Peter Gabriel's Rated PG: in which Peter Gabriel sings to a pig, and more

Rated PG is a slightly arbitrary compilation of Peter Gabriel songs used in films

Peter Gabriel: Rated PG
(Image: © Real World)

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Peter Gabriel is singing to a pig. Given that he spent some of his younger days performing while wearing a dress and a fox’s head it’s maybe not such a surprise, but there’s still an adjustment required to assimilate this. Yet here he is, crooning That’ll Do in Babe 2: Pig In The City.

What a curious gathering of songs this album is – given limited released on Record Shop Day in 2019, but now available  to all – devised to collect his short-form contributions to diverse films (as opposed to more specialist soundtrack composition work). So there’s a half-enjoyable, half-infuriating randomness to the collection, which leaps from serious songcraft to throwaway quick fixes. 

There is both great music and so-so stuff here, but the fact that something was leased out to Natural Born Killers, The Reluctant Fundamentalist or Wall-E seems like a sticking-tails-on-donkeys way of compiling a Gabriel set.

In Your Eyes did lend Say Anything a memorable movie moment involving John Cusack and a boombox. Apart from that the songs stand on their merits. Pre-eminent among them is his take on the Magnetic Fields’ The Book Of Love, an interpretation that suits his sandy voice. 

Down To Earth has drama, poise and energy, but not sure its use in a film about a lonely rubbish-collecting robot in the future adds or subtracts anything, to be honest.

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.