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Peter Gabriel 3: Melt Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 128 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Originally released in 1980. Remastered in 2002. Peter Gabriel's third eponymous album finds him crafting work that's artier, stronger, more song oriented than before. Consider its ominous opener, the controlled menace of "Intruder." He's never found such a scary sound, yet it's a sexy scare, one that is undeniably alluring, and he keeps this going throughout the record. For an album so popular, it's remarkably bleak, chilly, and dark, even radio favorites like "I Don't Remember" and "Games Without Frontiers" are hardly cheerful, spiked with paranoia and suspicion, insulated in introspection. For the first time, Gabriel has found the sound to match his themes, plus the songs to articulate his themes. Each aspect of the album works, feeding off each other, creating a romantically gloomy, appealingly arty masterpiece. It's the kind of record where you remember the details in the production as much as the hooks or the songs, which isn't to say that it's all surface, it's just that the surface means as much as the songs, since it articulates the emotions as well as Gabriel's cubist lyrics and impassioned voice. He wound up having albums that sold more, or generated bigger hits, but this third Peter Gabriel album remains a masterpiece.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Intruder
  2. No Self Control
  3. Start
  4. I Don't Remember
  5. Family Snapshot
  6. And Through The Wire
  7. Games Without Frontiers
  8. Not One Of Us
  9. Lead A Normal Life
  10. Biko


Product Details

  • Audio CD: 269 pages (September 28, 2010)
  • Reis Rmst Dig ed. edition
  • 269 pages
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Real World Productions
  • ASIN: B003ZZAXFO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,345 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By ewomack TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
There are no bad or even mediocre songs on this album. This is Gabriel's first solo album where he seems fully in control. The mood is consistent and intense. The drums bang big and well-used dissonance lurks behind every harmony. It's very difficult to find something bad to say about it.
Gabriel explores many themes on this album, from people who enjoy breaking into homes ("Intruder") to people who need attention and go to extremes to get it ("Family Snapshot") to the relationship between sex and war ("Games Without Frontiers") to alienation ("Not One of Us") to the final political protest song against apartheid ("Biko"). Pop albums (if you can call this a pop album) rarely if ever explore such territory with such depth. The music backs up the lyrics to a degree that's almost mesmerizing.
Gabriel had come a long way from Genesis by the time this album was released. Just listen to "Trespass" (from 10 years before this album) or "Selling England By the Pound" (from half a decade or so before this album) to see how Gabriel expanded his depth for music and lyrics. It's hard to believe that the same guy singing "No Self-Control" once roamed around on stage dressed as a bat or a giant flower. In retrospect Gabriel's departure from Genesis may have been the best move of his career. It's hard to imagine Genesis going in the direction Gabriel went in, considering where they ended up (somewhere on the opposite side of the spectrum).
A host of great performers contributed instruments or vocals, which can be heard on every note. Robert Fripp returns as a guitarist (he would never again produce Gabriel), Kate Bush sings backup, David Gregory (formerly of XTC) contributes guitar, and even Phil Collins plays drums. The names go on and on (including Tony Levin and David Rhodes, who became staples).
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Format: Audio CD
...make it this one.
This third "Peter Gabriel" disc (a.k.a. "Melt") could have been titled "Sociology". There is no "Sledgehammer" here. No "In Your Eyes". No "Steam". The closest thing to a hit here is "Games Without Frontiers", which was edited and issued as a moderate-charting single. What you get instead is an aural look at the world around us - a piece of art that will sometimes send a chill down the spine, sometimes bring a lump to the throat, always leave you thinking.
The songs on "Melt" deal with man's inhumanity to man, both on a global scale and one-on-one. Gabriel's approach is primarily first person, bringing us closer to each narrator in these tracks. Just as he used to mask himself in fox heads and what-not during his long-ago Genesis days to take on another persona, so he does in his songs - often to chilling effect.
The disc opens with "Intruder", Phil Collins' hypnotic thump setting the tone as Gabriel creepily takes on the role of house intruder - less a thief, more psychopathic.
"Family Snapshot" puts us inside the mind of an assassin, in the final seconds before he pulls the trigger. A standout track on this album (and every track on this album stands out).
Xenophobic hatred and paranoia is the subject of much of this release. "And Through The Wire", "Not One Of Us", and the UK hit "I Don't Remember" all conjure mental images of unfriendly border crossings and nationalistic distrust and hate. "Games Without Frontier" makes the simple point that if looks really could kill, someone would surely use it as a weapon. Children playing war games with real weapons.
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Format: Audio CD
I know that most people say that if you listen to "Solsbury Hill," you'll hear why Peter Gabriel had to leave Genesis. I, however, feel that it was on his third solo album that Gabriel truly established himself as a solo artist. The penchant for musical exploration that we see on his first album is present on this one, as well as Gabriel's newly discovered fondness for disturbing subject matter and ethnic rock, first glimpsed on his second album. But here we have a more mature artist than the one we saw on the first two albums. Finally, there is a strong cohesion between the songs, a center of thematic unity. You should be warned: there isn't a single lighthearted moment on this album. Every single dark facet of the human mind, the shadowy recesses of the soul that everyone possesses to some degree (but doesn't like to think about), they are all explored throughout this album. But Gabriel's songwriting expertise actually manages to make the experience an engaging one.

The opening song, Intruder, makes it clear that we're entering a dark world. In true Peter Gabriel fashion, it's a bizarre opener, albeit a bit darker than what we're used to. But still, Gabriel uses his powers of composition to make it delightful, in a sick way. The disjointed, yet solid melody, coupled with Gabriel's treatment of the lyrics (muttering one moment, crying out the next, with just the right amount of feedback to give his voice a more shadowy quality) reel the listener in. One almost gets a sense that Gabriel has assumed the role of the stalker almost too well. It's enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck, and yet, it's artistic enough to grab your attention. It's not the last time Gabriel sings in the first person.
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