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Peter Gabriel — We Do What We're Told
Album: So
Avg rating:
7.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 755









Released: 1986
Length: 3:10
Plays (last 30 days): 0
We do what we're told
We do what we're told
We do what we're told
Told to do

We do what we're told
We do what we're told
We do what we're told
Told to do

One doubt
One voice
One war
One truth
One dream
Comments (85)add comment
 plaid wrote:
There's not a bad track on this whole album.
 

I agree, but this is one of the few PG songs that only get a 7 from me. Yet, I try to watch every PG concert on the 'Tube (but I never watch fan cam recordings)...
I always like a tune that you can whistle the rest of the day after you hear it.
Shock the... human.
Not his best but a decent enough stock Gabriel offering
 within deep realms of my subconscious this.. {#Cry}
 sirdroseph wrote:


What if you want to listen to RP because it plays mostly great music and then you have to keep turning the volume up and down? It gets quite irrirating. Simple, just extract PG and we have no problems. We are full of compromise.{#Wink}
 
In 4 years, no one's said "You're certainly full of something"?  Inconceivable!  {#Wink}

Oh.  Ooops.
g a w d
im cryin hea
This album helped me through a very troubled time in my younger years...
An amazing body of work.   He just didn't get the memo about limitations.  I'm glad about that.
Excellent music from PG. We had the pleasure of seeing the So back to front tour at the O2 arena London , on the 21st, fantastic show.
 cafortier wrote:
SO tired of the daily Peter Gabriel songs.....  {#Stop}

 
Watchoo talkin' 'bout Willis?
SO tired of the daily Peter Gabriel songs.....  {#Stop}
 
If my memory serves (it often does not), this was actually titled "milgram's 37 (we do what we're told)" on the original release.  It refers to a classic psychology experiment done by Stanley Milgram in the 1960's, which tested the boundaries of human deference to authority - and helped set the stage (in addition to many other early-century medical "studies") for current ethical standards for research in human subjects. 
These lyrics must have been painstakingly difficult to memorize...unless he was told to do it.

Everybody in my churches loves this song, and this whole album...
 sirdroseph wrote:


What if you want to listen to RP because it plays mostly great music and then you have to keep turning the volume up and down? It gets quite irrirating. Simple, just extract PG and we have no problems. We are full of compromise.{#Wink}


 
You mean you have no problems? Don't lump us into your regime. Not much of a compromise when elimination is offered. I hope this is your brand of sarcasm. PG is quite good, but not everyone's cup of tea.
Sounds a lot like something on the Passengers Sound Track.  Brian Eno influence. 
..wowsa..perfect & seamless transition from PT's "Trains" to PM here..nicely done (as per usual)..
 sbegf wrote:

Not sure how anyone dances to this one...ha.  But I am big fan of this song...

 
Oh, it is easier than it looks...  and I agree— this is a great song...  this whole album is incredible...  hope you are having a great time right this minute!



 
 to_the_eleven wrote:
Unlike the other tunes from So, I always associate this one with:

 
me too! good episode, great show. too bad its over.
 to_the_eleven wrote:
Unlike the other tunes from So, I always associate this one with:

 
Too funny. The rest of the album is associated with High School graduation and Freshman year of college. AND buying CDs for the first time.
Rats!  I was off watching the new Matthew Broderick Honda Ad, and I missed this {#Grumpy}
Now I'm wondering whatever happened to my copy of this album?
Will have to add it to the ever increasing list of CDs to buy (again).
 to_the_eleven wrote:
Unlike the other tunes from So, I always associate this one with:


 



I'm SO sorry for that Yikes!
Unlike the other tunes from So, I always associate this one with:


 sirdroseph wrote:


What if you want to listen to RP because it plays mostly great music and then you have to keep turning the volume up and down? It gets quite irrirating. Simple, just extract PG and we have no problems. We are full of compromise.{#Wink}

 

sounds like our current regimes idea of compromise... {#Whistle}
 sbegf wrote:

Not sure how anyone dances to this one...ha.  But I am big fan of this song...

 

sloooooowly...
 romeotuma wrote:


We be dancing...  love this song...

 
Not sure how anyone dances to this one...ha.  But I am big fan of this song...



We be dancing...  love this song...

 dmax wrote:
I was such a fan of PG for so many decades, but now...

Watching him become more quiet, sullen, and even less innovative... He's changed so dramatically that I not only don't like his current material, but older tunes like this one grate on me.

I really don't know what happened. I've seen him on almost every tour since album 4 - even held him up as he strode out into the audience at that Houston gig. But this year, as he comes through with an orchestra to do his older material, my first thought was similar to revulsion that he would ruin his tunes that way. 
 

I agree 100%

His artistic output has ground nearly to a halt.

I absolutely adored him for so many years, but there doesn't seem to be much of anything going on there now.

Lately, Elbow seems to be a PG replacement drug for me, and I am REALLY enjoying them (The Birds comes to mind).

PG recorded a version of their song Mirrorball a couple of years ago and, to me, it was SUCH a perfect song for him I couldn't wait to hear his version of it It sounded so phoned in compared to the original.

Maybe he is just enjoying being Grandpa Peter these days   hehehe
I was such a fan of PG for so many decades, but now...

Watching him become more quiet, sullen, and even less innovative... He's changed so dramatically that I not only don't like his current material, but older tunes like this one grate on me.

I really don't know what happened. I've seen him on almost every tour since album 4 - even held him up as he strode out into the audience at that Houston gig. But this year, as he comes through with an orchestra to do his older material, my first thought was similar to revulsion that he would ruin his tunes that way. 
 sirdroseph wrote:


Indeed.{#Sad}{#Stop}
 
Sirdroseph....I suffer with you {#Group-hug}

Can't you replace some of the Peter Gabriel by Kings of Convenience, Bill? {#Bananajam}



 On_The_Beach wrote:

Gabriel's songs are among the highest-rated on RP, so all you haters will just have to suffer. Hah!

 

Indeed.{#Sad}{#Stop}
RP's catalog of PG songs is sure brimming...

There's 2 I'd love to hear from the more obscure corner of PG's stuff.

"I Go Swimming"  (in the catalog, though I've never heard it on RP)
and "Family Snapshot" (my absolute favorite PG song missing from the RP catalog)

:)
Yea Steam Baby{#Bananapiano}

Anyone remember Foxtrot? Suppers ready? My first exposure to all that is Genius. Three guys who had tremendous musical complexity as well an ability to tell a story. Its called song writting.
 Sloggydog wrote:
Can we have a 0 rating for tracks like this? 1 seems awfully generous.
 
Gabriel's songs are among the highest-rated on RP, so all you haters will just have to suffer. Hah!

 btilrn wrote:

Hush, you. We know you don't like him, but a lot of us do. See the little knob on the right? A counterclockwise turn should fix the problem for you.
There, that's better. 
 

What if you want to listen to RP because it plays mostly great music and then you have to keep turning the volume up and down? It gets quite irrirating. Simple, just extract PG and we have no problems. We are full of compromise.{#Wink}

 LPCity wrote:
Does anyone else remember an episode of Miami Vice that used this song in the soundtrack?
 
Yep, that episode made this song unforgettable for me.

 Shesdifferent wrote:
Yet another Peter Gabriel song on RP???????
 
Hush, you. We know you don't like him, but a lot of us do. See the little knob on the right? A counterclockwise turn should fix the problem for you.
There, that's better. 
Yet another Peter Gabriel song on RP???????
This is one of the scariest songs I ever heard.  It taps into my deepest fears about New World Order, and the slave/master mentality.  You know, 1984, with all the Big Brother crap, and the idea that taming the masses and enslaving them is the ultimate power trip.  Yikes.  PG knew what the hell he was singing about, and it remains timeless.

 Bridieboo wrote:
0?  For this?  I think not.

Sloggydog wrote:
Can we have a 0 rating for tracks like this? 1 seems awfully generous.
 
 
Yea, I gave it a 1.
 Nadine wrote:
Love it.
 


So do I!

 
Love it.
 DavidS_UK wrote:
Can I hear Brian Eno's voice here as well?  There is a suggestion of his sound and production in this track to.... Anyone know?

I was wrong, Wiki says that backing vocals are by Laurie Anderson

 

I always assumed it was Eno. Huh. Laurie Anderson? Really? (Not that it's an odd combination, just doesn't sound like her.)

 Older_Gentleman wrote:
Peter Gabriel is truly a musical genius. (IMHO)
 
Looking (and listening to his body of work), I'd have to agree with you.  He takes his time and makes a great album.
Unfortunately, he's not everyone's cup of tea, but that's the way it is with most every artist.

Pretty sure this song is about Evony Online
Back in 1986 or so, when I, gulp, was 16, this was a "b side" to "Big Time" in 12" form. Yes in vinyl. Good God it was great then and it seems to be so now.. 
0?  For this?  I think not.

Sloggydog wrote:
Can we have a 0 rating for tracks like this? 1 seems awfully generous.
 


 Sloggydog wrote:
Can we have a 0 rating for tracks like this? 1 seems awfully generous.
 
Can we have a "REDACT" button for idiots like you? That would be cool...{#Zip-lip}
 Sloggydog wrote:
Can we have a 0 rating for tracks like this? 1 seems awfully generous.
 

Can we have an ignore function for people like you?
Can we have a 0 rating for tracks like this? 1 seems awfully generous.
 DavidS_UK wrote:
Can I hear Brian Eno's voice here as well?   

Can I hear something else instead?
Excellent segue from Trains !!
Can I hear Brian Eno's voice here as well?  There is a suggestion of his sound and production in this track to.... Anyone know?

I was wrong, Wiki says that backing vocals are by Laurie Anderson

 romeotuma wrote:



So?  I love it...
Agree. Entire "So" disc - excellent. The best in Gabriel imho.

Simon_Mark wrote:
"Oh yes. Miami Vice is at the moment being sent again on Danish TV and hear this tune there {#Drummer}"

Sorry about that. :P


 Simon_Mark wrote:

Oh yes. Miami Vice is at the moment being sent again on Danish TV and hear this tune there {#Drummer}
 
Hej, is that Lyngby in Jylland? My family's been going to in holiday to Nr. Vorupør quite some decades now and we all can't wait to get back. Greetings! (my danish just improved lightly over the years)

 LPCity wrote:
Does anyone else remember an episode of Miami Vice that used this song in the soundtrack?
 

Oh yes. Miami Vice is at the moment being sent again on Danish TV and hear this tune there {#Drummer}
suddenly I am not in my office anymore.....not sure where I am floating off too, but not about to stop it.
Does anyone else remember an episode of Miami Vice that used this song in the soundtrack?
boober wrote:
This PG tour was the best concert I've ever seen....and I've seen alot.

{#Yes} At least in the top 5 for me; one of the other contenders being the show where I got to SHAKE HIS HAND! {#Notworthy}
Never more relevant than now, sadly.


So?  I love it...


Not sure of this song till I heard it in the movie "The Chocolate War" (I think that was the title), then I 'got' it.  Thanks for the play.
RedGuitar wrote:
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the song order on this CD change with the reissues? I remember the last song being the "Excellent Birds" on the original issue.
You are correct. The reason it was altered is that the order now on the re-issue is as Gabriel orginally intended it in 1986. The reson it was originally issued with a different order was due to the sonic limitations of vinyl. Gabriel has always been very conscious of the recording quality of his music and it is well known that dynamic range suffers the nearer the centre of a vinyl record the track is hence he altered the track order to better suit the limitations of what was then the most popular consumer format - good old vinyl.
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the song order on this CD change with the reissues? I remember the last song being the "Excellent Birds" on the original issue.
Only RP could play this one GREAT! :clap:
Peter Gabriel is truly a musical genius. (IMHO)
RichardPrins wrote:
:cool:
Agreed
This PG tour was the best concert I've ever seen....and I've seen alot.
A true pioneer!!!
ce wrote:
Apparently this song is about psychologist Stanley Milgram's experiments with authority and obedience. Wikipedia agrees (click here): "We do what we're told" indeed. (Note: I don't know how correct wikipedia is about this subject)
Rather scary in any case!
plaid wrote:
There's not a bad track on this whole album.
Very much agree! A gem!
plaid wrote:
There's not a bad track on this whole album.
oh, I agree. This was an amazing album, still very listenable.
jstrait wrote:
Heeeeeell ya. This man is truly a genius. Bill - thanks for playin the off-tracks...
:yes: :cool: :meditate: What he said!
Heeeeeell ya. This man is truly a genius. Bill - thanks for playin the off-tracks...
:cool:
Apparently this song is about psychologist Stanley Milgram's experiments with authority and obedience. Wikipedia agrees (click here):
"We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37)" is a Peter Gabriel song found on his 1986 album So. The title refers to the 37 out of 40 participants who showed complete obedience in Experiment 18.
In really brief summary: In the experiment, authority requires that a test person administers increasingly severe electrical shocks to another person. The goal was to see if/when the test person's own judgment/ethics overruled the authority and (s)he would refuse to administer more shocks. Wikipedia says:
In Milgram's first set of experiments, 65% (26 out of 40) of experimental participants administered the experiment's final 450-volt shock, though many were quite uncomfortable in doing so; everyone paused at some point and questioned the experiment, some even saying they would return the cheque for the money they were paid. No participant steadfastly refused to give further shocks before the 300-volt level.
"We do what we're told" indeed. (Note: I don't know how correct wikipedia is about this subject)
DrLex wrote:
Why am I seeing the cover from the new Arcade Fire album?
Yes. Bill does what he's told !!! :roflol:
Why am I seeing the cover from the new Arcade Fire album?
There's not a bad track on this whole album.