At the time of its release many people were hoping for Gabriel to carry on the torch that Genesis and others had dropped in the face of punk, but his first album disappointed at least as many original fans as it astonished others. In retrospect, there is quite a lot of the old prog-spirit in this although that was less apaparent in 77 when it sounded modern and diverse at best or directionless at worst. Nothing needs to be said about Solsbury Hill and Here comes the Flood, two "hits" which rightfully cemented Gabriel's reinvention as a star in his own right. He keeps the experimental playfulness of old up in Moribund.... tries Rock in Modern Love and the Blues (!) in Waiting for the Big One. Excuse me is barbershop whimsy, while the best of the other tracks, Humdrum and Slowburn have a kind of old-fashioned dignity about them that wouldn't have seemed amiss on a good new Genesis album, although that was certainly not the credit Gabriel was looking for, and with his second LP he eliminated these tendencies. Still looking for the style that would propel him to superstardom with "so", Gabriel delivered a wonderfully personal record with, among others, Robert Fripp, whose own "Exposure" includes Peter on an even better version of "Flood". Get both of these records !
An album that takes a little while to get into, but gradually the songs will -one by one - filter into you consciousness and then you'll be in love with it. Beyond 'Salisbury Hill', there are othercatchy rockers like 'Modern Love', but it's the more contemplative material like 'Humdrum' and the superlative 'Here Comes The Flood' that really hits home. 'So' was bigger, 'PG3' is more accessable, but this might well be the best of the lot.
As a 16 year old fan I can't review this from the viewpoint of someone who saw P.Gs transition from Genesis to Solo but i can review it from the viewpoint of someone who has grown up with two teenage sisters listening too chart music and has sought refuge in his parents music.
I love this album. Moribund the Burgermeister could almost be a missing Lamb Lies down on Broadway track. Solsbury Hill has become an very famous live piece along with Here Comes the Flood. Peter seems to try and cover every music genre he can in this album. He does some blue, some rock, some pop and some world music along with Jazzy instrumentals and prog lyrics. Perhaps he was just finding his feet.
Something that you get from Peter Gabriel that you don't get from other ex-genesis solo artists (apart from Steve Hackett whose music i recommend) is songs that tell a very interesting, funny or even moving story through powerful and well thought out lyrics fused with music that the artist has spent a lot of time working on. There really isn't any comparison between this music and most modern offerings. (Im thinking Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber etc)
But before I start sounding like too much of a music snob, i would like to end by saying that this album represents the beginning of one of the most exciting and creative solo careers of any artist i have ever listened to.
Gabriel's first solo outing (1977) is a highly eclectic and entertaining set of 9 songs. The opening track, the classy 'Moribund the Burgermeister', is the most overtly Genesis-sounding song here; indeed it has all the hallmarks of Gabriel's last hurrah with the band, 1975's 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' LP. Hot on its heels comes the evergreen 'Solsbury Hill' which builds to an impressive climax, but, after such an wonderful start, 'Modern Love' seems too mainstream to my ears whilst 'Excuse Me' is certainly different from anything else on this collection. The rest of the running order provides high quality material in spades; the string-laden 'Humdrum' is quite lovely and 'Slowburn' is a classy rocker. The 7 minute 'Waiting For The Big One' is a stop-start bluesy affair which really grows on the listener over time ~ lyrically and musically, this is stunningly good. The pacey 'Down The Dolce Vita' contrasts nicely with the final track 'Here Comes The Flood' which, after hearing the drippy version on the 'Shaking The Tree - 16 Golden Greats' LP, makes you realise just how majestic the original arrangement of this song was. This is a decent place to start if you fancy rediscovering the Gabriel back catalogue although 'Gabriel 3' (1980) is probably the best of his early releases.
There was much anticipation around the release of this, mainly among Genesis fans but in the music press generally. The first I heard of it was "Solsbury Hill" on the radio which had us running to the record shop. As another review noted, there is a sense of release on this album, Gabriel can do whatever he wants. The creative genius was unleashed. Some of the experimental stuff is not exactly easy listening and there is a continued desire to stay away from straight 4/4 rhythms. But even if that is not your thing, the quality of some of the songs is simply stunning. That's the composition and the performance. And now years later this CD re-package delivers the lyrics and other details for the collector and to my ears excellent remastering of the originals.
Probably his favourite album of mine. From the absurd 'Moribund The Burgermeister' through the jaunty 'Solsbury Hill' (and a hit too!) to the seeming silly, yet strangely sincere 'Excuse Me' - and that's just on the original side one!! The remainder is very epic and includes just about everything chucked into a melting pot (including some funky stuff and full orchestra) and concluding on the harrowing 'Here Comes The Flood' - I don't think he bettered this although the next few were brilliant and So was one I played over and over for years on end... it all comes back here.
Actually, I'm a massive Genesis fan (I have multiple copies of some of their albums and a lot of other things besides) and prefer this over The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, any day. Not that I hate the album, just that feel this is far more inspired and still has its occasional nod to prog-rock, yet has some short, snappy numbers that proves he has always been a wonderful artist of such imagination.
This was the 2002 remaster that I sent for and received (always worth making sure that all the reviews for a particular album haven't been lumped together...) and sounds amazing. 5/5 - and more! :)
Simply brilliant. The mix of styles and the eccentricty of aspects of it - rocking out, to barbershop quartet, to ambient atmospherics, might not to be everyone's taste but I love the inventiveness of it all. But don't think artiness has been at the expense of tunes and melodies - they are here in abundance. A fantastic debut and platform for what has gone on to be a superb solo career.