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.