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Herbie Hancock
Joe Zawinul
Bernie Worrell
Brian Eno
Peter Gabriel
Keith Emerson
Chick Corea
Sly Stone
John Medeski
Liam Howlett
Stevie Wonder
Thomas Dolby
Steve Winwood

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Peter Gabriel

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Peter Gabriel

Peter Brian Gabriel (born February 13, 1950, in Chobham, Surrey, England) is an English musician. He first came to fame as the lead vocalist, flautist, and percussionist of the progressive rock group Genesis, went on to a successful solo career, and more recently has focused on producing and promoting world music and pioneering digital distribution methods for music. In addition he has been involved in various humanitarian efforts.

Gabriel founded Genesis in 1967 while a pupil at Charterhouse School with bandmates Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford, and drummer Chris Stewart. The name of the band was suggested by fellow Charterhouse School alumnus, the pop music impresario Jonathan King who produced their first album 'From Genesis to Revelation'.

Genesis quickly became one of the most talked-about bands in the UK and eventually Italy, Belgium, Germany and other European countries, largely due to Gabriel's flamboyant stage presence, which involved numerous bizarre costume changes and comical, dreamlike stories told as the introduction to each song. The concerts made extensive use of black light with the normal stage lighting subdued or off. A backdrop of fluorescing white sheets and a comparatively sparse stage made the band into a set of silhouettes, with Gabriel's fluorescent costume and makeup the only other sources of light.

Backing vocals in Genesis during Gabriel's tenure in the band were usually handled by bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford, keyboardist/guitarist Tony Banks, and (most prominently) drummer Phil Collins, who (after a long search for a replacement) eventually became Genesis's lead singer after Gabriel left the band in 1975.
Gabriel's departure from Genesis (which stunned fans of the group and left many commentators wondering if they could survive) was the result of a number of factors. His stature as the lead singer of the band, and the added attention garnered by his flamboyant stage personae, led to tensions within the band. Genesis had always operated more or less as a collective, and Gabriel's burgeoning public profile led to fears within the group that he was being unfairly singled out as the creative hub of the group. Tensions were heightened by the ambitious album and tour of the concept work The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, a Gabriel-created concept piece which saw him taking on the lion's share of the lyric writing. During the writing and recording of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Gabriel was approached by director William Friedkin, allegedly because Friedkin had found Gabriel's short story in the liner notes to Genesis Live interesting. Gabriel's interest in a film project with Friedkin was another contributing factor in his decision to leave Genesis. The decision to quit the band was made before the tour supporting The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, but Gabriel stayed with the band until the conclusion of that tour.

Gabriel recorded his first solo album in 1976 and 1977 with producer Bob Ezrin, simply titled Peter Gabriel. His first solo success came with the single "Solsbury Hill", an autobiographical piece expressing his thoughts on leaving Genesis. In it, he sings, "My friends would think I was a nut...", alluding to his decision to begin a period of self-exploration and reflection, while he grew cabbages, played the piano for long hours, practised yoga and biofeedback, and spent time with his family. Although mainly happy with the album, Peter Gabriel felt that the track "Here Comes the Flood" was over-produced. A far simpler rendition can be found on Robert Fripp's album, Exposure, in his first compilation, and in his 2003 concert DVD. His recent live performances of this track are even more raw with just piano and vocals. The stripped-down version is on Gabriel's greatest hits albums Shaking the Tree (1990) and Hit (2002).
Gabriel worked with guitarist Robert Fripp (of King Crimson fame) as producer of his second solo LP, in 1978. That album was darker and more experimental, and yielded some fine recordings, but no major hits. (Fellow King Crimson member, drummer, Bill Bruford, had previously served as Genesis' live drummer while drummer Phil Collins attended to lead vocal duties in 1976 and 1977 including on the tour recorded as Seconds Out). Gabriel's third, in 1980, arose as a collaboration with Steve Lillywhite, who also produced early albums by U2. It was notable for the hit singles "Games Without Frontiers" and "Biko," for Gabriel's new interest in world music (especially for percussion), and for its bold production, which made extensive use of recording tricks and sound effects. Gabriel's third album is generally credited as the first LP to use the now-famous "gated drum" sound, invented by engineer Hugh Padgham and Gabriel's old Genesis band-mate Phil Collins. Collins played drums on several tracks, including the opener, "Intruder," which featured the reverse-gated, cymbal-less drum kit sound which Collins would make famous on his single "In the Air Tonight" and through the rest of the 1980s. The massive, distinctive hollow sound arose through some experiments by Collins and Padgham. Gabriel had requested that his drummers use no cymbals in the album's sessions, and when he heard the result from Collins and Padgham, he asked Collins to play a simple pattern for several minutes, then built "Intruder" on it.

Arduous and occasionally damp recording sessions at his rural English estate in 1981 and 1982, with co-producer/engineer David Lord, resulted in Gabriel's fourth LP release (the aforementioned Security), on which Gabriel took more production responsibility. It was one of the first commercial albums recorded entirely to digital tape (using a Sony mobile truck), and featured the early, extremely expensive Fairlight CMI sampling computer. Gabriel combined a variety of sampled and deconstructed sounds with world-beat percussion and other unusual instrumentation to create a radically new, emotionally charged soundscape. Furthermore, the sleeve art consisted of inscrutable, video-based imagery. Despite the album's peculiar sound, odd appearance, and often disturbing themes, it sold well and had a hit single in "Shock the Monkey", which also became a groundbreaking music video.

Gabriel toured extensively for each of his albums, continuing the dramatic shows he began with Genesis, often involving elaborate stage props and acrobatics which had him suspended from gantries, distorting his face with Fresnel lenses and mirrors, and wearing unusual makeup. For one tour, his entire band shaved their heads. His 1982-83 tour included a section opening for David Bowie, where many audience members and critics thought that Gabriel as opener (especially with his elaborate makeup) overshadowed Bowie at the height of his popularity. The stage was set for Gabriel's true breakout with his next studio release.

The hit years: So, Passion, Us, and Up
Although early on he achieved critical success and some commercial success (e.g. "Games Without Frontiers" from his third album and "Shock the Monkey" from his fourth), Gabriel achieved his greatest popularity with songs from the 1986 So album, highlights being the 60's-tinged pop and suggestiveness of "Sledgehammer" (a #1 smash in the US, ironically knocked off the top by Gabriel's old band Genesis's "Invisible Touch"), ""Big Time", the tear-jerking ballad "Don't Give Up" with Kate Bush about the devastation of unemployment and love song "In Your Eyes." ("In Your Eyes" had a conspicuous inclusion in the 1989 film Say Anything...; consequently, it was as popular that year as it was initially in 1986.) Gabriel co-produced So with Canadian Daniel Lanois, also known for his work with U2. Gabriel's song "Sledgehammer" was accompanied by a visually stunning music video, which was a collaboration with director Stephen R. Johnson, Aardman Animations, and the Brothers Quay. The video won numerous awards at the 1987 MTV Music Video Awards, and set a new standard for art in the music video industry. A follow-up video for the song "Big Time" also broke new ground in music video animation and special effects.
Gabriel played a prominent role in supporting Amnesty International at this time, appearing on the 1986 U.S. A Conspiracy of Hope Tour (where "Shock the Monkey"'s percussive echoing around stadiums was a highlight) and on the 1988 worldwide Human Rights Now! Tour.

In 1989, Gabriel released Passion, the soundtrack for Martin Scorsese's movie The Last Temptation of Christ. Many consider the album to be the climax of his work in world music. Following this, Gabriel recorded Us in 1992 (also co-produced with Daniel Lanois), an album in which he deals with the pain of his life problems of the previous years, his failed first marriage, and the distance with his first daughter.

Gabriel's introspection within the context of the album continues in "Digging in the Dirt", an extended metaphor which Gabriel uses to describe his process of trying to unearth the things inside of him that cause him trouble. Accompanied by a graphic and disturbing video featuring footage of Gabriel covered in worms, this song also made reference to the way media coverage seems to wallow in the foibles and mistakes of high visibility artists. Gabriel describes his struggle to get through to his daughter in "Come Talk To Me" which featured backing vocals by Sinéad O'Connor. The result was one of his most personal albums, though one with limited popular success. He followed the release of the album with a world tour. One prominent feature was a set-up that consisted of two stages: a round one and a square one, united by a bridge that he crossed riding a boat.

In 2000, Gabriel followed Us with the music to OVO, a soundtrack for the Millennium Dome Show in London, and Long Walk Home, the music from the Australian movie Rabbit-Proof Fence, early in 2002. In September 2002, he released Up, his most recent full-length album, which was entirely self-produced, and returned to some of the less commercial, darker themes of his work in the late '70s and early '80s. The album also shows Gabriel's continued freedom from the typical requirements for airplay of songs: aside from the ending piano ballad "The Drop," no song on Up is shorter than six minutes, and many go through several distinct movements, with great dynamics in sound and theme. --
Bio Courtesy of wikipedia

Vist the official Peter Gabriel web site

So is generally regarded as a peak in Peter Gabriel's recording career, notable both for its solid set of songs and lush production. For Gabriel, who'd been putting his music in theatrical contexts ever since his days with Genesis, the modern sound of So (coproduced with Daniel Lanois) was a dramatic conceit that effectively played off the organic roots of many of its songs. The album's big hit was "Sledgehammer," the English rocker's somewhat stilted take on the Stax/Volt style of rhythm & blues. Gabriel is much more powerful on his own art-rock songs, such as "Red Rain," which evokes nuclear ruin with its cascading rush of guitars and synthesizers. "Don't Give Up" is perhaps Gabriel's best ballad, with Kate Bush's heavenly second vocal enough to give anybody encouragement. But the song that best exploits So's blend of technology and soul is "In Your Eyes," a beguiling rhythmic tapestry in which Gabriel duets with Youssou N'Dour. --John Milward
To call Passion a pivotal recording in the development of world music would be a significant understatement. What makes Passion so undeniably important is its global reach and expert handling of what could've easily become polyglot babble. Vocalists Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Youssou N'Dour, and Baaba Maal bring strong Middle Eastern and African voices to the project, and Balkan textures come via the ney flute and doudouk. But Gabriel is the glue, offering electronic ambient flows between the multiple streams. Gabriel also brings something even less tangible: an awesome visual imagination that takes often seamless sounds and makes them impress the listener with picturelike colors and phrasing. This is, however, far more than an ambient global mix. The intertwined rhythms stand out, both on their own and as brushstrokes on a larger canvas. Never mind that Passion helped launch North American careers for N'Dour and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan--this is a stellar musical achievement by any standard. --Andrew Bartlett
Secret World Live
This is one of my favorite Peter Gabriel DVDs because it captures the essence of what a live show should be: amazing theatrics, powerful songs, and phenomenal musicians. For this tour the band was drums: Manu Katch; keys: Peter Gabriel and Jean Claude Naimro; bass: Tony Levin; guitar: David Rhodes; violin: Shankar; doudouk: Levon Minassian and on vocals a soon to be discovered Paula Cole. There is also a CD available for this concert. -- Rodney Lee
Check out Peter Gabriel Live playing "Red Rain"
Yamaha Electric Grand and Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 on top

If you are a Peter Gabriel fan then perhaps you will enjoy one of my CDs as well.
The music is keyboard driven electronica with guest vocalists.

Innocent Bystander is my alter ego of hardcore funky electronica. Released in 2000, this CD was featured prominently in MTV Road Rules.

The music infuses elements of Drum-n-Bass, Techno, Reggae, and Funk all with a unifying B-3 organ throughout. Innocent Bystander transcends the space time continuum from 70's funk to the new millennium by perfectly melding the computerized sounds of the new electronica with the raw human feel of old school soul and funk.
It's as if Sly Stone and Jimmy Smith were genetically combined with the Chemical Brothers and Fat Boy Slim! There is even a cover of Sly Stone's "Sing A Simple Song". The result is music for your mind and your ass. It's Medeski, Martin, and Wood on a futuristic tour around Jupiter.

The Satellite Orchestra is the latest project from Los Angeles keyboardist Rodney Lee. The music is a cinematic journey into soulful live electronica with Lee navigating from a Fender Rhodes electric piano. The CD was released in Sept. 2006 and features Rico Belled on bass, Allen Lightner on percussion, Dino Soldo on bass clarinet and flutes, Dave Karasony on Drums, and vocalists Jody Watley, Jeff Robinson, and Wade3.
The Satellite Orchestra is like a chance meeting of Massive Attack, Zero-7, and Herbie Hancock.

" I have always believed that an album is a trip..not just music to wash the dishes to, but a place to go.. a journey to take.. an album goes to a place in your soul that maybe you forgot was there...or maybe you never discovered.. The Satellite Orchestra is such an's music you feel...make sure to bring your headphones." -DJ Jedi

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