Happy Birthday, Peter Gabriel

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peter gabriel

Today is [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Peter Gabriel[/lastfm]‘s birthday!!

And to mark the occasion, Jack FM is making “Games Without Frontiers” our Song of the Day!!

Where’s John Cusack with a boombox over his head when you really need him?!

Peter Gabriel first rose to prominence in the 1970s as founder and lead singer of the English rock band [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Genesis[/lastfm].  After tensions within the band led to his departure in ’75, Gabriel embarked on a solo career, scoring his first hit two years later with “Solsbury Hill.”  The single, from Gabriel’s self-titled debut album, landed in the Top 20 on the U.K. charts and peaked at No. 68 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Peter Gabriel’s star continued to rise in the 1980s with the success of such singles as “Games Without Frontiers” and “Shock the Monkey.”  The former became his first Top 10 hit in England, while the latter went to No. 1 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

However, Gabriel’s biggest commercial success came in ’86 with the release of his fifth studio album, So.  It was an instant smash, selling over five million copies in the U.S. alone and peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.  The first single, “Sledgehammer,” went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, knocking his former band’s “Invisible Touch” out of the top spot.  “Sledgehammer” also became widely known for its innovative, award-winning music video.  Other hits from So included “Big Time,” “In Your Eyes” and “Red Rain.”

Since then, Peter Gabriel has continued to perform and record.  In 2010, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis, and late last year, he released New Blood, an album featuring orchestral re-recordings of his biggest songs.

In May, Gabriel will embark on a small tour through Germany.

Check out Peter Gabriel performing “Red Rain” on Live on Letterman.  Word to the wise: do not use a white umbrella when it’s raining red.

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