And I'll Scratch Yours
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Top Customer Reviews
High points are David Byrne's retro-funk version of I Don't Remember - he makes the song his own; Bon Iver and Regina Spektor's presentable covers of Us-period tracks; and Elbow's version of Mercy Street, which manages to sound minimalist without sounding like a knocked-off demo. I love Randy Newman, so I'll give Big Time a pass, but it seems a bit half-hearted, as does Paul Simon's Biko.
Low points include Eno's very odd reworking of Mother of Violence. I assume they're mates, so I'm not sure why you'd take a friend's pleasant, lilting song, and turn it into a tuneless drone. Drone also covers Shock The Monkey, by Joseph Arthur, who at least is faithful to the tune. And Feist manage to ruin Don't Give Up by mucking up the structured rhythms of Gabriel's lyrics ... he worked on the scansion for a reason, and Feist ignore it completely.
But if you hate someone - I mean, really, really dislike them - play them Lou Reed's god-awful assault on Solsbury Hill. It's very nearly unlistenable. He abandones the tune, and the heavily-distorted guitar over a funereal tempo leaves the whole thing in ruins - to the extent you wonder if it isn't just an eff-off to Gabriel.
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; although there are some poor tracks, there's a lot of really first-rate stuff here and I've given it four 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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love it and have told all my friends to buy it. Shock the monkey and mother of violence are particuary goodPublished on 13 Nov. 2013 by Liz Baker
Another innovative album, just wish he would tour more in the UK at smaller venues. Unilt hten DVD's will have to do.Published on 2 Nov. 2013 by CoraB
I thought this cd was absolutely terrible, it was so bad I sent it back to Amazon, to say I was dissapointed is an understatement!Published on 1 Nov. 2013 by Mr W
The idea is a sound one; have many artists pick a Gabriel track and re-record it in their own style. Read morePublished on 31 Oct. 2013 by Geoff Faro
Brilliant reinterpretations by some artists I know well and others I will get to know as soon as I canPublished on 25 Oct. 2013 by herindoors
A great companion to his previous disc Scratch my back. Nice to hear Gabriel's songs in a new setting by other artistesPublished on 20 Oct. 2013 by Margaret