1977 was a very good year for music. What with David Bowie’s ‘Low’ and “Heroes”, Abba’s ‘Arrival’ (I’ll have no disrespecting the top Swedish exports on my watch), Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’, Stevie Wonder’s ‘Songs in the key of life’, The Sex Pistol’s ‘Never mind the bollocks’ and of course Donna Summer’s ‘I remember yesterday’ to name but a few.
What chance then, in this most eclectic of musical years, that the ex lead singer of a ‘Prog Rock’ band should also bring forth a classic album too? Well (as you probably know by now) Peter Gabriel’s first solo outing, called, simply ‘Peter Gabriel’ turned out to be just that.
At the time it sounded like a huge departure from his work with Genesis; with hindsight (with the brilliant barbershop quartet/Peter Skellerny ‘Excuse me’ and ‘Waiting for the big one the obvious exceptions) it still sounds an awful lot like ‘Public Schoolboy Prog’ (and I mean that as a sincere compliment).
The opening track ‘Moribund the burgermeister’ could very easily have come directly from any Genesis album of the early 1970s (and would have merited a great Peter Gabriel costume had it done so). ‘Solsbury Hill’ sounds every bit as good after 36 years, but the pick, for me, is the beautiful ‘Here comes the flood’. There’s a great German version of this track too – please don’t miss out if you ever get the opportunity to hear it.
Of course, as we now know, this turned out to be only the first of four of Peter’s self-titled albums, so it’s often now known as ‘1’ or ‘Car’. When it comes to self-titled Peter Gabriel items my advice is this – the best ones are the odd ones!
Label – Charisma
Year - 1977