Peter Gabriel – Peter Gabriel [Car] (1977)
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About the Album
Peter Gabriel is the debut solo studio album by English progressive rock singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel and the first of four with the same eponymous title. Released on 25 February 1977, it was produced by Bob Ezrin. Gabriel and Ezrin assembled musicians, including guitarist Robert Fripp, and his future King Crimson bandmate Tony Levin on bass. On the album’s release, Gabriel began touring with a seven-piece band under his own name. The album went to No. 7 in UK and No. 38 in the US. This album is often called either Peter Gabriel I or Car, referring to the album cover by London artist Peter Christopherson. Music streaming services currently refer to it as Peter Gabriel 1: Car. Gabriel’s first solo success came with the album’s lead single “Solsbury Hill”, which Gabriel has said is about being prepared to lose what you have for what you might get… It’s about letting go.”
Although mainly happy with the music, Gabriel felt that the album – particularly “Here Comes The Flood”– was overproduced. Piano-only or piano with synth versions of that song appear on Robert Fripp’s Exposure and his appearance on Kate Bush’s December 1979 BBC Two TV special (in which Gabriel and Bush also duetted on Roy Harper’s “Another Day”). A third such version appeared on the 1990 compilation album Shaking the Tree: Sixteen Golden Greats. Gabriel often performs the song live, accompanied by only himself on keyboard, either in German or English, depending on the audience. The song was debuted during an appearance on Thames Television’s Good Afternoon in the summer of 1976.
Direct Disk Labs released a half-speed-mastered version of the album, from the original master tapes. It has a longer version of “Slowburn”(5:16 instead of 4:36) with the song’s introduction intact. All other versions of this album have the introduction (with a full band) edited out.