this state of affairs really sad, as I always hoped Gabriel was above this kind of crowd following - although to be fair, things such as mastering are usually out of the hands of the artists and under the control of the label (in this case EMI, the then parent company of Real World). It's still likely that this master was indeed approved by Gabriel though.
So there you go, in brief. I'm sure this review will annoy the hell out of a few people who don't know what I'm talking about, but I'm speaking as someone who until recently always looked forward to remasters or remixes as it usually meant some kind of sonic gain. In the last few years that seems to have changed; now it tends to mean louder and more compressed.
This album isn't the worst case that I've heard (far from it, to be fair), but it's still affected to a noticeable degree. All in the name of maximising the average volume of the disc.
This album is amazing. Definitely the place to start for new comers, and a great couple of hours remembering how great PG is for existing fans. The first disc has the well known tracks and the second, the most brilliant ones that slipped through the net. Pg's music has that rare power to both move and uplift you and it is a great feeling every time. Highly recommended for any music collection.
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on 16 October 2003
As a huge fan of Peter Gabriel I know exactly what he's got tucked away at his realworld studios. With a library of B sides, remixes, live recordings and many unreleased mixes that didn't quite make the studio albums it seems a shame that we are presented with familiar ground.
Anyone familiar with the work of Bjork will agree that her 4 CD family Tree album could have been the ideal format for Gabriel's HIT. A collection of rare recordings, live work and b-sides galore would make me part with my cash (and with good reason!).
For all the dedicated fans out there, pass this over, you have heard it all before. HOWEVER - If you are new to Peter Gabriel my review changes a lot. What you have here is a great selection of his work that hopefully will show how broad Peter's work is.
Come on Peter, give us the goods!! We know what you've got stashed away so let's hear it!
on 13 February 2004
I like this album, though i was stunned when playing it in my office, and my 26 year old colleague had no idea who Peter Gabriel was.
All the stuff you loved and have forgotten is here. The album is more comprehensive than the first compilation, released some years ago and called 'Shaking the Tree' - if i remember correctly.
This is good stuff and includes some exquisite tracks. This really should feature in all album collections.
on 2 April 2007
This album will appeal to loyal Gabrielites. The "miss" CD is actually my favourite, containing his more experimental, quirky and intense tracks that were never likely to be commercial successes. I like it, but I'm sure that those who are only familiar with the "So" days will find it difficult. Both CDs give an overview of the artist's full range of musical styles.
I've never really listened to Genesis, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway appeals about as much as Tales of Tophographic Oceans, but Peter Gabriel I've always liked. The first thing I heard was Games Without Frontiers, though it was more Robert Fripp's guitar & Kate Bush's vocal I recall. Along with Ashes to Ashes, it was one of the first records I liked as a youth (age 7, I do believe!). & Gabriel has released some pop songs since, some verge on irritating (Big Time, Steam- both here- though at least we'r spared Kiss That Frog & Barry Whatever Show)- but frequently wonderful soundtrack works (Passion, Birdy, Rabbit Proof Fence) & sublime ballads (Blood of Eden, Mercy Street). It's an interesting career, and Hit attempts to condense it over two discs, and largely succeeds- this is far superior to the previous Gabriel retrospective, Shaking the Tree (1990).
The running order is curious, and it has to be noted that some of the tracks are in truncated versions or remix form- I think it's pretty terrible to shorten Blood of Eden (though curiously I think the version with Paula Cole from the 93 live album is the best take of it!)- the tracks from Up (not a huge success like So) are fine (More Than This especially) & the new single Burn You Up, Burn You Down is suitably excellent.
It's nice to see another side of Gabriel acknowledged- Lovetown (from the soundtrack to Philadelphia), The Rhythm of the Heat (from Peter Gabriel 4, but also known as 'The Heat' from Birdy- an instrumental that was also used in the snakebite/pharmacy scene in the film Natural Born Killers)- very sinister stuff, that could be Colin Newman/Wire, if you think about it! & it's great to see some of the earlier material acknowledged- Here Comes the Flood (an influence on Radiohead?- listen to the intro of Everything In It's Right Place on I Might Be Wrong, what title is Thom Yorke singing?), DIY (from the second album) & the sublime San Jacinto, which along with In Your Eyes (sadly missing, as is Across the River!), remains my fave Gabriel moment.
The major hits are present- Solsbury Hill (recently covered by Erasure, also featured on their greatest hits!), Sledgehammer, Don't Give Up, Games Without Frontiers, Steam, Red Rain (covered by REM), Big Time & the anthemic elegy, Biko. It's pleasing to see the art side of Gabriel present here- No Self Control, Digging in the Dirt, Washing of the Water, I Have the Touch, The Drop & Shock the Monkey all standing out (but no Mercy Street, no I Don't Remember, no Across the River, nothing from Passion: The Last Temptation of Christ...proof that it is hard/impossible to represent everything there...).
Hit is still a great compilation of Peter Gabriel's solo works, despite the missing tracks- for a two-disc set this is screaming good value, though you'll probably want to own the albums anyway. Not sure about that beard though- is it Gandalf or more Dennis Hopper in 24's first series?
on 7 April 2014
this record was bought because you can depend on peter Gabriel to make a album of some worth a piece of music that you will definitely want to listen to again and I mean more than once ,I have owned a few of his records before but not this one and I must say it is as good as expected and the company who I dealt with was pretty good as well