5 Of The Coolest Things I Learned:
- Peter Gabriel had previously banned cymbals and hi hits from his first four solo albums but producer Daniel Lanois convinced him to let them be used on So.
- Dolly Parton was Gabriel’s first duet partner choice for “Don’t Give Up” but she declined.
- Gabriel did not like headphones and in the doc calls them “condoms for the ears.” Had a special set up where he could sing without headphones where it wouldn’t bleed onto the track.
- “In Your Eyes” was originally placed at the beginning of Side B because of vinyl constrictions but when it was remastered Gabriel put it on the end of the album as he had originally intended.
- Gabriel was known as a master procrastinator and producer Lanois took several measures to get him to work including hammering Gabriel inside of a barn while he wrote lyrics and smashing a cell phone so Gabriel couldn’t continue to make phone calls.
For someone as famously enigmatic as Peter Gabriel can be I wasn’t sure how much I would really learn. But he is candid, at least by his standards, and there is some great insight from Lanois, the engineers, and the musicians who played. However there were some odd omissions, like not mentioning or discussing the song “Big Time” at all despite it being one of the most famous songs on the album. There also was no reference to “That Voice Again,” a personal favorite track from the album. Normally I wouldn’t be so picky given the time restriction of the documentary but considering the album had only 9 songs on it I thought there would be enough room to talk about more of the material.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5