Peter Gabriel first entered my musical orbit via his tenure as the lead vocalist of Genesis. I would see pictures of him in all sorts of outrageous stage costumes in Circus magazine and became intrigued by his creatively bizarre fashion sense. After he left the band and started a solo career I eventually got around to actually listening to his music. His third self-titled album (also known as Melt, due to the cover shot of his face, um…melting!) came out in 1980, the year I graduated high school. By this time, Gabriel had married his progressive rock pedigree with a wide array of world music instrumentation and rhythms, and I was captivated. Incredible songwriting, coupled with Gabriel’s distinctive voice, both soaring and raspy at the same time, resulted in Games Without Frontiers, Intruder, Family Snapshot, And Through The Wire, and the majestic Biko. In time I went back and really got into the Genesis stuff, too. But this was the first, and a lot of his stuff remains in my playlists today.
Written By Braddon S. Williams