TotW 12/01/2018 - 12/07/2018: PETER GABRIEL - Mercy Street

  • What do you think about "Mercy Street"? 8

    1. 14 points - very good (6) 75%
    2. 12 points - good + (1) 13%
    3. 11 points - good (1) 13%
    4. 15 points - outstanding! (0) 0%
    5. 13 points - very good - (0) 0%
    6. 10 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. 02 points - poor (0) 0%
    15. 01 point - poor - (0) 0%
    16. 00 points - abysmal (0) 0%

    PETER GABRIEL - Mercy Street

    Year: 1986

    Album: So [album review]

    Working title: unknown

    Credits: Gabriel, Anderson

    Lyrics: Yes

    Length: 06:22

    Musicians: (tba)

    Played Live: 1986, 1987, 1993, 1994, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2010, 2011

    mp3 downloads:

    Cover versions: none


    Notes: So made Peter Gabriel the same kind of rockstar as his former band and Phil Collins - he had worldwide success. He wrote Mercy Street with Laurie Anderson. This song had a long evolutions behind it - one of its earliest incarnations was the B-side Don't Break This Rhythm - and Gabriel would happily explain the inspiration for this song live. Mercy Street has never been a single, but it is a Gabriel classic.



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    ...cried a voice in the crowd.


  • Ok, that one is tricky. I heardt it too much, but then again does it mean it's weaker than I once thought it was? No, it's one of the key tracks on SO and for Gabriel in general. Nevertheless, 14 point should do, since I have a couple of tracks from Peter worth 15 points ...

  • It is tricky: captivating melody and story, beautiful atmosphere, however, to my ears at least, plagued and marred by all those mid-80s mannerisms in sound and production that would bowl me over when listening to it but have aged badly, as far as I am concerned. A problem I have with the whole SO album with the exception of Red Rain. Still, a very good one. 12+.

  • So isn't a favourite PG album of mine. 3 & 4 had really set the tone for me and created what's still in many ways a high-water mark of creativity in my view. I recognised So as a necessary change of direction, even including (shock horror!) an actual TITLE. And of course, a game-changer for him commercially, and an opening for new fans who clicked with the warm pulse of Sledgehammer but who might, just possibly, find the glacial spiky Family & the Fishing Net too much of a challenge.


    'So', I get the significance of So. But apart from Red Rain and Milgrams, it leaves me cold. As such, Mercy Street is one that passes me by. I've never been able to get interested in it, even though I can see how others find it atmospheric and melodic. Its soft tinkly shuffly rhythm track annoys me. There's a wispyness to the song I just can't connect with. At PG gigs, I'd get impatient when they played it.


    Overall I'm a big fan of PG's solo work but, along with a few others including 2 or 3 on So, Mercy St comes close to what I'd classify as 'boring'.

    Abandon all reason

  • So isn't a favourite PG album of mine. 3 & 4 had really set the tone for me and created what's still in many ways a high-water mark of creativity in my view. I recognised So as a necessary change of direction, even including (shock horror!) an actual TITLE. And of course, a game-changer for him commercially, and an opening for new fans who clicked with the warm pulse of Sledgehammer but who might, just possibly, find the glacial spiky Family & the Fishing Net too much of a challenge.


    'So', I get the significance of So. But apart from Red Rain and Milgrams, it leaves me cold. As such, Mercy Street is one that passes me by. I've never been able to get interested in it, even though I can see how others find it atmospheric and melodic. Its soft tinkly shuffly rhythm track annoys me. There's a wispyness to the song I just can't connect with. At PG gigs, I'd get impatient when they played it.


    Overall I'm a big fan of PG's solo work but, along with a few others including 2 or 3 on So, Mercy St comes close to what I'd classify as 'boring'.

    I love The Family and fishing net, one of his best songs imo and heavily underrated. As for Mercy Street, I personally don't fond it boring but I would certainly define it as ''cute'' and ''cute'' is not what I expect from PG. I must also say that the lyrics, his voice and singing have very redeeming qualities, another singer would have probably descended into downright syrupy with a melody like that.

  • ^ I rarely pay much attention to lyrics and this one's no exception but fair point about the vocals and melody.


    I too really like TF&TFN.

    Abandon all reason

  • ^ I rarely pay much attention to lyrics and this one's no exception but fair point about the vocals and melody.


    I too really like TF

    For me, particularly with artists like Peter , the lyrics are part of the package. He, generally speaking, puts a fair amount of work in them and he certainly wants to say something, tell a story. Biko, with other lyrics, would still be a great song with an innovative sound but the subject matter and the way it is lyrically dealt with, just elevates it. If you slap some love lyrics onto Mercy Street, you would probably have a hit, it is after all pretty and melodic but you would also have not as good as a song imo. I can however absolutely anyway the lyrics with other artists and enjoy the final result.

    Edited 2 times, last by Fabrizio ().