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Peter Gabriel: An Authorized Biography Paperback – 5 May 2000

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books; 2nd Revised edition edition (5 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330370448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330370448
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 3.3 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Publisher

Understanding a contemporary legend - a classic biography.
Spencer Bright has completely rewritten and updated Gabriel's story to reflect fully how a man always troubled, complex and bravely adventurous in both public and private, has intensified in his brilliant paradoxes, the shadow of a darker soul emerging as his angelic good looks mature. Essential reading for all those who love the music, admire the man and seek to understand both a little better. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 5 Mar. 2002
Format: Paperback
A Prog Rock chameleon, a musical surgeon of the psyche, a surrealistic singer and mask wearer, a true champion of and for World Music; Peter Gabriel is and has been all of these (and many more besides). It therefore takes a brave author to write a biography of him - myth as well as man - and Spencer Bright, one of our foremost rock journalists, fills the role admirably.
Researched as exhaustively as one would expect this is a true "warts and all" book with no interview ignored, no theory dismissed in Bright's quest to discover his subject. If at times the prose sounds sugary and idyllic ("The River Bourne, as it flowed through Deep Pool Farm, brought out Peter Gabriel's boyhood sense of adventure.") then it somehow acts to enhance the air of mystery with which Gabriel has, over the years, decorated himself. Every aspect and episode of Gabriel's life from Charterhouse School through the years with Genesis and his bitter sweet parting with the band in the mid seventies and his patchy solo career is examined in soul-searching detail. Likewise, details of his personal life are put under the biographer's microscope - from marriage, fatherhood and divorce through to his deep involvement with Amnesty International, WOMAD and the setting up of his innovative Real World project.
Currently out of fashion he may be but Peter Gabriel, like an out of sorts heavyweight boxer, always seems to bounce back off the ropes and astonish us with one more blow. A revision of Bright's book should not be ruled out.
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By A Customer on 14 July 2000
Format: Hardcover
The author has undoubtedly written an extremely thorough account of the life of Gabriel. His early beginnings, departure from Genesis, solo music career, slow working style, interest in world music, studio at Bath, romances with high profile females, interest in new technology, theme parks and of course the notorious Millenium Dome are all covered in this 600 page plus tome. If you are looking to find out as much information as you can on Gabriel this will be an excellent discovery for you. If not then the amount of detail and overelaborate style of the author could turn reading this bible into something of a trawl. As I fit into the former category I found it a good read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ok as far as it goes, which is to the eighties. Not as much detail about the music as I would have liked, or about much else really. Don't know if Spencer ever updated it, but there are probably better books out there on this subject
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent in-depth assessment of a fascinating man! 19 July 1999
By Becky ( - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Bright has created a work that is readable and insightful about a man whose creativity and experimentation with rock sounds and textures is extraordinary. Especially interesting to this reader are the artist's own explanations of his lyrics, which are sometimes obscure (deliberately) but always interesting. Mr. Gabriel doesn't talk down to his listeners; he has matured and assumes we are maturing along with him. A definite must-read for anyone who is a fan of this long-term rock legend.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best biography out there for PG fans 16 Oct. 2002
By R. Dempesmeier - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Unlike some other reviewers, I found this book to be highly readable and very informative. I think Bright does a great job getting into Gabriel's motivations and interests and this makes for a very good biography.
Gabriel has so many interests outside of his own music and it's especially nice to get these viewpoints in the biography. He is involved in human rights, world music, multimedia, alternative health, and psychological therapies. These other interests do tell you more about the man than just a standard "Gabriel-released-this-album-and-toured" work.
The only complaint I have is about the some of the extremely long chapters. The book could be logically broken in better places to make keeping your place easier!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A life that unfolds like a sunrise... 21 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is definately the best biography about Peter Gabriel that exists. I was surprised at how intimate it was especially in a sexual way, but PG himself I believe advocates openness. So... He also appears to have endorsed this book about himself. I was glad also to come to the positive ending aswell. May happiness continue... A satisfying read all round and best piccies.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars more the man than the music 9 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A welcome update to his previous work, Bright's new book still has the same positive and negative sides of the first edition. Excellent research is his finest point (he talked to people who knew the subject well and did give great insights), but the stress on all matters personal and private seems to me a bit over the top. Sure we want to know what kind of a person Peter is besides his rock-star persona, but the text doesn't always succeed in connecting this with Gabriel's musical output.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For the serious and patient fan only 14 Mar. 2000
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
For years I searched store shelves in vain looking for a quality book on Peter Gabriel. When I at last looked online, I thought I had found what I needed. However, this biography reads more like a textbook than a warm or interesting biography. The author spliced the book together using available quotes and interviews, and seems to never have talked to Peter himself. And while there are many interesting tidbits, such as the fact that a schoolboy Gabriel once made a hat worn by Keith Richards of the Stones on TV, it really drags. Even I, a serious fan, found myself skipping through many sections. Worth the read? Yes. If you think of yourself as a serious fan. An enjoyable read? Not really. In fact, you may be disappointed in your hero when you learn how distant he was from his wife and family.
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