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Rated PG | Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel | Rated PG (2019)

Record Store Day: Gabriel releases rare songs from movies

He does not make it easy for us, does he? We have been waiting for Peter Gabriel to put out a new studio album for no less than 17 (!) years. UP came out in 2002, and the putative album I/O that was announced to come out “eighteen months after UP” has failed to materialize. We have compiled the convoluted story of this or another Peter Gabriel album in a special report (see here).

Despite all that, Peter Gabriel has been busy. He toured regularly in the first half of this decade and got involved in several projects that were not always part of the music business. His Back To Front tour ended five years ago, and he has published a number of songs for movies since then, e.g. The Veil for Snowden. On the Back To Front tour he also played Why Don’t You Show Yourself, but a studio version of this was, unfortunately, not part of the Words With Gods soundtrack.

Throughout his career, Peter Gabriel has provided songs for various films that appeared as background music or in the final credits. Some of them, e.g. Lovetown (from Philadelphia) and The Veil (from Snowden) were also released as singles which spread them a bit further. Other songs were only released on the soundtrack albums. Other have not been released officially. Peter Gabriel now releases an album of film songs that have not been released at all – or not this in this version.

The album Rated PG is produced for the Record Store Day 2019, which celebrates the good old brick-and-mortar record stores. This means that Record Store Day releases are usually NOT available online. The list of releases is long and impressive. Every year special LPs, EPs and singles are produced, or given a special packaging, or pressed in coloured vinyl, or given another kind of makeover that makes it interesting for vinyl fans. Putting out a completely new album for the RSD is a rather unusual event. Peter Gabriel is sort of going this way, though. A list of the releases for this year’s Record Store Day (April 13, 2019) and a list of participating stores can be found on the Record Store Day website.


Rated PG recordRated PG is released as a picture disc on Record Store Day in a limited edition of 5,000 copies. As it is a picture disc, it may be more interesting as a collector’s item than as an audiophile experience. It is good to know that all buyers will be given access to a High Resolution download. Meanwhile, the album is also available digitally. Buy Rated PG on iTunes or AmazonMP3.

Visually, the record has been designed in a very sophisticated manner. The logo was borrowed from the “parental guidance” stickers that abbreviates exactly like Peter Gabriel – a very clever move. The sleeve has been designed with a window through which you can see the record proper. This is, of course, typical for picture disc sleeves. Side A shows a film reel, while side B shows popcorn. The rear shows Peter Gabriel’s head shaped like a popcorn box with an open top.

The album contains ten tracks. Some of those are well known, though usually so in different version. Steffen Gerlach, Thomas Schrage and Christian Gerhardts have listened to the album in advance and paid particular attention to the alternate versions and new songs. We have managed to add some new details.

Foto1That'll Do

[1998] Written by Randy Newman.
Performed by Peter Gabriel featuring Paddy Maloney and The Black Dyke Mills Band.
Produced by Bob Ezrin.
Taken from the film Babe 2: Pig in the City.

A promo of this song made the rounds among fans. It was also part of the soundtrack which has gone out of print. This is the well-known long version without any changes.

Down to Earth

[2008] Music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, lyrics by Peter Gabriel.
Performed by Peter Gabriel, featuring the Soweto Gospel Choir.
Produced by Peter Gabriel, L.A. Sessions Produced by Thomas Newman. Recorded by Richard Chappell assisted by Mat Arnold. Mixed by Tchad Blake.
Taken from the film Wall-E.

This song is still widely available, also from iTunes oder other sources. We have not noticed any difference.

This Is Party Man

[1995] Written by Peter Gabriel, George Acogny and Tori Amos.
Performed by The Worldbeaters and Peter Gabriel.
Produced by George Acogny and Peter Gabriel. Engineered by Richard Chappell and Rod Beale.
Taken from the film Virtuosity, directed by Brett Leonard.
* This is a new version of the song. Previously unreleased.

This is the first really new version on Rated PG that has been previously unreleased.

Foto 2The song is not wholly unknown, though, with various versions of it to be found on the internet. This new, official release uses slightly different instruments and has improved sound. Many elements have been added to it, and familiar elements have been mixed differently. The percussion groove does not fade in but is right there from the start. It has been moved to the fore. Throughout the song the percussion now ebbs and flows.

The vocals have been expanded.

The original, repeated lyrics take turns with a vocal part sung by Peter Gabriel though without lyrics. The harmonies as well as the odd word in that part indicated that it has been borrowed from Make Tomorrow (on Ovo) or better: its demo version called This Is The Road (which dates back to the mid-eighties).

These two central elements bring the track closer to a regular song, though it still sounds unfinished. This remix was made for Rated PG. It does not appear like this in the film. The two vocal parts strangely sound like different recordings, though according to our information they are supposed to be from the same period (mid-90s). The mix sounds more modern, though. The jury is still out on that one, and they may also be wondering why the original title Party Man was prefixed with “This Is”.

The track for the film that kept going through the same bit of lyrics has changed. It used to be repetitive, which made it appear searching and untiring; now it has grown more animated and less empty. But by no means finished.

This Is Party Man can be downloaded on iTunes.

The Book of Love

[2004] Written by Stephin Merritt.
Produced by Peter Gabriel with Bob Ezrin. Arranged by Nick Ingman with Peter Gabriel and Will Gregory. Orchestrated by Nick Ingman. Engineered by Richard Chappell.
Featured in the film Shall We Dance?, directed by Peter Chelsom.
* This is the film version of the song, which is different to the version on Scratch My Back.

This is basically the same version that appears on the soundtrack. The sound has been polished somewhat, and there is less hissing in the “s” sounds. We have some doubts as to the credits, though. The film version was recorded towards the end of the UP sessions with the London Session Orchestra. Has it really been produced by Bob Ezrin?

Interestingly, the soundtrack version available on iTunes does not contain this song anymore.


[1994] Written and performed by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Peter Gabriel.
Produced by Peter Gabriel and David Bottrill.
Taken from the film Natural Born Killers, directed by Oliver Stone.
* A new edit of the song, previously unreleased.

The soundtrack, which is available from iTunes amongst others, contains this track.
This is a new and previously unreleased version, produced for Rated PG. The song has been edited. A 90 second long part has been spliced into the track while a later bit has been cut out / changed. The end has the original fade-out instead of the crossfade into the next song from the soundtrack. All the annoying sounds from the movie have been removed here and some overdubs were made.

The overall impression of the track remains the same.


[2017] Written and produced by Peter Gabriel.
Mixed by Richard Chappell.
Taken from the film Birds Like Us, directed by Faruk Sabanovic and Amela Cuhara.
* Previously unreleased.

This song was rehearsed during soundchecks for the Back To Front tour in 2014 (compare this video on YouTube), though without lyrics and with the shorter working title Birds. It is uncertain what plans Peter Gabriel had for this song back then. However, the song was recorded for a film called Birds Like Us that came out in March 2017. Interestingly, this fact and the release in the film have gone straight by all fans...

Foto 3The song begins with gentle piano sounds and unobtrusive bass. Gabriel’s voice comes in and sounds intentionally thin – which fits the observations made in the lyrics that this was not the body with which we were born. The chorus is slightly more animated, subtle keyboards and backing vocals come in, and it says that “every bird is born with feathers”. A second chorus section is even more animated. Piano accords and a tender beat from the drum computer come in: “I will find you where you are".
After a brief, relaxed instrumental part and four lines with enigmatic and somewhat sinister content, the song stops completely – only to begin again with plucked harp sounds. Second verse and both (slighty varied) chorus parts lead to the lines “Build your nest, build a place that holds the future when we’re gone – when we’re gone”. The song ends with a long, deep exhaling sound.
Everybird remains diffident and vulnerable. The lyrics are simultaneously narrative and enigmatic (perhaps it makes more sense in the context of the film). It spreads the trademark Gabriel mood that oscillates between worry and confidence. A song full of strength – though not in the way of moving forwards and swinging. The only jarring element is the drumbox because it sounds slightly synthetic.

Walk Through the Fire

[1984] Written by Peter Gabriel.
Co-produced by Nile Rodgers and Peter Gabriel. Engineered by Glenn Tommey.
Taken from the film Against All Odds, directed by Taylor Hackford.

The very soundtrack of this film is a part of Genesis history, as Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel and Mike Rutherford have contributed songs to it. There are two versions of Walk Through The Fire; Rated PG contains the album version from the soundtrack with some improvements in the sound. Contrary to the credits, Nile Rodgers has not co-produced this. Rodgers worked on the single release, but the version included here was produced by Peter Gabriel only.

Speak (Bol)

[2012] Written and produced by Peter Gabriel with Urdu vocal arrangement by Atif Aslam.
Performed by Peter Gabriel with Atif Aslam.
Engineered by Richard Chappell.
Taken from the film The Reluctant Fundamentalist, directed by Mira Nair.
* Previously unreleased.

This is another “previously unreleased” track. Apart from this official release there are at least two other versions: The longest version (08:30) comes straight from the movie, a second version is half a minute shorter – which is longer than the version on Rated PG.
The new version has been edit in three places, compared to the long version: There are cuts in the quiet middle section (around 2:40), in the climax at around 4:30 and in the ending (ca 7:30), so the song is two minutes shorter than the longest version. The cuts mainly concern Atif Aslam’s vocal improvisations, so the track focusses more on Gabriel.
The film version has an orchestral outro. On Rated PG you can hear the very first notes of it. The medium-length version of the song ends a capella with the Atif Aslam’s final vocals. This is pure and most poetic. The finale of the version of Rated PG sounds a bit cut and tacked on, which is a bit disappointing. Apart from that, the version of Speak/Bol has not been changed at all. It still is a varied combination of elegance and energy.


[2001] Written and produced by Peter Gabriel.
Engineered by Richard Chappell and Richard Evans. Mixed by Richard Evans.
Taken from the film Les Morsures de l'Aube, directed by Antoine de Caunes.
* Previously unreleased.

This song was a candidate for UP; in fact, the idea was to have it on the album in a completely different version. We used to know this song as Nocturnals. Peter Gabriel finally makes this song, which is popular amongst fans, available officially. The new track has a fade-in intro, unlike the film version. Apart from that the versions are identical. One thing we did notice, though: The DVD rip has a much broader stereo image. Superficially, this sounds almost like a mono version! It isn’t. Perhaps this is because of the 5.1 downmix from the DVD; a direct comparison is rather tricky.

We know from a reliable source that this is the version that was used for the film.

In Your Eyes

[1989] Written by Peter Gabriel.
Produced by Daniel Lanois and Peter Gabriel. Engineered by Kevin Killen and Daniel Lanois.
Featured in the film Say Anything, directed by Cameron Crowe.
* This is the film version of the song. Previously unreleased.

An alternate version of the classic that was available on a promo CD years ago. Probably an edit of the 6:18 version of the maxi single; it actually is a new remaster since the familiar version is a bit slower and the new fade-out is longer.

At a glance

All tracks, except for one, are known songs, though not necessarily in the version offered here. There are some interesting changes here. Highlights are the first releases of Everybird, Speak (Bol) and Nocturnal as well as the new version of Party Man, This Is Party Man.

Peter Gabriel has given us a spontaneous and surprising release that is bound to please his fans. Of course you can still want more (see below), but the album is by no means irrelevant. The High Resolution download is more than a pleasant bonus, considering the fact that this is a picture disc. This gives us a high-quality medium as a collector’s piece as well as the songs in high-quality audio. Plus, we get to support the endangered species of record stores.

Kudos to that

Author: Christian Gerhardts
with input by Thomas Schrage and Steffen Gerlach
English by Martin Klinkhardt
Images provided by RealWorld
Buy Rated PG on iTunes or AmazonMP3.
Pick your three favorite tracks from the record - see poll in our forum here.

Related Links
Discuss Rated PG in our Forum here
More PG album reviews


Anything missing?

There is a number of songs that would have been nice to have in this release. Not all of the songs listed below are essential, since many of them are quite easily available. Perhaps these will be included if/when a release of all film songs is considered.

Strawberry Fields Forever from "All This And World War II" (1976)
Out Out from "Gremlins" (1984)
Blood Of Eden (Special Mix) from "Until The End Of The World" (1991)
Lovetown from "Philadelphia" (1993)
While The Earth Sleeps from "Strange Days" (1995)
I Have The Touch [1996 remix] from "Phenomenon" (1996)
Shaking The Tree '97 (Jungle Version) from "Jungle 2 Jungle" (1997)
I Grieve [original mix] from "City Of Angels" (1998)
The Tower That Ate People (Remix) from "Red Planet" (2000)
Shaking The Tree (02 Remix) from "The Wild Thornberrys" (2002)
Animal Nation from "The Wild Thornberrys" (2002)
Signal To Noise [instrumental remix] from "Gangs Of New York" (2002)
Different Stories, Different Lives from "Sea Monsters - A Prehistoric Adventure" (2007)
Why Don't You Show Yourself? from "Words With Gods" (2014)
The Veil from "Snowden" (2016)


In our Peter Gabriel Recording Compendium we have listed EVERY known version of ALL known Gabriel songs. We have, of course, updated the compendium to include this release. Take a look at what Peter Gabriel has produced and / or released through the years:

The Peter Gabriel Recording Compendium