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Peter Gabriel — Solsbury Hill (live)
Album: Secret World Live
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 727








Released: 1994
Length: 4:32
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Climbing up on Solsbury Hill
I could see the city light
Wind was blowing, time stood still
Eagle flew out of the night
He was something to observe
Came in close, I heard a voice
Standing, stretching every nerve
I had to listen, had no choice
I did not believe the information
Just had to trust imagination
My heart going boom, boom, boom
"Son," he said, "grab your things
I've come to take you home"

To keep in silence, I resigned
My friends would think I was a nut
Turning water into wine
Open doors would soon be shut
So I went from day to day
Though my life was in a rut
Till I thought of what I'd say
Which connection I should cut
I was feeling part of the scenery
I walked right out of the machinery
My heart going boom, boom, boom
"Hey," he said, "Grab your things
I've come to take you home"
Yeah, back home

When illusion spin her net
I'm never where I want to be
And liberty, she pirouette
When I think that I am free
Watched by empty silhouette
Who close their eyes but still can see
No one taught them etiquette
I will show another me
Today I don't need a replacement
I'll tell them what the smile on my face meant
My heart going boom, boom, boom
"Hey," I said, "You can keep my things
They've come to take me home"
Comments (177)add comment
 rueraga wrote:


Sure
Snare drum in this is terrible {#Arghhh} 

 
true, true, true... The reference for some outdated subject.
Not crazy about the original studio version of this song...but this is not so great!
 nutrod42 wrote:
Studio version is better.

 
Yes...I agree
yes studio version is better, but all ( genesis) were private ( public in UK speak ) boys, and there are echoes of longing for his dad to "bring him home".
 nutrod42 wrote:
Studio version is better.

 

Sure
Snare drum in this is terrible {#Arghhh} 
Awful
Studio version is better.
I get that it's got a hippie mystical feel, and that it's about leaving Genesis, and that was oh-wow-man at the time.

But he sleepwalks through this, and has for decades. It's worse than not playing it, to sing it without heart. In fact, a few years ago, he rode a bicycle in circles around the stage over and over while he did this song. It felt so distant and cynical - the exact opposite of what I think he wanted to convey. I was appalled.

The band cranks, though.


This man is GOD!
Great version - A Story Of A Young Man Leaving A Successful Rock Band.
Why this version? 
seven beats to the bar still sounds kinda funny..  ;-)
He's phoning this one in
Some live songs are better than the studio versions, Madrugadas Majesty for example, but some fall in to the "you would have had to have been there" category such as this one.    I rate the original quite highly but this I give a 6.
Just aching for some horns to come in....
I don't like this version.
 randyblew wrote:
6.8? You gotta be kidding me people. I don't know if this is quite as good as the studio version, but it's still an immense song, worthy of an 8 minimum, for an immense artist. Plus, check out the Secret World DVD of the concert in Milan if you haven't - even with a few obvious overdubs, it's still wonderful. Just sayin'.

 
Gotta agree with you.  Not much a PG fan, but saw this on video, amazing show from what I saw.  The energy on stage was palpable.  Not bad for however old he was at that time.  The song was already 25ish years old?  PG has had to play it at every gig since...not by choice...he has to appease fans who pay to see him.  This is rock 'n roll classic.  It just is.  
Very poor version of a great song . I prefer by far the extraodinary version from 83 on " Gabriel Plays Live".
Have to go with the folks who think this is a pretty uninspired version of a great tune.  Sounds like he is trying to channel Phil Collins for some damn reason.  Doesn't work and I like Phil.
6.8? You gotta be kidding me people. I don't know if this is quite as good as the studio version, but it's still an immense song, worthy of an 8 minimum, for an immense artist. Plus, check out the Secret World DVD of the concert in Milan if you haven't - even with a few obvious overdubs, it's still wonderful. Just sayin'.
Is this the Butlins remix album?  Time at the bar, please, ladies and gents.
 (former member) wrote:
But he sleepwalks through this, and has for decades. It's worse than not playing it, to sing it without heart.

 

Particularly noticeable when he botches the last line of lyrics.
the tune itself is a reminder of a life I once lived. at my age I'll take this version. It is 'Live" after all.
 calypsus_1 wrote:

Peter Gabriel - USB by ~santa-naz


Peter Gabriel concert at the Simón Bolívar University, Caracas, Venezuela

  You mean this ISN'T  George Carlin?


This is something I rarely say, but this is no where near as good as the studio version. I agree that he AND the band just seem to be going through the motions of an overplayed song. It's just not well done at all. 4


Great song; lousy singer.
 jhorton wrote:
Horrible version of a GREAT song.
 
I don't find it altogether "horrible", but it is a pretty dull version.  The vocals seem kind of perfunctory or "phoned-in", making the picture on the album cover somewhat appropriate.

I get that it's got a hippie mystical feel, and that it's about leaving Genesis, and that was oh-wow-man at the time.

But he sleepwalks through this, and has for decades. It's worse than not playing it, to sing it without heart. The band cranks, though.
Sounds dynamite live. I like this better than the studio version.
I love this song, but I think it suffers a bit from the lack of studio.  Still, a demonstration of talent that it sounds as good as it does, live.
Hmm. Not sure if I like this version. If only I knew what this reminds me of - Howard Jones? Paul Young?


love this version  {#Heartkiss}


This live version is good for the ears...


actually pretty big fan of this song,  this version hurts it incredibly

Peter Gabriel - USB by ~santa-naz


Peter Gabriel concert at the Simón Bolívar University, Caracas, Venezuela



This song played (in this live version) on it's own... 6
Played in sequence in the album... 7.5
Live... being there... at the concert... resounding 10
Not sure what that track adds to the original. Detracts actually...
I despise this song more every time I hear it. Nothing but insipid clap-trap masquerading as music. It's practically a parody of itself.
The phrase "Ho Hum" was invented with Peter Gabriel in mind. Yawn.
Horrible version of a GREAT song.
I altered my rating from a 9 down to a 7. I was admittedly caught up in the brilliance of the song itself. While I feel the original is an easy 9 or better I now feel this live version is a little "bloated" and fluffy.

Used to mildly like the studio version, but like it less each time I hear this live version.

This is an easy 2 en route to a 1!


Kill it! {#Skull}
 billbangert wrote:
One of the weaker versions of what very well could be my favorite song of all time.  There are some great live versions, especially on DVD.
 
Agreed. Lousy. {#Snooty}
I much prefer the version from his 'Plays Live' double CD set.  This one sounds rushed.
Why is BillG playing Peter some more,past week or so,,no matter it's LIVE !{#Dancingbanana}
How about adding some old Genesis when Gabriel was with them.  They were one of my favorite bands in the 70's.
Not only a "2"... Doesn't the band seem miraculously out of harmony?

Yuck, sounds like they're rushing through it with a crappy muzak synthesizer.
Hated it!
One of the weaker versions of what very well could be my favorite song of all time.  There are some great live versions, especially on DVD.
 bill-1956 wrote:
Excellent studio song. A favorite.

This live version however, maybe a 2. At best.

 


Blech!  I'll keep the studio version of this masterpiece.
Another boring Gabriel's song with heavy synth and almost perfect bass player
Excellent studio song. A favorite.

This live version however, maybe a 2. At best.



One of the few Peter Gabriel songs I really enjoy. But this version is awful — sounds like he's trying to get the concert over with as fast as he can.

 

!Superb! _  ** 9 **


This live version demonstrates how an artist can destroy something beautiful and powerful by rushing the tempo.
The only thing worse is when the addled masses start clapping along dysrhythmically.
Love this song, don't love this version.
Love this song, but man, does this version ever SUCK.
"My heart (is) going boom boom, boom" :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: , thanks Bill...
raga wrote:
great song, poor version, bad sound :stop:
Yep. Very flat.
quesarah wrote:
With his finger firmly ensconced in a pop star and with no trace of emotion whatsoever he simply asked: "Do you know Peter Gabriel?"
That's pretty standard. I was crossing the US border into Canada a few weeks ago and they asked me the same thing. The border guard and I are now dating. :iamwithstupid:
Riding a bike during concert? Why not? ;) https://pl.youtube.com/watch?v=eMwn_hnoS5Y
Generic "feel good" movie trailer music.
Work. Just not happening this morning. Thanks for another great set Bill!! :dancingbanana_2:
Oh, this makes me happy, Bill. Made my morning, thanks!
You guys are snobs. This is a great song.
quesarah wrote:
But I have no better place to put this story. Hope you enjoy it in the spirit I'm posting it. :}
Yes, thank you, I did. Very much. My cackles could be heard echoing down the hall.
MsJudi wrote:
I LOVE Peter Gabriel. I mean, to the extent of seeing him every single time he comes to Houston. That's why you must believe me- THERE ARE BETTER GABRIEL SONGS THAT COULD BE PLAYING RIGHT NOW. Like, a magnitude better...
This IS pop! Probably a live nod to bygone days for P.G. Perhaps a thank you to the fans who gave him the push?
jerseybigs wrote:
It's nice that Bill mixes a few comedy pieces into the playlist.
Check this then. Funniest use of this song ever.
I LOVE Peter Gabriel. I mean, to the extent of seeing him every single time he comes to Houston. That's why you must believe me- THERE ARE BETTER GABRIEL SONGS THAT COULD BE PLAYING RIGHT NOW. Like, a magnitude better...
great song, poor version, bad sound :stop:
yeah agree with comment below, but it's the surely about the song, no? ace! 10 at least
hate this live version.... the drummer is brutal
Good song, love PG generally. Even this "Solsbury Hill" thing. But I have no better place to put this story. Hope you enjoy it in the spirit I'm posting it. :} From https://www.independent.ie/unsorted/features/ah-the-glory-of-music-stardom-686545.html
Mark Hollis English new wave synth band Talk Talk were inexplicably popular in Eastern Europe in the 1980s. But that didn't stop them getting stopped by East German custom officials and being strip-searched. Frontman Mark Hollis was taken by officials into a clinical room where he was gruffly informed that he would be given a full body search. Hollis was told to assume the position, and bending over, he heard the snap of rubber glove being administered to a hand. "So," said the cold German steely voice from behind him, "you're in a pop band? There is one question I wish to know the answer to." Hollis tensed and said he would help any way he could. The probing finger was slid in. As it reached in as far as it would go, and quite possibly as uncomfortably as could be, the customs officers asked the question he had been building up to during the whole experience. With his finger firmly ensconced in a pop star and with no trace of emotion whatsoever he simply asked: "Do you know Peter Gabriel?"
This album's always seemed like more of a souvenir for fans who saw the tour live than a live album for mass consumption. I saw this tour, and yes, this is exactly how it sounded on stage... except with special effects and a light show (which makes the cheezy-sounding 'boom boom boom' effective) and, of course, an incredible sound system. Mawbid wrote:
I'm not a big Peter Gabriel fan and I don't really know anything of his but the hits. Instead of playing this live version (which even his fans don't seem to like) of one of his best known songs, why not introduce me to some of his hidden gems (assuming there are any).
I much prefer his "hidden gems" to his hits. Songs like "San Jacinto", "Blood of Eden", "Come Talk to Me", "Sky Blue", "Don't Give Up", and "Biko" never get old for me, and I can't imagine anyone not digging them. Poke around on iTunes and enjoy.
PopKombo wrote:
I like the studio version of this song much beter but it's a great song none the less.
Agree completely!!!
I like the studio version of this song much beter but it's a great song none the less.
I saw this show in Cleveland Ohio. It was the best show I have ever seen live. Amazing the control this man has over thousands of people live.
i swear...on these live gabriel tunes you can sometimes make out an applause track behind the music. is it just me?
You mean to tell me he heard this recording and said 'this one will be great for the live album'?!!? I'd hate to hear the rejects ...
I saw Gabriel on this tour - fantastic - not a concert, but an *event* - one of the top of the list for me.
paulnew2000 wrote:
I agree. The basic keyboard just doesn't compare with Fripp's guitar.:snooty:
I am pretty sure it was Steve Hunter who laid out that riff
It's nice that Bill mixes a few comedy pieces into the playlist.
Always want to say I like Peter Gabriel, but in actual reality, seldom do. This song isn't improving my regard for his sound :snooty:
Lazy8 wrote:
Sounds like a cheesy lounge act covering Peter Gabriel.
I agree. The basic keyboard just doesn't compare with Fripp's guitar.:snooty:
Sounds like a cheesy lounge act covering Peter Gabriel.
Fun DVD.
"live" or not...his songs invade my mind and steal my thoughts. love him.
Flat as a pancake as far as 'live' goes. I guess you had to be there.
drife wrote:
Well said (from another person not enamoured with the artistry--if you can call it that--of Peter Gabriel).
You've had too much Coors, son. Stay away until you come to your senses. :stupid:
Mawbid wrote:
I'm not a big Peter Gabriel fan and I don't really know anything of his but the hits. Instead of playing this live version (which even his fans don't seem to like) of one of his best known songs, why not introduce me to some of his hidden gems (assuming there are any). At any rate, I'm not looking forward to hearing this again.
I agree. well, up until the last line. Oh, and I completely disagree with the parentheticals. I like the "hidden gems" part though. For the record, I've been to many more concerts than my share and the Gabriel Secret World show is at the very top of the list of favorites.
Mawbid wrote:
I'm not a big Peter Gabriel fan and I don't really know anything of his but the hits. Instead of playing this live version (which even his fans don't seem to like) of one of his best known songs, why not introduce me to some of his hidden gems (assuming there are any). At any rate, I'm not looking forward to hearing this again.
Well said (from another person not enamoured with the artistry--if you can call it that--of Peter Gabriel).
I'm not a big Peter Gabriel fan and I don't really know anything of his but the hits. Instead of playing this live version (which even his fans don't seem to like) of one of his best known songs, why not introduce me to some of his hidden gems (assuming there are any). At any rate, I'm not looking forward to hearing this again.
Got to admit I prefer the studio version, but in just about any form this is excellent Peter Gabriel.
Death_to_Clear_Channel wrote:
This live version is the opposite of good.
I really don't like the live versions where the fan noise completely dominates the track.
This live version is the opposite of good.
This will always remind me of the time I was at the beach waiting for some folks for a picnic. Some guy had a CD boom box with this tune repeating over and over as he did lunges for 45 minutes. Pretty hilarious.
All in all, the Secret World tour is phenominal. The power of Paula Cole's voice with that of Peter's is astounding. This is not the best version of this song though.
PG live has always been a great experience. Although I prefer the live version from the 1983 Plays Live double album, one thing that makes him such a great musicain is his different interpretations of his own works
Mikey wrote:
Not fond of this verson. Someone please put a (Solsbury) stake in it. /with gravy and mashed potatoes.
:iamwith: the drum beats with the "boom, boom, boom" are especially kitschy.
This live version feels a bit "Paul Simon - Graceland':ish
Not fond of this verson. Someone please put a (Solsbury) stake in it. /with gravy and mashed potatoes.
The Disco version. I'm not feeling the excitement and energy from the live performance recording.
I had a friend in high school who recorded this song with a mandolin and wine glasses. Y'know when you rub your finger on the rim and make it ring? That was the hook.
Beastie wrote:
Lovely rendition of his own materpiece
I prefer the pacing of the studio version. This version moves a little too swiftly for my taste. But still: an amazing song that I never tire of hearing.
On the UP tour, the stage was set up in the round and rotated slowly. He did this song while riding a bicycle around the stage. The DVD of that tour is highly recomended.
I was pretty sick of this song...but the live version is teh nice.
This is one PG tune I could do without hearing again.
Lovely rendition of his own materpiece
Hey, what happened to the lyric "Boom Boom Boom"? Oh wait, there's a drumbeat there in its place. How witty! (eyeroll) Please play the original.
marcel wrote:
This is just a great song... But I would like the original (studio) version better. I've seen that is also in rotation... Never heard it on RP yet though.... Hope to hear it soon... That would be a 10....
ditto :!: :!:
I love PG, but I hate this version of the song. Please delete it from the playlist, Bill.
This is just a great song... But I would like the original (studio) version better. I've seen that is also in rotation... Never heard it on RP yet though.... Hope to hear it soon... That would be a 10....
ofmonad wrote:
Originally Posted by manleywoman: Sorry to sound ignorant, but my husband and I are having a debate regarding this song: What exactly does it mean? What was it written about? He thinks it's about sciztophrenia, I think it's about Jesus. We could both be wrong of course, neither one of us knows the history of the song. Please stop our ignorance!
No need to apologize... "Solsbury Hill" has many meanings but from what I understand and have read in interviews with Gabriel it has to do with a child's realization that he/she is the maaseiah and how that child will be rejected and scorned by his/her family, friends and world in general. (So your husband?s picking up on the ?sciztophrenia? part isn?t all that off base - wouldn?t you wonder about a child that claimed that -they- were the chosen one?) Gabriel's work is often populated with religious themes that ask questions, ponder realities and search for meaning in a meaningless world (listen closely to ?More Than This?). Also themes of water (like every 4th song he writes references water...), ritual (?Family and the Fishing Net?), death (like -half- of "Up"...) and male/female love relationships (nearly all of ?Us? is motivated by the relationship and breakup with actress Rosanna Arquette.) There's also the "fun" and not so deep stuff like "Sledgehammer" (translation: "I'm a sex machine baby and I'm gonna give ya the business!") One of the cooler devices (in my opinion) that he uses is "putting you in someone else's shoes" and taking the perspective of people that you might otherwise dislike - a robber that breaks into your house and goes through your personal belonging ("The Intruder"), assassin that pulls the trigger and ends a life ("Family Snapshot" a TRUELY sad song...) and your typical egotistical talkshow host ("The Barry Williams Show") So yeah, I?m a Peter Gabriel fan. Hope this helps... :)
It helped me. Thanks. Where do you get the info? Other PG fan.
wxman wrote:
I agree. It sounds like a hurried encore.
I thought the drummer started it off rather fast. Once that was done, everyone else had to go for the ride.
wxman wrote:
I agree. It sounds like a hurried encore.
Studio version = great song. Live version = nothing special.
harpsm wrote:
How could such a beautiful song (the studio recording) be turned into such a bland, unemotional live performance?
I agree. It sounds like a hurried encore.
al9009 wrote:
How good does RP get. Lou Reed and then THIS! FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANTASTIC! Bill's on a roll today. :notworthy:
I agree. :clap:
Fantastic song, one of my favorite Peter Gabriel songs.