New Blood [VINYL] Box set
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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.
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So onto the vinyl itself, well in a word it's stunning, it feels like 180g (i've not weighed them) and very sounds like the Classic Records 200g pressings (of which I have Up), very quiet with tremendous bandwidth giving the orchestra a lush warm and detailed sound with PG's vocals razor sharp on top of the mix....quite breathtaking and a joy compared to some modern pressings covered in pops and clicks from new (I won't name these, but you know who you are!!).
My only critism of the the whole thing is the weakish female backing vocals on some tracks (but I actually like the vocal on Don't give up....it's not Kate, but it's different and a new interpretation).
Packaging is also excellent, with a fairly heavyweight gatefold sleeve, plain black inners and a bonus 7" picture disc, which in itself is heavyweight (I've not spun this yet, but it feels and looks fab in it's own printed card sleeve). There is also a download code for both 320mbps MP3 and 24bit wav versions of the album (all 14 tracks incl. those on the 7") which is a nice touch for portable listening, but to be honest, this recording was made for vinyl and it really excels in this version - highly recommended.
I look forward to some new material from Peter in which he hopefully pulls in some orchestral influences from both this and Scratch my Back.
I've seen most of the tours including a trek to Bochum in Germany to watch him mainly because my recently separated wife had grown a pointy nose, started cackling and riding a broomstick and would be taking her cuckolding partner with her to the UK shows.
I've lived 'So' first hand through a traumatic time.... but
Of late the man has seemed to have lost his muse..
So I waited and waited and finally got the CD in the sales for 4.99 Great British Pounds that I knew it would soon sink to after a couple of months only to see it fall to 2.99 a week later.
I bought the CD after seeing the man on Jools Holland's show where he was brilliant.
I did not want to enjoy this music simple because I loved the original so much.
BUT I have to say this is an enjoyable collection.
I am enjoying it much much better than I ever thought.
I came to conclusion that I loved the originals BUT in the past have paid to see and hear them be sung live in Peter's concerts in variety of styles with a variety of different guest backing or joint vocalist.
(I'm thinking of Youssou N'Dour's soaring vocals on In your Eyes to name just one here.)
So this is just another extension of that.
But this has a slightly bitter twist.
Peter has aged.. So have we all and at the same rate.
I believe he has reached a point in his life and career where he can look back.
Relive his triumphs and failures and how each has tempered and forged his music and songs over these decades. He is coasting but he has every right to. He has been a pioneer an innovative genius who has brought great joy to me and millions of people.
This is too small a place to list his achievements here of course.
I believe this is a collection of songs that have grown up with the man just like children. Gabriel songs are like his daughters now full grown and starting families of their own.
This is a look back by a great man.
The album is a treasury of wonderful lovingly treated songs. Imagine an old suitcase full of photographs. The box opened and each gem is taken out one by one to be examined, the memories fllod back, loved and relived.
A niggle but to me the one track I simply cannot stand is Don't give up.
The reason Ane Brun's voice.
It really really must be me because so many say they adore the voice. I believe it's the Emperor's new clothes because each time I hear it annoys the heck out of me it simply makes me grind my teeth! I've tried believe me I have but now I fast forward it each and every time!
I simply cannot imagine why he did not let Melanie do the duties as she did I believe on the tours.
Still each to his own.
If you liked this review but because of what I say about Ane Brun's voice wish to put a vote as unhelpful please don't.
Rather just add a comment that you think her voice is wonderful or vice versa.
I will revisit the review and add a suitable apology if one is required of a suitable comment if not.
Just a thought....
I wonder if Peter would ever consider doing a similar treatment of old Genesis songs.....
Watch this space!
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