Peter Gabriel – The Barry Williams Show (2002)

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The final part of the two-letter, single-syllable trilogy. While its predecessor US took longer to record than any other of Peter’s albums, UP outdid it, finally emerging in 2002 after a gap in the discography of a whole decade. With Peter having regained the production reins for himself (with some additional help at the mixing stage from Tchad Blake and Stephen Hague), hundreds and hundreds of hours of recordings were made, ultimately being slimmed down to the final ten tracks.

Despite the first single The Barry Williams Show railing against the moral-free ways of trash TV, UP soon reveals itself to be another deeply personal statement, with birth and death being near-constant themes. Mostly recorded at Real World Studios (although some initial recordings were made in Senegal, France and on a boat on the Amazon), once again Peter’s contacts book came into its own, with the likes of Peter Green, Danny Thompson, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Daniel Lanois, Black Dyke Band and Peter’s daughter Melanie all making contributions. But the best collaboration is surely the out-of-body experience of Signal To Noise, featuring the gravity-free voice of the mighty Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

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