Peter Gabriel – Scratch My Back, Now Fuck Off!

All hasn’t gone to plan with the rock legend Peter Gabriel’s supposed dual album release as artists aren’t cooperating.

Gabriel’s latest album ‘Scratch My Back’ which was released last month was a series of covers of new and old artists where he presented his own interpretation of the original songs. The initial plan was for Gabriel to release this album of covers and then follow it up with an album consisting of his songs covered by the artists in the first. Instead there has been a problem in that the artists who Gabriel had hoped to participate in the project are either missing deadlines or refusing to take part at all. As such, Gabriel has been forced to release the material as a series of monthly downloads available from iTunes.

In an interview with the New York Times, Gabriel said: “We may not get everybody, but I hope we will.” The first two songs, featuring Paul Simon’s version of Biko, and the Magnetic Fields’ take on Not One of Us, are available now, with others following over the coming months.

According to Pitchfork, Arcade Fire are not covering ‘Games Without Frontiers’ as originally promised. It is unclear whether they are covering another Gabriel song or if they are even participating in the project at all.

The only artist to officially turn Gabriel down was David Bowie. Gabriel covered the track ‘Heroes’on ‘Scratch My Back’. Instead, the song’s co-writer, Brian Eno, is to record something instead.

Peter Gabriel – Scratch My Back Review


It’s been a while since Peter Gabriel has given us something to really sink our teeth into with his last solo album ‘Up’ being released in 2002 almost a decade ago. His latest album ‘Scratch My Back’ which came out today features a selection of covers of various new and old artists encompassing a diverse range of styles. Unlike the standard cover, Gabriel offers an insight into his own creativity by giving us his own interpretations of the songs aided only by various orchestral instruments arranged by John Metcalfe and none of the standard rock band set up. His husky voice gives a sense of raw emotion to each of the songs which conveys new meaning to them and allows the listener to approach them from a different perspective.

The title of the album is so for a reason as Gabriel plans to release another record later on in the year aptly named ‘I’ll Scratch Yours’ where the artists involved in Gabriel’s project will return the favour by covering one of Gabriel’s tracks with The Magnetic Fields’ cover of the Gabriel song ‘Not One of Us’ already available to download.

The result of Gabriel’s interpretation of each of these songs is ambivalent as for some songs it seems to work really well whilst others seem to detract from the poignancy and success of the originals. For example his cover of Bon Iver’s ‘Flume’ which is already a highly emotional song becomes rather exorbitant, however, tracks such as ‘Mirrorball’ originally by Elbow are made beautiful with the addition of strings and his deep, hoarse voice.

There are a few classics in there such as a cover of Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ and Paul Simon’s ‘The Boy in the Bubble’ which are insightful whereas the addition of newer artists such as Regina Spektor, Arcade Fire and Radiohead gives a fresher more modern feel to the album.

An album that could potentially reinstate Gabriel’s musical creativity or see him as ‘past his best’ it is one that will see a thorough analysis from critics. Personally I feel that in ‘Scratch My Back’ Gabriel has presented us with a discernment of his own feelings of today’s music, hand picking tracks which although may not be the most loved or appreciated of songs truly encompass the spirit of decent song writing reflecting true creativity and emotion. ‘Scratch My Back’ shows a Gabriel back on form in a society that is constantly changing its opinion of what constitutes ‘decent’ music and managing to slot itself amongst the contemporary artists of today.

‘Scratch My Back’ was released on February 15th on Virgin

Top Albums of 2010

Since it is the beginning of a new year and decade I thought I would kick start the posting by looking at what music we can look forward to in the coming year. 2010 is set for some highly anticipated music and already it has seen the release of some excellent albums. Here are a few of the albums that I am most excited about in no particular order:

Yeasayer – Odd Blood

Although very different to ‘All Hour Cymbals’ the change of direction to a more electronic style is not a bad thing and Yeasayer have produced a very good album to start the decade off.

Odd Blood was released on February 8th

Hot Chip – One Life Stand

Once again Hot Chip has pulled another brilliant album out of the bag. Slightly less disco-housey than previous records and a bit calmer it comes together very nicely as an album showing why they are the kings of Geek-chic.

One Life Stand was released on February 1st

Four Tet – There is Love in You

Kieran Hebden has released a beautiful album in ‘There Is Love In You’. An amazing exposition of the power that can be created in electronic music. There are definite influences from greats such as Aphex Twin in the likes of tracks such as ‘Sing’.

There Is Love In You was released on January 25th

Beach House – Teen Dream

New album from Baltimore dream pop duo. Once again it doesn’t disappoint and is arguably their best work to date. An album fuelled by nostalgia its creepy organs are not one to miss.

Teen Dream was released on Jan 26th

Massive Attack – Heligoland

Heligoland shows a Massive Attack back on form with good driving bass lines, plenty of brass and some excellent guest vocals from the likes of Martina Topley-Bird and Horace Andy.

Heligoland was released on February 8th

Peter Gabriel – Scratch My Back

It’s been almost a decade since rock legend Peter Gabriel has released anything and this album consisting of covers of old and modern artists sung by Gabriel with the aid of an orchestral accompaniment arranged by John Metcalfe shows he still has what it takes to produce excellent music

Scratch My Back was released on February 15th

Ratatat – LP4

The modular music duo of guitarist Mike Stroud and multi-instrumentalist Evan Mast are set to release their latest LP at some point this year although it hasn’t been disclosed but I am sure whatever they throw our way it will be very good.

Felix Cartal – Popular Music

We have already seen the likes of ‘Drone’ the first single of the album released last year and more recently the album’s title track ‘Popular Music’ and after the huge success of ‘Skeleton’ released in May last year which sadly won’t be on the album we can only expect amazing things from the electro dj. One dance album definitely to look forward to in 2010.

Popular Music will be released on February 23rd on Steve Aoki’s DIM MAK Label

Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks

The indie band from the Scottish borders have seen huge success in the past year especially in Edinburgh and for many the suspense of their latest release is becoming all a bit too much.

The Winter of Mixed Drinks will be released on March 9th

MGMT – Congratulations

After the success of 2007 release ‘Oracular Spectacular’ with singles such as ‘Kids’ and ‘Time to Pretend’ being hugely popular, their latest effort is surely to be one of the year’s most highly anticipated albums as fans look forward to more of their psychedelic indie.

Congratulations will be released on April 13th

Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

The third album from the virtual band featuring some very interesting guest performances from the likes of artists such as Snoop Dogg, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, De La Soul and The Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music. First single from the album ‘Stylo’ featuring Mos Def and Bobby Womack was released on January 26th.

Plastic Beach will be released on March 8th

Dan Le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip – The Logic of Chance

The combination of Dan Le Sac’s electronic backing and Pip’s lyrical genius have made this duo one of the best current acts of British Hip Hop. The first single from the album ‘Get Better’ has shown that they are still producing quality music and so this should be an album worth waiting for.

The Logic of Chance will be released on March 15th

Deftones – Eros

The new album from Deftones has seen a major setback from it’s initial intended release date of early 2009 after bassist Chi Cheng fell into a coma following a bad car crash. Sergio Vega of ‘Quicksand’ has stepped up to the challenge of filling Cheng’s boots and Moreno claims the album is going to be very weird and atmospheric with similarities to ‘White Pony’.

Eros will be released on April 27th

Those are the albums that have got me going that I have definitive information for although there are other intended releases from:

LCD Soundsystem
Arcade Fire
The Strokes
and many many more

All in all its looking to be a very exciting year for music and many of these releases I really can’t wait to get my hands on.