Song of the Day #2,820: ‘Big Time’ – Peter Gabriel

peter_gabriel_soI owned my first CD player in the late 80s. It was a large black boom box with a cassette deck on the front and the CD unit on top. Something like this, but not quite as slick.

The first three CDs I bought were albums I had owned on vinyl but wanted to experience in this new, sonically superior format (I guess vinyl enthusiasts would quibble with the “sonically superior” part). One was U2’s The Joshua Tree, another was Paul Simon’s Graceland and the third was Peter Gabriel’s So.

So contains only nine songs, and one is a throwaway bit of weirdness featuring Laurie Anderson (any ‘This is the Picture (Excellent Birds)’ defenders out there?) but it’s easily one of the best albums of the 1980s.

‘In Your Eyes,”Don’t Give Up’ and ‘Mercy Street’ are the album’s emotional highlights; ‘That Voice Again’ and ‘Red Rain’ are epic, gorgeous pop ballads; ‘We Do What We’re Told (Milgram’s 37)’ is bleak and ominous and a personal favorite.

Then you have smash hit ‘Sledgehammer’ and its cousin ‘Big Time,’ two radio singles that still fit in on such an offbeat, mournful album.

What a classic.

[Verse 1]
I’m on my way, I’m making it
I’ve got to make it show, yeah
So much larger than life
I’m going to watch it growing

The place where I come from is a small town
They think so small
They use small words
– But not me
I’m smarter than that
I worked it out
I’ve been stretching my mouth
To let those big words come right out

I’ve had enough, I’m getting out
To the city, the big big city
I’ll be a big noise with all the big boys
There’s so much stuff I will own
And I will pray to a big god
As I kneel in the big church

[Chorus]
Big time
I’m on my way – I’m making it
Big time – big time
I’ve got to make it show, yeah
Big time big time
So much larger than life
Big time
I’m going to watch it growing
Big time

[Verse 2]
My parties have all the big names
And I greet them with the widest smile
Tell them how my life is one big adventure
And always they’re amazed
When I show them round the house, to my bed
I had it made like a mountain range
With a snow-white pillow for my big fat head
And my heaven will be a big heaven
And I will walk through the front door

[Chorus]
Big time
I’m on my way – I’m making it
Big time Big time
I’ve got to make it show – yeah
Big time Big time
So much larger than life
Big time
I’m going to watch it growing
Big time Big time
My car is getting bigger
Big time
My house is getting bigger
Big time
My eyes are getting bigger
Big time
And my mouth
Big time
My belly is getting bigger
Big time
And my bank account
Big time
Look at my circumstance
Big time
And the bulge in my big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big
Big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,820: ‘Big Time’ – Peter Gabriel

  1. Dana says:

    This was one of my earliest CDs as well. In fact, I’m trying to recall if I ever owned it on vinyl. I don’t think I did. Such a great record! And, yes, I even like “This is the Picture,” though it is certainly not one of my favorites. Somehow, it seems a fitting closer.

  2. Peg says:

    I’m only familiar with the song In Your Eyes from the movie Say Anything which I loved; but since I only know Laurie Anderson as a “performance artist” and somewhat weird I imagine I wouldn’t like that number. I like today’s song, good beat.

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