One of the reasons I began to listen to Peter Gabriel was the fact that he was championing the end of apartheid at a time in my life when I was just beginning to become more socially and politically aware of what was going on in the world. In particular, he recorded a song demanding justice for the death in custody of Stephen Bantu Biko which he featured on his LP Peter Gabriel III, and which he later released as a single

This was also the LP that brought Gabriel his first real degree of solo success, thanks to the lead-off single Games Without Frontiers which was a #4 hit in the UK. Today’s offering was the follow-up single, a rather dark number that focuses in on lust. The fact that it has the utterly delicious Kate Bush singing away rather erotically on backing vocals somehow only adds to its intensity.

mp3 : Peter Gabriel – No Self Control

I’ll quietly ignore the fact that it is Phil Collins who plays drums on the record. Actually, that’s a bit unfair….if he had stuck solely to his original day-job as a sticksmith, then Phil Collins would probably be lauded as a superb musician. As it is, we all think of him as the chart-topping man of the 80s loathed by many, but as the record sales demonstrate, loved by so many in the Thatcherite era…..

Quite clearly, the record label weren’t all that fussed about whether or not folk would buy this single, for the b-side was a track lifted from the LP.

mp3 : Peter Gabriel – Lead A Normal Life

A strange little number, largely instrumental in nature, it seems out of place on its own as a b-side as it was tailored-made for its particular spot on the album to lead into the epic closing track, the aforementioned Biko.

Incidentally, fans of the modfather might be interested to know that Paul Weller played guitar on one of the other tracks on the album.

mp3 : Peter Gabriel – And Through The Wire



  1. The problem I have with Phil Collins, apart from you know him being Phil Collins is that I cannot understand his popularity. I don’t get it, I mean he is an alright drummer but he is a terrible singer and an even worse actor and lets not even start on his politics. Ignoring all that, Peter Gabriel is ok in my books.

  2. No street-cred lost here. PG was one of the most innovative artists of his time. His third and fourth albums in particular sound like nothing else of the time (except maybe Kate Bush), but which contain obvious reference points for others who would follow, particularly in terms of recording techniques and production.

  3. There is a lot of love out there for Peter Gabriel as I discovered from the comments from a recent post

  4. I’d have been 14 when the Gabriel III album came out. From memory that album was pretty much accepted by both the New Wave / Mod crowd and the Prog Rock lot at school. The only derision I can recall around that time was for the lad who tried to convince us that a Styx album was worth a listen.

  5. I think it’s pretty obvious that in this corner of the Blogosphere, Peter Gabriel rates…well at least through Peter Gabriel IV…I bet we start to loose some by the time “So” is released… As for PG III, it is probably my favorite of his albums and a great example of how the 70’s Art Rockers (I can’t bring myself to call Gabriel Prog) could get it right as they moved towards the New Wave. Oh, and ‘And Through The Wires’ might be my favorite Gabriel song…

  6. Cred intact. Said it before: The Best Concert I Ever Saw In My Life was Peter Gabriel at the Palladium in NYC November 1978. The man can sing, can entertain, is original, and doesn’t act like a complete twat even though he’s rich and famous. His first 4 solo records were outstanding. His later more commercial stuff ranges from pretty good to forgivable. And, setting aside all the (many) negatives about Collins, the gated reverb on his drum kit set the sound for 80’s drumming. Compare, say, “Intruder” from Gabriel III to anything on PiL’s Flowers of Romance album.

  7. No replies about Phil or red, but did you know………. there are no cymbals on any track on PG III – my favourite PG album.

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