Peter Gabriel :: Discography Giveaway

In anticipation of the October 11th release of New Blood, we’re giving away the entire almost the entirety of Peter Gabriel’s discography to an Aquarium Drunkard reader. The package will be a mix of vinyl and CD. I rarely do these types of things on the blog, but the enormity of Gabriel’s work speaks for itself. To enter, leave a comment with your favorite Gabriel ‘era.’ I’ll let you all decide how you want to define era.


145 thoughts on “Peter Gabriel :: Discography Giveaway

  1. I’d say the Genesis era. I discovered Genesis because I found a vinyl copy of So in with the Genesis section instead of Gabriel. I’d grown up with MTV so I knew Big Time and Sledgehammer. Selling England by the Pound was a lifechanging revelation for me in high school. It, Foxtrot and Live are masterpieces in my opinion.


  2. I just really love the album Us. I think it’s because I always loved the movie Angus, and Washing of the Water is in this scene. But more importantly, it’s just a really great album. Not sure what to call that era, though. The Us era?

  3. Wow. I like all stuff PG, but I’ll have to go with his third solo album as favorite. He’s the most mesmerizing person in concert though. Saw the New Blood Tour at the Bowl and he’s as fantastic as ever.

  4. So was a seminal album of my later teenage years. Produced by Daniel Lanois, it remains a classic.

    Before so there was Security and the Plays Live album that followed. Those both formed indelible impressions on me slightly earlier, and had a major impact on my musical explorations for years.

  5. I guess it’s called Peter Gabriel 3…Melt?? Family Snapshot used to make me cry!

    There is not one single cymbal crash on the entire record

  6. I’ve really been digging Peter Gabriel solo stuff a lot lately. The Self-Titled album trilogy is my favorite era, if I can define it as such. I’d have to say the Self-Titled “Car” album is my favorite album of the bunch, but the track “And Through the Wire” from the album pictured above is my favorite song of the trilogy and one of my favorite songs ever. I bet that box set is killer!!!!

  7. Easily the self-titled era that ended with the “Security” album, his ability to mix barely accessible with catchy songs like Solsbury Hill, Games Without Frontiers, and Shock the Monkey showed Gabriel at his creative apex.

  8. So/Us. They were released more than five years apart, but I feel deep in love with both at the same time (1993) and still adore them equally. Each album traverses so fluidly from loud rockers to introspective ballads.

    It’s almost criminal the man didn’t record another album until 2002.

  9. Would beginning to now count as an era? ๐Ÿ™‚ From So to Us is pretty fantastic. The places, the wide diversity in music, he explored is astounding. Yet it is open enough that most people can find something to hold as their own.

  10. i was an 80s baby and watched ‘Friday Night Videos’ every week. When ‘Big Time’ & ‘Sledgehammer’ hit, I was instantly enamored. I’d love to grab the discography and dive into his deeper stuff.

  11. Peter is just one of those artists that doesn’t put anything out that is less than brilliant, no matter how long it takes. I will always be an old Genesis fan first, but it is hard to find fault in anything Peter touches…I saw the New Blood Orchestra show at Red Rocks this summer and it was stunning. As far as his solo career goes, I prefer the first few albums to the more polished later years, but I think his best song ever is “Digging In The Dirt”, just brilliant.

  12. My acquaintance with Gabriels’ Genesis era came only after I got to listen to the entirety of So, I, II, III and IV…shamed to say so but true…and at the time back in mid 80s I loved every minute if it…
    IV and ‘So’ don’t actually belong to same era cause the first one was more like a turning point in his early solo career and the second one was pretty much an apogee from a sales perspective which gave him star status.
    Still I admit I love/loved ‘So’ and what came immediately after and that was the soundtrack of ‘Passion’.
    To sum up, I had a most pleasant time listening to Gabriel between IV, then on to ‘Birdy’, ‘So’ and finally ‘Passion’…then came Giant Sand, Thin White Rope, Dream Syndicate, the desert…and I guess you can guess the rest… Thanks for the space ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. ’77 “Car/Rain” will always be the definitive solo album; with the move into the new band and the more personal, contemplative and existential lyrical matter, just a shining classic in every way. “Someday, I’ll find myself like a bee findin’ honey… But in the meantime… I’m gonna have me some fun….”

  14. I’ve gotta go with US, simply because I’ve been through some of the same things PG was going through in this exploration of his personal life (divorce, losing touch with children), and the guest vocals and musicians on this album were quite amazing in their contributions as well. I just wish I had a relationship with Rosanna Arquette to fall back on after MY first marraige. Props to Peter…

  15. 1983 specifically – the PLAYS LIVE TOUR – the monkey makeup and gabriel at his MAX best live – at the end of the EPIC four PG lps – the mystery started to disappear after that with the TITLED albums just one tiny factor – So, US, Up … Ovo – still genius tho’

  16. So is not just my favorite PG album. It’s my favorite album ever. It’s the one I would need on a desert island. It’s the one I could listen to over and over again until the end of the world. I still remember when a very cute boy shared his headphones with me on the bus and I first heard the album. That was long ago, but the album remains one that defined and helped refine my taste for future years.

  17. So to Us… coincidentally Shaking The Tree has been stuck in my head all day even before your blog entry, so strange!

  18. My favourite Peter Gabriel era is not so much an era, but more of a legacy. It’s a legacy we all kind of enjoy now, so maybe it is an era.

    Anyway, he’s the man who launched the Real World label and created a platform for authentic, incredible, inspirational music from around the world. Albums that fused the authenticity of different musical cultures with the advanced sound recording techniques of the west.

    Three albums immediately spring to mind; the soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ, Night Song by arguably the greatest singer of the 20th Century, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Rama Sreerama featuring the truly mesmeric mandolin playing of U. Srinivas.

    Real World broadened the collective musical horizons of a generation and paved the way for the popularity of African funk, North indian qawwali and its influence on artists like Damon Albarn and Eddie Vedder.

    I think the other thing he tried to do was embrace the digital medium. He was perhaps a little early, but his investment in the fusion of music with digital art and technology prefaced the kind of experimentation we see today from artists like Radiohead and Arcade Fire.

    Like Brian Eno, he’s an artist who manages to puncture the genericism of the mainstream while maintaining an undiminished belief in the possibilities of the human imagination. That’s kind of rare. So, weird wizardy beard stylings aside, lets give him some love.

  19. All of Gabriel’s eras work for me; I was turned onto Biko and the Family Snapshot and was floored by the cinematic and epic quality of his work, it was exactly what I wanted from music. At the time, I was ignorant of his history and that most of the songs on Genesis’ great live album, Seconds Out were PG era songs; the ensuing enlightenment was mind blowing. By the time No 4 or Security came out, I was a fiend of a fan, and that became one of my favorite albums of all time. Each succesive album was added to that list (as well as the back catalog of Genesis albums, Birdy and the Passion). In my mind, he can do no wrong.

  20. The late ’80s was his peak. Specifically “Passion”, his soundtrack to “The Last Temptation of Christ”. That totaly blew my mind and is my most played cd ever (I’ve owned 3 copies). Easily the best album of the last 40 years!

  21. My favourite era falls between 1977 and 1980, however for me in my mind its around 2000-2004 when my dad used to play these albums in the car on long trips and on the way to sports games, it kind of served as my introduction to good music.

  22. So, for introducing me to his music. I may like other albums more, but without the exposure that So got, I might never have had the pleasure of discovering the rest of his catalog.

  23. PG has been a favorite ever since I heard Genesis’ “Foxtrot” album in 1972. When he split from the band after “The Lamb” I didn’t take much notice. When PG “Car” came out I was hooked on him. Every new album is an event for me. Every new album has me diving for the turntable to spin the old vinyl. My favorite PG album?. Which ever one I’m listening to at the time.

  24. “Dont Give Up” and “In Your Eyes” make such a great album. The tour that followed it was pretty special, too.

  25. The “Melt” album. Even though I began listening to Genesis in ’73, and was a rabid fan, a lot of it seems a bit…precious now. His first Bob Ezrin-produced solo album had some great material, but was over-produced (which was Ezrin’s stamp). I suppose “So” it his best album, but I prefer “Melt” – the songs are strong, weird, great musicianship (but not too much) – I think it holds up really well.

  26. In the end, I am just happy that we are all having this discussion about the under-rated genius of Gabriel, glad to hear all the fans preaching it. Gabriel is one of the best.

  27. The soundtrack period, if it is a period at all. Both Birdy and The Last Temptation of Christ are incredible and hold up so well. Manny Elias from Tears for Fears plays, along with many other drummers, on both records. An awesome under-rated drummer.

  28. Everything up to and including ‘So’ is my favorite ‘era’ but I enjoy the majority of the man’s work as well.

  29. My high school and college years were the So/Us era, so that would be my favorite. My younger sister and her girl friends worshiped Say Anything (and I guess I did, too) so In Your Eyes is in my all-time top 20.

  30. I have to agree with Jimmy (#1), the intensity of non-verbal emotion in recordings during that time is incredible.

  31. Happy to see this entry. The man has had some intense creative bursts.

    PG Genesis is great (Supper’s Ready! Fly on a Windshield! Return of the Giant Hogweed!!!) but so different from his solo work. Best PG “era” is a hopscotch through the ’70’s and ’80’s: PG 1, 3, 4, and Passion. Really some great, original work there. I appreciate his darker sound the most. What has come close to Rhythm of the Heat since then? If it’s out there, I’m missing out!

  32. My FAVORITE… “So.” Released in 1986. Genesis was (is) phenomenal, but I enjoy his 80’s solo work best- “Us”, “Birdy”, “Shaking The Tree”…. He is such an incredible, progressive artist. Good luck to all in the contest! What a treat! Too cool!
    -Miss Layla

  33. For me the first 4 solo albums are an incredible body of work that I go back to again and again but if I had to pick a favourite it would be the 2nd album with the cover above (scratch). Great songs, immediate production and Fripp’s presence a real bonus.

  34. The self-titled era immediately post Genesis is my favorite. Seldom do artists achieve their greatest heights after leaving a popular and highly acclaimed band.

  35. Today my favorite Peter Gabriel era is circa “Big Time”. That song has one of the best opening’s ever for some of the most delicious, cynical lyrics ever: “Hi there”.. then that bass comes in and we hear about a guy from a small town that uses small words “but not me, I’m smarter than that”. Perfect mid-80s cynicism.

  36. 1995 – 2002. After the monumental success of Us, Gabriel spends 7 years working on a reported 130 – 150 songs. Many of these became the albums/projects OVO, Long Walk Home, and Up, with the long-awaited I/O still uncompleted.

  37. Top two:

    1. PG-era Genesis
    2. Peter Gabriel s/t 1-4

    Neither era ever gets old for me, always sounds fresh. The first Peter Gabriel (car) album has been in heavy rotation for the past 3 or 4 months.

  38. 3 [akaMelt]/Security/Plays Live era. The last of his self-titled albums and “Security” still hold up today, but what really made it for me was seeing him live at IU Auditorium in Bloomington, IN on the tour in support of “Security”. It was more than just a concert, it was a mind-altering, life changing experience. About 2/3s of the way through, there was a brief power outage and when it was restored, none of the computers would reboot properly, so Peter and the band soldiered on without them. It was magical. I believe a few of the songs showed up on the “Plays Live” release, but this many years later I’m not 100% sure. Regardless, when I listen to any of those songs, the memories wash over me and take me back to that night, that time.

  39. So was my first experience with Peter Gabriel, so it continues to be the most meaningful and most important. And frankly I think as a kid I thought Peter Gabriel had invented the music video.

    Which, hey. Maybe he did.

  40. Definitely the two albums “So” and “Us”. I was 13 when I first heard “Sledgehammer”, and there’s no way I’ll ever be able to shake off that.

  41. Love love love that man, my favourite album was the 1982 one, untitled? the one with I Have the Touch. Would love to win! Thanks!

  42. Love the third solo record (I remember hearing Games Without Frontiers on the radio the first time and being sort of freaked out) and his soundtrack work from the 80’s is also amazing!!

  43. Peter Gabriell 3. Growing up in the early 80s I was bombarded by the ponderousness of late era Genesis. After hearing “I Don’t Remember” on the fantastic ‘Life In The European Theatre’ (The Clash, The Jam, Undertones, Echo & The Bunnymen, etc, all on one tape!), I was amazed to discover that this person once shared the stage and studio with… Phil Collins. Needless to say, I find those early album fantastic.

  44. Unlike most artists that got their start in the 70’s, I actually really appreciate a lot of Peter Gabriel’s later work. And while his solo career is incredible, my favorite era is Lamb Lies Down on Broadway Genesis. Top 3 prog albums ever made, in my opinion. Got to give the guy props for being a shining light in the 80’s though!

  45. 3 and 4 were when gabriel really was at his best. amazing musicians on every record, great videos when they were still thought of as art, theatrical shows still at smaller venues. after those came out i waited what seemed an eternity until ‘so’ came out and ‘sledgehammer’ blew up. after that he wasn’t a nice little secret, he was ‘bigtime’ a pioneer who’s sort of lost his cool for a bit, but he’s always been about the art and not the sales.

  46. My favourite era? “Biko” (if you can call 7 minutes and 22 seconds an era).
    There’s only 1 other song that I feel meshes anger, injustice and hopeless, frustrated, defeated emotion so perfectly & that’s Robert Wyatt’s “Shipbuilding” (As an aside Wyatt’s cover version of Biko moves me to tears regularly.)
    I was 5 when this single was first released and 12 when it was re-issued. It was certainly a part of what shaped my viewpoint on racism, apartheid, injustice and had as profound an effect on my ideas of right and wrong as any music can do.
    Ultimately there are transcendant moments all throughout his career but if I had to truly narrow it down I’d say this is perfection.

    Bonus geek out – His duet of “Another Day” w/ Kate Bush from her 1979 Xmas special can also level me completely. One day someone HAS to release that officially.

  47. It’s mostly So but then it’s also Us. I call this era “whatever happened to short album titles?”: The Era.

  48. i’m a really big fan of “this” era and the “next” era – the early 80’s is the time that really defined him as an artist – but sporadic albums and tours made it very difficult to be anything more than an ‘archivist’ – so right now, to be in stride with such a fruitful and exciting span of his career (with peter so strong vocallly!), i can only pray that the momentum carries into a new project of originals that creates a new era sometime in this decade ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. I going to have to say that my favorite era, as it were, is the period from Security to Passion, mostly because of memories associated with listening to these albums. However, I think my favorite song is Here Come the Flood off of Exposure because it is just so raw. But basically I don’t think that there is anything he has done that I don’t appreciate and return to.

  50. I’m a terrible snob for Gabriel-era Genesis, and listen to Nursery Cryme/Foxtrot like decent folk go to church, but got the “Car” album in a recent vinyl binge and holy sweet crap that is amazing.

  51. I’ve loved every note the man has ever produced, from “When The Sour Turns To Sweet” off of the first Genesis album, through the effervescent heartbreak of his first solo disc’s stunning “Here Comes The Flood”,onto the present day with his skillful re-imagining of The Arcade Fire’s “My Body Is A Cage”. I came to Peter Gabriel as a six-year old boy blown away by the visuals in his “Sledgehammer” video. I’ve never left his discography since.

  52. I would vote the wonderfully creepy and surreal Genesis era. Although the 1-3 album era is not too shabby either.

  53. Genesis era was my favorite, especially Lamb Lies down on Broadway. If I were to write books fo children, if would base it on this album. I love “Carpet Crawler.”

  54. “Games Without Frontiers” first brought Peter Gabriel to my attention as a kid – what was that woman repeatedly singing!? Then I got the satisfaction of figuring it out (remember: this was wayyyyy pre-internet. If you were the only person in you middle school into something other than Ozzy Osbourne, you weren’t going to get much help deciphering lyrics.) The guy at my local used record shop (who I think used the place as a front for dealing, he was calling it “Gilmore East” at that time) was the one who said, “I think it’s French, ain’t it?” It was during that same visit to Gilmore East that I picked up my first scratchy copies of Rain/Car, Fripp’s Exposure, and The Kick Inside, a truly watershed haul in my young music-listening life. Only problem was the skip in the first verse of “Solsbury Hill” — to this day I can’t hear the song with thinking it’ll be, “my heart going boom-boom-boom, ‘oing boom-boom-boom, ‘oing boom-boom-boom, ‘oing boom-boom-boom…..”

  55. The third solo record is a mesmerizing blend of pop sensibility, widescreen storytelling, brilliant singing, electronic innovation, awesome songwriting, Phil Collins’ innovative and oft-copied gated reverb drenched and cymbal-less drums, and so many other unique factors that make it one of the greatest records of all time; it’s blend of the artsy, the punky/edgy and the commercial has influenced countless groups, namely, to my ears, TV On The Radio.
    Although it’s a bit more commercial, ‘So’ is no less brilliant, and it remains one of the best records of the 80’s, with its integration of worldbeat influenced (Youssou N’Dour on ‘In Your Eyes’), Kate Bush at the height of her powers on ‘Don’t Give Up’, the epic scope of ‘Red Rain’, and that awesome keyboard sound of ‘That Voice Again’ and ‘In Your Eyes’. There’s a sensitivity and tenderness to ‘Mercy Street’ and ‘Don’t Give Up’ that can’t be faked. Spine chilling stuff. Hell, even ‘Sledgehammer’ can make a shakuhachi funky.

  56. the 2nd and 3rd records’ non-use of cymbals plays a GIGANTIC role in the sound of so many bands these days. I think those 2 PG records are the vehicle that brought the “african-esque” to modern indie.

  57. Melt Melt melt! Most definitely! Security is fascinating, but I always find my way back to the third album.

  58. I like almost all of the eras of Gabriel’s career, but I’m gonna stick up for the Genesis era as my fave, since it seems to be his most reviled. Pretentious, yes, but at its best it was also witty and delightfully strange, too. Love it.

  59. I am partial to the “Digging in the Dirt” era Peter Gabriel. Us is an album that I loved when it came out in 1992, then got pushed out of my cd rotation, to be rediscovered and listened to over and over years later. Washing of the Water is such a beautiful song, and Digging in the Dirt is one of my favorite songs ever. The live album from the Secret World Tour is another one of my favs.

  60. After Rael, things got real, the lamb was protesting on wall street– We knew the big one was coming, a flood of songs, excuse me but things have gotten Moribund for the middle class, we all want a slowburn down the dolce vita. Easy to say Do it Yourself, but there is a subtle flavor in the air, almost fear, the Mother of Violence, cause my 401k had too much overseas exposure, I’m just trying to lead a normal life, I don’t remember at all, but I have a family snapshot from that era, SELF TITLED of the games without frontiers we played– and still play.

  61. I discovered Genesis and Peter Gabriel as a thirteen year-old when each act was at the peak of their commercial powers: 1986 “Invisible Touch” and “So”. I knew there was something different about each of them compared to the rest of the top 40 of the time, so it was gratifying to soon learn about their shared past and then to discover their rich back catalogues.

    There is so very little of PG that I don’t like, it is hard to pick a favourite era. I’ll say “So” for now (a perfect balance of artistic merit and commercial appeal), but that could change tomorrow…

  62. I like the “Us” era Gabriel stuff. The videos didn’t hurt either. They were the best of the era.

  63. I’d agree with a few other commenters that the era of So/Passion/Us is hard to beat when “favorite” is the criteria. Of course, I’d not want to do without at least half of each album released before So, as well… I just don’t listen to them in their entirety with the same enjoyment as I do either of these three. (And I say “Blood of Eden” might be the best thing he’s ever done, still, though mostly because of that scene over which it plays in Wenders’ Until the End of the World where the bomb explodes and the plane glides to the ground over the Australian outback.)

  64. Like many artists, my favorite would probably be his early solo days. ‘Solsbury Hill” was, at the time, quite a departure from “Lamb Lies Down.” Practically starting over from scratch, which does not happen all the time from a lead singer who was already in a successful band.

  65. I think it was 1975 and Genesis was touring “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.” My boyfriend and I borrowed my mom’s car and drove the 60 miles to Cleveland’s Music Hall on a school night to see Peter and the band dressed up in full costume to perform the album in its entirety. The crowd, which seemed serious and older (also heavily stoned–the cloud of pot smoke looked like a halo above the crowd), was mesmerized. Peter Gabriel’s energy and stage presence were astonishing. I think I memorized the entire album after that.

  66. His 3rd solo record is my favorite for the mix of great songs, great musicians, and great production values, i.e, no crash cymbals; what a concept! I’ve read previously that Mr. Gabriel extended quite a bit of latitude for ideas and suggestions from the musicians around him, and I always find that endearing as hell. My other all-time favorite P.G. moment is the song “Across The River” from the very 1st WOMAD double album compilation; it included David Rhodes, Stewart Copeland, and Shankar on a single track I must’ve played over a thousand times. I don’t have it anymore, can’t find it, and am starting to feel anxious all over again. You must give me the prize for my mental anguish, if nothing else. Thankyou.

Comments are closed.