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Peter Gabriel has earned a worldwide reputation for his innovative work as a musician, writer and video maker.
While at school, Peter Gabriel co-founded the group Genesis, which he left in 1975. Peter Gabriel's albums, live performance and videos since then have won him a succession of awards.
In 1980 Peter Gabriel collected a group of people together to found WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance). In a series of international festivals, starting in 1982, WOMAD has brought together traditional and modern music, arts and dance from every corner of the globe. In 1993 WOMAD joined Gabriel's group of companies, based next to Real World Studios.
Peter Gabriel has released ten solo albums and in 1986, his album ‘So' won him his first Grammy. The videos from this project confirmed Gabriel as a leader in video production and included ‘Sledgehammer', which has won the most music video awards ever, including number one position in ‘ Rolling Stones' top 100 videos of all time and the MTV most played video of all time.
Shortly afterwards Peters Gabriel established Real World Studios in Wiltshire, designed as an ideal environment for performance. It also became the base for Real World Records, a label which is dedicated to recording and promoting a wide range of different artists from all over the world.
In addition, Peter Gabriel has been involved in a wide spectrum of human rights and environmental issues. Gabriel's song ‘Biko' was the first pop song which talked about the effects of apartheid, and in 1988 and 1990 Peter Gabriel was involved in the Nelson Mandela concerts at Wembley. In 1988 Gabriel worked with Amnesty International to set up the Human Rights Now! tour, and toured many countries with Sting.php"> Sting , Bruce Springsteen, Tracey Chapman and Youssou N'Dour.
Following this, Peter Gabriel initiated the ‘Witness' program, which was launched in 1992 in conjunction with the Reebok Human Rights Foundation in the USA. The organization aims to arm human rights activists from around the world with hand held video cameras, computers and other tools of communication.
To date, they have supplied hundreds of cameras to over fifty countries, and have also set up a bi-weekly Witness web broadcast via Macintosh's Quicktime Channel. In 1989 Peter Gabriel visited the USSR to help launch Greenpeace there, and also contributed to the ‘One World, One Voice' album, a collaborative album, which featured artists from all over the world.
Gabriel was asked by Alan Parker in 1984 to write the score for the film ‘Birdy', which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1989 Peter Gabriel composed the sound track for Martin Scorsese's epic film ‘The Last Temptation of Christ' which was the basis for one of his most experimental and innovative albums, ‘Passion'.
Gabriel's album, which involved an extraordinary selection of musicians and singers, tried to integrate many very different styles of music. It was the inspiration behind the BBC's specialist radio programme, ‘Mixing It'.
For the release of his tenth album, ‘US', in 1992 Peter Gabriel commissioned eleven artists to interpret the individual songs on his album. The individual works of art were featured at the British Contemporary Art exhibition in 1993 and also in a special exhibition in Japan. ‘US' earned Gabriel four Grammy nominations and two MTV Awards in the US and a BRIT and Q Award in the UK.
The fourth single, ‘Kiss That Frog', was the starting point for the creation of the world's first motion video ride, entitled ‘The Mindblender'. Developed in association with Mega in the US, ‘The Mindblender' toured the USA and proved to be a popular mix of ride-motion, film and music. April 1993 was the start of the "Secret World Tour". Produced by Gabriel and pioneering Canadian director/designer, Robert Le Page, the show blended Le Page's visionary style of theatre with personal songs focused on relationships.
It was seen by over a million fans in five continents and toured for eighteen months. In November 1993 the show was filmed and recorded in Modena, Italy by Francois Girard, and in August 1994 "Peter Gabriel Secret World Live", the double live album and video, was released.
In 1993 Gabriel set up Real World Multi Media and brought together a team of experts dedicated to developing, producing and publishing innovative CD-ROMs and pushing new technology to its limits. Gabriel's RWMM launched a series of multimedia titles, which went on to win many awards across the world, including the coveted Milia d'Or, two BAFTAS, the 1994 BIMA Award, the Sparky from the Interactive Media Festival and four awards at the Digital Media Awards. Among these titles were ‘Ceremony of Innocence' and Gabriel's CD-ROMs "XPLORA, EVE. In 1996 Radio Real World became the official web site focusing on Real World and Gabriel.
At the end of 1997 Gabriel was invited by Mark Fisher to help create a show for the central space of the London Millennium Dome. 1998 found Peter Gabriel brainstorming ideas on the narrative and visual concept. In 1999, whilst continuing to be involved with the show's development, Gabriel composed the music. The show was opened on January 1st 2000. An album of this music, entitled OVO, was released on Real World/Virgin Records on June 5th.
Peter Gabriel's eagerly awaited 11th studio album, UP, is released in September 2002. Work began on the album in 1993, and whilst writing and recording UP, Gabriel also developed a stage show called Zulu Time, with the French Canadian theater director Robert Le Page and released a score for the Philip Noyce film, Rabbit Proof Fence, entitled Long Walk Home.
Peter Gabriel's UP is a new cycle of songs about birth, life and death, which elevates the standards for high-concept genre-breaking music Gabriel is known for. Long time touring band Tony Levin, Manu Katche and David Rhodes all contributed to the album, as did drummers Ged Lynch (formerly of Black Grape) and Steely Dan alumni, Steve Gadd. The Blind Boys of Alabama chime in on the soul and blues influenced Sky Blue, which also features Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac fame. Gabriel himself produced the majority of tracks on UP, although he collaborated on one track, I Grieve, with Stephen Hague.
In November, Peter Gabriel will undertake an American tour with European dates to follow next year. The show will be produced in conjunction with Robert Le Page, who helped create the Secret World Live tour, and the results promise to be equally spectacular.
The first single from UP, the darkly humorous The Barry Williams Show, was also released in September 2002.
Peter Gabriel has been interested in world music for many years, with the first musical evidence appearing on his third album. This influence has increased over time, and he is the driving force behind the WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) movement. He created the Real World Studios and record label to facilitate the creation and distribution of such music by various artists, and he has worked to educate Western culture about the work of such musicians as Yungchen Lhamo, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Youssou N'dour. He has also recently been interested in multimedia projects, creating the Xplora and Eve CD-ROMs. He has a long-standing interest in human rights, and launched the Witness programme to supply video cameras to human rights activists to expose abuses.
Peter Gabriel's song "We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37)" from So refers to Milgram's experiment, and in particular the 37 out of 40 subjects who showed complete obedience in one particular experiment.
Peter Gabriel was one of the founders of On Demand Distribution (OD2), one of the first online music download services. Its technology is used by MSN Music UK and others, and has become the dominant music download technology platform for stores in Europe. OD2 was bought by US company Loudeye in June of 2004.
Additionally, Peter Gabriel is also co-founder (with Brian Eno) of a musicians union called Mudda, short for "magnificent union of digitally downloading artists."
In June 2005, Peter Gabriel and broadcast industry entrepreneur David Engelke purchased Solid State Logic, a leading manufacturer of mixing consoles and digital audio workstations.
Recently, Peter Gabriel has been working with video game companies Cyan Worlds and Ubisoft to aid in the sound production of their latest video games. The 2003 videogame Uru: Ages Beyond Myst featured the song "Burn You Up, Burn You Down" in several portions of the game. The song, in a different mix, features the Blind Boys of Alabama (who also collaborated with Gabriel on the song "Sky Blue") and was on a press release copy of Up, but deleted before the album's actual release.
Gabriel played on stage with Cat Stevens 33 years after having played on Stevens' Mona Bone Jakon album. The event happened in Johannesburg during Nelson Mandela's 46664 concert. The two British artists performed Stevens' old hit "Wild World".
The 2004 release of Myst IV: Revelation (developed by Ubisoft Montreal) featured a song called "Curtains", originally a B-side from the single to "Big Time" from So. The song, slightly remixed from its original version, is also often called 'Portal to Serenia' or 'Portal to Dreamworld'. Gabriel also perfoms a large voice acting part in the game.
Also in 2004, Gabriel performed a cover version of "The Book of Love," a song by The Magnetic Fields, on the soundtrack to the film Shall We Dance?. He compered and performed at the Eden Project Live 8 concert in July 2005. A DVD of this show has already been released.
With his most recent album releases being 2003's Hit and Miss compilations, fans await Gabriel's next project, rumoured to be titled I/O. It currently has no release date.
Peter Gabriel Song List
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