Best of 2008.
I was recently inspired by my best mate to review my favourite music from last year (in order to make him a CD of the resultant tracks for his birthday), and thought I’d share the result with you. In reverse order.
#06 .: Peter Gabriel, Big Blue Ball
I can remember being very small, home with my parents in the 80s, and knowing about Peter Gabriel. My parents were always very musical, and always had music on in the background, rather by means of a radio or the like.
I very clearly remember Peter Gabriel’s So album – that simple cover, the one shot of his face, and the very simply designed contents of the jacket inside. I remember seeing the record around, remembered it clearly when I was ten years older, remember getting into music in my own way, discovering that passion for myself.
And Peter was still there, making music that awed and inspired; compositions peppered with exotic instruments, pop music inflected with intellectualism and art. He started releasing concerts on DVD, too, which was another wonder – suddenly, his vision and imagination was given form and stage, and the shows were spectacular.
Since 2000, he’s worked on and released a number of records that aren’t your standard albums, but more projects… not even concept albums, they liken more to Paul Simon’s career in that he’s expanded the lushness of his own music to incorporate the diversity of exotic acts he encounters.
Big Blue Ball is one such project album. In production for over 15 years, it’s a collaboration of efforts with several musicians he’s met and worked with through his travels. The album itself is a fusion of Gabriel’s characteristic antipop sound, but merges very effortlessly with rhythms and song from Africa and Asia, featuring guest vocalists.
Truly, if you’re in need of relaxation, than this will be an experience; you need to brew your favourite hot drink, turn off all the lights in your home, and nestle into your couch in whatever way is most comfortable.
Sadly, Peter Gabriel is at a point in his career that he doesn’t make videos… or anything, other than music; artists as established as himself have the luxury of focusing only on the music that pours out of their hearts and minds.
As such, I chose the video above to accompany this post purely for the fact it clearly illustrates his musical and lyrical genius. The song is Here Comes The Flood, and though it’s not on Big Blue Ball (as it was recorded live in 2004), I highly recommend both.