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3.7 out of 5 stars27
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 1 November 2013
This could prove difficult to review given the two distinct companion albums packaged together. Although Scratch My Back has been around for a few years it is new to me and I can approach it from a fresh perspective. Taking this one first I have to agree with other reviewers that it deserves a few listens before it is truly appreciated. And appreciate it I did. Like any album some tracks are better than others and mostly depends on your personal taste (and on this occasion whether you are particularly attached to the original versions). Standouts for me here are The Listening Wind, The Power of the Heart and The Book of Love although I can appreciate the re-interpretation of Heroes and The Boy in the Bubble. Gabriel's clear rich vocals giving a new depth to the familiar and making the listener properly hear the words that might not be as clear in the original cut versions. I still have this in my car and continue to enjoy it.
And I'll Scratch Yours is an interesting concept but, for me, a bit more hit and miss. I think this is largely down to a familarity with Peter Gabriel's originals and if you like Gabriel's originally conceived version it may prove difficult to appreciate the more left-field re-interpretations such as Lou Reed's Solsbury Hill and Feist's Don't Give Up. The tracks I enjoy most are David Byrne's I Don't Remember, Regina Spektor's Blood of Eden and Elbow's Mercy Street. Polarity of opinion is perhaps unavoidable and what some like others won't and vice versa. A good idea by Peter Gabriel for artists to reciprocate and for that a welcome change to the usual churned-out covers.
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on 4 November 2013
I don't know whether it's just my ears, but this sounds interesting at best. An adjective I have seen used by others reviewing this album. On reflection, when I think back to the days when I first heard these tracks done by Peter Gabriel - I was always in awe of what he was doing. And maybe that's the point, these precious memories we have about those moments we cherished whenever we played or heard these tracks cannot be replaced. Much of our reverence for Peter's music remains for when he was at his creative peak.
I don't know half the artists on this album, but two of my favourite artists namely; David Byrne and Brian Eno, have produced okay tracks done in their own inimitable style - but it's hardly great music. We know Peter's versions are much better.
My worst fear is that Peter has passed his peak, and his creative genius has waned. This and the last album are a testament to that in my opinion. There's nothing on them that makes me want to listen again, so I don't, and as a one time massive Peter Gabriel fan - that saddens me.
The last proper album he made was 'Up', which had a few good tracks, but at least he was still trying to weave his magic spell on us - like he did with 'Us', and I respected that. Maybe we'll have to wait another ten years for him to produce another decent album. Scratch My Back/And I'll Scratch Yours are not creative in the sense that we have come to associate with Peter Gabriel - rehashing old material makes feel cheated as a fan. Hopefully he's saving his best 'til last, and he'll prove me wrong on his next album.
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This is a package of Scratch My Back, Peter Gabriel's album of covers from 2010 and And I'll Scratch Yours, which is a sort of repaying of the compliment by many of the artists whose songs Peter Gabriel covered on his Scratch My Back album in 2010. I wasn't all that keen on Scratch My Back (there are lots of mixed reviews of the original here Scratch My Back) but I'd suggest giving this a try. It's an excellent package and you may well like Scratch My Back more than I did. I'll Scratch Yours is certainly very well worth hearing and there's some great stuff on it. Below is my review of it from the album's page

"I really like hearing other takes on familiar Peter Gabriel songs, partly because they are so familiar and a new version really makes me listen to what the song is about again. There are also some genuinely excellent performances here, although which ones you think they are will probably depend on your personal taste. For me, the distinctively Bon Iver version of Come Talk To Me, Paul Simon's largely acoustic Biko and David Byrne being David Byrne in I Don't Recall stand out, and both Arcade Fire and Elbow surprised me by producing really good versions of Games Without Frontiers and Mercy Street respectively. You may disagree with all of that, of course. Similary, lots of listeners will probably love Lou Reed's version of Solsbury Hill, whereas I think he utterly murders a beautiful song which has meant a lot to me for three decades and more. You'll have to form your own judgement.

It's hard to give an overall rating, but there's a lot of really first-rate stuff here and I've given it five stars on that basis. I would urge any Peter Gabriel fan to try this. You'll probably love some tracks and dislike others, but I reckon it's well worth a try and there are a lot of tracks here that I will be playing for years to come, I suspect. Warmly recommended."
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on 16 October 2013
It's a good addition to my collection, and an interesting take on may songs I know well. Top for me were PG's covers of The Book of Love and of My Body is a Cage, and David Byrne's version of I Don't Remember.
Most of the others were pleasant enough; perhaps I just expected something more.
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on 12 April 2014
Read about this in telegraph review and took a chance as I did not know many of the artists covering peter Gabriel's songs. Very pleased with cd all versions new and innovative a treasure of my collection
George
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on 11 June 2014
I am a old PG fan, since his days with Genesis. I bought his very first album (to me his best ever), and then followed his career til today. Scratch my back is a ok cd, interesting and solid, but some songs and his interpretation were wrong. The same can be said about his companion cd "I'll scratch Yours", some solid PG songs interpreted and arranged by other singers and bands. I like Spector and David Byrne solid arrangements. Also, interesting is Lou Reed doing "Solsbury Hill", maybe one of his last recordings.
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on 30 April 2014
Love this; a nostalgic trip down memory lane, and some really lovely re-workings of Peter Gabriel's songs. Not so keen on the other half, but I love his voice so think some of them may grow on me.
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on 3 November 2013
The Ethereal Peter Gabriel and a generation's songwriting Creme de la Creme combine to give the listener of these influencialy magical songs an experience akin to flying without the need of wings. Although many artists over the years have recorded so-called 'Cover Albums', of varying degrees of quality, it would be wrong to label 'Scratch My Back & I'll Scratch Yours' as such because of the original concept involved. Of course, originality is what Peter Gabriel is all about together with quality & presentation. The other featured Singer/Songwriters have maintained the same standards. This is truly a great double album. Go out in your masses & get it now.
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on 18 November 2014
Boring.
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on 27 October 2013
This is the completed Peter Gabriel project of he covering a number of different artists tracks and those artists covering a Peter Gabriel track. It makes for some interesting interpretations. Very good.
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