Thursday, February 18, 2010

Reasons to Be Cheerful 004

Peter Gabriel's Scratch My Back is beautiful and amazing. The album, out March 2 here, is a collection of covers performed with an orchestra. Gabriel takes from some sources you'd expect (Paul Simon, Randy Newman) and a whole bunch you wouldn't (Bon Iver, Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Elbow), and infuses them with that indescribable Peter Gabriel-ness that I have loved since I was 13.

Here, take a listen to The Guardian's exclusive sneak preview. Pay special attention to the Elbow and Arcade Fire tunes, my favorites.

Scratch My Back is just the first part of this project. The artists covered here will, later this year, each turn in their own version of a Gabriel song, on an album called I'll Scratch Yours. Imagine Thom Yorke singing "Wallflower," or Randy Newman doing "Big Time," or Elbow taking a crack at "Red Rain." It's all happening.

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