Taken from antiMusic (June 03, 2016)
Peter Gabriel In The Studio For 30th Anniversary of ’So’
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(ITS) Peter Gabriel celebrates the 30th anniversary of his landmark "So" album with a rare interview on the syndicated radio In The Studio: The Stories Behind History's Greatest Rock Bands. The show sent over the following details
When the rock critics who parse such things as musical innovation, vision and authenticity perfectly agree with mass popular taste, a remarkable thing happens, as Peter Gabriel found out everywhere at once with So: you become the saving grace of progressive rock music while simultaneously occupying the mainstream pop high ground, a once-in-a-generation feat. Because of "Red Rain", "Sledgehammer", "In Your Eyes", "Don't Give Up" with Kate Bush, "Big Time" , and the meditative tone poem "Mercy Street", you would have to reach all the way back to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon to find anything even remotely comparable.
Prior to So, ex-Genesis lead singer Peter Gabriel had developed a cult following culminating with his groundbreaking "Shock the Monkey" song and video. But with the May 1986 release of So (#1 UK sales, #2 US; over 5 million sold; 4 Grammy nominations including Album and Record of the Year for the # 1 hit "Sledgehammer"), Peter Gabriel vaulted into international pop stardom with all of its attendant door-opening, barrier-eliminating amenities. Like certain other entertainers who had reached elite status in the fame game, Gabriel chose to use his newly-found powers for good through several international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Peter's own World Music charity WOMAD, and a death row/capital punishment project.
Speaking to InTheStudio host Redbeard, Peter Gabriel shares how the songwriting process unfolds for him. He says, "I've always worked from the rhythm first, because if you get a great groove happening, then it's sorta down hill. You can take your hands off the keyboard, shut your mouth for a moment, and the thing still feels great." Stream the episode here.