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Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer CD (album) cover

SLEDGEHAMMER

Peter Gabriel

 

Crossover Prog

3.88 | 24 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
4 stars 'FIRST REVIEW OF THIS SINGLE'

1. Sledgehammer

Peter Gabriel often reminds me of the late genius David Bowie: highly creative and innovative, great visual stage antics, musical chameleons, surprising their audience with yet another musical genre, delivering high quality pop top hits and ahead of their time. To continue comparing Gabriel with Bowie, it often comes to my mind that Sledgehammer could have been a David Bowie composition. Sledgehammer was the first single release of Peter Gabriel his fifth album entitled So (1986) and a worldwide hit: it topped the charts in Canada and the USA, and of course was the mindblowing and awarded video a huge contribution to the popularity of Sledgehammer (I can't listen to this song without seeing the images of the video). So Peter Gabriel went from the most charismatic frontman in progressive rock to a top selling solo artis, and a celebrity.

Sledgehammer starts with that very distinctive intro featuring a synthesized shakuhachi flute. Then it's swinging time: a catchy bass, Earth, Wind & Fire-like brass and Peter his soulful voice, this a perfectly structured and coloured blend of soul, funk and pop. Halfway again that synthesized flute and then female vocal harmonies join (including P.P. Arnold, once The Nice was her backing band), the propulsive percussion is great and Peter sings very powerful, with obvious hints from his soul inspiration. A masterpiece in its kind, and the doorway to international success, soon he released Big Time (also from So), another Top 10 USA hit!

About the lyrics, it's Freudian Extravaganza, a flood of hidden sex and phallic symbols! On the Internet I read: 'In the US in the 1980's local radiostations where often controlled by christian organisations. They where banning songs they ment where unsuitible for christian minds. So Peter Gabriel wrote Sledgehammer. If you listen good in the beginning of the song he says "how can anybody fool them". If the radiostations banned the song they would admit, that they themselves have a "dirty mind", so they played it...... and were fooled'.

2. Don't Break This Rhythm :

A strong blend of natural exotic percussion and modern technology (synthesizers and samplers), topped with Peter Gabriel his wonderful emotional vocals (the title is an excellent metaphor for the relationship in this song), it could have been a Peter Gabriel IV song.

P.s.: Thank you visitors and musicians for your Likes, social comments and Facebook messages! It's a huge boost to continue writing reviews here, now I am on my way to #100.

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |

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