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Showing 1-10 of 80 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 164 reviews
on March 15, 2017
Always been a Peter Gabriel fan but loved this album especially. Discovered it while watching Stranger Things and falling in love with the song Hero
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on December 5, 2011
This product is not virgin material, and sounds dirty even just after openning, this is sad because the songs are outstanding, but no only the transfer is awful but the material made is not virgin. do not buy this item, it is better to buy in cd.
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on April 24, 2017
Excellent I Love Peter Gabriel
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VINE VOICEon March 14, 2010
"Scratch My Back" will doubtlessly go down as one of Peter Gabriel's most contentious albums. Known for thundering drums and uvula exposing vocal explosions, Gabriel evaded all expectations and instead released a mellow, all orchestral album. Reviews seem very mixed and even long time fans are divided on what to think about this puzzling release.

First off, Gabriel has never recorded a cover album. Sometimes these serve as stop gap distractions while performers prepare new batches of original material (naysayers would probably like to think that such is the case here). Many such albums become throwaways. Instead, Gabriel claims that this motley collection of somewhat contemporary tunes represents his most personal endeavor to date. A deeply personal cover album? Gabriel's oeuvre, burgeoning with passionate political and social statements from his own pen, would seem a more likely fountain of personal expression than orchestral covers. In any case, there it is.

Credit definitely goes to Gabriel for trying on new pants, so to say. "Scratch My Back" is completely unlike anything else the man has ever released. Taking his work as a whole, "So" arguably feels closer to "Foxtrot" than to this album. Here the Gabriel "wall of sound" has disappeared. Innovative cracking rhythms give way to flourishing strings. Vocals float in front of often sparse orchestral and piano arrangements. "Here Comes The Flood" and "Wallflower" approach such sparseness, but everything on "Scratch My Back" outdoes even these quiet ballads in this sense. Sparse, in fact, serves as an apt one word description of this album.

Then there's the song selection. Gabriel definitely mined some of the best: Talking Heads, Paul Simon, Lou Reed, Radiohead, Randy Newman, David Bowie, etc. None of his interpretations outdo the originals. No one would replace Gabriel's version of "Listening Wind" on their copy of "Remain in Light," for example. But that doesn't really say much. The original versions of these selections are so entrenched in our collective psyches that any cover faces an obstinate wall of inertia and presupposition. But that doesn't mean these are good covers, either.

Some of the interpretations definitely work better than others. "Heroes" will definitely repulse some on a first listen. It will subsequently grow on some and off others. "Flume" soars with everything Gabriel has to offer. "The Power of the Heart" provides a decent alternate take to Lou Reed's love sonnet to his now wife, Laurie Anderson. "My Body is a Cage" drags along like carcasses on a Bruce Nauman carousel, as does "Street Spirit (Fade Out)." The rest of the album remains a little up in the air. Nonetheless, it delivers some genuine moving moments as well as some awkward moments. The bridge in "Philadelphia" contains some inchoate dissonant wailing. It's unpleasant. "I Think It's Going To Rain Today" falls a little flat, sounding less rich than Newman's 1968 arrangement. Also, Gabriel's voice seems a little unsteady and overly self-conscious at times. "Scratch My Back" is far from his best vocal performance. On the plus side, "The Book of Love," a simple ditty, provides a memorable track, though some may wince at the borderline corny lyrics.

Ultimately, "Scratch My Back" plays better in segments than as a whole. The full ride can get a little tiresome given some of the repetitive arrangements (silent and slow, rise to a crescendo, then silence to fade out). Nonetheless, the album does contain some memorable moments, but far fewer than most Gabriel albums offer."Scratch My Back" is not for everyone, not even for all Gabriel fans. It's way off of the radar from his other work, is often slow and brooding, and provides challenging interpretations of some very familiar songs. But many will appreciate the starkness and find themselves spinning this one in certain moods. Maybe time will reveal whether or not this album turns out as Gabriel's only dud or as an unappreciated masterpiece. In the present tense, it has some fans scratching their heads.
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on April 14, 2010
If you just looked at the song titles presented on "Scratch My Back", you might expect a medley of re-treads from songs you probably liked best in their original form. It is, in fact, a 'covers' album. But Peter Gabriel is not one to give us that kind of performance. Instead, he effectively locked the drummer and guitarist out of the studio, and bared his soul through the lyrics of some of the most memorable (and yes, forgettable) pop songs from the last 35 years or so.

With a large orchestra to support him, Gabriel gives us a recording closer to a classical collection of famous arias than it is to any arrangement of any song here you've probably heard. The difference is that Gabriel does not keep his distance. It is as if he whispers secrets in your ear. Then, tells you things about the songs you never realized. And then wailing out over the orchestra with that voice everyone knows, just to remind you it's still him. Some of these songs, like Simon's "Boy in the Bubble" are a revelation (the non-ironic version is here to display Paul's brilliant lyric work). Others are tunes I frankly could not stand in their 'original' form (I won't mention those out of courtesy), but are now receiving much attention in my CD player, thanks to his newly overhauled renditions. I'm guessing that if you don't know the words to some of these songs, you simply will not recognize them.

Peter Gabriel turned 60 this year. But he knows better than to attempt the embarrassing over-the-hill rock star routine. This is a mature work, not to be found on American pop radio, I'm sure. He has once again struck out into new territory, and he never ceases to surprise me. Don't expect to find another "Sledgehammer" here. Brace yourself for something truly personal, and involving.
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on March 3, 2010
Who really expects Peter Gabriel records to be fun? Even upbeat tunes have always been dark humor at best - Shock the Monkey, Big Time, Sledgehammer, etc. I'm not familiar with any of these songs save Boy in the Bubble and I Think It's Going To Rain Today, so maybe that makes me less critical than others. To me this is a beautifully orchestrated disk with Gabriel doing great job of expressing lyrics. Perfect for late night/rainy day listening. Relax and dig.
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on March 15, 2010
I have been a Peter Gabriel fan since I purchased my first record album ever in 1967 ... "From Genesis to Revelation." Last week I read that Peter was not going to attend the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction for Genesis because, " was like going back to high school." And he has moved on, or something like that. With "Scratch My Back" he has moved on to a nursing home. I'm not a musician, so I am not really sure what makes this disc so incredibly boring, but to me every song sounds nearly the same. Are they all in the same key? Not sure. Same timbre? Could be. Perhaps it's that what makes Peter Gabriel such an amazing artist for me is the music he writes. So I can partially blame it on his poor choice of artists and songs for which he will presumably get like treatment. Bottom line is this. I read the reviews and was skeptical. But I always think the price of the disc is worth it if there is just one song I can listen to over and over. Sorry, but not this time. Wish I had better news.
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on August 11, 2016
I'm a sort of -pick and choose- Peter Gabriel fan. I am in no way familiar with his entire body of work, and most of the stuff I know of his I know from radio play. I stumbled onto this album due to his rendition of My Body is a Cage, and incredible song originally by Arcade Fire. It has quickly become more popular than the original, of which is still my favorite song by Arcade Fire. Though originally obstinate to receive this new much more somber version, over time, as it grew in popularity and play in various videos and TV programs, I ended up deciding I liked it and should invest in the originating album - Scratch My Back; without further investigating the track list.

I am very happy with this purchase. My personal opinion on music covers is pragmatic; if it's not just the same song sung by another artist giving little modified value, than I'm for it. I don't canonize music, I take it graciously in various combinations and styles like various preparations of rice or steak. Mr Gabriel definitely brings a different style and flavor to these songs. They are immediately familiar to many, and thus endearing. They are also have a new style, which is engaging or at least interesting. In the end, he's met my expectations for good cover music, and ultimately exceeds with adding his unique feel.

I realize many will see that this is not the Peter Gabriel they know and love. It's not an entire genre shift, such as if he'd jump to country, rap, or smooth jazz (though the later is closer), but it's clearly a different direction. I'm used to this, being a long time fan of Sting, and Iggy Pop, both who've put out albums of substantial deviation from their roots, one in particular never seemed to find his way back (and arguably has left orbit to places far far away), so for me, I'm happy for some experimentation beyond their known style. Some might feel the need to punish these trespasses with harsher criticism as a sort of negative reinforcement, and perhaps that works. For me, I will prefer something over a tired rehash or nothing at all.

You will only know if you will appreciate this album when you hear it; and there are plenty of places to try this before you buy this. I recommend that for most people. If, however, you see a few songs in the tracklist that you are familiar with and curious about, I really don't think you'd go wrong grabbing this album. It is mellow, it's been great background dinner or work music for me, at the least. At the moment, I'm about to go dig it out of my music collection and see if I still appreciate it as much as I say in this review.
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on March 8, 2010
Reviews are all over the place on this one so I clicked the purchase button with trepidation. I haven't listened to Peter Gabriel for probably ten years and wouldn't call myself a fan. My expectations were neutral, curious, maybe even non-existent.

If you want the PG of 25 years ago, pay attention to the negative reviews and download "So". If you love the original versions of the songs he covers, download the originals. However, if you are open to a somewhat dark yet thought provoking re-working of other artist's work, then you should find this a very pleasant experience.
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on April 3, 2010
I've never before been moved to write a review on Amazon. There are times when the opinions are a little silly or uninformed, and other times that the opinions are childish and mean. Usually, I can weed through the nonsense. For me, there are five phases to my response to this album. 1# I became aware that Peter was releasing a new album: I was both excited and nostalgic. 2) Within minutes, I became filled with dread because the nostalgia generally overwhelms the new work: so I was worried that I would hate it. 3) Now hating the idea of buying the new album, I was even more upset with myself for ordering it from Amazon; so, to really rub it in and to punish myself ("that'll teach me!"), I bought the "deluxe" two disc version. 4) Having received the album, I dreaded opening it; and upon opening it and playing it, I pretty much glossed over it and didn't pay too much attention to it as I let my itunes-ADD tune out the album. 5) I have become aware that I cannot stop listening to this album: it is light, it is soaring, it is frightening and anxious...and while completely professional and grand, it is so intimate that it's almost embarrassing. This is very possibly the best work that PG has done since III and Security, and it speaks well to all of his best work. This album is almost nothing like those 80's albums in tone or tempo, but what most pulls me into this album is how easily it is to connect to PG's emotions throughout. Very Well Done!!
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