Peter Gabriel multimedia

Gabriel has been the subject of many interesting books over the years, as well as releasing films of his own tours and promotional videos. He also released two award-winning CD-ROM games in the 1990s, which placed him at the forefront of musical multimedia in the days before online gaming an interactive websites.

CD-ROM

Explora1 CD-ROM (1993)

Xplora1Gabriel’s first award winning experiment with CD-ROM was Xplora1, an interactive tour of Gabriel’s career, which was something of a technological milestone in 1993.

Sadly, it’s not that in-depth and only provides the majority of videos and background information to the Us album, which was new at the time, rather than the whole PG back catalogue. Xplora1 takes you through various screens collecting passes and keys, which give you access to backstage concert footage, interviews and a virtual tour of Real World Studios.

There’s a number of slightly more interactive features such as exploring the Real World recording week of 1992, playing sound snippets and creating your own mix of "Digging in the Dirt" via an interactive mixing desk.

Xplora1

Eve CD-ROM (1997)

The award winning Eve is a beautifully presented interactive world of art, music and relationships, and probably the closest thing you’ll get to being inside Peter Gabriel’s imagination. It’s a world of atmosphere, emotion and provides a wealth of interesting information. And above all, it’s fun and sometimes quite a challenge.

In Eve, paradise has been lost and you have to travel through four worlds, “Mud”, “The Garden”, “Profit” and “Art and Nature”, collecting musical sounds from Gabriel’s songs and pieces of art, gradually restoring the world through a series of puzzles. You meet the artists, and Gabriel along the way, as well as a number of people, from the public to doctors and lecturers, each discussing various aspects of relationships as well as other psychological states. Each world has its own Gabriel song, ("Come Talk To Me", "Shaking the Tree" and "In Your Eyes") which you can play with, and visualise your song mix ina dreamy landscape. Eve is almost like an interactive album, taking you to the sort of scenery and imagery that Gabriel's music invokes. Eve is slightly surreal and absolutely wonderful.

VHS & DVD

POV (VHS, 1991)

POV captures Gabriel at the height of his career in the late 1980s following the worldwide success of So. Filmed in an amphitheatre in Athens. Greece, POV sees Gabriel performing his 1987 tour, on a stripped down stage set of minimal lighting. Gabriel performs with precision and energy delivering numbers such as "No Self Control", "Games Without Frontiers", "Shock the Monkey", "Solsbury Hill", "Sledgehammer" and "In Your Eyes".

The show’s biggest highlight is at the end of "Lay Your Hands on Me", when Gabriel performs his spectacular stage dive backwards into his trusting audience, who carry him round and do their best to tear off his clothes. In between each song the viewer is treated to archive film clips of Gabriel’s childhood, private life and life on the road and in the studio. POV is crying out to be reissued on DVD.

CV (VHS, 1987)

CV is a collection of Gabriel’s promotional videos for his single releases between 1982 and 1989. Each video is striking and individual, particularly the multi-award winning animated videos for "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time".

Although long outdated, CV remains a superb snapshot of Gabriel’s pioneering film work from the 1980s.

 

 

 

All About Us (VHS, 1993)

All About Us goes behind the scenes of 1992's Us album, featuring an intimate interview with Gabriel, openly talking about the inspiration for each songs on the record. We are treated to all the promotional videos for the album, as well as a previously unseen video for "Solsbury Hill".

In addition to the promotional videos, we are shown the making of each video and studio footage, but at just an hour long, it’s a little short. That said, it’s the perfect companion for a brilliant album.

 

 

Secret World Live (VHS, 1994; DVD, 2003)

Originally released in 1994, Secret World Live captures a newly bearded Gabriel and the band performing in Italy, the heart of Gabriel fandom, on the winter leg of 1993’s Secret World Tour.

This excellent concert film was reissued on DVD in 2003, looking all the better for it, with a variety of extra features including a nice interview with Gabriel, going behind the scenes of the show. The concert itself is simply wonderful and beautifully filmed, capturing all the glory of the grand stage show with it’s lavish lighting effects and numerous simple-but-effective props.This is Peter Gabriel doing what he does best.

 

Growing Up Live (DVD, 2003)

Filmed in May 2003, again in Italy, Growing Up Live sees an older, wiser, (and balder) Gabriel back on tour for the first time since 1993. The Growing Up tour introduces Gabriel’s daughter, Melanie, on backing vocals. The show takes place in a central circular stage beneath an extending tower. Gabriel makes more use of image projection on to a central column in the tower and once again uses a variety of props to illustrate various songs.

These take the form of a boat, bicycle, video camera and the most amusing prop of the show, the “Zorb ball” in which Gabriel performs the song "Growing Up" rolling around the stage like a hyperactive hamster. "Downside-Up" is a moving duet with Melanie and sees them both performing the middle section of the song suspended upside down, walking round the underside of the half-descended tower – a breath taking performance. This is Peter Gabriel doing what he does best. Again.

Growing Up On Tour - A Family Portrait (DVD, 2004)

Filmed on the Growing Up Tour over 2002 and 2003, by Gabriel's filmmaker daughter, Anna. A Family Portrait is a short, but highly enjoyable video diary following Peter and the band (and indeed the family) on tour. The main focus is behind the scenes, including rehearsals and a glimpse of Gabriel enjoying fatherhood again with his young son Isaac and wife Meabh.

With both daughters and his wife and child on tour, it really is a family event, and we even get to see a glimpse of Peter’s parents, including an intimate yoga session between Peter and his father which formed the basis of the song "Father, Son" from the Ovo album. This DVD was exclusively made available for the Still Growing Up tour of 2004, and is a must for any Gabriel obsessive.

Play: The Videos (DVD, 2004)

Play brings together all 23 of Peter Gabriel's promotional videos, 1977 - 2004, from "Modern Love" to the ground-breaking "Sledgehammer" and beyond, right up to the latest batch of visual treats, made for the Up album. There are some new videos here too - a newly shot film for Father, Son, by Anna Gabriel, featuring Peter at the piano intersected by moving clips of him with his elderly father Ralph and little boy Issak - giving us three generations of Gabriel. There's a previously unseen video for "In Your Eyes", as well as new videos for "Washing of the Water" and "The Drop".

Each video has an optional spoken introduction by Peter, ranging from present day clips to various bits of interview footage. Even if the age of the pop video has seen its best days, Play proves to be a timely reminder that nobody else made music videos quite as good, memorable and pioneering as Peter Gabriel.

Still Growing Up - Live and Unwrapped (DVD, 2005)

Filmed on the European festival dates of Gabriel’s Still Growing Up Tour of 2004, Still Growing Up - Live and Unwrapped is a two disc set, featuring a concert performance compiled from various shows, fimed by Hamish Hamilton (Growing Up Live), and an alternative version of the show on the second disc features interviews with Peter talking frankly about his life and career, as well as life on the road.

Bonus features include exclusive studio footage of Peter and the band in 2002 performing 'Darkness', 'No Way Out’' and '‘Growing Up'’ in the Big Room at Real World, and performances of '‘Downside Up’' and ‘'Father, Son'’ from the BBC show 'Later with Jools Holland', from May 2000. There is also ‘No Self Control’ from POV, as a taster for a future DVD release.

Books

Peter Gabriel - An Authorised Biography (Spencer Bright)

The definitive and official Peter Gabriel biography. Intimate, interesting and a captivating read and insight into the man behind the music.

First published in 1989, revised in 1999.



 

 

The Secret Life of Peter Gabriel (Chris Welch)

An alternative and unauthorised biography.
Inaccurate in places.

Published 1998.



 

 

Peter Gabriel - In His Own Words (Mick St Michael)

An interesting biography made up exclusively of Gabriel’s own quotes, taken from various interviews from the Genesis days right up to 1993.

Published 1994.



 

 

Peter Gabriel (Armando Gallo)

Originally published in 1986, this photo book is an absolute must for any collector. Armando Gallo's stunning photographs, capture Gabriel’s gradual rise to worldwide success. Copies can frequently be found on ebay.