“All about Us” - Peter Gabriel’s new video reviewed by Alan Hewitt.
All in all, 1992 has been an eventful year for Mr Gabriel. A brand new album, tour and now a video compilation - he certainly has been busy!
The video opens with a short documentary about the making of the Us album and it is a very useful insight into the work that went into making the album as powerful as it is. It was also interesting to see some of the background of the various videos that were made to promote the singles from the album.
The video also brings together several loose threads from Gabriel’s work. Once again, fans and collectors of promotional videos have been given a treat with this collection including as it does, the singles from the Us album both in the UK and USA, along with a couple of other previously unseen clips too.
First up is the clip for the first single from the album; Digging In The Dirt, which was banned by the BBC because of its violent imagery - for once I can actually understand their point of view as this is a violent video but it perfectly describes the subject matter of the song.
Steam and Blood Of Eden are perfectly contrasted; the former being very much in the mood of its predecessor; Sledgehammer in its up-tempo mood and featuring some very amusing “behind the scenes” views of the recent BPI Awards ceremony at which Peter played the song. Balancing the humour with the seriousness of Blood Of Eden works for me, serving as it does, to draw together both sides of Gabriel the man and the performer, and it also displays the complimentary talents of Sinead O’Connor who duets with him on this haunting song. An old favourite is revisited next in the shape of Solsbury Hill, sadly NOT the original version but that which was prepared for the release of the single in 1990 as part of the Shaking The Tree compilation album. Still, it is always good to hear this song so no one would begrudge this reworking of the video.
Zaar was the real surprise inclusion on this package. Apparently it was to have been issued in the USA at the time of the Passion album was released but subsequently shelved. The track is one of Passion’s finest moments in my opinion, and the simple animation that goes with it on the video works surprisingly well.
The elusive video for Come Talk To Me comes next. I say elusive because as yet, this track has to appear on single here in the UK although it has appeared in the US, where it has been used in an advertising campaign for a telephone company, believe it or not! Another excellent performance by both Peter and Sinead O’Connor in a very stark video. Finally, to round off the set, the video that is now an interactive fairground ride. Yes, the video for Kiss That Frog, which included very interesting footage of how the ride was designed as well as the complete video for the song itself - a great way to end any video.
All in all then, another excellent effort by Mr Gabriel and one which will satisfy both the people curious about his work and those crazy maniacs like myself who go to such lengths to obtain any footage by the man - well worth investigating.