John C. from KENSINGTON, MD Reviewed on 5/4/2014...
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Steven M. from NORTHVILLE, MI Reviewed on 12/10/2006...
Peter Gabriel's biggest rock solo album is still one of the
Terrence J. Reardon | Lake Worth (a west Palm Beach suburb), FL | 02/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel released his fifth studio solo rock album entitled So in May of 1986. The year 1986 was the year of Genesis past and present. Whilst Peter released So, his former Genesis bandmate guitarist Steve Hackett released his hit collaboration with Yes guitarist Steve Howe called GTR's self-titled album. Also, Hackett and Gabriel's ex-colleages the rest of Genesis (singer/drummer Phil Collins, keyboard player Tony Banks and bass player/guitarist Mike Rutherford) released the hugely successful Invisible Touch (see review). A month before Invisible Touch, Gabriel released So which was a year in the making but was well worth the time it took to create this now classic to rock history. It was four years since his last solo album (1982's fourth self-titled album which was released with the title Security here in the US at the request of his US label Geffen). This time, Gabriel and his supreme team of session players, including the reliable Tony Levin on bass and Chapman Stick plus David Rhodes on guitar are joined Police drummer Stewart Copeland and drummers Manu Katche and Rick Marotta. The thunderous "Red Rain" is a stellar opener to this album and is possibly one of his best solo tracks of the 1980s. Next is the smash hit "Sledgehammer" (with Gabriel going a bit funky on the R&B thing) and was rightfully a #1 hit. In a strange twist of fate, it KO-ed his ex-bandmembers' "Invisible Touch" single out of #1 in the US. Also this track's video was groundbreaking with its animation effects. Next is the excellent duet with British singer/songwriter Kate Bush called "Don't Give Up" which is a stellar song and one of the best duets I ever heard. We end the first half with the atmospheric sounding "That Voice Again" which was a rock radio hit in the US yet didn't get released to pop radio. "Mercy Street" starts the second half off (it was "In Your Eyes" but Gabriel changed the CD tracklisting for the remaster) and is a nice piece. We follow with another big hit called "Big Time" which featured Stewart Copeland on drums and was also known for its classic video (similar to "Sledgehammer" with his effects and Claymation). The original vinyl album's closer "We Do What Were Told" is reminiscent of Gabriel's darker late 1970s material. It's brief, lyrically simple, but very, very haunting. The original CD and cassette closer "This Is The Picture" is a terrific, light-groove collaboration with avant-garde artist Laurie Anderson which combined singing with spoken word, and the funky guitar of Nile Rodgers. The original album's second half opener and now album closer "In Your Eyes" is the album's most well known hit. This track was a #1 on US rock radio and is a nice love song and featured The Call's Michael Been and Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr on backing vocals plus African singer Y'oussor N'Dour helping out at the end. So became Peter Gabriel's biggest selling solo album reaching #2 on the Billboard album charts and has sold FIVE million copies to date in the US alone. The album was nominated for the Grammy for Album Of The Year, but it lost to Paul Simon's arguable masterpiece Graceland. However, Gabriel did win the MTV Video Music Award Video of the Year for "Sledgehammer" which ironically beat his old Genesis mates' "Land of Confusion" video. Aside sales, So proved Peter Gabriel was a force to be recoked with. RECOMMENDED!"
And I greet them with the wildest smile
Eric E. Weinraub | Issaquah, Washington United States | 06/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We knew Peter was going to deliver something truly awesome after Security. 1987 was a huge year in so many ways for music. The '80s would not have been the decade they were without this record. The production stellar. The musicians were the finest around. The sounds were high tech and world beat. They all came together. I will never forget this record and the tour that followed. peter delivered a blistering Red Rain at Amensty."
So What? So.
DW | chicago, IL | 04/27/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of Peter Gabriel's finest CDs, So is cathartic. The raw emotion of Red Rain is undeniable. Thought-provoking lyrics coupled with serious musicians produces pure brilliance. Manu Katché's drumming is perfectly suited to Gabriel's message. Unquestionably one of music's finest moments.