Peter Gabriel, From Genesis to Growing Up: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Peter Gabriel, From Genesis to Growing Up

1st Edition

By Sarah Hill

Edited by Michael Drewett


288 pages

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Ever since Peter Gabriel fronted progressive rock band Genesis, from the late 1960s until the mid 1970s, journalists and academics alike have noted the importance of Gabriel's contribution to popular music. His influence became especially significant when he embarked on a solo career in the late 1970s. Gabriel secured his place in the annals of popular music history through his poignant recordings, innovative music videos, groundbreaking live performances, the establishment of WOMAD (the World of Music and Dance) and the Real World record label (as a forum for musicians from around the world to be heard, recorded and promoted) and for his political agenda (including links to a variety of political initiatives including the Artists Against Apartheid Project, Amnesty International and the Human Rights Now tour). In addition, Gabriel is known as a sensitive, articulate and critical performer whose music reflects an innate curiosity and deep intellectual commitment. This collection documents and critically explores the most central themes found in Gabriel's work. These are divided into three important conceptual areas arising from Gabriel's activity as a songwriter and recording artist, performer and activist: 'Identity and Representation', 'Politics and Power' and 'Production and Performance'.


'…a collection of insightful and engaging essays about Gabriel’s status as a singer, songwriter, producer and humanist…' Perfect Beat 'A careful reading of all the essays gives the reader an impressive idea of just how profound the things are you can examine in Peter Gabriel's work. The range of topics is as delightful as the sound standing of the essays.' Genesis News ’[these] essays … reveal many new insights into one of the more successful pop-rock artists of the past four decades. This volume offers a well-rounded sampling of Gabriel’s career and a strong argument for the benefits of an interdisciplinary examination of a single subject.’ Notes

Table of Contents

Contents: Peter Gabriel: from Genesis to growing up, Michael Drewett, Sarah Hill and Kimi Kärki; Part I Identity and Representation: From the New Jerusalem to the secret world: Peter Gabriel and the shifting self, Sarah Hill; Peter Gabriel and the question of being eccentric, Kari Kallioniemi; How Peter Gabriel got his mozo working, Kevin Holm-Hudson; Staging masculinities: visual imagery in Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer' video, Brenda Schmahmann; Peter Gabriel's elegy for Anne Sexton: image and music in 'Mercy Street', Carol Vernallis. Part II Politics and Power: The eyes of the world are watching now: the political effectiveness of 'Biko' by Peter Gabriel, Michael Drewett; Musical markers as catalysts in social revolutions: the case of Gabriel's 'Biko', Ingrid Bianca Byerly; 'Nothin' but the same of story': old hegemonies, new musics, Timothy D. Taylor; 'Hand-made, hi-tech, worldwide': Peter Gabriel and world music, David Laing. Part III Production and Performance: Nursery crymes and sirens' cries: Peter Gabriel's use of the flute, Rebecca Guy; 'I'd like my record to sound like this…': Peter Gabriel and audio technology, Franco Fabbri; 'I need contact' - rock 'n' roll ritual: Peter Gabriel's Security tour, 1982-83, Jeffrey Callen; Plasticine music: surrealism in Peter Gabriels 'Sledgehammer', John Richardson; The introspectionist: the phonographic staging of voice in Peter Gabriel's 'Blood of Eden' and 'Digging in the Dirt', Serge Lacasse; Turning the axis: the stage performance design collaboration between Peter Gabriel and Robert Lepage, Kimi Kärki; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author/Editor

Dr Michael Drewett, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Rhodes University, South Africa, Dr Sarah Hill, Lecturer in Music, Cardiff University, UK and Kimi Kärki, Research Fellow, Department of Cultural History, University of Turku, Finland.

About the Series

Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series

Popular musicology embraces the field of musicological study that engages with popular forms of music, especially music associated with commerce, entertainment and leisure activities. The Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series aims to present the best research in this field. Authors are concerned with criticism and analysis of the music itself, as well as locating musical practices, values and meanings in cultural context. The focus of the series is on popular music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a remit to encompass the entirety of the world’s popular music.

Critical and analytical tools employed in the study of popular music are being continually developed and refined in the twenty-first century. Perspectives on the transcultural and intercultural uses of popular music have enriched understanding of social context, reception and subject position. Popular genres as distinct as reggae, township, bhangra, and flamenco are features of a shrinking, transnational world. The series recognizes and addresses the emergence of mixed genres and new global fusions, and utilizes a wide range of theoretical models drawn from anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, media studies, semiotics, postcolonial studies, feminism, gender studies and queer studies.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / Individual Composer & Musician