Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Art of the Cover - Peter Gabriel's "And I’ll Scratch Yours" (2013)

Ewwww - is that a microscopic shot of Gabriel's dome?  ... Best go see a specialist, mate!

That's more than enough frivolity. Let's get fucking serious .... it's that bloke out of Genesis for fuck sake!

Yap, Saint Peter is back and this week finally releases the long-planned companion to his 2010 covers album Scratch My Back; a new 12-track compilation called - appropriately enough - And I’ll Scratch Yours.

The LP actually is also packaged in a very reasonably-priced double CD which also includes Scratch My Back.

Not really a Gabriel album, rather it's (most of) the artists he covered on that original album returning the favour by covering his songs. 

The astonishing 'high concept' approach was summarised by Saint Peter:
"Rather than make a traditional covers record, I thought it would be much more fun to create a new type of project in which artists communicated with each other and swapped a song for a song, i.e. you do one of mine and I'll do one of yours, hence the title - Scratch My Back - And I'll Scratch Yours."
So scratching Pete's back (not a nice image!) here is an eclectic array of acclaimed indie favorites and some very established acclaimed artists ... and, erm, Regina Spektor!

Among the most anticipated has been one-trick-pony Arcade Fire’s take on Gabriel’s 1980 single “Games Without Frontiers,” which hit the web over the weekend.

Peter Gabriel's Scratch My Back album project is the first part of a series of song exchanges in which Gabriel and other leading artists reinterpret each other's songs. 
To help craft his recording of the album's eclectic array of cult favorites and classic tracks, Gabriel enlisted former Durutti Column member John Metcalfe, composer, arranger and the expertise of producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd's The Wall, Lou Reed's Berlin) and engineer, mixer and producer Tchad Blake (Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Tom Waits). 
Gabriel describes this as a very personal record with twelve songs performed only with orchestral instruments and voice. He made the choice not to include guitar or drums. The album s richly diverse sounds include the sparse romance of Lou Reed's The Power of the Heart , the powerful musical journey of David Bowie s Heroes and an epic arrangement of Arcade Fire s My Body Is A Cage. Gabriel and his collaborators recorded the album at George Martin s Air Lyndhurst Studios and the Real World Temple with further editing and mixing at his own Real Worlds Studio in Wiltshire.  
The Scratch My Back release is one of the most creative and engaging records from an iconic artist in a long time. The marketing focus is to penetrate Peter Gabriel s core fan base as well as fans of all genres and in all demographics given the scope of artists being covered as well as its depth of composition.

1. I Don't Remember (David Byrne)
2. Come Talk To Me (Bon Iver)
3. Blood Of Eden (Regina Spektor)
4. Not One Of Us (Stephin Merritt)
5. Shock The Monkey (Joseph Arthur)
6. Big Time (Randy Newman)
7. Games Without Frontiers (Arcade Fire)
8. Mercy Street (Elbow)
9. Mother Of Violence (Feist ft. Timer Timbre)
10. Solsbury Hill (Lou Reed)
11. Biko (Paul Simon)

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