Scratch My Back & I'll Scratch Yours Limited Edition
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Although, at first, I hoped to have the companion record out at the same time, it became clear it would take a while longer pulling in the second record with all the other artists. This will come later." - Peter Gabriel in 2010
Three years later, and And I'll Scratch Yours is here. Given the calibre and careers of the artists Gabriel selected to cover on the Scratch My Back album it s rather incredible that all but two of them are present on this new release. The two absentees being ably replaced by Feist and Joseph Arthur.
Though the cover versions on Scratch were all arranged for an orchestra, no such parameters were placed on the song-swap, making And I'll Scratch Yours a fascinatingly diverse record.
Top Customer Reviews
First the Vinyl Issues:
1.) Disc 1 warped as the result of the BONUS CD's being compressed into the Vinyl post-Shrink Wrapping.
2.) Disc 1 dull, not your uniform shiny black. Scuffs making it look horrendous.
3.) Disc 1 adhesive from the label on the playing area.
4.) Disc 1 small metal shard in one of the grooves.
5.) Disc 2 major scratches inducing rhythmic pops.
There are a lot of quite passages, especially on the "scratch my back" disc 2. If the vinyl is not perfect, which this isn't you may be pulled out of the listening experience as it pops and hisses over scratches and poor pressing.
Wow. The "I'll Scratch Yours" covers of Gabriel are simply awful. I am open minded and listen to more Genres than most, but this is somewhere lost between "Hipster" covers, and just bad musical choices. Making it a disjointed and boring experience.
1. I Don't Remember - Byrne. I'm a big Talking Heads fan and Byrne fan in general, but this sounds like a BAD DJ Mash-up.
2. Come Talk to Me - Bon Iver. Very Hipster. Lifeless
*3. Blood of Eden - Regina Speaker. THE BEST SONG THIS SIDE.
4. Not One of Us - Merritt. Ummm, I would expect to hear this in a Goth Club circa 1995, or Wille Wonka factory. Sounds like the Keebler Elves singing.
7. Games without Frontiers - Arcade Fire. Sounds like a high school marching band/talent show cover.
*8. Mercy Street - Elbow. SOLID | GOOD | true to original
9. Mother of Violence - Eno. See #1
10. Don't Give Up - Feist+.Read more ›
It took nearly four years for "And I'll Scratch Yours" to come out where artists (many of whom he covered on the other disc) take on Gabriel's music. David Byrne starts with "I Don't Remember", Bon Iver (who I'm normally not a huge fan of) really nails "Come Talk To Me", and the late Lou Reed does what is now a haunting and distorted "Solsbury Hill". I really liked Arcade Fire's version of "Games Wtihout Frontiers". Randy Newman's version of "Big Time" is creative but sounds out of place. Paul Simon closes it out with "Biko".
All and all it's a concept that is executed well by Peter Gabriel and by the other artists. Everything is tastefully done and it provides a really nice set up for fans of Gabriel's work. It's a nice package to have both albums in one set. Fans should pick it up.
So don't expect a single, unified musical experience from this package. "Scratch My Back", which features Peter Gabriel performing with piano and chamber orchestra, is definitely an excellent, high-concept musical experience as the songs all share similar orchestral colors. But like most tribute albums, I found "And I'll Scratch Yours" to be a hit-and-miss hodgepodge with brilliant moments but also less brilliant ones.
I like "Scratch My Back" a lot, but as both a popular and classical music enthusiast, I am positively disposed to "crossover classical" music -- things like most of what Sting has done for the last few years, or Tori Amos' fantastic album Night of Hunters. Hell, I even like the orchestral version of The Who's Tommy.
What we have in "Scratch My Back" is a lushly orchestrated set of Peter Gabriel music, even if he didn't write it. The atmosphere is somber and wistful overall. Very frequently, Gabriel deconstructs the music so completely that the songs are hardly recognizable, for example with Bowie's "Heroes" and Paul Simon's "Boy in the Bubble", both of which dissolve into lovely orchestral atmospherics punctuated by Gabriel's voice bearing only slight resemblance to the original singing.
"And I'll Scratch Yours" is definitely a mixed bag, however.Read more ›
And I had those high expectations because I listened to the second disc first. Each of the guest artists exactly chose Gabriel songs to complement their strengths. In many cases, you could swear the song was written for them. Paul Simon chose "Biko", for example. And listening to Lou Reed's cover of "Solsbury Hill" so soon after his death was heart-wrenching: "Keep my things; they've come to take me home".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I having a hard time getting into this. I'll give it some more listens.Published 4 months ago by Joseph Matte
The background hiss on the first LP is distracting from full appreciation....
The Gabriel tracks were very slow and sometimes not fitting to the song. A few gems were found. The cover tracks were much more varied in quality. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mark Bates
Excellent album. Amazing covers by a cross section of musicians/genres. great addition to anyone's PG collection.Published 16 months ago by Mark Bros
Well I had my doubts. When Peter Gabriel announced his new project to record covers of songs he enjoyed with a string section and had contacted others to cover one of HIS songs, it... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Wayne Klein
Sorry to say, but I agree with all of the 1-star reviews - disappointing and waste of money to say the least. I'm not going to get into a big thing about it. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Kathy M.
Did not care for this at all. I am a huge Peter Gabriel fan but, this was just a little "too far out there" for me. Sorry Peter. That's all I've got to say about that.Published 18 months ago by Michelle McGuire
Years after Peter Gabriel worked tirelessly to deliver a beautiful orchestrated album of covers, the artists he covered return the favor by delivering a downright awful collection... Read morePublished 18 months ago by SkudGobang