TotW 09/08/2018 - 09/14/2018: PETER GABRIEL - Secret World

  • What do you think about "Secret World"? 14

    1. 15 points - outstanding! (6) 43%
    2. 14 points - very good (3) 21%
    3. 12 points - good + (3) 21%
    4. 13 points - very good - (1) 7%
    5. 10 points - good - (1) 7%
    6. 11 points - good (0) 0%
    7. 09 points - satisfactory + (0) 0%
    8. 08 points - satisfactory (0) 0%
    9. 07 points - satisfactory - (0) 0%
    10. 06 points - sufficient + (0) 0%
    11. 05 points - sufficient (0) 0%
    12. 04 points - sufficient - (0) 0%
    13. 03 points - poor + (0) 0%
    14. 03 points - poor (0) 0%
    15. 01 points - poor - (0) 0%
    16. 00 points - abysmal (0) 0%

    PETER GABRIEL - Secret World

    Year: 1992

    Album: US [album review]

    Working title: unknown

    Credits: Gabriel

    Lyrics: Yes

    Length: 07:13

    Musicians: Peter Gabriel, Manu Katche, Tony Levin, David Rhodes, David Bottrill, Doudou N'dlaye Rose, Malcom Burn

    Played Live: 1993, 1994, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009

    mp3 downloads: iTunes

    Cover versions: none


    Notes: Secret World has become one of the big anthems in Peter Gabriel's catalogue. The studio version held back a bit, the 1993/1994 live version had something secretive and mystical , the 2002-2004 versions really hit audiences' ears. Peter Gabriel had firmly fixed Secret World in his set and made the song an indispensible classic.



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    ...cried a voice in the crowd.


  • The answer is "outstanding". If there is any track in the history of rock music, that is flawless, then it is Secret World. Incredible rhythm pattern, fantastic melody and one of Peter Gabriel's greatest vocal performances. I love this song to bits. The version on the Secret World live album is my favourite.


    Martinus, you should update the title above the points. It still says "The Fountain Of Salmacis".

    First we learned to walk on water.

    Then we tried something harder.

    - Red Seven -

  • A lovely song, but I agree that the studio version is a little bit restrained. I don't recall ever thinking very much about it until I heard the live version on the Secret World DVD.


    I always wonder if the line "seeing things that were not there" is a kind of veiled reference to Supper's Ready, which was supposedly based on a vision he and his wife had (if I recall correctly?). Probably not, but I do like the idea!

  • My first post :)


    Gabriel's work offers many highlights and also strange and interesting things. "Secret World" is a true masterpiece of his, but it became even better when he brought that on stage, expecially during the Growing Up Tour and later, when the track gained a lot of power.


    14 points - not 15, because the studio version could have been more powerful.

  • I gave it 12+ but it isn't actually that big a favourite of mine. I must give it another listen after reading these posts.

    Some PG songs grow slowly on fans or at least on me. I remember it took me quite some time to fully appreciate stuff like The Family and the Fishing Net or Only Us and it was a bit annoying because evidently these were not throw-away songs. They were long and clearly ambitious but really didn't resonate with me. Now they are amongst my favorites but an epiphany was needed.

    Edited once, last by Fabrizio ().

  • For me, there's no question: This one is outstanding, perhaps my favorite Gabriel tune.


    The studio version is indeed a bit "shy", but then again that might be my impression because I love the powerful live performances since 2002 (I did not think it was that good during the Secret World Tour)

  • Secret World on Us is a good song that suffers from the way the album was mixed. It is all a bit too uniform and too flat for me.

    Secret World live is a great song. The song really only came into its own in the live situation. 13 points.

    ...cried a voice in the crowd.


  • A bit surprised over the comments on the studio version. The live version is certainly livelier which is to be expected with any song performed live but because of of kind of song it is, the subject matter, the atmosphere, the lyrics and so on, I think the studio version is sheer brilliance.

    It's a pensive, reflective outlook on the status of a possibly deteriorating personal relationship, the listener is sort of dragged in to wallow in that mood and possibly think about his own relationship. I love the live version of course but personally I didn't need it to realize this is one of Peter's many finest hours.

    Edited once, last by Fabrizio ().

  • A bit surprised over the comments over the studio version. The live version is certainly livelier which is to be expected with any song performed live but because of of kind of song it is, the subject matter, the atmosphere, the lyrics and so on, I think the studio version is sheer brilliance.

    It's a pensive, reflective outlook on the status of a possibly deteriorating personal relationship, the listener is sort of dragged in to wallow in that mood and possibly think about his own relationship. I love the live version of course but personally I didn't need it to realize this is one of Peter's many finest hours.

    Agreed. Based on this conversation and others I've seen in the past, I appear to be well in the minority in that I actually prefer the studio version of this track, though I do enjoy the live performance of it as well.

    I give the studio version the edge because I prefer the sound of the bassy instrumental break in the middle and then where the momentum picks up at the end (probably my two favourite moments in the song).

  • Agreed. Based on this conversation and others I've seen in the past, I appear to be well in the minority in that I actually prefer the studio version of this track, though I do enjoy the live performance of it as well.

    I give the studio version the edge because I prefer the sound of the bassy instrumental break in the middle and then where the momentum picks up at the end (probably my two favourite moments in the song).

    The studio version allows me to pick up on all the different instrumental nuances and personally I think this reflects more the tone and the topic of the song.

    Of course the live version is highly enjoyable too but I'd push back against the notion that it put the song on the map.