Watch pop star Harry Styles nail Peter Gabriel's classic Sledgehammer

Harry Styles
(Image credit: Howard Stern Show)

Pop icon Harry Styles has performed a note-for-note cover of Peter Gabriel's 1986 hit Sledgehammer. The performance took place earlier this week on The Howard Stern Show on SiriusXM.

"I love it because it's the best mixed song ever," says Styles. "We recorded a lot of the new record at Real World, which is Peter Gabriel's studio. It's an amazing studio. We got out of London, and when we got there we all just wanted to blast Sledgehammer in the room so bad. And we were like, 'Do you mind if we do it?' And the guys were like, 'Everybody does it. Go ahead.'"

The original version of Sledgehammer was a US number one song, its popularity bolstered by an innovative stop-motion video given high rotation by MTV.

“I think it was looking forwards and backwards at the same time,” Peter Gabriel to Classic Rock in 2004. “People think it was done with a lot of computer effects, but it fact it was old-fashioned animation techniques. 

"It was a slow, tortuous process. And the day I spent surrounded by stale fish that had been under the bright lights the day before was not a sensual experience I want to repeat."

Earlier this week, Gabriel's former bandmates in Genesis - Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks - announced they were reforming the band to play a UK tour at the end of 2020.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.