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Live Blood by Peter Gabriel

4.2 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 24, 2012
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$15.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 12 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

2012 two CD live release from the British singer, songwriter and Rock icon. Recorded at Hammersmith Apollo in March 2011, Live Blood captures Peter Gabriel performing live with the 46 piece New Blood Orchestra. The repertoire mixes cover versions from his Scratch My Back album with classic tracks from across his solo career in brand new orchestral arrangements. Gabriel is a renowned live performer and his onstage charisma and instantly recognizable voice combine brilliantly with the orchestral sound palette to breathe a new sense of wonder into familiar songs. This is truly a live experience not to be missed.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 24, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Eagle Records
  • ASIN: B007JQLNXG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,541 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Just when you think you have Peter Gabriel all figured out, he surprises his fans with yet another innovative approach to musical performance. This time, it's with his new live CD entitled Live Blood. Recorded at the beautifully simple and iconic Hammersmith Apollo in London in March of last year, the acoustics of the venue positively adds to the music that you didn't think could be augmented.

Forgoing drums and guitars of a usual rock show - even a progressive rock show like Gabriel's, the distinguished artist instead implemented the 46-piece New Blood Orchestra. In doing so, he "re-imagined" some of his best known songs with awe-inspiring orchestral arrangements.

Picking the Boomerocity short list of favorites is difficult. In the battle for first is Gabriel's treatment of Paul Simon's The Boy in the Bubble. As he did on the Scratch My Back album, Peter dials this back a few beats per second as compared to Simon's original. In a live setting with full orchestra, it really does have a spine tingling effect.

Coincidentally, a second choice for our short list is another tune Gabriel recorded on Scratch My Back - The Power of the Heart, which was written by Lou Reed. As with Bubble, this live version gives chills to the body and leaves your mouth open from its beauty.

Last but certainly not least on the Boomerocity short list of favorites is Red Rain which comes from Peter's chart topping 1986 album, So. Just as the 3D video of this tune is mind-blowing, just listening to the audio is an incredible experience in and of itself. Add to that experience by listening through a great pair of headphones and you're in for an unforgettable experience.

Fans of prog, Gabriel and earlier Genesis will definitely want this CD in their listening library. You won't be disappointed.

Boomerocity.com
Comment 13 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Peter Gabriel is undoubtably one of my favourite live music performers : his 'Secret World Tour' was very entertaining & enjoyable as was 'Secret World 1994 Live' DVD recorded in Modena, Italy. But veteran rock musician Peter Gabriel goes here one better in this new 2 CD (22 tracks) release titled 'New Blood Live In London' : he and his 46 piece New Blood Orchestra present wonderful & interesting orchestral arrangements of songs including his classics "Washing Of The Water", "Biko", "Mercy Street", "Blood Of Eden", "Red Rain", "Solsbury Hill", "In Your Eyes" & "Don't Give Up" among others. The sound quality of this recording is exceptional and Peter Gabriel's musicianship unparalleled (great orchestral arrangements & his incredible lead vocals)! Sounds as if his voice is getting better with age on this release.

Disc 1 : This is my favourite disc (11 tracks) of the two. Stand-outs/gems/solid tracks include "Wallflower" (great piano, melody & vocals), "Apre's Moi", "Washing Of The Water" (great duet, like it better than the studio track from the 1992 album 'Us') & "The Book Of Love" (incredible melody & vocals. This is my favourite performance track from the veteran). Great tracks include "Intruder" (orchestral movie score-like opening track), "Boy In The Bubble" (Paul Simon cover, slow-tempo track with great piano & vocals), "The Drop", "Darkness" (orchestral movie score-like, some 'talk/rappy' vocals, great duet), "Power Of The Heart", "Biko" (inspiring story/song about the death of Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko under apartheid in South Africa in 1977 under police custody. Would prefer the studio version, but has great orchestral arrangements nevertheless) & "San Jacinto". There is no weak track to talk of.

Disc 2 : This has 11 tracks as well.
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I've listed PG as one of my favourite artists since, well, Moribund the Burgermeister (I was going to write "Selling England by the Pound" which was the first time I heard his voice but PG has left that world behind him in no uncertain terms). My kid grew up litening to his stuff and we used to play for hours with the CD-ROM tour of his farm when she was a toddler.

But I have to say I find these orchestral experiements a very mixed bag and I can't say that any of the teatments changes the experience of a particular piece for the better (in my opinion, naturally).

From my point of view some of the pieces work well, some rather less well and some are total duds. It seemed to me that these arrangements lacked the dynamic feel and immediacy of the band arrangements.

I'm not talking about the difference in feel between live and studio performance here either. The version of Solisbury Hill on the first live album left me slack-jawed with amazement that the piece could be given that heavy a touch, and I prefer the version of Digging in the Dirt from Secret World Live to the one on Us.

I simply feel the orchestral arrangements were turgid and uninspiring in places, more than they were innovative and entertaining, and the album was for me a disappointing experience overall.

I saw the iMax film of this performance a few months ago and while the visual presentation certainly added to the experience I left that with mixed feelings too, though there I could at least verify that the orchestra was trying hard to rise above it all. I can't decide whether the problem is in the material not being well-suited to an orchestral treatment or that the "sparse" effect deliberately sought by the composer and arranger was just above my head.

As an experiment it is worth a listen, but I don't think I'll be playing this album much. Maybe odd tracks, now and again.

Your mileage will certainly vary.
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Is Peter Gabriel going to write any new songs?
It's difficult to find information, but I thought I'd read he'd been gradually working on original material for the sequel to 'Up'. He's said he wants to do a happier, more upbeat album or something along those lines. Hard to believe it's been almost ten years since 'Up', the same length of time... Read More
Apr 10, 2012 by John M. Kertis |  See all 3 posts
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