"Deadlines are things that we pass through on the way to finishing." - Peter Gabriel
Up is the seventh (eleventh if you count soundtracks) studio album from progressive rocker Peter Gabriel. It was released in September of 2002, ten years after the previous album (two after the last soundtrack).
- Growing Up
- Sky Blue
- No Way Out
- I Grieve
- The Barry Williams Show
- My Head Sounds Like That
- More Than This
- Signal to Noise
- The Drop
Up is the culmination of seven years of work, distractions, and side projects in the life of Peter Gabriel. Nearly a hundred song ideas and the work of thirty musicians (not counting production staff) recorded in five countries have all boiled down to ten songs. Numerous offbeat production techniques were used during the making of this album, and it's been completely rerecorded at least once.
In the spring of 1995, PG and Richard Chappell retreated to the French Alps to write music in preparation of RealWorld Recording Week. More songs are begun in October of the same year in Dakar.
In April of the following year, PG performs "Signal to Noise" with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. At this point, a release date in 1996 or 1997 is planned. HAH!
Here's what else he ended up working on, making his album 5 years late
- the soundtrack to Rabbit-Proof Fence, a 2001 Australian film directed by Philip Noyce
- OVO, the soundtrack to the Millennium Dome show, with his usual band, minus David Rhodes, plus BT, Elizabeth Fraser, Richie Havens, and Iarla O Lionaird
- In the Sun, from the Princess Diana tribute album
- the theme song to the television program Brimstone
- I Grieve, from the 1998 film City of Angels, directed by Brad Silberling
- Party Man from the 1995 film Virtuosity, directed by Brett Leonard, with Tori Amos and the Worldbeaters
- While the Earth Sleeps, from the 1995 film Strange Days, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, with Deep Forest
- Taboo, from the 1994 film Natural Born Killers, directed by Oliver Stone, with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
- Me, an interview album, released in 1994
- Lovetown from the 1993 film Philadelphia, directed by Johnathan Demme
- Don't forget that he's been working with WOMAD and running RealWorld Records.
"Old men take a little longer to get 'up'."- Peter Gabriel
In 1998, the album's title was announced. At the time, REM had just announced the name of their album of the same name. Both parties decided to keep their respective names, despite the potential of marketplace confusion. Obviously, such confusion did not occur, because of the incredible delay.
Some very fancy (and expensive) production techniques were used in the making of Up. All manner of new items found their ways into the RealWorld Studio: the Sony Oxford Console digital mixer, which is basically a really big automated mixing desk; Clavia Nord Leads; Akai samplers. One track features fake DJ scratches using magnetic tape. DSP synthesis software shows up in "No Way Out" in the guise of SuperCollider. Mysterious instruments like the Mutator, Firefly, and Bass Pulse show up in the credits. Antique equipment gets its time in the sun, too; "My Head Sounds Like That" features a Mellotron.
Some other studio mysticism is found in "Signal to Noise". Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan passed away during production. The song was not finished at the time of his death, and yet rehearsal and recordings of his voice bring him back from the dead. Please note, this is much better than Free As A Bird.
It's possible that the final version of the album is the one rerecorded with binaural microphones by Tchad Blake, who has since done much work at the Real World studios with The Bad Plus.
"The Barry Williams Show" was released as a single with a radio edit, "My Head Sounds Like That", and "Cloudless".