‘We Do What We’re Told (Milgram’s 37)’ is the sixth song I’ve featured from Peter Gabriel’s excellent 1986 album, So, an album that has only nine songs in total. It’s a largely instrumental cut but for some background chanting of the title phrase and a brief outro by Gabriel.
Surprisingly, I’ve never featured Peter Gabriel’s ‘Sledgehammer’ before, though I’ve blogged about four other tracks on the 9-song So album. This song was the record’s biggest hit, and Gabriel’s biggest North American hit, period.
Two other interesting bits of trivia I learned from the song’s Wikipedia page: the song ‘Sledgehammer’ replaced at #1 on the charts was ‘Invisible Touch’ by Gabriel’s former band, Genesis; and ‘Sledgehammer’ is the most-played video of all time by MTV.
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.
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.
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.