Where last week we had a back catalog album from Genesis, which was perhaps judged a bit too harshly based on what that band had become in the present day (and of course by present day I mean 1989 . . . man, these layers of temporal shift get confusing!), today we get to see the gang’s reaction to a brand new album from erstwhile Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel. So was Peter Gabriel’s fifth studio album, and his first studio album not titled Peter Gabriel. It was his second outing with producer Daniel Lanois, who by this point (having worked with Gabriel, Brian Eno, U2, Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and so on) should need no introduction.
While the reception to So at KCMU was not 100% enthusiastic, it sounds like it was generally well received - as long as the dreaded white-dot ‘Sledgehammer’ was avoided. I’m sure that’s more than can be said for Gabriel’s former bandmate Phil Collins. I haven’t searched the KEXP stacks for No Jacket Required, but I’m guessing it didn’t get quite as warm of a reception.
“Nice. Very Peter Gabrielish. Softer, tho’.”
“Kate Bush on 1-3, Jim Kerr of Simple Minds, Michael Been of the Call on 2-1, Shankar on some tracks too.”
“Although this is below limp compared to Security, ‘We Do What We’re Told,’ played on said tour, is a pretty cool piece. If you can find it, check out b-side of ‘Sledgehammer’ single, ‘Don’t Break This Rhythm.’”
“Why is this in L? This is one of the best records I’ve heard in a long time.”
“Well then Greg, you should really listen to a few more records, eh?”
“Well said John, well said indeed. Glad that you’re joining us on these stickers for a change. About the record though, there is a few good ones and a few bad ones. Oh well.”
“God, this grows on you. First major record I’ve bought in over a year ‘n’ a half. ([producer] Dan Lanois works much w/ B. Eno.”
Additional comments adorning the promotional sticker reading “So / Peter Gabriel / Featuring: ‘Sledgehammer’”
“(So) Let me make some money!”
“Can we buy this w/out ‘Sledgehammer’? (Featuring: ‘Sledgehammer’) That’s too bad.”