[ ]   [ ]   [ ]                        [ ]      [ ]   [ ]
Peter Gabriel — The Boy In The Bubble
Album: Scratch My Back
Avg rating:
5.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 214









Released: 2004
Length: 4:13
Plays (last 30 days): 0
It was a slow day
And the sun was beating
On the soldiers by the side of the road
There was a bright light
A shattering of shop windows
The bomb in the baby carriage
Was wired to the radio, and

These are the days of miracle and wonder
This is the long-distance call
The way the camera follows us in slow-mo
The way we look to us all
The way we look to a distant constellation
That's dying in a corner of the sky
These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don't cry, baby, don't cry, don't cry

It was a dry wind
And it swept across the desert
And it curled into the circle of birth
And the dead sand
Falling on the children
The mothers and the fathers
And the automatic earth

These are the days of miracle and wonder
This is the long-distance call
The way the camera follows us in slow-mo
The way we look to us all, oh, yeah
The way we look to a distant constellation
That's dying in a corner of the sky
These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don't cry, baby, don't cry, don't cry

It's a turn-around jump shot
It's everybody jump start
It's every generation throws a hero up the pop charts
Medicine is magical and magical is art
Think of the boy in the bubble
And the baby with the baboon heart

And I believe
These are days of lasers in the jungle
Lasers in the jungle somewhere
Staccato signals of constant information
A loose affiliation of millionaires
And billionaires, and, baby

These are the days of miracle and wonder
This is the long-distance call
The way the camera follows us in slow-mo
The way we look to us all, oh, yeah
The way we look to a distant constellation
That's dying in a corner of the sky
These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don't cry, baby, don't cry, don't cry, don't cry
Comments (67)add comment
 hbs47 wrote:
Following on from another comment re: covers" if you can't improve on the original don't bother"

PG shouldn't have bothered. Like walking in treacle. 

 You nailed it, hbs47:
trea·cle  (trē′kəl)
n.
1. Cloying speech or sentiment.
2. Chiefly British Molasses.
3. A medicinal compound formerly used as an antidote for poison.



...this antidote can not even help this song. PS = 10  PG = 10 but PS + PG = 1 
 
 Wilfrue wrote:
I love this Paul Simon song. I love Peter Gabriel. I don't love Peter Gabriel doing this Paul Simon song. 

 

Nicely put!
 Wilfrue wrote:
I love this Paul Simon song. I love Peter Gabriel. I don't love Peter Gabriel doing this Paul Simon song. 

 
Exactly what I was going to say.
 Wilfrue wrote:
I love this Paul Simon song. I love Peter Gabriel. I don't love Peter Gabriel doing this Paul Simon song. 

 
Amen to that!
I love this Paul Simon song. I love Peter Gabriel. I don't love Peter Gabriel doing this Paul Simon song. 
Well I like this rendition a lot and I'm not a PG fan. However, having listened to him on some high audio kit recently, I think I'll be listening to him some more.
While this type of cover worked on Tears for Fears Mad World, it doesn't really work here.
What a moving rendition of one of my favorite songs!  One of the things that I love about the original is that the juxtaposition of the subject matter with the upbeat music.  Paul Simon makes you think you are listening to a happy song, unless you listen and think.  This, on the other hand is just... well, I ran out of words to try to describe it... i'll leave the thought there.
Why ?
Following on from another comment re: covers" if you can't improve on the original don't bother"

PG shouldn't have bothered. Like walking in treacle. 
wow, really butchered that song
 dc_zee wrote:

For some reason this eminds me of Garrett Morris on SNL assisting the newscaster by shouting the main headlines.  Perhaps Mr. Gabriel is translating for those who think Paul sings too fast.



 
i love this comment!
I absolutely love this entire album, so I'm a little surprised with the range of reactions to this track on RP...I mean, it's an iconic Paul Simon song, but covered in a new, unique way by Peter Gabriel, what's there not to like?  I actually prefer his version of Mirrorball and Book of Love off this album to the originals.
I like this version.  I also enjoyed spending the first verse trying to recall the title of the song.

For some reason this eminds me of Garrett Morris on SNL assisting the newscaster by shouting the main headlines.  Perhaps Mr. Gabriel is translating for those who think Paul sings too fast.


This is a downright lovely tune.

Speaking of covers, you know how RP commenters frequently note a strong similarity between Gabriel and Elbow's Guy Garvey?  Gabriel covered Elbow's Mirrorball on this album, too.  {#Smile}


 agkagk wrote:
How many people know what is pictured on the cover?


(it's two red blood cells. Not sure if there is any significance to this or if they just thought it was a cool photo, which it is))
 
coming together to create a new entity, a pair of lips, maybe trying to tell you something.   not a photograph.


Great to hear this song from a voice with texture like Gabriel's. For all of Paul Simon's talents his voice tends to whitewash everything it touches, IMO.
Like many people here I did not like this CD when I heard it the first couple of times. But it grows on me, and grows, especially this song actually. I agree it's not one of his best releases but there are some REAL good versions of other peoples songs on it. His versions of Lou Reeds " The power of the heart" and "Book of love" by Magnetic Fields are just brilliant.
 spacemoose wrote:

I really like this. 

I think the modern contempt for "covers" is culturally harmful.

<snip>

There's nothing less creative in interpreting a powerful song to convey your own message.  Just look at all the old blues records.  I don't even know how many different versions of "Casey Jones" or "John Henry" I have, many of which are unrecognizable from one another.  Or the multitude of old blues songs where it's impossible to trace who's stealing vamps and lyrics from whom.  And y'know what?  The blues scene was the better for that.  A more contemporary example is Johnny Cash's American Albums which were mind blowingly powerful and creative.

 
From a slightly different angle...we all learned to play by playing, guess what?, covers. While there are probably a selected, gifted few whose first tune was a fully wrought original—though I've never heard of one or met one, the rest of us started out doing covers of someone else's work. Hell, it was someone else's work that inspired us to pick up whatever we played to begin with! Some of the best concerts I've been to are when the star act closes their encore with a cover. Big Audio Dynamite used to close with Prince's "1999;" Jellyfish with Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way;" and I heard The Eagles close out a show with Chuck Berry's "Carol." I think it takes guts to cut an album of covers. Then again when Sinatra or Ella did them, they were called "songbooks" or "interpretive tributes," some of which have become classics in their own right. Oh, and IMHO Peter Gabriel did a lovely job with this song.

How many people know what is pictured on the cover?


(it's two red blood cells. Not sure if there is any significance to this or if they just thought it was a cool photo, which it is))


RP plays a lot of Peter Gabriel and it's starting to grow on me.
 Bakaretsu wrote:

So this is NOT "sooo good for the ears?" {#Lol}
 


Ahhhh!  This rotten cover is like having poop thrown in your ears!  Ahhhh!

 
With so much unheard and wonderful music out there that much of RP has introduced to me....can we put Peter Gabriel to rest for a while? This is the third....PG tune I've heard in the last 6 hours. Hmmmm.....and it's not that great of a cover either.
In my reality, Peter Gabriel does not ever, ever suck.

I reject your reality

Therefore, this entire album does not exist in my world. That is all.
 frecko wrote:
Perhaps not PG's finest moment...
{#Snooty}
 
I really like this. 

I think the modern contempt for "covers" is culturally harmful.   It ignores the fact that all culture, art, science, technology, i.e. all cultural works are built on other cultural works done by others before us.  All creativity is communal work.  The art of interpreting a song in a unique way has been a cherished part of all folk music. 

I note that respect for this kind of work has died with the era of corporate culture monopolies:  the mass manufacture of cultural media being controlled by corporate capitalist interests, which in particular have a stranglehold over the means of distribution (thank god the internet is changing this).  It's pretty easy to trace a cultural shift to the corporate and capitalist control of cultural propagation.

So the big music oligarchies would have a real interest in a kind of "intelectual property" outlook towards music (and all other cultural works), downplaying the collaborative communal nature of all creative endeavours and focusing on the latest thing.  It's better for business after all.

There's nothing less creative in interpreting a powerful song to convey your own message.  Just look at all the old blues records.  I don't even know how many different versions of "Casey Jones" or "John Henry" I have, many of which are unrecognizable from one another.  Or the multitude of old blues songs where it's impossible to trace who's stealing vamps and lyrics from whom.  And y'know what?  The blues scene was the better for that.  A more contemporary example is Johnny Cash's American Albums which were mind blowingly powerful and creative.

in this way every song can transformed to a PG song,
&
i think that's a bad idea ;-)
Love the song, Love the singer. But....
Perhaps not PG's finest moment...
{#Snooty}
 boober wrote:
How many years has it been since PG put out an album.....and now this?C'mon Pete.
 

Yeah I'm confused also. I picked this up twice before I realized that it really was what it was... PG doing covers?  Really?

His last record was 8 friggen years ago, and I read somewhere that he had around 45 songs he was contemplating for it (yet we still got "Barry Williams"...)  What happened to all the rest of them?  Now we get...an album of covers?  Really?

Very creative rendition of a song whose lyrics in the original are somewhat lost.  It makes me stop and listen.

 romeotuma wrote:


Yuck!  I am screaming at the top of my lungs so I do not hear this putrid buttmud until it is over!


 
So this is NOT "sooo good for the ears?" {#Lol}

 DeeCee1109 wrote:
Can't fault a guy for trying something different, but .....  {#Yawn}
 
Maybe you can't...I have no problem faulting him. Hey Pete, this sucks!

 romeotuma wrote:
Yuck!  I am screaming at the top of my lungs so I do not hear this putrid buttmud until it is over!
 
{#High-five}

Can't fault a guy for trying something different, but .....  {#Yawn}
 petewill wrote:
What a beautiful, quiet interpretation of Paul Simon's song.  
 
{#Roflol}  {#Nyah} {#Lol}




Yuck!  I am screaming at the top of my lungs so I do not hear this putrid buttmud until it is over!




Pete proves that he can suck, too. Woot! He's always expanding his horizons. {#Lol}
How many years has it been since PG put out an album.....and now this?C'mon Pete.
What a beautiful, quiet interpretation of Paul Simon's song.  
 romeotuma wrote:
I am horrified to say this about Peter Gabriel, but this cover sounds like putrid buttmud...
 
                                                                  {#Surprised}
What in the wide world of sports? Romeotuma makes a negative comment about a song! I do believe this is a first.

 romeotuma wrote:
I am horrified to say this about Peter Gabriel, but this cover sounds like putrid buttmud...
 
Let us have a moment of silence for the sad time for Romeo...and me, too. {#Cry}
Personally speaking, PG has done a marvelous thing here. The Simon original is very up tempo, and to slow the piece down to a "dirge-like" pace (gumbo_walrus) is daring. The meaning of the lyrics at that speed cause us to rethink what Paul was saying in the first place. I am very excited to hear more from this disc and I am happy to see PG engaging with so many wonderful artists.
I heard a short interview on NPR with Gabriel about this album.  It's an interesting project, the way he described it, but not enough to make me go out and buy it.  This version is kind of "funereal" as someone described, but I don't find it as bad as some others here do.

All the songs I've heard from this album sound too similar.  I liked the cover of the Talking Heads song, but then I heard this song and I thought "This just the same tune with different lyrics."
I didn't recall the song's title, but I knew I'd heard the lyrics before.  I had to block out PG and start singing myself just to figure out who this was...

I usually like Peter Gabriel, but not this one.  Add me to the camp of Shatner might have done better.
 romeotuma wrote:


I am horrified to say this about Peter Gabriel, but this cover sounds like putrid buttmud...
 
Whoa! Another one!!!
I think this is good, being another example of a rendition of a song that focuses on the lyrics in an effective way. How many times has Peter Gabriel performed the works of others? Sometimes the fusion of words and music is so good (as in the original) that the lyrics cannot be seen alone, or at least appreciated as well as they might be.
 romeotuma wrote:


Dang, I hate to say it, but this one is terrrrible...  yuk...  does not hold a candle to Paul Simon's original...  sounds like Peter is on Lithium or Quaaludes or something...

 
You've got to be kidding me!!!
YOU said this?
Quick, someone fire up the bronzing pit!!!!! 
 romeotuma wrote:


Dang, I hate to say it, but this one is terrrrible...  yuk...  does not hold a candle to Paul Simon's original...  sounds like Peter is on Lithium or Quaaludes or something...


 

You gonna rate this one a 10, there, chief?
 
I don't care for anything on the whole album, and I usually LOVE Gabriel. Disappointing.
H8rhater does not believe this is godlike but... a rating in the 4's for anything done by PG just isn't right.  So I do what I can.

I love Gabriel and Simon, and while somethings go great together, this is like drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth.


I am horrified to say this about Peter Gabriel, but this cover sounds like putrid buttmud...


I love Peter Gabriel, but I hate to say that I find this cover interpretation very insipid when compared to the original.
As i mentioned in another post on another "tune" from this album, I think William Shatner might have been more entertaining with this.
Love Gabriel. Hate this. This is perhaps the lamest cover I've heard in a long time.
How pointless
Are those red blood cells on the cover?
The most interesting and unique thing PG has done for awhile... was disappointed with the last few albums all sounding alike. If you're not a PG fan, then it's a moot point. 


Dang, I hate to say it, but this one is terrrrible...  yuk...  does not hold a candle to Paul Simon's original...  sounds like Peter is on Lithium or Quaaludes or something...


It's funny, I remember Graceland coming out about the same time as PG's "So".  and both had a huge afro-influence on some cuts.  It is cool to hear one doing the other.

I like it.  Please Peter - go save Genesis for one last album!
Sorry Peter, this just doesn't work for me. Prefer Paul Simon's version. This is like a funeral dirge! Absolute snore! {#Sleep}
Wow ... now THAT'S a cover. Beautiful minimalism surrounding such poetry.

The lyrics are so much more poignant than the Simon track; irony in the extreme.

Beautiful. Play it again.
interesting enough, though.
Hoorah! So glad this was released and added to the mix. Understated & pretty.
From the Department of Songs Which Did Not Require a Cover.