Real World Productions / Peter Gabriel Ltd.
Released on special-packaged vinyl as a Record Store Day exclusive – but also available to all via the streaming platforms this cleverly titled compilation showcases some of the songs Gabriel has contributed to films. Deep-cut fans will know that Gabriel is himself a skilled soundtrack composer, but also his voice has been there throughout films across the last three decades – providing signature emotional moments. Obviously In Your Eyes booming from the boombox held aloft by John Cusack is the easiest immediate reference-point (that song was co-opted recently for the Deadpool franchise, perfect for its meta-jokes and callbacks).
But it’s a big, bold world of Gabriel soundtrack contributions – the deeply disturbingly wonderful Taboo (his collaboration with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan for Natural Born Killers) is one of my favourite tracks here (and anywhere that I hear it). And I’ve really grown to love his version of The Magnetic Fields’ The Book of Love. Yes, I prefer the original, but I still think Gabriel has a lovely way with that song, probably why it’s been used a few times in recent years for movie-moments.
As a Gabriel fan this is a chance to hear the songs rubbing shoulders in different ways; the usual suspects (at times) but lined up differently. A few different edits too.
And we get That’ll Do, from Babe 2: Pig In The City which is unmistakably a Randy Newman track, even in Gabriel’s reading. Here too is Speak (Bol) which never made it on to the soundtrack for the film The Reluctant Fundamentalist. So a few curios and treats. And amazing that Gabriel has contributed so widely that there’s no need for him to add any of the pieces from his own full scores (Birdy, Passion/Last Temptation of Christ and Long Walk/Rabbit Proof Fence). Just the songs he offered out on loan.
Down to Earth from Wall-E is a more recent highlight given Gabriel’s slowed right down – in terms of releases. Everybird, from Birds Like Us is another recent beauty – but go back to Walk Through The Fire from Against All Odds and you’re in ‘classic’ Gabriel territory. Actually on this mix of songs, styles and eras it plays out like a unique songbook. Such mastery – amongst many b-sides and off-cuts that any other artist might wish to have and hold as if their greatest hits.
Some beautiful stuff here. Even utterly forgettable movies like Virtuosity bring about intriguing and wonderful collaborations like Gabriel writing with Tori Amos for This Is Party Man. Or Nocturnal from 2001’s Les morsures de l’aube/Love Bites.
It’s a neat collection that doesn’t outstay its welcome – ten songs, many of them not available on other Gabriel albums.
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