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Scratch My Back / And I'll Scratch Yours

Peter Gabriel

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

This edition features two albums. The Scratch My Back portion is a collection of Peter Gabriel performing 12 covers: six from established veterans (such as David Bowie, Randy Newman, and Neil Young) and six from newer artists (Bon Iver, Regina Spektor, Arcade Fire, etc.). The companion piece, And I’ll Scratch Yours, features those artists covering Gabriel songs. For his album, Gabriel slows everything down to a muted trickle. Paul Simon’s “The Boy in the Bubble” has its buoyant bounce removed, leaving just piano and strings. David Bowie’s “Heroes” crawls, with its sense of glam replaced by an end-of-the-world solemnity. Randy Newman’s “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” comes close to the original recording, but that’s about it. Bon Iver’s “Flume,” The Magnetic Fields’ “The Book of Love,” and The Arcade Fire’s “My Body Is a Cage” sound more like modern classical pieces, with orchestral arrangements filling the soundstage. On the reverse, Paul Simon handles “Biko” with a world music fan’s sensitivity, and Lou Reed turns “Solsbury Hill” into a grizzled flaying. Randy Newman gives “Big Time” a touch of New Orleans, while Arcade Fire tease out new sounds from “Games Without Frontiers” and Bon Iver touch gently on “Come Talk to Me.”

Customer Reviews

To Rael

Rael, You don't have to repurchase what you claim to have already purchased. You simply made the mistake of buying the double album (as apposed to the simpler single disc version - I'll Scratch Yours - also available here for 9.99). Either way, not a bad deal for both complete albums for $15.99

Some nice takes here. It is what it is. None stand up to the power of the originals, but they do offer an alternative take on some of Gabriel's classic compositions. My general sensation is that "darkening" is not automatic improvement, as some of these artists seem to think. The best of these are those that take on groovier (I don't remember), more sparse (Blood of Eden, Mercy Street, Don't Give up, Come Talk to Me), even "folkier" (Biko, Big Time) treatments. Interesting for fans of either Peter or the featured artists.


Just going to pretend this never happened....

Sad Waste of Talent

Wow, who’d of thunk that a double album packed with high-quality talent could be so, so mediocre. Gabriel manages to take a fantastic song like “Boy in the Bubble” and turn it into an unlistenable funeral dirge. And that’s just one example of the songicide that happens here.


Born: February 13, 1950 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As the leader of Genesis in the early '70s, Peter Gabriel helped move progressive rock to new levels of theatricality. He was no less ambitious as a solo artist, but he was more subtle in his methods. With his first eponymous solo album in 1977, he began exploring darker, more cerebral territory, incorporating avant-garde, electronic, and worldbeat influences into his music. The record, as well as its two similarly titled successors, established Gabriel as a critically acclaimed cult artist, and...
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