Played So

Listened So by Peter Gabriel from

The first of Peter’s studio albums to have a proper title So was a watershed release in his career. Its marriage of the artistic and the commercial made for an indisputable success, with the album quickly sitting atop the album charts on both sides of the Atlantic. Aside from some intriguing collaborations – with Laurie Anderson on This Is The Picture, Kate Bush on Don’t Give Up and Youssou N’Dour on In Your Eyes – it was the unity of singer, band and producer that made So such a crucial record in the Gabriel canon.

I was obsessed with this album in like 1995-6. I would play the start of Sledgehammer over and over at full blast on our speakers to hear the weird flute-y synth (?) riff. I still like all the songs on the album besides Don’t Give Up. For having a couple massive hits on it — Sledgehammer and In Your Eyes — this is a pretty weird and dark album. Not a lot of pop artists gonna write about a psychologist’s unethical experiments. It’s kind of an odd blend of funky pop and world beat influenced kinda prog rock.