New Peter Gabriel Documentary Good For New And Longtime Fans

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Peter Gabriel has made a career of making some of the music industry’s most well known and respected music.  That’s been the case for nearly five decades.  Whether during his time in the legendary prog-rock band, Genesis or on his own, Gabriel has had nothing but success throughout his career.  Now one of his most classic albums has gotten its own documentary, telling how it came to be.  That album is his 1986 album, So.

So has become one of Peter Gabriel’s finest and most well known records thanks to hits such as ‘Red Rain, ‘Sledgehammer’, ‘Don’t Give Up’ and even a song that would make its way to the soundtrack of John Cusack’s movie, Say Anything in the form of ‘In Your Eyes’ just to name a handful of tracks.  This new documentary, which is part of the “Classic Albums” series, takes a look at those songs and others from So, and how each came to life.  It’s a good starting point both for any novice audiophile and a good look back for any experienced Peter Gabriel fan.  It culls interviews with the likes of drummer Manu Katche and Tony Levin (King Crimson) among others to tell just how much work went into the creation of So.  Levin shows some of his bass licks on camera.  Just watching this fellow legend pull off said licks is amazing.  The way in which he moves his hands across his instrument will leave any viewer watching these moments again and again.

One of the highlights of this documentary comes in the discussion over the album’s biggest hit, ‘Sledgehammer.’  The anecdotes shared about this song are both enlightening and entertaining.  They are just a portion of the material that real long time Peter Gabriel fans will find interesting in this near hour long documentary.  Even for those who are new to the music of this legend, the material offered in this release is impressive as it makes for a good starting point for said individuals.  The bonus material included in both the DVD and Blu-ray presentation adds even more to the overall viewing experience as well.  Whether on DVD or on Blu-ray, audiences will get the same presentation, leaving no one and nothing out.  Here fans of Peter Gabriel have one more reason to check out this new release, which is available now in stores and online. It makes for one more great gift idea for the music lover in any home.  It can be ordered online direct via the Eagle Rock Entertainment website, http://www.eagle-rock.com

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No “Secret” Here; Secret World Live Re-Issue Is A Must For Peter Gabriel Fans

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

It goes without saying that Peter Gabriel is one of the most iconic figures in modern music history.  Both as a solo artist and as a member of Genesis, Gabriel has more than carved his own place in the music business.  He has performed countless concerts around the world during his career.  And one of the greatest of those concerts would have to be his 1994 concert in Modena, Italy during his “Secret World Live” tour.  That show was originally released on VHS that same year.  It was re-issued on DVD by Interscope Records nearly a decade later.  Now, nearly another decade later, that classic concert has been re-issued once more thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment and Eagle Vision. 

Nearly two decades have passed since Secret World Live was originally released on VHS.  Since that time, the footage has stood the test of time quite well.  And thank goodness it did.  This show is an example of everything that is right with live shows.  The quality of the footage is a little bit grainy, given.  But considering how much worse it could have been that quality gives this re-issue sort of a nostalgic feel.  And the show itself was more than just a show.  Rather than just having a band on-stage performing, Gabriel’s Secret World Live was an actual stage production.  From the opening of the show, audiences are treated to what is a concert experience, not just a concert.  Gabriel’s use of the telephone in the show’s opener, ‘Come talk With Me’ was a nice touch.  And the addition of Paula Cole on backing vocals was an added bonus.  Musically, the two made for a great combination.

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Gabriel followed up ‘Come Talk To Me’ with another of his major hits, ‘Steam.’  The song by itself is a great song.  The addition of the “steam” during the choruses made the song that much better. As minute as this might have been in the grand scheme of things, it was one more part of what is a great concert experience.  Along with the use of the “steam” during the song, the band utilized every single bit of the stage for the music itself.  Audiences who have never seen this performance before will love seeing how the band switches back and forth between the larger circular stage and the smaller “back” stage.  How it’s done won’t be given away.  But as a hint, it’s almost “magical” (hint hint) how it’s done.  As with the already noted aspects, this one adds its own element of enjoyment to the full concert experience.

As the show closes, there is one more aspect that makes the show that much more amazing.  In this case, it’s not from the band, but from the fans themselves.  As Gabriel and company perform ‘In Your Eyes’, the audience in attendance pulls out their lighters, (yes lighters, not cell phones.  That’s a sign of the times, huh) and proceeds to turn them on and off.  The cameras capture the effect as the lighters glimmer like stars in the arena, all the while Gabriel and the band performing.  It is perhaps one of the concerts most powerful moments.

The show put on by Peter Gabriel and the entire band in Secret World Live makes it one of the best true concert experiences in recent memory.  The stage show alone didn’t make the show, though.  The show’s set list is loaded with amazing songs, including the ones already listed.  Along with the aforementioned songs, fans will also enjoy ‘Blood of Eden’, ‘Kiss that Frog’, ‘Solsbury Hill’, ‘Digging in The Dirt’, and perhaps his biggest hit of all, ‘Sledgehammer.’  For those who have picked up Gabriel’s “Live Blood” double disc concert that was released earlier this year, Gabriel’s rendition of ‘Digging in The Dirt’ in the “Secret World Live” show was far better than in the orchestral show.

So much more could be noted as to what makes this re-issue of “Secret World Live” so enjoyable.  But fans would be best served to experience it all for themselves.  “Secret World Live” is available now on DVD and blu-ray in stores and online.  It can be ordered online at http://www.eagle-rock.com

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.