Saturday, September 2, 2017

Here Comes the Flood

Peter Gabriel has made no secret of the fact that he didn't care for Bob Ezrin's production of "Here Comes the Flood" on PG's first solo LP. I always thought Gabriel was way, way off-base with that assessment. Does it get ever so bombastic and over the top towards the end? Sure. But Dick Wagner's guitar is magnificent and Allan Schwartzberg's drums sound like the apocalypse itself, and I mean that in the best possible way. Hell, I wish the apocalypse would be half that badass...and yet somehow tasteful at the same time. (I mean, is there anything worse than a gauche apocalypse?)

Now, it's a magnificent song, irrespective of its arrangment. So the Robert Fripp-produced recording they did later? Wonderful. The solo version he did on Kate Bush's 1979 Christmas special? Wonderful.

This version?

I have never had any issue with my rock and roll going big—I'm not sure I could love Elvis, Dylan, the Beatles, The Who or Springsteen as much as I do if I did, never mind my various prog guilty pleasures—and if it sometimes misses the mark, well, hey, that's the risk you run by swinging for the fences, right?

But it's hard to listen to that intimate reading by the older Gabriel and deny that it's got a power every bit the equal of the debut version, albeit in a far more restrained but no less effective for that manner. (The fact that his voice sounds better than ever there doesn't hurt, of course.)

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