I 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.
Continuing my look at acclaimed albums released in 1982, we arrive at Peter Gabriel’s self-titled fourth solo album. Not to be confused with his self-titled first, second and third solo albums.
Gabriel is an imaginative fellow, but that imagination didn’t extend to his album titles. Those first four albums, all officially titled Peter Gabriel, have come to be known by a word derived from the album covers: Car, Scratch, Melt and Security.
Movies and music are inexorably intertwined, and the best films almost always feature music in a memorable way. That could be through an original score — think of Star Wars, Jaws or Raiders of the Lost Ark without John Williams — or recorded songs.
Over the next two weeks I’ll count down ten of my favorite uses of songs in the movies. I can’t believe I haven’t done this before through nearly 2,500 Songs of the Day, but that seems to be the case. I have written about some of these songs, and mentioned some of these movies, but never as part of a theme week. In the cases where I’ve featured a song already I will post a live or alternate version. Whenever possible, I will post the movie clips as well.
Best Albums of the 80s – #8
So – Peter Gabriel (1986)
In the late 80s, after I bought my first CD player, I immediately purchased three albums that I knew I had to own in this new digital format. Two of them are still to come on this list. The third was Peter Gabriel’s So.
That purchase was in part due to the album’s sonic qualities, which I knew would be well served on CD, but mostly because it was one of the best records I owned of any sort.
With all of the great songs on Peter Gabriel’s So (‘Sledgehammer,’ ‘Red Rain,’ ‘In Your Eyes,’ ‘Mercy Street’… wow!), it’s easy to forget this inspirational track.
Teaming up with Kate Bush, better known for her avant garde songwriting than this sort of lush balladry, Gabriel recorded a grand ode to perseverance, a precursor to ‘Everybody Hurts.’
Though ‘Don’t Give Up’ isn’t a love song in the traditional sense, I find it achingly romantic. That’s due in large part to the interplay of Gabriel’s and Bush’s vocals, not to mention the video of them hugging throughout the performance (must have been an interesting shoot).