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Flotsam And Jetsam Header

Peter Gabriel - Flotsam and Jetsam

Singles, remixes, contributions to soundtracks, tribute albums and compilations

UPDATE: Now available on iTunes, amazonUK, amazonFR, amazonUS and now also in CD quality on Qobuz (USA) here. It's also available in CD quality on Qobuz in other countries.

Rated PG, the album of film songs, was an unexpected treat. Peter Gabriel now springs another surprise on us with a collection of B-sides and alternate versions of his songs. Flotsam And Jetsam comes out on September 13, 2019, online only. Collections like these always raise the question by what principles they were compiled. In this case it is tracks that have been released somewhere but no unknown songs. The Gabriel camp also wanted to avoid having too many versions of the same song. This means that the collection will not offer all known versions of a song. The countless edits in particular will be left out, as they are mainly only shorter versions of the original. There are still a couple of surprises. Flotsam And Jetsam compiles many songs that were scattered across many other releases. For some of them it is the first time they become available in a digital format.

Flotsam and Jetsam - Peter GabrielThe cover art of the collection looks a lot like science fiction, which would be quite unusual for Gabriel. What we really see is a natural phenomenon few people will recognize at first sight: Every couple of years there is a gigantic boom of microscopic algae that bioluminesce in the dark. What we see in the cover art is, in fact, a glowing wave! (You can read up on this in this external article).

The compilation (of no less than 62 tracks!) can be ordered from iTunes. It is going to cost around 30 pounds (some 34 euros or 38 dollars).  

UPDATE: Now available on iTunes and amazonMP3 (UK) and now also in CD quality on Qobuz (USA) here.

A run-down of the tracks

[* = track is available digitally for the first time]
The release is divided into three parts: 1976-1985, 1986-1993, and 1994-2016. Their size varies according to the amount of output in each of the three periods. We are very happy to note that this release uses the original master tapes as the basis for those songs that had not been digitally transferred yet.

1) 1976-1985

Strawberry Fields Forever

[02:33] This cover of a Beatles classic was Peter Gabriel’s first release after he had left Genesis. The recording with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was used for the film All This And World War II. The song was released on the soundtrack album in November 1976, the remaster of which appeared on CD in 2007.

Slowburn (Extended Version) *

[05:15] Extended version in this case means full length version plus the original intro with the orchestra. The album version as well as the flipside of the Modern Love single begin with a fade-in. The full version first appeared – probably by accident – on 1981 on the vinyl remaster of the “Direct Disk Labs Super Disk” series.

Perspective (Single Version) *

[05:06] Single versions are usually shorter, but this B-side of the D.I.Y. 7” single is, surprisingly, a full length version of the song with an extended saxophone solo at the end.

D.I.Y. (Re-recorded Single Version) *

[02:52] This was Peter Gabriel’s second attempt to take a D.I.Y. single into the charts. Released on 7” in September 1978, it’s more of a remix with some vocal overdubs and additional sax. A four-minute version of this exists on a US 12” promo.

Teddy Bear *

[02:16] The B-side of the second D.I.Y. single is Peter Gabriel’s cover of a children’s song called Me And My Teddy Bear. The song even made it into live sets, and Peter Gabriel also sang it in German and French.

Mother of Violence (Single Mix) *

[03:14] Another B-side of the second D.I.Y. single. This mix does not have the nature sounds in the beginning and at the end.

Solsbury Hill (Live at the Bottom Line) *

[05:10] A live version recorded in New York on October 04, 1978. The track on a flexi single was given out as a thank-you to his fans.

I Don't Remember (Alternate Version) *

[03:25] The original version of this song was recorded in 1979 at Trident studios, well before the sessions for the third album began. It was finished and mixed in the U.S., too. Cymbals were still permitted then. This version came out as the B-side of the Games Without Frontiers 7” single in February 1980.

Biko (Remixed Version) *

[08:58] This is, as it were, the new mix created for the Deutsches Album combined with the English vocals. It was released on the Biko 12” single in August 1980.

Shosholoza *

[05:19] The B-side of the Biko single. The track is based on the sample of a traditional in the soundtrack for a 1965 film called Dingaka.

Jetzt Kommt Die Flut

[04:57] The German version of Here Comes The Flood (from Gabriel’s first album) had, like the 1978 version with Robert Fripp, few instruments. Surprisingly, this version was released on the German soft rock compilation Kuschelrock – Die schönsten deutschen Lovesongs 2 (roughly: “Snuggle rock – the most beautiful German love songs vol.2”) on CD in 2012.

Soft Dog *

[04:10] The peculiar B-side to Shock The Monkey. This track may be based on the as yet unreleased Dog One that Gabriel used to play live in 1982.

Shock The Monkey (Instrumental) *

[05:23] A second pressing of the English Shock The Monkey 12” had an instrumental version of the song. Closer inspection revealed it was the remix used for the deutsche album without vocals – Schock Den Affen (instrumental), as it were.

Across The River

[07:12] The track was written with David Rhodes, Stewart Copeland and Shankar for the first WOMAD sampler. It was first released on the Big Time CD single in 1987 and has been released on various CD singles since then.

Kiss Of Life (Live) *

[05:11] This is an outtake, as it were, from Plays Live. It appeared in July 1983 on the UK 12” release of I Don’t Remember (live) and the Dutch 7” release of Solsbury Hill (Live).

I Don't Remember (Live Single Version) *

[04:55] This is the Plays Live version remixed for the 12” single release made in July 1983. It sounds rather like a studio recording, and it was used for the promo video.

2) 1986 - 1993

I Have The Touch (85 Remix) *

[05:05] Despite its name, this remix was created in 1983. A five minute version of it came out on the Walk Through The Fire 12" on June 01, 1984. The new drum track was recorded by Simon Phillips. The more familiar shorter version, oddly enough, got the suffix “85 remix” on the B-side of the Sledgehammer 12”. It was corrected again into “1983 remix” on Shaking The Tree. Either way, this track actually belongs in the first part of Flotsam and Jetsam.

Sledgehammer (Dance Mix)

[07:19] A typical 12” remix from the 1980s, also known as the Limited Edition Dance Mix or the Extended Dance Remix. It was done by John “Tokes” Potoker and came out on April 18, 1986 on one of the two 12” maxi singles of Sledgehammer. It first appeared on CD as “Dance version” in 1995 on the Spanish compilation Meto2 De Baile Vol. Dos. It should not be confused with the “Dance Mix” that came out in 2014 on the 3CD compilation set Extended 80s.

Sledgehammer (Extended)

[05:39] This version also came out on April 18 1986 on the other 12” Sledgehammer maxi. The only difference from the album version is the intro, which does not use the famous Shakuhachi flute but parts of a demo version of the song. This maxi single was also released as a single CD in 1988.

Don't Break This Rhythm (Full Version) - previously unreleased

[06:08] This very percussive Sledgehammer B-side developed from Mercy Street and turned into a song in its own right. Only a shorter version of the song was known (e.g. from the 1988 CD single) so far. This is the full length version. The extension by a full two minutes brings a longer percussion jam and adds another wafting keyboard line before the song fades out.

In Your Eyes (Single Mix) *

[06:20] This version of the classic song came out in late 1986 as a single in North America, Japan and Australia only. The mix is long for a 7” single. It is, surprisingly, even longer than the album version and has additional parts in the beginning and at the end, as we know them from the live versions. The version of the song used in the film Say Anything is actually an edit of this version.

In Your Eyes (Special Remix) *

[07:14] Jason Corsaro’s classic remix can be found on the 7” and 12” single versions of In Your Eyes.

Big Time (Extended Version)

[06:10] Also known as the Dance Mix by Tom Lord Alge, this version came out in March 1987 on the 12” single of the song as well as – a first at the time – the maxi CD.


[03:27] A pretty little song made up the B-side of Big Time. It would come into its own in a longer version later.

GA GA (I Go Swimming) (Instrumental)*

[04:33] Though it was released only in 1987, this recording comes from the 1979 sessions to record Peter Gabriel’s third album. A live version of this non-album track was included on Plays Live. There is a studio version with vocals, but only this instrumental version was used for the B-side of the Red Rain single.

Walk Through The Fire (Single Mix) *

[03:33] The track was also used for the Red Rain 12” maxi, but it had been released before as a single in 1984. The song from the Against All Odds soundtrack was reworked by Peter Gabriel and Nile Rodgers and differs much from the original soundtrack version, not least in the use of new drum sounds.

Biko (Live)

[06:32] Recorded at The Blossom Music Centre, Cleveland, on July 27, 1987, the live version of this classic Gabriel song was released as a single in November 1987 to promote the movie Cry Freedom about Stephen Biko. The recording has been re-used a couple of times. It has also been dubbed “video mix” because the 1987 release was accompanied by a promo clip.

Digging In The Dirt (Raw Stylus Mix)

[07:21] This version came out in September 1992 on a remix single CD of the song. The remix shows strong influence from acid jazz; after all, that was the genre of Raw Stylus and Working Week guitarist Simon Booth.

Digging In The Dirt (Instrumental)

[05:10] Released in September 1992 as part of the regular maxi single/CD. Also known as the Frameman Remix, it was done by David Bottrill.

Quiet Steam

[06:25] This calm, alternate version of Steam was used as the B-side of Digging In The Dirt singles that came out in September 1992. The same arrangement was used as the intro of the live version.


[04:47] Some versions of the Digging single also contained this rather experimental bonus instrumental. The label “Remixed by Richard Blair” may indicate that there also is an “original version”.

Games Without Frontiers (Massive/DB Mix)

[05:20] The Steam single that came out in January 1993 had this remix of the song from Peter Gabriel’s third album as a bonus track. It was created by David Bottrill with the triphop pioneers from Massive Attack.

Steam (Oh, Oh, Let Off Steam Mix)


Steam (Oh, Oh, Let Off Steam Mix Dub)

[05:42] 12” single and CD releases of Steam also contained these two mixes by the legendary hiphop producer collective The Bomb Squad.

Mercy Street (William Orbit Mix)

[07:55] William Orbit created this remix in 1990 for the Shaking The Tree compilation, though it was only released in September 1993 as a bonus on the Blood Of Eden CD singles. A slightly different remix appeared in 1991 on a Brazililan 12” promo for Mercy Street.

Blood Of Eden (Special Mix for Wim Wenders Until the End of the World)

[06:15] Wim Wenders’ film Until The End Of The World came into cinemas on September 12, 1991. Peter Gabriel provided the then still unknown song Blood Of Eden. The song did not appear in the soundtrack then, possibly because Gabriel wanted to save the song for his then upcoming album US. This makes the “special mix” the original version of the song; it would, of course, change a lot towards the album version that appeared a year later. Half a year after that the first mix came out as a bonus track on the CD single of the song.

Digging In The Dirt (Rich E Mix)

[07:20] Gabriel’s wingman Richard Evans also tried his hand at remixing this song. His work was used as the bonus track of the Kiss That Frog CD single.

Kiss That Frog (Mindblender Mix)

[06:45] William Orbit created a new version of Kiss That Frog that can hold its own with the album version. His mix for the single release even became the basis for Peter’s live performance of the song. The long version could be found on the CD single.

Shaking The Tree (Bottrill Remix)

[05:59] A new remix of the 1989 collaboration between Peter Gabriel and Youssou N’Dour also came out on the Kiss That Frog CD single. The song itself had already received a facelift for Peter’s 1990 compilation album Shaking The Tree.

3) 1994 - 2016


[03:50] This version of the classic song was originally released on the tribute album The Glory Of Gershwin in September 1994. It was produced by George Martin and his son Giles and featured not only Gabriel’s vocals but also Larry Adler’s harmonica.


[05:13] The tribute album Tower Of Song – The Songs Of Leonard Cohen came out in September 1995. It included Peter Gabriel’s version of Suzanne produced by Steve Lindsey.

I Have The Touch (Robbie Robertson Mix)

[05:27] Peter Gabriel created a new version of the song from his fourth album with Robbie Robertson. They did it for the film Phenomenon, and their mix used many new overdubs. There are new guitar tracks as well as an additional verse. The mix appeared on the soundtrack album for the film (in July 1996). An edit of this version also made it to Peter Gabriel’s HIT compilation.

In The Sun

[06:42] Peter Gabriel recorded this Joseph Arthur cover with Richard Chappell and Chris Hughes. It appeared on the compilation Diana (Princess Of Wales) Tribute in December 1997.

Shaking The Tree 97 (Jungle Version)

[05:35] Another reworking of Gabriel and N’Dour’s classic song. This was done by Jeremy Wheatley and David Reitzas with new vocals by Shaggy. It was released in February 1997 on the Jungle 2 Jungle soundtrack.

I Grieve (City of Angels Version)

[08:06] Four years before it found its place on the Up album I Grieve already appeared in the film City Of Angels and was part of the soundtrack album for the film that came out in March 1998. As was to be expected, Gabriel did not retain the original mix over the years.

The Tower That Ate People (Red Planet Remix)

[06:27] Roughly half a year after the original release of the track on the OVO album a new remix appeared. It was done by Steve Osbourne and was used in the science-fiction movie Red Planet (and the soundtrack) in November 2000. It was also used on the HIT compilation. With its more aggressive stance it is closer to the live versions than the album version.

Animal Nation

[07:20] Peter’s observations about bonobos led towards a song that he recorded during the Up sessions. The non-album track was released shortly before Up came out, on the soundtrack for the film The Wild Thornberrys in September 2002. Many people have heard at Peter’s live shows at the time.

Signal to Noise (Gangs of New York Version)

[07:38] An “instrumental remix” of the Up track was used for the film Gangs Of New York. This version appeared in December 2002 on the corresponding soundtrack.

More Than This (The Polyphonic Spree Mix)


More Than This (Elbow Mix)

[04:28] Two exciting versions of the Up track came out on the More Than This CD single in December 2002. These are no remixes in the usual sense. The bands Polyphonic Spree and Elbow took Peter’s vocals and created completely new song arrangements. One turned out a happy folk song while the other became a melancholy rock tune.

My Head Sounds Like That (Röyksopp Remix)

[08:22] In August 2002 The Barry Williams Show became the forerunner single of the Up album. The bonus track was this remix – but if you inferred anything about the album version from the remix you were in for a surprise because the electronic remix by Röyksopp has not much to do with the original song.

Sky Blue (Martyn Bennett Remix)

[05:15] The late Martyn Bennet created very tasteful string arrangements (and strong drum sounds) for his version of the Up song. It was first released on the DVD single for More Than This in January 2003.

Growing Up (Trent Reznor Remix)

[06:29] Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor created a remix that is even more electronic than the original. It was released on the CD single for the song in April 2003.

Growing Up (Stabilizer Remix)

[04:50] Stefan Goodchild a.k.a. Stabilizer really speeds up the song in his remix that came out on the DVD single of the song in June 2003.

Growing Up (Tricky Instrumental Mix)

[01:31] The trip hop pioneer Tricky also created a version of the song. It was kind of hidden in a gallery part of the DVD single, and you cannot even make out any connection to the original song.

Darkness (Engelspost Remix)

[14:10] Burn You Up Burn You Down did not make it onto Up, but it appeared on the HIT compilation and the accompanying CD single in November 2003. This single contained a remix of Darkness that is over fourteen minutes long. Engelspost did not turn the song into a prog long-track but explored the club potential of this brooding track.

Curtains (Broad Mix)

[05:59] In 2004, the 1987 B-side of Big Time was reworked and turned from an instrumental into a song. Various versions of it were used for the computer game Myst IV – Revelations that came out in October 2004. Dubbed “broad mix”, this version was also on a 2CD compilation called Entrata/Uscita that Peter Gabriel had produced as a giveaway for everyone who attended the Music Industry Trust Award ceremony in November 2004.

Father, Son (Daniel Lanois & Richard Chappell Mix)

[04:41] The Entrata/Uscita compilation also contained a new mix of this OVO track. It was one of the mixed created for the 5.1 surround versions on the PLAY – The Videos DVD.

Courage (Remix) - previously unreleased version

[04:38] The song is a leftover from the 1985 So sessions. It was released in 2012 (untouched) in the So anniversary boxset. The year after that there was a surprising digital single release of a “radio edit” of the song; this was a Tchad Blake remix with some new overdubs. The present version is the unedited and previously unreleased version. It has additional keyboard improvisations in the intro. At the end it is reduced to the percussion track shortly before the fade-out.

Courage (The Hexidecimal Mix)

[05:28] The digital single of Courage also had this 2013 remix by Steve Osbourne.

I'm Amazing

[07:28] To commemorate boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who died in 2016, Peter Gabriel released this new song in June 2016 as a digital single. It was inspired by Ali’s life in parts. The song was probably recorded during the Up period and was a contender for I/O.

The Veil

[05:51] This song comes from the Snowden soundtrack. It was released in September 2016 as a digital single. The very electronic song may be a first impression of the still upcoming next Gabriel album.

The selection of tracks

It’s almost complete, you could say, particularly if you consider the job definition. Don’t Break This Rhythm is the big surprise because nobody knew a long version existed. Some other tracks are missing, though, e.g. Signal To Noise in the version that appeared on the Music For Tibet sampler. We will be lenient about the remixes, though. Nobody needs the tenth version of Steam or Shaking The Tree; they are all quite similar anyway.

According to people close to Gabriel's management, all the special and bonus tracks from Scratch My Back were disregarded because they are available as streams and they did not want to repeat themselves.

All in all, it's a good choice of tracks.

The format of a digital album

Like Other Sides and Remixed Sides by Phil Collins, this collection will not come out in any tangible form. We do not know, however, whether there may perhaps one day be a limited edition on CD. This format has many advantages for the record companies – they can offer a decent set without much ado, they save on distribution, production and graphics. Of course they also devalue the product in a way, which is regrettable.

On the other hand this compilation could become so extensive precisely because there is no physical media that could limit the capacity. Yes, there are pros and cons to everything…


All in all

This is definitely an interesting compilation with an apt title. It assembles almost all rare tracks and contains some real surprises among the well-known recordings. Except for two versions all of this has been released before. There are 62 tracks. 18 of them have only been available on vinyl so far, two of those have been unreleased (in this form). Two others were released on promo media only. There are nine soundtrack contributions that were not used on Rated PG, three tribute songs and 21 non-album songs.
That’s very good. We would be even happier if there were to be a CD release. And it whets our appetite for further collections of unknown songs, demos and alternate versions. Who knows? We may certainly hope for such a set.

Flotsam and Jetsam can be purchased digitally on iTunes and elsewhere.

We heartily recommend checking out our Peter Gabriel Recording Compendium if you want to find out more about the version or would like to dive deeper into the world of Peter Gabriel’s releases. Admittedly, we will be updating it in the wake of this release.

Discuss this release in our forum here.


by Christian Gerhardts, Steffen Gerlach, Thomas Schrage

English by Martin Klinkhardt

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