Peter Gabriel ‎– Peter Gabriel (1980)

Peter Gabriel — aka the “melting face” album — is the third consecutive self-titled solo album from Peter Gabriel. The album was issued in 1980 by Geffen after having been rejected by the artist’s longtime label Atlantic.

Stylistically, the songs experiment with the buzzy, trebly sonorities of the day. Percussive ethno sounds course through “No Self Control” and “Lead a Normal Life,” while fractious vocals and manicured fuzz engulf “I Don’t Remember,” “And Through the Wire,” and “Not One of Us.” Darker territory is mined in the lurching horrors of “Intruder” and the slow procession of “Biko” — a lament for the martyred South African freedom fighter.

A combination of sparse rhythms, tweeked-out sounds, and tongue-in-cheek lyrics made an unlikely hit out of “Games Without Frontiers.” Released a half-decade after his departure from Genesis, Gabriel later cited this album as the work that truly established him as a distinct musical entity from his former band.

Ironically, ex-bandmate Phil Collins — who contributed to these sessions and developed a new drumming style in the process — lifted some of the sounds from this album for his upcoming solo debut, Face Value.


A1. Intruder
A2. No Self Control
A3. Start
A4. I Don’t Remember
A5. Family Snapshot
A6. And Through the Wire
B1. Games Without Frontiers
B2. Not One of Us
B3. Lead a Normal Life
B4. Biko

Peter Gabriel – vocals, piano, synthesizer
David Rhodes – guitar
Larry Fast – synthesizer
John Giblin – bass
Jerry Marotta – drums (A4, A5, B1–B4), percussion (B1, B2)
Kate Bush – backing vocals (A2, B1)
Dave Gregory – guitar (A4, A5)
Robert Fripp – guitar (A2, A4, B2)
Paul Weller – guitar (A6)
Tony Levin – Chapman stick (A4)
Phil Collins – drums (A1, A2), snare (A5), surdo (B4)
Dick Morrissey – saxophone (A3, A5, B9)
Morris Pert – percussion (A1, A2, B3)

Steve Lillywhite – production

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