Wednesday, December 16, 2009

scratching the ten year itch

Fresh from being announced as one of this year's inductees into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a member of Genesis, Peter Gabriel has revealed he will be releasing a brand new album on February 15.

Seems like 2010 is the year many legendary luminaries will return from the musical wilderness. Sade is making a much heralded return nine years after her last studio album. Now, Peter Gabriel breaks his long silence with a nearly ten year absence with "Scratch My Back".

It's an album of covers. Gone are the monosyllabic titles. That's not the only thing that has disappeared. Peter describes it as a very personal record with twelve songs performed only with orchestral instruments and voice. Peter has recorded the album's eclectic array of cult favorites and classic tracks without any guitars, drums or electronics. It's quite a departure for him. You knew he couldn't just record a bunch of other people's songs.

He performed Paul Simon's "The Boy In The Bubble" at last year's WOMAD festival. I'm very curious to hear his take on "Heroes", which is such a massive, signature tune for David Bowie that it's nearly impossible to imagine anyone else recording it. Covering Radiohead is quite a monumental challenge, even for an artist of Peter Gabriel's stature. So there will be plenty of surprises when "Scratch My Back" finally sees the light of day.

The following is tracklisting for PG's forthcoming longplayer, only his eighth studio album in 32 years. Please note that the artist who recorded the original is listed next to each track.

1. Heroes (David Bowie)
2. The Boy In The Bubble (Paul Simon)
3. Mirrorball (Elbow)
4. Flume (Bon Iver)
5. Listening Wind (Talking Heads)
6. The Power Of The Heart (Lou Reed)
7. My Body Is A Cage (Arcade Fire)
8. The Book Of Love (The Magnetic Fields)
9. I Think It's Going To Rain Today (Randy Newman)
10. Apr├Ęs Moi (Regina Spektor)
11. Philadelphia (Neil Young)
12. Street Spirit (Radiohead)

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