Peter Gabriel has been a solo artist for over 37 years now, and in that time he has managed to release a grand total of eight proper studio albums. For the mathematically challenged, that works out to about one record ever four and a half years or so. Thankfully, Gabriel’s multiple film soundtrack contributions over the years have helped to satisfy his fans’ cravings for anything new from the former Genesis frontman.
As a Gabriel fanatic myself, I know how hard it often is to collect soundtrack recordings. No one likes paying $14.99 for a CD for one song (hello, Phenomenon soundtrack!), but obsessive collectors like myself have little or no choice in the matter. The way I see it, the least I can do is share the (what used to be my) wealth with the wonderful readers of the Analog Kid blog.
Note: by no means is this a definitive collection of Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack work. I have excluded many songs that can easily be found on Peter’s own albums, and I even discovered a few songs that I do not own while doing research for this post. Did I interrupt the writing of this blog to go jump in my car and track down one of those songs at my local used CD shop? You’re damn right I did…
Peter Gabriel: “Strawberry Fields Forever” (Lennon/McCartney)
From the soundtrack All This And World War II
20th Century Records, 1976
Vinyl rip courtesy of the Analog Kid
Gabriel made his solo debut with this contribution to the bizarre All This And World War II film and soundtrack. Nothing says World War II footage like covers of Beatles songs, right? I remember seeing the movie on subscription ON TV while growing up in Southern California, but I had forgotten all about it until I stumbled upon the soundtrack about a year ago.
Peter Gabriel: “Walk Through The Fire” (Gabriel)
From the soundtrack Against All Odds
Atlantic Records, 1984
The current and former frontmen of Genesis duked it out on side one of the Against All Odds soundtrack. Stevie Nicks had to keep them apart. The winner? Collins with a TKO.
Peter Gabriel: “Out Out” (Gabriel)
From the soundtrack Gremlins
Geffen Records, 1984
Vinyl rip courtesy of the Analog Kid
Nile Rodgers co-produced “Out Out” along with Gabriel. I have never seen any actual copies of the Gremlins soundtrack on CD, although supposedly they do exist…
Peter Gabriel: “I Go Swimming” (Gabriel)
From the soundtrack Hard To Hold
RCA Records, 1984
Disclaimer: I do not actually own the Hard To Hold soundtrack– the CD is long out of print, and most vinyl copies seem to have been destroyed by dry-humping teenage girls. I created this mp3 by editing the version of “I Go Swimming” from Gabriel Plays Live, but that should suffice as the versions are supposed to be identical. The internet wouldn’t lie, would it?
Peter Gabriel: “Slow Marimbas” (Gabriel)
From From The Film Birdy
Geffen Records, 1985
The Birdy soundtrack was Gabriel’s first attempt at a full film score. He incorporated many elements from his existing work into the songs, and Birdy also marked Gabriel’s first collaboration with producer Daniel Lanois. “Slow Marimbas” was played live during 1993’s Secret World tour as an intro to “Shaking The Tree.”
Peter Gabriel: “A Different Drum” (Gabriel)
From the album Passion: Music From the Last Temptation Of Christ
Geffen Records, 1989
My love for Peter Gabriel really began with the release of So in 1986, and I immediately devoured his entire back catalog (my favorite album is Peter Gabriel 3, aka Melting Face). By 1989, I was dying for some new music– thankfully, Peter’s soundtrack for Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation Of Christ helped hold me over until the long-delayed release of Us in 1992.
Peter Gabriel: “In Your Eyes” (Gabriel)
From the album Say Anything…The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
WTG Records, 1989
You might have heard this one.
Peter Gabriel: “Blood Of Eden” [Special Mix For Wim Wenders’ Until The End Of The World] (Gabriel)
From the CD single Blood Of Eden
Real World Records, 1993
This remixed version of “Blood Of Eden” appeared in Until The End Of The World, but for some reason was not included on the fantastic soundtrack album. On the Secret World tour, Gabriel sang this beautiful song with his then-unknown backup singer Paula Cole.
Peter Gabriel: “Lovetown” (Gabriel)
From the album Philadelphia: Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack
Epic Soundtrax, 1993
A new Peter Gabriel song only a year after the release of Us? Who does Peter think he is– Stephen King?
Peter Gabriel & Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: “Taboo” (Gabriel)
From the album Natural Killers: A Soundtrack For An Oliver Stone Film
Nothing Records, 1994
“Taboo” is one of Gabriel’s many collaborations with the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who also contributed to the epic Up track “Signal To Noise.”
Peter Gabriel & The Worldbeaters: “Party Man” (Gabriel/Acogny/Amos)
From the album Virtuosity: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Radioactive Records, 1995
I’ve never even heard of the movie Virtuosity, yet I own the soundtrack. Addiction is a real bitch. And yes, the “Amos” credited as a co-writer is Tori Amos.
Peter Gabriel: “I Have The Touch” (Gabriel)
From the album Phenomenon: Music From The Motion Picture
Reprise Records, 1996
Robbie Robertson helped create this mix of “I Have The Touch,” a song that was first released in 1982 on the Security album.
Peter Gabriel: “I Grieve” (Gabriel)
From the album City Of Angels: Music From The Motion Picture
Reprise Records, 1998
I hate this movie. I love this song.
Peter Gabriel: “That’ll Do” (Newman)
From the album Babe: Pig In The City [Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture]
Geffen Records, 1998
Does anyone else remember seeing Gabriel perform “That’ll Do” on the Oscars in 1999? He looked just a bit, shall we say, larger. And bald. It was quite shocking, as was hearing Peter sing a song about a talking pig.
Peter Gabriel: “Cloudless” (Gabriel)
From the album Long Walk Home: Music From The Rabbit-Proof Fence
Real World Records, 2002
Peter Gabriel: “Down To Earth” (Gabriel/Newman)
From the promotional CD single Down To Earth
Walt Disney/Real World Records, 2008
Peter went back to the Oscars thanks to “Down To Earth,” the theme song from the amazing Wall-E. He looked much better this time, but he still lost. Phil Collins taunts him to this day.
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
Phil Collins: “Against All Odds” (Collins)
From the album Against All Odds: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Atlantic Records, 1984
Peter Gabriel: “Shaking The Tree” (N’Dour/Gabriel)
From the album Shaking The Tree: 16 Golden Greats
Geffen Records, 1990
Peter Gabriel & Paula Cole: “Blood Of Eden” (Gabriel)
From the album Secret World Live
Geffen Records, 1994
Peter Gabriel: “Signal To Noise” (Gabriel)
From the album Up
Geffen Records, 2002
Peter Gabriel: “Solsbury Hill” (Gabriel)
From the soundtrack of at least 50% of the movies ever made
Atco Records, 1978