"A Long Walk Home via the re-mastered catalogue" - A look at Peter's soundtrack to the "Rabbit Proof Fence" film, and his recently re-issued re-mastered back catalogue. Review by Alan Hewitt.

Well, with the wait for Peter's new album finally over (see reviews and my own elsewhere in this issue), I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at these other recent releases by Peter.

When I first hear about the proposed re-mastering of Peter's back catalogue I must admit I was not exactly thrilled at the prospect. To be frank, re-mastering does nothing for most recordings unless, such as in the case of the early Genesis albums, they suffered from poor production quality. Peter's solo albums do not really fit into this category really.

That said, I hoped that maybe this time there would be a "bonus" on these discs in the shape of some B-side material or even some previously unreleased tracks, demos etc from what must be a huge archive of material. The organisers picked their way through the TWR cutting and photo archives for the booklets and no doubt some of the material in there will look familiar to long standing TWR readers. However, I was completely dismayed to find that the re-issues did not contain a single extra track! The repackaging was all very nice but at 16.99 [11.99 each from Amazon at the time, I believe - TWR Thrift Ed.] a throw for these albums I balked somewhat at investing in them! Asking someone to buy the same thing twice is bad enough but to pitch the price as high as that for some brand new albums is extortionate in the extreme and to add insult to injury, the same mistake has been made with "Plays Live" as was made when the album was originally issued on CD. If you want the full edition, you have to invest in the Japanese import version which I believe weighs in at something over 30 - looking after the fans? I think not.

Having recovered from that disappointment I looked on the release of Peter's soundtrack to "Rabbit Proof Fence" with something approaching trepidation. I had not been overly enthused by the "Ovo" project and was wondering if I would be similarly unimpressed by this effort?

Fortunately, I was relieved to find that "Long Walk Home" was well worth the investment. Having read the precis of the film's story I knew that his was the kind of territory that Peter could do justice to, and that was to be the case. Throughout the album's fifteen tracks, Peter manages to evoke the atmosphere and rugged character not only of the Australian hinterland but also the determined character of the people portrayed in the film itself which sadly has still to see a general release here in the UK [by the time this edition of TWR is published, "Rabbit Proof Fence" will have been on general release - TWR Film 2002 Ed.]. I would imagine however, that this music will complement the visual side of the film in much the same way that "Passion" did for "The Last Temptation Of Christ" and indeed there are several echoes of that album on this soundtrack but they in no way detract from the excellent aural landscapes so vividly painted here - excellent stuff indeed!

Click to see full-size picture
The cover art for 'Long Walk Home'