Entertainment Peter Gabriel turns 70: from the life of a...

Peter Gabriel turns 70: from the life of a great songwriter

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Updated February 13, 2020, 4:56 p.m.

Started as an eccentric front man from Genesis, he had a remarkable solo career from the 80s. With his melancholic-spherical and multidimensional songs, Peter Gabriel is considered a musical pioneer of new sonic expressions. On February 13, 2020 the artist will be 70 years old. © spot on news


Peter Gabriel was born on February 13, 1950 in the southern English county of Surrey. He was born into an artistic-intellectual family and grew up on a pretty estate with associated lands. The mother was a concert pianist, the father an engineer.

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In the 1960s, young Peter came to an English boarding school, where he met his bandmates. Together they founded the progressive rock formation Genesis in 1967. Thanks to his unusual stage presence and his soft spot for bizarre costumes, Gabriel quickly became a frontman. (From left to right: drummer Phil Collins, bassist / guitarist Mike Rutherford, keyboardist Tony Banks, singer Peter Gabriel and guitarist Steve Hackett)

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Unusual for that time: Hardly any of the Genesis songs were less than seven minutes long, the lyrics poetic and word-strong, the melodies and harmonies dreamlike to surreal, the rhythm and compositions of the songs extremely complex and demanding. Almost every song, every performance of the Genesis era back then means a little journey into psychedelic sound worlds. Her album “Selling England by the Pound” (1973) stayed in the charts for 70 weeks.

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At some point the band members no longer came with Gabriel’s eccentricity and he himself felt artistically and creatively restricted. During the 1975 world tour of the album “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” he informed his band colleagues that he would leave Genesis. The separation happened, however, for good, as is repeatedly emphasized.

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Having just become a father, Gabriel initially decided to live a “normal” life, started growing vegetables and thinking a lot about himself. The result: You can’t do without music. He went back to the studio, and in 1977 he released his solo record with the simple name “Peter Gabriel”, on which the hit “Solsbury Hill” can be found. It achieved gold status.

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Three more albums followed under this name, in order to distinguish them, the fans dubbed them “Scratch” (1978), “Melt” (1980) and “Security” (1982). He also worked on his light and prop stage shows, which sent the audience on a true emotional roller coaster between struggle and melancholy. For this he partially shaved his head.

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In 1985 Gabriel’s atmospheric soundtrack for the film “Birdy” was released, and a year later he had a huge success with the album “So”. With the single “Sledgehammer” he even pushed his ex-colleagues from Genesis off the top of the chart. The accompanying video was awarded the “MTV Video Award” and set new standards in the industry.

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In 1988 Gabriel realized the “Human Rights Now” tour together with Amnesty International, in 1992 another great success appeared with “Us”. In the same year, Gabriel, the co-founder of the human rights organization “Witness”, was launched, which equips activists worldwide with cameras to document atrocities. (From left to right, 1988 in London: Youssou N’Dour, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman and Sting.

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Gabriel developed the background music for the Millennium Show in London in 2000. From then on, he began to concentrate more on soundtracks. Among them for “A Long Walk Home” (2002) or the Pixar hit “WALL E – The last one cleans up the earth” (2008), for whose song “Down To Earth” he received his sixth Grammy and an Oscar nomination ,

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After he was supposed to be the musical director of the opening ceremony for the 2006 World Cup and the project was suddenly canceled, Gabriel performed instead at the Olympic Winter Games in Turin. Together with the Lennon widow Yoko Ono, he sang no less a song than the peace anthem “Imagine”.

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Since 2004 there have been rumors again and again that Genesis and Gabriel are not reuniting in the form of a reunion. He once said in an interview with “The Daily Telegraph” with a wink: “It’s like with your own children. No matter how far you develop from one another, you continue to love them. ”

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In 2011 his new album “New Blood” was released. After he was inducted into the “Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame” in 2014, the Genesis boys met again shortly afterwards (picture from left to right: Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford.) , In 2016 he went on a two-pack tour with the singer Sting through the USA, which was also his last so far.

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The musician has become quieter in recent years. It is said that he wants to look after his family and his sick wife Meabh Flynn again. The couple have been married since 2002 and the couple have two sons. Gabriel also brought two daughters from his first marriage, the younger one, Melanie, being one of his background singers.

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