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Big Blue Ball

4.2 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 24, 2008
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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.

Review

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)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 24, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: REAL WORLD
  • ASIN: B0018RKENW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,651 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alan Caylow on 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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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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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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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..

Cheers,
Sunder from Denver, CO
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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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you like Peter Gabriel, or World Music, you will find several real gems on this sonic work of art. Very little I don't like, and, though I don't speak Gaelic, I am emotionally engaged and moved by all of it (even words I don't understand). I guess you'd have to listen to the title track, or better yet, "Altus Silva," in order to see for yourself if this somehow resonates deep inside. It was years in the making, and almost didn't come together for release. I am gratified that this collection of artists gave so much of themselves (probably for very little gain). Three of these songs are in my personal Top 500, and my title comes from their lyrics.
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