Peter Gabriel Names a Third Record After Himself

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  • An excellent pressing of Peter Gabriel’s third release, with strong Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides
  • A Must Own for Gabriel fans, this album is widely considered his breakthrough work as a solo artist
  • Listen closely and you’ll recognize Phil Collins’ signature drum sound on several of the tracks, including “Intruder”
  • 5 stars: “Generally regarded as Peter Gabriel’s finest record, his third eponymous album finds him coming into his own, crafting an album that’s artier, stronger, more song oriented than before.”

With this, his third release, Gabriel established himself as a true force in the rock world.

Tubey Magic Is Key

The original British pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even begin to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing into a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for. 

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What We Listen For

For Big Production Rock Albums such as this there are some obvious problem areas that are often heard on one or both sides of practically any copy of this album.

With so many heavily-produced instruments crammed into the soundfield, if the overall sound is at all veiled, recessed or smeared — problems common to 90+% of the records we play in our shootouts — the mix quickly becomes opaque, forcing the listener to work too hard to separate out the elements of musical interest. Exhaustion soon follows, especially on an album as powerful as this one, playing at the loud levels we tend to play at.

Transparency, clarity and presence are key. Note that none of the British copies we played was excessively thin. (Note that the domestic copies are made from dubs and can’t begin to compete.) Most had a fair amount of Tubey Magic and bass, so thankfully that was almost never a problem.

They did, however, tend to lack top end extension and transparency, and many were overly compressed. The sides that had sound that jumped out of the speakers, with driving rhythmic energy, worked the best for us. They really brought this complex music to life and allowed us to make sense of it.

We Love this Music

I’m a huge Peter Gabriel fan, having grown up with every one of the first five studio albums, practically as they were released. The third PG album thankfully does not suffer from the digital spit, grit, and hash of So and Security. Interestingly, if you know his early work well, none of the first five albums has much in common with the others. Like Steely Dan’s body of work, each of the albums has its own production qualities, its own sound, and music that ties tightly into both.

 

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Intruder
No Self Control
Start
I Don’t Remember
Family Snapshot

Side Two

And Through The Wire
Games Without Frontiers
Not One Of Us
Lead A Normal Life
Biko

AMG 5 Star Rave Review

Generally regarded as Peter Gabriel’s finest record, his third eponymous album finds him coming into his own, crafting an album that’s artier, stronger, more song oriented than before. Consider its ominous opener, the controlled menace of “Intruder.” He’s never found such a scary sound, yet it’s a sexy scare, one that is undeniably alluring, and he keeps this going throughout the record… He wound up having albums that sold more, or generated bigger hits, but this third Peter Gabriel album remains his masterpiece.