Peter Gabriel’s influence is so widespread we may take it for granted. When the rest of rock was simplifying in the new wave days, the former Genesis frontman blended synthesizers and a signature gated drum sound with an emotional honesty learned from soul music to create a sensibility that would influence artists from U2 to Arcade Fire to Depeche Mode. With extraordinary ambition, Gabriel transitioned from cult artist to multimedia pop star to global rock icon. His WOMAD festival has been a 33-year laboratory for musical cross-pollination. His brilliant stage shows inspired U2’s and Flaming Lips’ and expanded the visual vocabulary of music videos with clips such as “Sledgehammer,” “Shock The Monkey” and “Big Time.” In addition, he wrote songs like “Don’t Give Up,” “Red Rain” and “In Your Eyes” that put heart and soul on the radio at a time when those values were in short supply. Four decades on as a solo artist, Gabriel continues to push the boundaries of popular music and challenge audiences across the globe.
Here are 5 essential Peter Gabriel songs:
"Solsbury Hill" (1977)
"Solsbury Hill" captured the emotions of Peter Garbiel's departure from Genesis. As tension built during Genesis ...
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, when more than a quarter million people converged in the then largest demonstration in the United States capital. It was a triumph of unity and a moment – like many revolutionary episodes – that seized on the power of song to help make sense of its gravitas. The diverse cast of voices on August 28, 1963 included Marian Anderson, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and Peter, Paul and Mary. However, it was gospel legend Mahalia Jackson who, at the request of Martin Luther King Jr., helped set the stage for among the world's greatest recordings: the "I Have a Dream" speech.
"If [Martin Luther] King gave the movement a vision, Mahalia Jackson gave it a voice," wrote history and culture scholar Craig Werner in A Change is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America.
The inimitable voice of 1997 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Mahalia Jackson resonated far and wide, her bracing soprano and interpretation of gospel making her a familiar name among black and white audiences. She found stardom without making secular songs, becoming the first gospel artist to sing at Carnegie Hall in ...
I began my internship at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Library and Archives expecting to be busy with basic preservation tasks and minor conservation duties, such as creating enclosures for documents and rehousing materials. What I ended up doing instead was much more exciting, and it provided me with a much richer internship experience than I ever imagined.
I began by preparing the conservation lab, creating a conservation policy and expanding on the Library and Archives’ existing conservation manual. With everything in place, it was time to work on the collection most in need of treatment: the Les Paul Papers. The papers were in rough shape at the time of acquisition, as many of the documents and files were moldy and covered in rust from old staples and paper clips. The items with the most obvious mold damage were bagged and placed in quarantine until they could be cleaned, but mold seemed to be everywhere I looked in the collection.
Cleaning mold is not a simple task and requires special care and technique. Wearing personal protective equipment, including gloves, goggles, mask and apron, I carefully cleaned each item in the collection with conservation grade sponges ...
On April 18, 2013, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame officially ushers the 2013 class of inductees into the Hall of Fame during the 28th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The class – Lou Adler, Heart, Quincy Jones, Albert King, Randy Newman, Public Enemy, Rush and Donna Summer – are represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland's newest exhibit. In the series of clips below, get a behind the scenes look at the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees exhibit. Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to see the new exhibit!
“See, if I were to write Billy Joel’s ‘Just The Way You Are,’ I’d wreck it,” he said, explaining why his instincts run contrary to pop music. “I’d have written ‘I love you just the way you are, you stupid little bitch.’ Which really isn’t as good.”
Of course, he’s joking. But he’s also serious. And it’s that’s precise blend of humor and gravity that has distinguished the songs of Randy Newman from the start. He’s both one of the most hilarious and most serious of all songwriters. A compositional genius, he’s the only great American songwriter to become an accomplished film composer (with some 26 films to date, each with a fully orchestral score he wrote and conducted himself). But he’s also a lyrical genius who has done more than created a style; he’s created his own school of songwriting.
Newman’s songs use the novelistic technique of the untrustworthy narrator, a sometimes funny, often dark, always effective way of shaping a song.
Asked why he chose this indirect method of songwriting, he said: “Maybe it’s a psychological defect. I don’t want to stand up ...
Etta James was a pioneer. Through a career that spanned more than six decades, James' raw, unharnessed voice crossed genres, with Fifties hits such as "The Wallflower" and "Good Rockin' Daddy" cementing her role in the genesis of rock and roll alongside Chuck Berry, Ray Charles and Little Richard, and her soulful pop and blues explorations of the Sixties ranking with the works of Dinah Washington and Billie Holiday. She continued to make her mark through 2011, with a string of award-winning, critically acclaimed releases that showcased her unique style.
James was born Jamesette Hawkins in Los Angeles in 1938. Although brought up in the church singing in the gospel choir, she was drawn to rhythm and blues, and rock and roll, and by her mid-teens had formed a vocal trio named the Creolettes that worked up an answer song to Hank Ballard’s “Work With Me Annie” entitled “Roll With Me Henry.” The trio caught the attention of bandleader Johnny Otis, who arranged for the group to record “Roll With Me Henry” (retitled as “The Wallflower”) for Modern Records. Released with the group renamed the Peaches, "The Wallflower" topped the R&B chart for four weeks in 1955 ...