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Big Blue Ball

Peter Gabriel, Big Blue BallAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

Price: $14.43 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2012 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2008 $14.43  
Vinyl, 2008 $22.48  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Whole Thing (Original Mix) 5:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Habibe 7:12Album Only
listen  3. Shadow 4:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. altus silva 6:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Exit Through You 5:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Everything Comes From You 4:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Burn You Up, Burn You Down 4:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Forest 6:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Rivers 5:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Jijy 3:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Big Blue Ball 4:52$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 24, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: REAL WORLD
  • ASIN: B0018RKENW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,533 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This collection of tracks was culled from several years of the legendary Recording Week gatherings hosted by Peter Gabriel at his Real World Studios. Produced by Stephen Hague, it includes performances by Karl Wallinger (World Party), Joseph Arthur, Sinead O'Connor, Tim Finn, Gabriel himself, and such stellar international stars as Natacha Atlas, Papa Wemba and Joji Hirota. A collection of great texture and scope.


A mere 16 years in the making, Peter Gabriel's Big Blue Ball (Real World) has finally been judged suitable for release by the artist. It's the end result of a lengthy world-music party that brought talents from more than 20 countries to Gabriel's Real World Studios. Gabriel sings lead on several tracks, trading licks with Karl Wallinger, Joseph Arthur and the Holmes Brothers, but mostly keeping the ball in his court. Other notable contributions include a sparkling, Afro-flamenco pairing of vocalist Papa Wemba with guitarist Juan Canizares and the lovely, techno-folk-Celtic merger of Deep Forest, Arthur and Iarla O Lionaird. --Philadelphia Daily News

Over three summers in the Nineties, Peter Gabriel assembled a wide range of musicians at his Real World Studios for sessions….The results were stunning: A global melting pot of music, we even hear the great man himself singing on four tracks. Artists including Sinead O’Connor, Billy Cobham and Jah Wobble, styles include dub, rock, rap , electro and jazz with plenty of African and Asian flavours. --The Sun (UK)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Gabriel & Friends Have A Big Blue Ball June 27, 2008
Format:Audio CD
This outstanding album, 2008's "Big Blue Ball," is a Peter Gabriel album that's not really a "Peter Gabriel" album. A big 17 years in the making(!), it's a collaboration between Gabriel and a mass group of various singers and musicians from all over the world, including Karl Wallinger (of World Party and The Waterboys), Sinead O'Connor, Deep Forest, Natacha Atlas, Vernon Reid, Marta Sebestyen, Joseph Arthur, and many, many more. You've heard of The Alan Parsons Project? Well, consider "Big Blue Ball" an album by The Peter Gabriel Project, aka Peter Gabriel & a whole bunch of friends. So what took so long? Well, Gabriel & company recorded this album oh-so-casually, getting together for the odd occasional group recording sessions that started way back in 1991, slowwwwly putting the album together piece by meticulous-piece over the next decade-and-a-half, inbetween Gabriel's other various projects going on at the same time ("OVO," "Up," "The Long Walk Home" movie soundtrack, etc.). But now, as Gabriel himself says, "Big Blue Ball" is a fine wine ready to be drunk at last, and thank God for that---this music is *wonderful*! "Big Blue Ball" is passionate, atmospheric & powerful, with all the singers & musicians working together like a magnificent musical family. The songs are cohesive and flow together beautifully. My favorite tracks include Gabriel's trio of featured songs, the emotion-packed "Whole Thing," the funky "Burn You Up, Burn You Down" (which you may already know from Gabriel's best-of compilation, "Hit"), and his rockin' collaboration with Joseph Arthur, "Exit Through You." Arthur also shines brightly on the absolutely dreamy "altus silva. Read more ›
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The rumors were true July 6, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Too bad the grousing vinyl folks are included here to weigh down the rating of this wondrous album. I had read years ago about these magical sessions and had wondered for years about the possibility of hearing them. I am not only not dissapointed by undue expectation (as I was by Gabriel's last solo effort), but thrilled to glimpse a part of this legendary time of community at Real World. The joy and spontaneity of these performances shine through, the quality of the recording (I would assume all analog, thus accounting for the fullness evident), and the originality inherent in the world-fusion aspect, make this a one of a kind must-have.
Peter Gabriel's contributions are obvious in the overall style of production and it's great to hear his voice on a couple of songs, but the real magic here is the merging of this diverse group of stellar musicians, creating what they so brilliantly do - together.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! What A Terrific Album! June 24, 2008
By R.B.F
Format:Audio CD
I was totally not expecting this to be such a great album. As a Peter Gabriel fan I was not very excited for this because I knew it was not a real "Gabriel album" as well as having bought and listened to music by musicians from other countries and not being very impressed. I sampled the songs and was still not very interested and didn't think it would be all that good but I still went and bought it the day it came out and man was that a great idea.
If you're a Gabriel fan or fan of "world music" as well liking a bit of spirituality in your music then this is an album for you. Just one listen and I knew this one was special. Now I haven't listened to it many times so I can't figure how to explain it, you just have to listen. The music just flows, the beats are heavy, the sound quality is crisp, and the sincerity of the vocalists adds to the depth of this collection of timeless music.It's terrific just go buy it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Blue Ball July 11, 2008
Format:Audio CD
I just have one word to describe this album; Brilliant! This album has been one of the best piece in recent years. It's so good to hear awesome musicians from all over the world come together for a fantastic project.

I have been a big fan of PG and Afro Celts for a long time now..So, to hear my favourite artists along with other great musicians from around the world gives me goose bumps. I have been playing this album the most, amongst other music collection I have been listening to, since I bought it a week back.

We need more of these collaborations..

Sunder from Denver, CO
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Listening Experience! July 19, 2008
Format:Audio CD
"Whole Thing" was being played in some store. I recognized Peter Gabriel and thought that the song was great, so I bought the album. Never imagined the whole album would be so good! I guess the "Big Blue Ball" is planet Earth, and great music is what comes out of it. Papa Wemba vocals and flamenco guitar, Sinead O'Connor and Chinese percussion, a Madagascan rapper, the ethereal "altus silva" (perhaps my favorite) with guitar synths and Papa Wemba's band. Absolutely original world music, out of this world!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a balanced effort June 21, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I listen to a little world music, so that element of this album didn't surprise me the way it did some of its harsher reviewers here. If you really haven't heard any world music, you might give it a shot (a good first choice is Putumayo Presents Asian Lounge).

I'm not sympathetic to anyone who's shocked by chant or some unusual instrumentation on a rock album: haven't they ever heard Sgt. Pepper? (Well, if you haven't, then put this on a wish list for later and get Sgt. Pepper now. Best advice you're gonna get on Amazon.) The world music element of this album is easily overstated - or hyped, I suppose. Everything is in 4/4 time, standard modern Western scale and keys and chord progressions.

The music is pretty good. It shouldn't be a life-changing experience for anyone. I wonder what the reviewers compelled to employ multiple exclamation marks would make of, say, Dark Side of the Moon? Realistically, this album will become a trivia question pretty soon, known only to serious fans of the artists involved.

Conclusion: You won't be wasting your money or your time on this album. The songs "Exit Through You," "Everything Comes From You" (featuring Sinead O'Connor) and "Rivers" are particularly interesting, and depending on what kinds of world music you're familiar with, various other tracks (such as "Habibi") could be eye-opening.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Virgilijus
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very interesting album
Published 2 months ago by Marguerite Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Dave Holmsten
5.0 out of 5 stars great album!
Peter Gabriel does it again, this album is an excellent example of Gabriel's recent works, the music and its performers are at the highest level possible, the craftsmanship of... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Juan Carlos Pardo Peña
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Gabriel...Need I say more?
Although I would liek to see more of Gabriel's solo music, the collaborative type work that is represented in this album is very unique. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Cost of Progress
5.0 out of 5 stars World Music
Nice sounds of world music with input and backing by Peter Gabriel. Collected over a few years with various artists. Well worth a listen.
Published 10 months ago by Denver B. Cornett
4.0 out of 5 stars When it's Peter Gabriel it's great
Love the Peter Gabriel tunes and the ones where he sings. Like a few others and a couple I just skip over, but I like it.
Published 11 months ago by Katie Winkler
4.0 out of 5 stars Great album
This album is a Peter Gabriel-led project of artists from all over the world. It has a lot of the feel and sound of his work with Afro Celt Sound System, which is a group that... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Revere's Heir
5.0 out of 5 stars peter gabriel di it again
peter gabriel di bit again like always, with very good songs, from african touch, an the english characteristics of the best musicians in the world!!!.
Published 22 months ago by mario flores
4.0 out of 5 stars On the Whole, Good Value and Great Music
I think I agree that there are some really good and interesting songs here, packaged with others that don't engage me fully as others have said in one way or another. Read more
Published on May 17, 2012 by Stephen Mann
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