Music Monday: So… 25 Years Later

Peter Gabriel So
So turns 25

Sometimes when an album reaches that silver anniversary, you wonder where the time went. You also reflect back on your first listens of the album, as well as the numerous replays that have been in multiple formats over time. Such is the case with Peter Gabriel’s “So” which came out in 1986 and has stood out as Gabriel’s most popular album. And now 25 years later, it gets a remastering and a slight track listing change.

Track List

  1. “Red Rain”
  2. “Sledgehammer”
  3. “Don’t Give Up”
  4. “That Voice Again”
  5. “Mercy Street”
  6. “Big Time”
  7. “We Do What We’re Told (Milgram’s 37)”
  8. “This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds)”
  9. “In Your Eyes”

A Grand Experiment

Produced by both Gabriel and Daniel Lanois, all nine tracks are given a diverse yet solid sound with some pop thrown in on a couple of power hits “Sledgehammer” and “Big Time” and of course the mellow and upbeat “In Your Eyes” made famous by Lloyd Dobler [as played by John Cuscak] in the 1989 movie “Say Anything” blasting from a boombox. On this version, this is now the last track of the album [it was track 5 on the original 1986 release] which ending with this gem, it seems fitting, yet for all of the many listens I did, I got used to knowing what song came after the other. So my first listen to this 2012 release took me by surprise. Change is sometimes a good thing.

john cusack
Iconic Musical Image – Original Photo found on Reel Life With Jane

I remember I was in college at the time this album came out. I first owned it on cassette and a few years later purchased it on CD. I somehow lost track of that CD, so when I found it at my local record store this last weekend, it was a no brainer to make the purchase. Of course, I ripped in into digital as soon as I got home and it’s now on the various iDevices and my Mac.

The rest of the tracks on this album are just as brilliant in their own musical light. From the opener “Red Rain” to the upbeat transitions that entwine themselves in “That Voice Again” to “Mercy Street” being a very solemn tune. Kate Bush’s background vocals on “Don’t Give Up” bring a cheery voice to the dark tone of Peter’s. Not a single weak track here, folks.

And thus starts the next 25 years for this classic album. And one I plan to keep around for as long as I can.


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