Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rolling Stone's Top 100 Albums of the 80's - #14 – Peter Gabriel – So

Continuing the series on the Top 100 Albums of the 80's.  Or at least the ones I have....
Continuing to work backwards, into the top 20:

#14 – Peter Gabriel – So

Released 1986, So is the best selling album of Peter Gabriel’s career. Propelled by the #1 hit Sledgehammer, the album peaked at #2 on the US charts, and went 5x Platinum in (US) sales. That’s 5 million albums sold for you non-geeks.   As noted in the original Rolling Stone review:  “the popularity of the record indicates a taste for elegance and intelligence in the sterile corridors of AOR  ...  'So' is a record of considerable emotional complexity and musical sophistication”

So… I have to admit I’m a bit of a late-comer to the album “So”. I was a big fan of the Peter Gabriel Genesis, but by the time he spilt (1975), I was transitioning into southern rock, and then into a more punk / power pop direction. So Gabriel was essentially off my radar. I knew the minor hits, “Solisbury Hill” (#68), “Games Without Frontiers” (#48), “Shock The Monkey” (#29), but none of the albums. I did pick up 1983’s “Plays Live”, but didn’t exactly wear out the grooves.

When “So” came out, I was captivated by the #1 hot “Sledgehammer”, a rollicking good time complete with a wacky video. And I knew Big Time. But that was it. I actually owned all of the previously mentioned songs (except Big Time), either digitally, or on 45.

Fast forward ~20 years to Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. And there’s “So” at a rather lofty 187. Hmmm, maybe I should check it out? A seed was planted. A few years later, I heard “In Your Eyes” at a dance recital, and immediately recognized Gabriel’s voice (Though I didn’t know the song). The seed sprouts. Not long after, I did check it out, literally (from the local library). Which led to a purchase. No points for promptness, but I got there.

So this album from 26 years ago is one of the newer additions to my iPod. And I really enjoy it. As with several of the other albums I’m listed recently, it has a great sound. Better late than never, huh?

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