Peter Gabriel’s career has traveled through a variety of musical signposts, from prog-rock radical to international pop superstar to world-beat activist. On his latest project, Scratch My Back, Gabriel brings his personal style and sonic imagination to twelve favorite songs that he performs with solely orchestral instruments and voice. The album is the first part of a series of “song exchanges” in which Gabriel and other leading artists reinterpret each other’s music. The project is the first of its kind, and a collaboration of sorts. All the artists whose songs Gabriel has recorded here are returning the favor by each recording a song of his. The fruits of this exchange will be heard on a forthcoming companion volume, I'll Scratch Yours.
Gabriel describes “Scratch My Back” as a very personal record. And the choice to omit drums and guitar certainly helps create an intimacy that makes each track feel like a very private performance. The record opens with an utterly transformed version of David Bowie's 'Heroes' and goes on to include versions of Paul Simon’s ‘The Boy in the Bubble,’ Elbow’s ‘Mirrorball,’ Arcade Fire’s ‘My Body Is A Cage’ and a soaring version of Bon Iver's ‘Flume.’ Don’t expect to immediately recognize your favorite song. Gabriel has asked you to step up and open your ears to a new perspective on the music. Like a beautiful conversation between musicians, there’s an unexpectedness that is refreshing and a sense that there’s always more to say.
Official Artist website: www.PeterGabriel.com
Scratch My Back will be available on-demand February 8 through March 9, 2010
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. Apres Moi (Regina Spektor)
11. Philadelphia (Neil Young)
12. Street Spirit (Radiohead)