Peter Gabriel: Play: The Videos

Bells, whistles, sledgehammers, plasticine.

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In the same way that Peter Gabriel has constantly pushed at boundaries with his music, especially as a solo artist, he has also pushed at them when creating the videos to accompany some of his tracks, and sought similarly innovative and creative artists to collaborate with to make them.

First released in 2004, Play: The Videos, a collection of them plus various extras, is an audio-visual delight, as well a reminder that Gabriel and his numerous collaborators fashioned some of the most memorable and compelling of the video age, ranging from the humorous to the emotionally charged.

For Gabriel it all really started with the then cutting-edge, and still engaging, video for Sledgehammer. Other highlights here are the Sean Penn-directed video for The Barry Williams Show, the wildly psychedelic CGI/live-action for Kiss That Frog and Steam and the claymation-driven delight Digging In The Dirt.

Overall, with the combination of the music and the videos, probably no one else in music has come close to creating an audio-visual collection of such artistry./o:p

Paul Henderson

Classic Rock’s production editor for the past 22 years, ‘resting’ bass player Paul has been writing for magazines and newspapers, mainly about music, since the mid-80s, contributing to titles including Q, The Times, Music Week, Prog, Billboard, Metal Hammer, Kerrang! and International Musician. He has also written questions for several BBC TV quiz shows. Of the many people he’s interviewed, his favourite interviewee is former Led Zep manager Peter Grant. If you ever want to talk the night away about Ginger Baker, in particular the sound of his drums (“That fourteen-inch Leedy snare, man!”, etc, etc), he’s your man.