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Peter Gabriel — Sledgehammer
Album: So
Avg rating:
7.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 784









Released: 1986
Length: 4:40
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Hey, hey you do
Hey you wanna do a job?
You could have a steam train
If you'd just lay down your tracks

You could have an aeroplane flying
If you bring your blue sky back
All you do is call me
I'll be anything you need

You could have a big dipper
Going up and down, all around the bends
You could have a bumper car, bumping
This amusement never ends

I wanna be your sledgehammer
Why don't you call my name? (ha)
Oh, let me be your sledgehammer
This will be my testimony, yeah (yeah)

Show me 'round your fruit cage
'Cause I will be your honey bee
Open up your fruit cage
Where the fruit is as sweet as can be

I wanna be your sledgehammer
Why don't you call my name? (ya)
You'd better call the sledgehammer
Put your mind at rest

I'm gonna be the sledgehammer
This can be my testimony (ya)
I'm your sledgehammer
Let there be no doubt about it
Sledge, sledge, sledgehammer

I get in lane
I've kicked the habit (kicked the habit, kicked the habit)
Shed my skin (shed my skin)
This is the new stuff (this is the new stuff)
I go dancing in (we go dancing in)

Oh, won't you show for me? (show for me)
I will show for you (show for you)
Me, show for me (show for me)
I will show for you
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

I do mean you (show for me)
Only you
You've been comin' through (show for you)
I'm gonna build that power
Build, build up that power (show for me)

I've been feedin' the rhythm
I've been feedin' the rhythm (show for you)
Gonna feel that power build in you (show for me)
Come on, come on, help me do
Come on, come on, help me do (show for you)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, you (show for me)

I've been feedin' the rhythm
I've been feedin' the rhythm (show for you)
It's what we're doin', doin'
All day and night (show for me)
Come on, come on, help me do
Come on, come on, help me do (show for you)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, you
Comments (121)add comment
The video was a feast to my eyes when I was a wee kid
 Imkirok wrote:
Anybody know what this song is about? :)
 

It's about sex - lyrics laced with innuendo and Gabriel quoted the following about the song "Sometimes sex can break through barriers when other forms of communication are not working too well"
 That is what you call a "Yogiism" "Nobody goes there anymore because it's too crowded"
I don't understand someone downrating a song because it's "overplayed." That's like saying "everybody likes it, so it's bad." That doesn't make any sense.

It's either a good song or it isn't. This is a good song, IMO.
 

{#Devil_pimp}still zesty ? ha p Gabriel once had hair
Anybody know what this song is about? :)
Phenomenal. From the golden era of MTV. It came out when I was young and impressionable and the song and music video will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Always enjoyed this one.
 calypsus_1 wrote:

Peter Gabriel - "Sledgehammer" Live (1993):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO-TM9GA3Tg

 

or the HD (studio) version at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJWJE0x7T4Q&feature=share&list=UUmcjOnFmIlg-LqTocHbQkFw
 ThePoose wrote:
Bassist Tony Levin, along with Peter himself and the drummer who came up with the idea, and a technician who implemented the design, first used his ''Funk Fingers'' on this LP. FF are truncated drumsticks that attach to the index and middle fingers of the non-fret hand to strike the strings of the bass.
 
Interesting!  Thirty five years ago, I wore banjo picks on my two bass-plucking fingers to achieve better "attack" at the front end of the note.  Banjo picks are metal fingernail coverings — but I wore them backwards, covering the pads of my fingers.  Made a nice click when I plucked a string, and accentuated the treble string vibrations.

Peter Gabriel - "Sledgehammer" Live (1993):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO-TM9GA3Tg


This song reminds me of everything good, bad, and ugly about the 80s. And for that, I love it!
Hinkamp wrote:
this is such a silly song compared to his other work ...
That's deliberate. I read an interview in which PG said this song was intended as a parody of the kind of ham-fisted cocksure pop songs that were big at the time, as if that's changed. I mean, the name "Sledgehammer" itself is pretty telling.
ThePoose wrote:
This would really work for a porno film.
Actually, it's my primary golf swing thought.
Right on! PG is at his funkiest when he's singing about his naughty bits. See also: "Steam," "Kiss That Frog," "It," "Counting Out Time."
Love the bass in this. Levin knows how to play.
DrLex wrote:
Trust me, I know what I'm doing.
And that's pretty much ALL that I remember of that show.
I don't understand someone downrating a song because it's "overplayed." That's like saying "everybody likes it, so it's bad." That doesn't make any sense. It's either a good song or it isn't. This is a good song, IMO.
this is such a silly song compared to his other work ...
A song I never get tired of hearing. Dance, chicken! DANCE!
Tony Levin is friggin' awesome. The bass in this song, and all of this album, is just SICK.
...i believe the term you're looking for is funkadelic...
crowhog2000 wrote:
But Peter is pretty much godlike, you have to worship gods every now and then. :notworthy: :biggrin:
I too bow to the PG idol but this song could be retired, you know like a ball players jersey that you only pull out now and again to reflect. The Dead retired songs . . .
overplayed or not-this is nothing but a great homage to soul songs of the 60's...otis redding could have sang this. staxlike!
Tony Levin is friggin' awesome. The bass in this song, and all of this album, is just SICK.
monanotlisa wrote:
Oh, thank you: an emphatic YES!
Sorry, after at least 3 posts on this song alone, I'm still not clear about your feelings about Peter Gabriel...
Shesdifferent wrote:
There is far TOO much Peter Gabriel played on this station as it is. :beat:
Oh, thank you: an emphatic YES!
an easy sucko-barfo addition!
ThePoose wrote:
Bassist Tony Levin, along with Peter himself and the drummer who came up with the idea, and a technician who implemented the design, first used his ''Funk Fingers'' on this LP. FF are truncated drumsticks that attach to the index and middle fingers of the non-fret hand to strike the strings of the bass.
I had a pair of those Funk fingers for a while - Tony was selling them from his website. They were fun as hell! Though one day I lost them and was sad. Then again, I sure looked goofy when I used them!
awesome video to this tune - all this fun claymation going on. vintage mtv stuff.
ThePoose wrote:
Bassist Tony Levin, along with Peter himself and the drummer who came up with the idea, and a technician who implemented the design, first used his ''Funk Fingers'' on this LP. FF are truncated drumsticks that attach to the index and middle fingers of the non-fret hand to strike the strings of the bass.
Cool,thanks for the post.
Shesdifferent wrote:
There is far TOO much Peter Gabriel played on this station as it is. :beat:
But Peter is pretty much godlike, you have to worship gods every now and then. :notworthy: :biggrin:
There is far TOO much Peter Gabriel played on this station as it is. :beat:
felix_the_man wrote:
Quit whining you guys. This song has the baddest bass lines by the inimitable Tony Levin!! Just go with the groove!!
I try. But I often find it impossible to hear the "groove" over the whiny and repetitive vocals.
Mudbog wrote:
I like a musician that's not afraid to pump out the bass.
Bassist Tony Levin, along with Peter himself and the drummer who came up with the idea, and a technician who implemented the design, first used his ''Funk Fingers'' on this LP. FF are truncated drumsticks that attach to the index and middle fingers of the non-fret hand to strike the strings of the bass.
runaway wrote:
It's not a bad song really, just fell victim to over-kill airplay ad nauseum. I just never care to hear it again.
There should be 2 ratings. One for the intrinsic quality of the song, and one for those people who forgot there's a power or mute button on radios.
felix_the_man wrote:
Quit whining you guys. This song has the baddest bass lines by the inimitable Tony Levin!! Just go with the groove!!
I was about to say this song has the biggest bass and whatever else you can say about it (overplayed, etc.) it still thumps my heart with every beat.
It has a great video
Quit whining you guys. This song has the baddest bass lines by the inimitable Tony Levin!! Just go with the groove!!
It's not a bad song really, just fell victim to over-kill airplay ad nauseum. I just never care to hear it again.
Why, oh why? :(
One of only two weak songs on an otherwise a great CD.
Hey physicsgenius . . . happy now?
What's up with the songs today? ...wow, I'll be voted Most Cranky now.
Nnnnnnoooooooo.....
I've heard Sledgehammer so many times it is at a point where I would rather hear Peter drone on and on against about Biko rather than hearing this song again.
Wow...you really played this song??
This would really work for a porno film.
Lurker wrote:
Then does anyone remember the 80's TV Show Sledge Hammer which was a cop show comedy?
Trust me, I know what I'm doing.
rah wrote:
I don't know if I can think of a more polarizing song than this one (except, perhaps, "Big Time" from the same album). Nearly everyone I know either LOVES it (like myself :jump:), or HATES it. I wonder what the divergence is about...
Simple: Both Sledgehammer and Big Time were overplayed on the radio to the point of nausea! I love every song by PG, but those two still get on my nerves a bit.
ElSupreme wrote:
Road to Perdition was a trite piece of crap movie that was only acceptable to people because Tom Hanks was in it. This is also why you didn't like the movie. It was very bad.
Absolutely, dead wrong. Tom Hanks was fine, but the real pluses were Sam Mendes' direction, an intriguing script, lush art direction, and so on. So, what was "trite" about it? Some elaboration please? Cineaste rant over!
I don't know if I can think of a more polarizing song than this one (except, perhaps, "Big Time" from the same album). Nearly everyone I know either LOVES it (like myself :jump:), or HATES it. I wonder what the divergence is about...
jberko wrote:
This song is such a let-down from such a great talent.
Cut him some slack. This is 20 years old now and PG has moved on, to say the least. It's synth-happy-pop straight from the 80s time machine, but he's redeemed himself with his new material.
Who can't love this bassline?!
Peter Gabriel is way overplayed here on RP and every where else. Can't escape from PG music.
Finally!
This song is such a let-down from such a great talent. When this first came out, I felt that Peter was trying to compete with Phil. We all have to make money and have some level of recognition; however, I didn't expect that Peter Gabriel would ever stoop to a formula of funk and pop and celebrity. Innocence and assumption on my part, I suppose.
Am I imagining things or is this basically the same tune as Shock the Monkey but slowed down? At least it sounded that way from the next room ... never noticed it before.
AliGator wrote:
Gosh. I don't know. I LOVED this song, loved the video, but *shudder* it's like reliving high school or something. At the beginning of senior year in 1986, we held elections for class president, and this one kid, whose last name was Hamer, had the campaign slogan "I'll be your SledgeHamer." :rolleyes:
Damn. And I was hoping this could be our song.
nick_valensi wrote:
Cool video! Dancing Poultry!
Otherwise known as poultry in motion!
A 2 rating for this just seems so appropriate. PG at his worst. I can remember when he said that his album Passion was "artistic redemption and commercial suicide", or something to that effect. I can only imagine he had this song in particular in mind when he said that.
Lurker wrote:
Then does anyone remember the 80's TV Show Sledge Hammer which was a cop show comedy?
Yes...I met the actor David Rasche..his kid went to my kids school.
This is the worst song on So. The rest of the album is excellent.
dolfan wrote:
(Road to Perdition was like that for me, too: A great film. It was. I didn't like it, though).
But you are wrong on this point. Road to Perdition was a trite piece of crap movie that was only acceptable to people because Tom Hanks was in it. This is also why you didn't like the movie. It was very bad.
AliGator wrote:
Gosh. I don't know. I LOVED this song, loved the video, but *shudder* it's like reliving high school or something. At the beginning of senior year in 1986, we held elections for class president, and this one kid, whose last name was Hamer, had the campaign slogan "I'll be your SledgeHamer." :rolleyes:
Then does anyone remember the 80's TV Show Sledge Hammer which was a cop show comedy?
Loved the video. Is deff one of my favs from my early youth... And this track is timless for me... I love Peter Gabrial... There has been some cheasy tracks but hes done some serious classics and great songs... This is one of them :)
Peter Gabriel is overplayed imho.
:cool:
drtjdel wrote:
And the fruit! Don't forget the fruit!
And the train!
nick_valensi wrote:
Cool video! Dancing Poultry!
And the fruit! Don't forget the fruit!
Cool video! Dancing Poultry!
there is never a time when this song (or this album, really) doesn't put a smile on my face. Pete gabriel is fabulous. no doubt!
love Peter Gabriel, but this song and Big drive me crazy in the negative way.
One of my favorite songs of all time, and I don't bestow that honor lightly.
dolfan wrote:
I just don't like this one at all. For me Peter Gabriel is hit and miss. I LOVE Solisbury Hill, In Your Eyes, Don't Give Up, Red Rain, Games Without Frontiers. But this one just does NOT do it for me.
Absolutely exactly.
Sobient wrote:
Isn't this the song where the music video is with Peter Gabriel and alot of fruits? :P I remember this song from my young days, the music video was totally phycadelic for my young eyes. Today, this is just pure ingeniousy. 9/10.
I was just thinking that!! Clicked on song to see if anyone else remembers that and low and behold - your comment... :D It was such a funky video that definitely stood out when i was younger - I remember being mesmerized by the movement and colours.. What a cool tune! ;)
yes the video was amazing! new music i love it!!
Isn't this the song where the music video is with Peter Gabriel and alot of fruits? :P I remember this song from my young days, the music video was totally phycadelic for my young eyes. Today, this is just pure ingeniousy. 9/10.
dolfan wrote:
... For me Peter Gabriel is hit and miss...
Peter's recent "best of":(click here) A two-disc set, "Hit" and "Miss." So, Peter thinks he's hit and miss as well! -mozo in mn
A modern day classic. Does anyone feel the Motown underlay?
MUSCLEman wrote:
i always thought this song was phil collins.
How the ... What the ... Oh never mind.
lizardman_tcs wrote:
You mean we haven't had anybody comment with the obligatory :beat: yet? Heh, I can just imagine the smiley on the left turning into a yin/yang symbol. 20 years down the line and that video still visually excites me
redeyespy wrote:
Um, what's this song about?
Playing Doctor
Dancing chickens!
I love PG but I have just hear this too many times...
redeyespy wrote:
Um, what's this song about?
Who cares? It's a great song (and video too).
ptooey wrote:
I can't believe this song finally made it into rotation. Classic.
Yeah, me too. It's amazing. I like the way RP always surprises you. All my best regards goes out to Peter fans :boohoo:
An instant 8 for the video alone :crashcomp: (< my sledgehammer :yes:)
yes yes yes!!! thank you!
Im shocked to see all the negative comments about this song. This is one of the first Peter Gabrial tracks i got to know as a small child growin gup in the 80s. And this song made me hooked on him. I think its a great track like most of his stuff. Shame about the stream messing up :/. Anyway good sone great artist.
radiojunkie wrote:
Well, so how about if it was a miserably depressing song about death and loss, but had a good beat you could dance to? Would that work for you?
Nah, the good beat would ruin it for me.
I kicked the turntable, turned off the din. This is a rec-ord, Now in the cut-out bin.
The funny thing this song was never conceived as Radio Friendly, "This is the new stuff" talks more of a parody, and it is actually a very intimate song of your sexuality exploration, he was banging that Arquette girl at that time
dolfan wrote:
Okay...here it is. I just don't like this one at all. For me Peter Gabriel is hit and miss. I LOVE Solisbury Hill, In Your Eyes, Don't Give Up, Red Rain, Games Without Frontiers. But this one just does NOT do it for me. It's not the over-the-top airplay it got as some of my forementioned cuts got a lot of airplay...it's the pop sound of this one that really bothered me and the lyrics that just seem too simplistic. I guess it's the it's-got-a-good-beat-and-you-can-dance-to-it quality it has (which is like saying a movie had great special effects; that is no substitue for a bad plot and undeveloped characters) that bothers me. I guess the video was cool and eye-catching; it was. I can appreciate that and say it was a good video, I just didn't like it (Road to Perdition was like that for me, too: A great film. It was. I didn't like it, though). But as far as the song goes...bland for me. Anyway, that's how this one hits me.
Well, so how about if it was a miserably depressing song about death and loss, but had a good beat you could dance to? Would that work for you?
Trustocity wrote:
Hey, I love all things PG, and this song is great. But I can't help bracing myself for the haters to start slamming this song. It's just too radio-friendly for some.
Okay...here it is. I just don't like this one at all. For me Peter Gabriel is hit and miss. I LOVE Solisbury Hill, In Your Eyes, Don't Give Up, Red Rain, Games Without Frontiers. But this one just does NOT do it for me. It's not the over-the-top airplay it got as some of my forementioned cuts got a lot of airplay...it's the pop sound of this one that really bothered me and the lyrics that just seem too simplistic. I guess it's the it's-got-a-good-beat-and-you-can-dance-to-it quality it has (which is like saying a movie had great special effects; that is no substitue for a bad plot and undeveloped characters) that bothers me. I guess the video was cool and eye-catching; it was. I can appreciate that and say it was a good video, I just didn't like it (Road to Perdition was like that for me, too: A great film. It was. I didn't like it, though). But as far as the song goes...bland for me. Anyway, that's how this one hits me.
AliGator wrote:
Gosh. I don't know. I LOVED this song, loved the video, but *shudder* it's like reliving high school or something. At the beginning of senior year in 1986, we held elections for class president, and this one kid, whose last name was Hamer, had the campaign slogan "I'll be your SledgeHamer." :rolleyes:
:lol: I remember how I especially found the bass sound and playing very impressive and catchy. It still is! But of course it's overall a perfect, danceable popsong. The video made about everything else at the time suddenly seem obsolete.
i always thought this song was phil collins... either way i think it stinks.
Gosh. I don't know. I LOVED this song, loved the video, but *shudder* it's like reliving high school or something. At the beginning of senior year in 1986, we held elections for class president, and this one kid, whose last name was Hamer, had the campaign slogan "I'll be your SledgeHamer." :roll:
I like Radio Paradise, but am very tired of hearing so much Peter Gabriel. I guess he's not my generation, but I can handle other kinds of music from that era like the Cure. But people like Peter Gabriel, Rod Stewart, etc. Please make it stop!
Lost my copy of "So" about a year ago. Still have the Jewel case and liner notes, but not CD. This song reminds me I need to go get a new copy.
lizardman_tcs wrote:
You mean we haven't had anybody comment with the obligatory :beat: yet?
Did you miss trekhead, Feb. 16? Except he used a :crashcomp:
Does anybody else remember how invigorating this was when it first came out -- and how surprising it was to have it come from Gabriel, who was still known to most people as the artsy lead of Genesis and perhaps "Solisbury Hill"? Absolutely mindblowing -- and it still is. :music: :music:
You mean we haven't had anybody comment with the obligatory :beat: yet? Heh, I can just imagine the smiley on the left turning into a yin/yang symbol. 20 years down the line and that video still visually excites me
Must get better speakers - this sounds muddy and warbled, and from having listened to "So" about a zillion times I know that just ain't so. Love this song!
Raucous raves, Rockin 'R'changel Rules! sorry, still alliterating...
I like a musician that's not afraid to pump out the bass.
palexis wrote:
It's high time to have this classic on RP. It was one of the first MTV videos I really enjoyed way back when.
Sometime during the "So" run, MTV interviewed Gabriel about the "Sledgehammer" video--with the fruit and veggies swirling about his head, a classic applications of stop action filming. Seems that the shoot took hours and hours, and sometime in the middle the fruit and veggies started to get, well, ripe. Gabriel had to hold his nose between shots as the techs moved the stuff around. What some will do for art... :propeller:
redeyespy wrote:
Um, what's this song about?
He wants to be the big, obvious impact on someone's life, the tool by which major change takes place. Break old patterns , so new construction may happen. Plus, who DOESN'T like to be swung overhead in a big , sweeping arc, with enough force to bust concrete? C'mon. Show of hands. :crashcomp: =;
masterhead wrote:
I am a huge P.G. fan but this song just should not have a place here on R.P...IMHO...Overplayed and constructed as a vehicle to promote his biggest selling album. There are too many Peter Gabriel songs to be played before this one..anyway...I vented so I am fine now...
I somewhat agree, but it is still PG and therefore an '8'!!! :sunny:
Remember how "cutting edge" the video was? All the fruit sliding around! Just one of those happy songs, no matter how many times you've heard it!
I am a huge P.G. fan but this song just should not have a place here on R.P...IMHO...Overplayed and constructed as a vehicle to promote his biggest selling album. There are too many Peter Gabriel songs to be played before this one..anyway...I vented so I am fine now...
One hell of a great dance party track. Has worked at every party I threw.
redeyespy wrote:
Um, what's this song about?
Sex. Just like all the good rock-n-roll songs. :-)
:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
Trustocity wrote:
Hey, I love all things PG, and this song is great. But I can't help bracing myself for the haters to start slamming this song. It's just too radio-friendly for some.
Nothing but love from this listener.... dancin' feets!
Um, what's this song about?
Hard to believe this is about 19 years old now. I was just a kid (12) at the time and while I really liked it then, the music behind it all is just amazing to hear (especially on headphones). :D/
I can't believe this song finally made it into rotation. Classic.
Hey, I love all things PG, and this song is great. But I can't help bracing myself for the haters to start slamming this song. It's just too radio-friendly for some.
One of my favorite tracks of all time. I had to submit it to be added, thank god it made it!
A classic song on a classic album. Still holdin up rather nicely! ....I kicked the rabbit.... ;-)