I Don't Remember (Peter Gabriel song)


"I Don't Remember"
Image: 200 pixels
Single by Peter Gabriel
from the album Peter Gabriel
B-side"Shosholoza" (US)
"Intruder" (Canada)
ReleasedSeptember 1980
StudioAshcombe House, Somerset
GenrePost-punk, dance-punk
Length4:42 (album version)
3:23 (US single version)
3:39 (Canada single version)
LabelCharisma (UK)
Geffen (North America)
Mercury (Original US LP pressing)
Songwriter(s)Peter Gabriel
Producer(s)Steve Lillywhite
Peter Gabriel singles chronology
"I Don't Remember"
"I Have the Touch"
"I Don't Remember (Live)"
Single by Peter Gabriel
from the album Plays Live
ReleasedJuly 4, 1983
RecordedDecember 1982
VenueUnited States
Songwriter(s)Peter Gabriel
Producer(s)Peter Gabriel
Peter Walsh
Peter Gabriel singles chronology
"Shock the Monkey"
"I Don't Remember (Live)"
"I Go Swimming (Live)"

"I Don't Remember" is a song written and recorded by English rock musician Peter Gabriel, released as the fourth and final single from his third eponymous studio album in 1980. Although originally only released as an A-side single in the United States and Canada, a live version released with the album Plays Live (1983) reached No. 62 on the UK Singles Chart and remained in the Top 75 in Britain for 4 weeks.[1] The song was included in Gabriel's compilation album Shaking the Tree (1990) and two different versions were included in Flotsam and Jetsam (2019).

Background and recording

The song was performed by Gabriel on the tour to promote his second eponymous studio album, having debuted on concert on 23 August 1978.[2][3]

A studio recording of "I Don't Remember" was first made at Trident Studios, London in Autumn 1978 during a day off on the tour, by Gabriel and his backing band - which consisted of bassist Tony Levin, drummer Jerry Marotta, guitarist Sid McGinnis and synthesizer player Larry Fast.[4] This marked the beginning of work on his third studio album. This early studio version of the song was originally planned to be released as the A-side of the first single from the album in Europe and Japan, however a Charisma Records executive thought the guitar solos were not radio-friendly.[5] This version was later used as the B-side of the single "Games Without Frontiers" from Peter Gabriel (3: Melt) in those territories.

The song made pioneering use of the Fairlight CMI, using samples of milk bottles being smashed and bricks being banged for the melody.[6]

Track listing

12" US/Canada single (1980)

  1. "I Don't Remember" – 5:56
  2. "Shosholoza" – 5:19
  3. "Biko (Remixed Version)" – 8:58
  4. "Here Comes The Flood" – 4:57

7" US single (1980)

  1. "I Don't Remember" – 3:23
  2. "Shosholoza" – 5:22

7" Canada single (1980)

  1. "I Don't Remember" – 3:39
  2. "Intruder" – 5:00

Live version

7" UK single (1983)

  1. "I Don't Remember" – 4:58
  2. "Solsbury Hill" – 4:43
  3. "Kiss of Life" – 5:12

12" UK single (1983)

  1. "I Don't Remember" – 4:58
  2. "Solsbury Hill" – 4:43
  3. "Kiss of Life" – 5:12
  4. "Games Without Frontiers" – 3:27
  5. "Family Snapshot" – 4:57



Chart (1983) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[7] 62

Cover versions

  • English singer Kate Bush sang the song with Peter Gabriel on May 12, 1979, at a memorial concert at the Hammersmith Odeon for Bill Duffield, a lighting director who died during Bush's 'Tour of Life' tour.[5][8]
  • Australian singer Daryl Braithwaite recorded a cover of the song for his 1988 studio album, Edge. His cover samples the drumbeat of "Big Time", another song by Peter Gabriel.[9]


  1. ^ "I Don't Remember". PeterGabriel.com. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  2. ^ "- YouTube". www.youtube.com.
  3. ^ "I Don't Remember by Peter Gabriel song statistics". setlist.fm. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  4. ^ "PETER GABRIEL 2 (album 1978, tour 1978)". synergy-emusic.com. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "I Don't Remember". Kate Bush Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  6. ^ Stump, Paul (1997). The Music's All that Matters: A History of Progressive Rock. Quartet Books Limited. p. 267. ISBN 0 7043 8036 6.
  7. ^ "Peter Gabriel | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  8. ^ "Peter Gabriel – I Don't Remember feat. Kate Bush, London 1979". YouTube. February 8, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  9. ^ "I Don't Remember". YouTube. January 18, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2020.

External links