TotW 3/11/2019 - 3/17/2019: PETER GABRIEL - Red Rain

  • What do you think about "Red Rain"? 15

    1. 15 points - outstanding (10) 67%
    2. 14 points - very good (3) 20%
    3. 11 points - good (1) 7%
    4. 10 points - good - (1) 7%
    5. 14 points - very good - (0) 0%
    6. 12 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 - Red Rain
    Year: 1986
    Album: So [review]
    Working title: unknown
    Credits: Gabriel
    Lyrics: Yes
    Length: 05:40
    Musicians: (tba)
    Played Live: 1986, 1987, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
    mp3 downloads: iTunes
    Cover versions:
    - Lydia Grey (album? year?)
    - Ill Nino (The undercover sessions, 2007)
    - Queensryche(Take cover, 2007)

    Notes: Red Rain is the opening track of Peter Gabriel's commercially most successful album, So. Its unusual rhythm has become a trademark for the song - and has been the reason why Peter Gabriel screwed it up at various live shows. The song has been played at almost every show since 1986.

    We invite you to share interesting facts and tidbits about this track. Let's look at the track in the context of the band's / the artist's history, at the music, the songwriting and all other aspects that are relevant for this track. Please do stick to the discussion of the track above. Comparisons to other tracks are okay, but remember that the other track you may be keen to talk about has or will have its own Track Of The Week thread. If you spot a mistake or if you can close a gap in the fact sheet above please feel free to contact martinus or Christian about it; we will gladly add and improve!

    ...cried a voice in the crowd.


  • I have always loved this track, one of my favourites from my favourite PG album, so I guess I saw it live. What do you mean 'screwed up'? Outstanding, anyway.

  • I have always loved this track, one of my favourites from my favourite PG album, so I guess I saw it live. What do you mean 'screwed up'? Outstanding, anyway.

    He has a habit of making mistakes on this song live - I witnessed one of them! ^^


    I like that Stewart Copeland plays the hi-hat on this song (and, apparently, only the hi-hat - Peter is very particular). If my memory serves correctly, Stewart does actually play drums on one of the tracks left off of "So", Across The River. (It may have been recorded at sessions that weren't specifically for the album - I'm not sure. However, in any case, it was recorded at least around roughly the same time as the "So" sessions).


    I like the song, and it sounds great live (even if Peter fluffs lyrics, etc.). I see why he played it on many tours.

    Stepping out the back way, hoping nobody sees...

  • He has a habit of making mistakes on this song live - I witnessed one of them! ^^


    I like that Stewart Copeland plays the hi-hat on this song (and, apparently, only the hi-hat - Peter is very particular). If my memory serves correctly, Stewart does actually play drums on one of the tracks left off of "So", Across The River. (It may have been recorded at sessions that weren't specifically for the album - I'm not sure. However, in any case, it was recorded at least around roughly the same time as the "So" sessions).


    I like the song, and it sounds great live (even if Peter fluffs lyrics, etc.). I see why he played it on many tours.

    PG is a general lyric fluffer, I didn't realise he's been more prone to it on this track though. Regardless of it being screwed up on occasions, the version played at the 03/04 shows was superb.


    It's a good album opener and has a nice feel of turmoil and anxiety. I think it's about someone having a nightmare and I like the way the closing moments convey a sense of them waking up and the bad dream receding. My problem though is not with this song in itself, but with the album in that (as with ATTWT) the best track is right at the start, meaning the rest of the album doesn't measure up.


    It strikes me that following two albums of his strict "no cymbals" rule he was making a statement with the very first sound on the album being a cymbal, and the rest of the track being quite splashy with cymbals.


    And on the subject of the person playing that hi-hat, about Copeland and Across The River, I think it was recorded in 1982 and premiered at the first WOMAD festival that year. At one of the Secret World shows I was surprised this was resurrected and thought it was one of the highlights. I hadn't heard it was intended for So.


    One track that is on So and pre-dates it by some years is Milgram. I saw them do it on the 1980 tour (pre-release of 3) and really liked it. It was creepy and atmospheric and I was disappointed it didn't appear on 3 or 4, and a little let down that when it did finally appear it had lost its sense of menace.

    Abandon all reason

  • An epic start to the album. It has such a strong sense of atmosphere and Gabriel delivers the lyric with suitable angst. I seem to remember it appearing in an episode of Miami Vice (Michael Mann must have had a soft spot for the Genesis boys as the series featured a few tracks of Phil's and also Hanging By A Thread by The Mechanics).

  • I wonder why Gabriel messes up his lyrics so often? Not being a follower of his shows, I wasn't aware of this failing. You'd think he'd be able to remember the words to his own blinking songs. Reminds me of Iron Maiden's singer Bruce Dickinson berating singers who use auto-prompters on stage; people pay an arm and a leg for tickets these days so it's a bit poor when the singer can't make the effort to get the words right.

  • I wonder why Gabriel messes up his lyrics so often? Not being a follower of his shows, I wasn't aware of this failing. You'd think he'd be able to remember the words to his own blinking songs. Reminds me of Iron Maiden's singer Bruce Dickinson berating singers who use auto-prompters on stage; people pay an arm and a leg for tickets these days so it's a bit poor when the singer can't make the effort to get the words right.

    The thing is though, maybe he does make the effort! I recall his admittng he is very forgetful. That said, I've been to quite a few of his shows and don't recall any fluffed lines. It happens, but not as much as is perhaps being suggested.


    Imagine if he couldn't remember a line during I Don't Remember. The universe might fold in on itself.

    Abandon all reason

  • Without any doubt - full score. I love this track and it is great live as well!


    by the way - we haven't seen new tracks of the week recently ....?

  • I waited so long for So to come out - I had such high anticipation.

    It was released in the UK in May 1986.

    I was also waiting for Genesis to release Invisible Touch too. That was released in June 1986.


    So now at long last I had two new albums from my idols.

    The waiting in between albums seemed so long back then.

    Now, time and the years seem to simply fly by.


    So, back to the songs.

    Genesis Invisible Touch was such a disappointment for me personally. I quickly went through the album trying to find the band that I loved, but apart from Domino, I was left saddened and deflated.


    I put So on my Technics record player, hoping against hope that Peter would not let me down...


    Boy did he restore my faith in his songwriting and singing ability from the get go.

    I can still remember the very first time I ever heard Red Rain...


    The build up on the drums that became very quickly a joyous crescendo - the fluid, playful and joyous bass guitar, infectious keyboards and Pete's confident soulful vocal.


    The lyrics grabbed me right away. What were they about? I didn't know, but I knew I would enjoy finding out.


    The album artwork itself was clean, sharp and included the lyrics and details of the musicians and producer.


    I knew two minutes in that this was going to be a GREAT PIVOTAL ALBUM for Peter.


    I was a Gabriel 4 fanatic, yet here was Peter giving us pop, without losing the sensibilities of Lay Your Hands On Me or Wallflower.


    What an artist. What a genius.

    I give the track and the whole album 10/10.

    It's a time of my life when my favourite artist was producing simply sublime music.


    Invisible Touch? It's grown on me of course, but it was no So.

    But I was happy to have the two albums in my then much much smaller adolescent music collection!

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

  • One of my all time Gabriel favorites. I loved the 2002-2004 live version a lot - and I thought their performance was a bit weaker during the BtF tour.

    ... make tomorrow today!