|Studio album by|
|Released||23 September 2002|
|Recorded||April 1995 – October 1998|
Early 2000 – April 2002
|Studio||Real World Studios, Box, England,|
The Meduse and the Real World Mobile Recorder in Senegal and France
|Label||Geffen (US & Canada), Real World|
|Peter Gabriel chronology|
|Singles from Up|
Up (2002) is the seventh studio and 13th album overall released by the English rock musician Peter Gabriel. It is his last full-length studio album of new original material to date, as the subsequent albums Scratch My Back and New Blood feature covers of other artists' songs and orchestral renderings of Gabriel's older material, respectively.
Gabriel began work on the album in the spring of 1995. Its name was Up from the start, though at one point the name I/O was considered. Gabriel began saying the album was near completion somewhere around 1998 but did not release it until September 2002. In the months preceding the album's release, video clips of Gabriel talking about the songs as well as short demos of each song were released at the coming of every full moon on Gabriel's official website.
The album's lyrics deal mostly with birth and especially death. The opening track, "Darkness", is a song about overcoming fears. "Growing Up" is a summation of life put to a pulsating beat. "Sky Blue" is a track Gabriel claimed to have been working on for 10 years before finishing it. The track "No Way Out" is the first track to deal with death solely, though death is a common theme across the entire album. "I Grieve" was conceived after Gabriel looked over his catalogue of music as if it were a catalogue of emotional tools. He found one major missing tool to be one to cope with death and therefore "I Grieve" was born. Gabriel performed the song live on the television show Larry King Weekend on the first anniversary of September 11 attacks in the U.S., during which Gabriel said that his two daughters were living in New York City and he could not contact them for some time, and that this song was for people who did not hear anything from their relatives then. It was not, however, written specifically for 9/11, having appeared in an earlier version on the City of Angels soundtrack in 1998.
The first single from Up, "The Barry Williams Show" is a down-beat, jazzy song dealing with reality talk shows such as Jerry Springer (in fact, The Brady Bunch star Barry Williams appeared as an audience member in the Sean Penn-directed music video for the song with Requiem for a Dream actor Christopher McDonald playing the titular talk show host).
The song "Signal to Noise" was a challenge for Gabriel because the guest vocalist for the track, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, died before he could record his parts. All that was left to work with were recordings from a live performance of an early version of the song at the VH1 Witness show on 28 April 1996. Finally, "The Drop" consists of only Gabriel and a Bösendorfer grand piano.
The album cover pictures five water drops in a diagonal line, over a blurred background of Gabriel's face. Each drop contains a refracted image of Gabriel's face.
The album, in a similar fashion to the earlier Us, used specially commissioned artwork representing each song, which was reproduced in the CD, vinyl, DVD-A, and SACD packaging. In this case the medium chosen was photography. Pictures are by Arno Rafael Minkkinen for "Darkness", M. Richard Kirstel for "Growing Up", Shomei Tomatsu for "Sky Blue" and "I Grieve", Mari Mahr for "No Way Out", Paul Thorel for "The Barry Williams Show", Granular-Synthesis (Kurt Hentschläger and Ulf Langheinrich) for "My Head Sounds Like That", Susan Derges for "More Than This", Michal Rovner for "Signal to Noise", Adam Fuss for "The Drop."
Protected CD copies, released in US only, include "Burn You Up, Burn You Down" (this song was later released on a second disc of compilation album Hit in 2003 and on Big Blue Ball album in 2008). Also, on these copies "No Way Out" has a different name – "Don't Leave".
All tracks are written by Peter Gabriel, except where noted.
|4.||"No Way Out"||7:53|
|6.||"The Barry Williams Show"||7:16|
|7.||"My Head Sounds Like That"||6:29|
|8.||"More than This"||6:02|
|9.||"Signal to Noise" (featuring Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan)||7:36|
|4.||"No Way Out" (titled as "Don't Leave")||7:41|
|6.||"Burn You Up, Burn You Down"||Gabriel, Karl Wallinger, Neil Sparkes||5:03|
|8.||"The Barry Williams Show"||7:13|
|9.||"My Head Sounds Like That"||6:26|
|10.||"More than This"||5:57|
|11.||"Signal to Noise" (featuring Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan)||7:35|
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||37|
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||9|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)||21|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)||4|
|Canadian Albums (Billboard)||2|
|Danish Albums (Hitlisten)||16|
|Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)||18|
|Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)||11|
|French Albums (SNEP)||4|
|Italian Albums (FIMI)||1|
|New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)||35|
|Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)||11|
|Polish Albums (ZPAV)||4|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||6|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||4|
|UK Albums (OCC)||11|
|US Billboard 200||9|
|US Top Internet Albums||9|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Gold||50,000^|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)||Gold||20,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||60,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.