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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So, What's Your Favorite Peter Gabriel Album?
There's always one pivotal record that truly makes an artist unique. One for which they'll always be remembered, even after a string of later achievements. Fleetwood Mac did it in 1977 with Rumours. U2 made history and the cover of Time Magazine with The Joshua Tree. And Peter Gabriel's 1986 release So firmly established him as an artist in his own right. In previous...
Published on June 24 2004 by ANDREW MCELWEE

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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't get ripped off!
This is just a re-hash of the stereo CD, it's not "re-mastered" for multi-channel playback. You'd be much happier with Pink Floyd's 30th Anniversary Edition of the album "Dark SIde Of The Moon" or the Eagles "Hotel California" or Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"; these artists took the time and spent the money to do SACD...
Published on July 19 2004 by Bill Bennett


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So, What's Your Favorite Peter Gabriel Album?, June 24 2004
This review is from: So (W/1 Bonus Track) (Audio CD)
There's always one pivotal record that truly makes an artist unique. One for which they'll always be remembered, even after a string of later achievements. Fleetwood Mac did it in 1977 with Rumours. U2 made history and the cover of Time Magazine with The Joshua Tree. And Peter Gabriel's 1986 release So firmly established him as an artist in his own right. In previous years, fans still linked Gabriel's musical identity to the Genesis days, and solo hits like "Shock The Monkey" couldn't quite bring him to the forefront. But So changed all that, capturing the attention of critics and listeners alike. Recognized as Gabriel's first commercial success, the record sold over 3 million copies in the US alone, and soared to #2 on both the US and UK charts. So went on to receive Grammy nominations for Album of the Year, as well as Song of the Year for "Sledgehammer." Probably the best-known of all Peter Gabriel's songs, "Sledgehammer" won the prestigious Video Vanguard Award, and Rolling Stone magazine ranked it among "The Top 100 Videos." Today, So remains Peter Gabriel's most original work, delivering an extraordinary blend of songwriting, vocals, and musical intuition. From slamming tracks like "Red Rain," "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time," to darker-hued corners of the soul with "In Your Eyes" and "Mercy Street," the record is pure genius. One could argue the depth and color in these songs betray the simple monochrome image of Gabriel on the cover. Of course, Peter Gabriel redefined himself in 1992 with the release of Us, followed by the highly-acclaimed Secret World Tour. Even then, his live performance of "Sledgehammer" still held audiences awestruck, proving Gabriel will never outlive the essential timelessness of So. Country superstar Garth Brooks once remarked in 1994 that every musician searches for that one anthem, their career song, which ultimately defines them as an artist. Peter Gabriel certainly uncovered not one, but several career hits in So. When an artist's music refuses to be confined to one decade, when songs manage to stay relevant long past their prime, then what you have is not an artist, but a legend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "So" Amazing, July 14 2004
By 
Tim Brough "author and music buff" (Springfield, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: So (W/1 Bonus Track) (Audio CD)
Peter Gabriel capped his troika of five star albums with what became his commercial high-point, the energetic (for him, anyway) "So." I guess when you say energetic in regard to Gabriel, that definition comes from the hits "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time." The hard hitting rhythms and memorable videos from those two songs made them huge hits and -- peculiar enough -- dance floor sensations. The hook in "Big Time" is so mammoth that it has since been used to do everything from promote movies to selling automobiles; ironic, considering the song's focus on falsity of the commercial world.
For those who viewed this sudden burst of commercial acceptance as sell out, "So" has something they obviously missed. This is Gabriel's most spiritual album. "Mercy Street," "In Your Eyes" and "Don't Give Up" are unbelievably uplifting songs. Having explored African music for the basis of much of "Security," this time Gabriel enlisted one of that continent's foremost vocalists. The exuberance of Youssou N'Dour at the close of "In Your Eyes" and the angelic (I can't think of any other way to describe it) lead of Kate Bush on "Don't Give Up" make both of these the kind of songs I turn to in moments of despair.
In addition to N'Dour and Bush, "So" has an amazing list of player's players contributing. Everyone from Jim Kerr of Simple Minds, Michael Been of The Call, Nile Rogers of Chic, and producer Daniel Lanois all contribute to making "So" a stunning album of rich musical tones. In fact, this may be the Peter Gabriel album that benefited the most from its remastering. Lanois' production tends to lean on more organic sounds, and this new edition of "So" finds them sounding more crisp and spaced.
The remastering did leave me with one gripe. How come "In Your Eyes" got pushed to the end of this CD as opposed to the track five slot of the original? (This CD's participants' track listing didn't change the guest musicians/running order, either!) On original discs, "In Your Eyes" came between "That Voice Again" and "Mercy Street," leaving the album to end with the more peculiar (and more satisfying) "This Is The Picture/Excellent Birds."
That's just a minor question in perspective to the overall impact of "So." This was one of the Top 5 albums of 1986, and along with albums by Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Simple Minds, one of the best of the eighties as a decade.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an utterly brilliant album by a real genius, May 6 2004
By 
stephen hodgson (hamilton New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: So (W/1 Bonus Track) (Audio CD)
i was in my late teens when this album came out in 1986. i basically played it to death eventually needing to purchase a new cassette as my other one gave up the ghost through repeated plays. it is lucky i didnt have it on vinyl as i would have needed a new stylus as well! gabby's vocal on the opening cut, red rain is fantastic as is the music that accompanies the album opener. miss bush, who is a legend in her own right is great on dont give up giving the song an extra talented vocal bonus. for some reason the remastered version of this disc has shifted in your eyes from 5th to last track on the album moving the eerie mercy street for anne sexton up the pecking order but it makes no difference to the quality of music on this 80's stalwart. overall a masterpiece but it would have been great to have any extra cuts that didnt make it on to the final release added to the remastered edition. they must be saving them for an expensive boxset which i will end up buying anyway so it makes no difference to me anyway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreaming of mercy...in your daddy's arms again, Feb. 17 2004
By 
bruce hutton (MESA, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: So (W/1 Bonus Track) (Audio CD)
Just in case there are people out there who wonder, "What happened to all the great rock albums?"...well, here's one. Here's one of the best in fact, one of those pieces of art that guarantee immortality, for artist AND audience. I was in college when this came out in 1986 so I was practically duty-bound to buy it, but I'm happy to report that not all music beloved by college students is wimpy and stupid: there is such a consistency of mood on "So", even throughout such diverse tunes as "Sledgehammer" and "Mercy Street", that you can't help but feel you've had a real experience, a real connection to the artist. Peter Gabriel's music has always been intensely personal, from his earliest work with Genesis through his latest CD, and "So" is no different.
So many of these songs became hits ("In Your Eyes", "Big Time", and "Red Rain" are here too) that it might be tempting to think of this as a randomly-sequenced greatest hits record...but don't be tempted. Like all great works of art this is a journey, and you can only get home on one road.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars note regarding musician credits, Feb. 14 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: So (W/1 Bonus Track) (Audio CD)
this is only a note regarding the musician credits found in the remastered version of "so". on the booklet's last page, each musician is listed in boldface type, followed by the instrument/vocal credit(s), followed (in parenthesis) by the track(s) that the musician appears on, according to track number. but: the album has been resequenced and the listed track numbers in the credits refer to the original sequence. since "in your eyes" has been moved from the middle of the album to the end (and i don't think that this interferes with the overall quality of the album's continuity), the credit numbers are now wrong, starting at track number 5. so, the "key" would be (in the form of "# listed in credits = actual numer on the remastered disc"): #5 = #9 ; #6 = #5 ; #7 = #6 ; #8 = #7 ; #9 = #8.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Gabriel Live And Unleashed, Oct. 28 2012
This review is from: So (25th Anniversary 3CD Deluxe) (Audio CD)
"So" by Peter Gabriel is a quality three cd set that features nine of his classic hits on cd one. Cd2 and Cd3 are both recorded from the Live in Athens (1987) event. What enhances my enjoyment of this collection is that I had recently been to a live concert of his that brilliantly covered the tracks on "So". "Sledgehammer", "Don't Give Up", "Big Time", "In Your Eyes", "Solsbury Hill" and "Games Without Frontiers" are some of the multiple music gems that are covered on this cd. "So" by Peter Gabriel is best for those who like late 80's and/or 90's music with important social and/or political themes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Closest to pop, June 19 2004
By 
This review is from: So (W/1 Bonus Track) (Audio CD)
So is the closest to a pop album Peter Gabriel ever came but for all its commercialness Peter Gabriel was always an artist who focused more on quality then quantity and it shows on So. The album still manages to be challenging even with the hits and indeed with the hits. Once again Gabriel shows off his amazing dramatic range and big voice to great effect. The only weak track here is This Is The Picture which is kind of silly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars SO wonderful! Happy birthday Peter!!!!, Feb. 13 2004
By 
Elisa Maza (A deep patch of sucking quicksand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: So (W/1 Bonus Track) (Audio CD)
This is arguably Peter Gabriel's finest albums that he has ever recorded in his entire career.
Many say that he sold out with this record but I couldn't disagree more. This was and still is a very powerful and deep album that is far above anything of todays music and even of other music of it's time. Hell, even his former bandmates Genesis even thought they did well with "Invisible Touch" didn't do this good on an artistic note.
It's clear why "SO" remains very popular. It's almonst non-commercial in nature and doesn't focus on the sounds of the times (Around 1986) and is still fresh and new even in 2004.
"Red Rain" is my faovrite song on this album being a very far-reaching soul-searching classic that will leave you breathless.
"Mercy Street" is the sexiet track that Peter Gabriel has ever done. I would even go as to say it's even more so than "Sledgehammer" which was temporarily worn out for me.
This is a great CD and the remastered edition is amazing! Go out and get today! You won't be dissapointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars SO amazing!, Jan. 11 2004
This review is from: So (W/1 Bonus Track) (Audio CD)
This album still haunts me even after nearly 18 years after first buying it on record waaay back in 1986.
"So" is easily my favorite album of his and it's clear why. This is his most sophisticated and most mature work of his and is almost like seeing a light after the darkness explored on the two previous albums "Security" and "Peter Gabriel 3". The music is a lot more accessible and much more digestable.
"Sledgehammer" is a classic that is very suggestive in it's nature but most will not notice it's devious nature. Still, it's a really funny song with a great video to go with it.
My favorite is "Red Rain". Man, this song is just amazing! I love the intense and passionate melody and the stormy feel to it.
"In YOur Eyes" is pure bliss.
The rest of this album is no less amazing and the remastering is just incredible. The songs that were great already sound even clearer and sharper in the remasters. The only thing I despise is putting "In Your Eyes" in the end. This is one of his greatest songs but why reshuffle the tracks?
That's the only flaw this album has.
Still, the remastered edition is worth getting but don't go for the "Limited Edition" digipak edition though.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Overrated 80s pop album (3.5 stars), Dec 6 2003
By 
Michael Topper (Pacific Palisades, California United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: So (W/1 Bonus Track) (Audio CD)
"So" is the most upbeat and optimistic-sounding of all of Peter Gabriel's albums--Genesis included--and contains his most commercial set of songs, so it's no wonder why it remains the overwhelming favorite among critics and listeners to this day.
For those who are attracted to PG's darker, artier works, however, "So" may sound like a heavily manicured piece of pop fluff, drowned in (to these ears) dated 80s production values
and featuring some songs ("Sledgehammer" and "Big Time") so far removed from Gabriel's actual musical style that this is probably as close as he came to the term "sell-out".
Nonetheless, Gabriel's genius is such that the album does not emerge as a total washout. "Red Rain" is a graceful, richly melodic track that anchors the beginning of the album, while both "Mercy Street" and "We Do What We're Told" are quiet, haunting and infused with world-music touches ("Mercy Street" remains one of my favorite songs, actually). The production on these is simpler and therefore less grating than on such light confections as "Sledgehammer" and "In Your Eyes", which aren't terrible (who can deny the catchiness of either tune?) but the 80s dance-pop sound captured here simply does not remind one of the "real" Gabriel captured on "The Lamb", "Solsbury Hill", "San Jacinto" or "Passion"; ironically, their popularity is so overwhelming that most fans continue to primarily identify him with these two tracks (FWIW, the extended 7-minute version of "In Your Eyes" is superior to the album cut). Elsewhere, we have the uplifting ballad "Don't Give Up" (one of the better cuts and again very popular, although I'll take "Blood Of Eden" over this any day), more 80s dance hits like "Big Time" and
a reject from the abandoned "Mozo" concept, "That Voice Again".
Overall, "So" remains a must-purchase, if only to hear what the fuss is about. Nearly every song has achieved popularity, which to some makes it a very consistent album. But for those fans who want the darker, edgier, stuff, only "Red Rain", "Mercy Street" and "We Do What We're Told" will satisfy this time around. "Us" would mark a superior mix of his commercial and artistic sides, with that "big 80s" production (the headache-inducing drum machines, dance rhythms and metallic reverb) muffled or absent.
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