TotW 1/28/2019 - 2/01/2019: PETER GABRIEL - Humdrum

  • What do you think about "Humdrum"? 11

    1. 12 points - good + (4) 36%
    2. 15 points - outstanding! (3) 27%
    3. 14 points - very good (2) 18%
    4. 13 points - very good - (1) 9%
    5. 10 points - good - (1) 9%
    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. 02 points - poor (0) 0%
    15. 01 point - poor - (0) 0%
    16. 00 points - abysmal (0) 0%
    PETER GABRIEL - Humdrum

    Year: 1977
    Album: Peter Gabriel (Car) [review]
    Working title: unknown
    Credits: Gabriel
    Lyrics: Yes
    Length: 3:25
    Played Live: 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 2007, 2012
    mp3 downloads: iTunes
    Cover versions: none (?)

    Notes: One of the tracks from Peter Gabriel's first album that soon became one of the fan favorites. A great finale, some German words .... what do you think about Humdrum?

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  • I like Humdrum a lot, it's my favourite track from this album. Short, sweet and with two very distinct sections - the second part with its big dramatic landscapey chords is one of the very rare moments when PG solo sounds a bit Genesis-y. I like that the lyric shoves together the words stethoscope, amoeba and hard-boiled egg. Others will be irritated by that, but I like that too.


    Like Genesis with Duchess, this is a track that unfortunately lost most of its vitality on stage.

    Abandon all reason

  • A good if not outstanding track from PG's very uneven first effort. The second section -- between the slow beginning and the more dramatic ending -- seems to be over too fast; I wish it took up more of the track.

    Monsieur Neddy wears spectacles in bed, that he may see dreams more clearly.

    -- "Dream Gerrard," Traffic

  • I gave it 15, it's a short track that packs it all in and proves prog doesn't have to be 20 minutes long. It's from one of my 2 favourite PG albums, (2/scratch is the other) and side 2 is full of great stuff, I even like the original "Flood" which many feel overblown, though I like the Fripp version too.

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • The second section -- between the slow beginning and the more dramatic ending -- seems to be over too fast; I wish it took up more of the track.

    I know what you mean, but part of the song's strength is that it keeps things brief and just as long as they need to be. I agree with you about the album overall though, for me it's too uneven to rank as one of his best. But it's a young artist feeling his way, having broken away from being a high-profile front man in a band.


    I agree with @foxfeeder's comment about 2 being a good one. He's clearly still exploring but in doing so produces a very interesting album that has tended to be somewhat overlooked, including by PG himself who rarely featured it in his live sets.

    Abandon all reason

  • This is one of my two favourite ever Gabriel songs - the other being San Jacinto. There's a shift in the song on the album version at around 1:50 that never fails to move me every single time I hear it - sublime!

    "She looks at me and gently smiles, as if she knew I'd ask her all the time..."

  • I was surprised Peter did that on the first leg of his Back To Front tour. It's a standout track, but for me 12 points is enough. It somehow does not stand the test of time, unlike many other Gabriel songs.

  • I quite like this song. The first part is intimate, a bit playful. The second part is almost majestic. I haven't got a clue what it is about.


    I quite like the live versions, including the one on Plays Live and the more recent version on the Back to Front tour. By Plays Live, his voice was richer and the second half benefitted particularly.

  • BTW, it seems to me that Peter's voice is slowed down somewhat on the final section of the song. Am I the only one who hears this?

    Monsieur Neddy wears spectacles in bed, that he may see dreams more clearly.

    -- "Dream Gerrard," Traffic

  • I voted 'outstanding'. I've always found this to be an incredibly moving song, even though I'm not entirely sure what it's about! I first heard it on Plays Live, where it sounds suitably epic.