[[quoteright:330:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/PeterGabriel_5811.jpg]]

->''"Ladies and gentlemen, our first reading is from the early part of Genesis, which many scholars argue is the definitive part of Genesis, because that's when they still had Peter Gabriel."''
-->--[[ReducedShakespeareCompany ''The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)'']]

Born in Surrey, England, Peter Gabriel is the former frontman of the influential ProgressiveRock band Music/{{Genesis}} (for details on his time with them, visit their page) and currently a solo artist.

After leaving the band, he first gained a hit with "Solsbury Hill," which was, appropriately enough, about his breakup with them. He then went on to release four increasingly experimental solo albums from 1977-1985, [[OneSteveLimit all of which were initially named]] ''[[SelfTitledAlbum Peter Gabriel]]'', but have since been re-titled based on their cover art. They were fairly successful, producing multiple hits, such as "Games Without Frontiers", "I Don't Remember", and "Shock The Monkey".

Then came 1986, and his album ''So'' along with it. It was a smash hit that gave Gabriel his greatest mainstream success, featuring some of his most famous songs (particularly [[DoubleEntendre "Sledgehammer"]] and [[Film/SayAnything "In Your Eyes"]]). Six years later came ''Us'', followed (almost ''ten years later'') by ''Up'', with his most recent being a CoverAlbum, ''Scratch My Back''. He has also done work for various films, most famously "Down To Earth" for ''WesternAnimation/WallE''.

Gabriel is a pioneer in many respects: he was one of the first popular artists to start including World music (particularly African) influences into his music, and was the first to use the "gated drum" sound as well (it was invented by former bandmate Phil Collins for a track on one of Gabriel's self-titled albums). He is one of the founders of On Demand Distribution, which has become the leading downloadable music platform in Europe, and is a big supporter of the WOMAD world music movement, in addition to work for Amnesty International and various other charities.

His albums, in chronological order:
* ''Peter Gabriel 1''/''Car''
* ''Peter Gabriel 2''/''Scratch''
* ''Peter Gabriel 3''/''Melt''
* ''Peter Gabriel 4''/''Security''
* ''Music/{{So}}''
* ''Birdy'' (the score for the eponymous NicolasCage film)
* ''Passion'' (the score for ''TheLastTemptationOfChrist'')
* ''Us''
* ''OVO'' (the UK Millennium Dome show)
* ''Up''
* ''Long Walk Home: Music from the {{Rabbit-Proof Fence}}''
* ''Big Blue Ball'' (a WOMAD collaboration album he did some songs for)
* ''[[CoverAlbum Scratch My Back]]''
* ''New Blood''

''Scratch My Back'' has a companion album, ''And I'll Scratch Yours'', with the artists whose songs Gabriel covered covering some of his in turn, including [[Music/VelvetUnderground Lou Reed]], Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields, Arcade Fire, and more; these covers were released as singles, coupled with the corresponding artist's cover, before it was announced that the project would be released on September 23, 2013.

!!!Examples:
* AbsurdlyLongLimousine: One appears in the intro to ''Steam''.
* AlbumTitleDrop: "Only Us", from ''[[CaptainObvious Us]]''.
** And "Growing Up" from ''Up''.
* AwardBaitSong: While it doesn't exactly fit the typical stereotype, [[WesternAnimation/WallE "Down To Earth"]] was actually nominated for an Oscar.
* BookEnds: The song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOYK7sG5c2Q Big Time]] starts and ends with an American voice saying 'Hi There!'
** That's [[FakeAmerican Gabriel's voice]].
* BreakupBreakout: Zigzagged. After leaving Music/{{Genesis}}, Gabriel was just as popular if not more so, but Genesis rose to considerable mainstream success that (with the exception of ''So'') he never quite matched.
* ConceptAlbum: While none of his albums are this in the sense that the songs all form a story or narrative (with the exception of ''OVO''), they almost always have some kind of idea or theme behind them, whether conceptually or musically, particularly his post-''So'' albums.
** ''Us'' is mostly about relationships, especially those between lovers and family.
** ''Up'' is concerned with birth and death (especially death).
** There is actually a series of songs that appear on different albums ("Down The Dolce Vita", "Here Comes The Flood", "On The Air", "Exposure", "Red Rain", "Big Blue Ball") that form a song cycle concerning the character Mozo, though they don't really form a story/narrative either. The [[WhatCouldHaveBeen original plan]] was to create a movie about him, but it never panned out.
* TheCoverChangesTheMeaning: Stephin Merritt of Music/TheMagneticFields had this to say about Gabriel's cover of "Book of Love":
--> ''Itís a totally different interpretation. My arrangement and recording of it is emphatically skeletal and all about the insufficiency and helplessness [of love], whereas his sounds like heís God singing to you about his creation.''
** ''Scratch My Back'' is all over this Trope. His cover of DavidBowie takes "Heroes" from cynical to a bittersweet TearJerker.
* DarkerAndEdgier: While his albums have always tended to be rather dark (with the exception of most of ''So''), ''Security'' is noticeably more so.
* DownerEnding: "In Your Eyes" was written to win back a woman Gabriel had lost. It didn't work. That woman was Creator/RosannaArquette.
* EpicRocking: "Red Rain", "Signal To Noise", "Down The Dolce Vita". "Here Comes The Flood" was originally this, but Gabriel thought it was too over-the top and later reworked it into a piano-only acoustic version.
* EvolvingMusic: "Here Comes The Flood", see the Crowning Music entry above.
** "I Have The Touch", which went through three different permutations: the original track on ''Security'', a remixed version on the GreatestHitsAlbum ''Shaking The Tree'' (additional percussion track), and a completely remade version for the soundtrack to the JohnTravolta film ''Phenomenon'' (slower tempo, new lyrics, new instrumentation).
** His album "Passion" started out being the soundtrack for "Last Temptation Of Christ" -- but he kept tweaking and changing each of the songs after the film was released, to the point that he didn't feel right calling it "the soundtrack" any more.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: He had them on the innersleeve of his first solo album. [[http://www.hardformat.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/peter-gabriel-1-4.jpg The effect was achieved with a flash bulb and a pair of reflective contact lenses.]]
* GodIsLoveSongs: "In Your Eyes" gets this a lot, and was actually covered by Christian artist Nicole Nordman [[TheCoverChangesTheMeaning from that perspective]]. According to WordOfGod, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aNrpCQG3HBE whether it is a love song or a religious song is intentionally ambiguous]].
* GratuitousGerman: He rerecorded his third and fourth albums, plus a single B Side, in German, and released them in Germany. Many Germans were bemused by his decision to do this, especially as some of the grammar is completely wrong. However some fans who don't speak German have said that not knowing what he's singing helps add to the mystique of the music as they are not focusing on the words.
* GriefSong: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "I Grieve"]], natch.
* HeroicBSOD: "Don't Give Up", a duet with Kate Bush about an unemployed man driven to the brink of suicide by depression. According to Gabriel's (now ex-)wife, he would sometimes get these and she would be the one reassuring him not to give up, which inspired the song.
* IntercourseWithYou: "Sledgehammer"
* IWantSong: "Big Time"
* LastChorusSlowDown: "Family Snapshot" does this to chilling effect.
* LastNoteNightmare: "I Don't Remember", "Signal To Noise"
* LonelyPianoPiece: The remake of "Here Comes The Flood" and "The Drop".
* LongSongShortScene: "Out Out" from ''Film/{{Gremlins}}'', which appears briefly and never shows up again. Although released as a single, it has not been issued on any Peter Gabriel albums or compilations, although is on the soundtrack to Gremlins which is on CD.
* LyricalDissonance: "Big Time"
* MetalScream: "Signal to Noise".
* MoneySong: "Big Time" again.
* NamesTheSame: [[WordOfGod He claimed he was unaware]] that there was a "Barry Williams" who played Greg Brady in ''TheBradyBunch''. until the single was released and it was pointed out to him.
* NewSoundAlbum: ''So'' from the four albums that came before it, and ''Up'' from ''So'' and ''Us''.
* NonAppearingTitle: "The Drop", "Fourteen Black Paintings", "Family Snapshot", "The Tower That Ate People".
* NotableMusicVideos: "Sledgehammer".
* ObsessionSong: According to Gabriel, "Shock The Monkey" is about jealousy and the obsessive behavior/attitudes that can result from it.
* PopStarComposer: As noted above, composed the scores for ''Birdy'', ''Last Temptation'', and ''{{Rabbit-Proof Fence}}'', and has contributed songs to ''Philadelphia'', ''Phenomenon'' (a remixed version of "I Have The Touch"), ''Against All Odds'', ''Hard To Hold'' (interesting in that he only contributed one song; the rest of the soundtrack was mostly Rick Springfield, who also starred in it), ''[[{{Myst}} Uru]]'', ''[[TheWildThornberrys The Wild Thornberrys Movie]]'', and ''WesternAnimation/WallE''.
* ProtestSong: "Biko" is a highly-regarded example.
** "Not One Of Us" can be thought of as a protest song, as it's a TakeThat against people who exclude others to make themselves feel good (and thus can be applied to the group of your choice).
** "Games Without Frontiers" could be considered one as well; it uses the background of a popular European game show to protest [[WarIsHell the absurdity and futility of war]].
* [[RealLifeWritesThePlot Real Life Writes the Song]]: The song "Family Snapshot" was inspired by the assassination attempt on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Wallace George Wallace]].
* RecursiveReality: The video to ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt87bLX7m_o Steam]]'' begins with the view of space and stars with Earth closing in and ends with zooming in on somebody's skin, brief glimpse of cellular structure, DNA, individual atoms and interatomic space which becomes the interstellar space. Unfortunately, most broadcasts [[TheyJustDidntCare cut the first 10-20 seconds]] and the final makes little sense.
* RichIdiotWithNoDayJob: Though he came from a wealthy/upper class background and met his fellow Music/{{Genesis}} founders at the prestigious public school they all attended, this is an averted trope.
* RockMeAmadeus: He uses the melody from the OdeToJoy in the New Blood version of Solsbury Hill.
* SanitySlippageSong: Many, this is something of a specialty for Gabriel:
** "No Self Control"
*** "The Family And The Fishing Net"
**** "Out Out"
**** "The Rhythm Of The Heat"
* {{Scatting}}: The end of "Solsbury Hill" and "Kiss That Frog", and throughout "I Don't Remember".
** Also in the middle of "Signal to Noise".
* SelfTitledAlbum: His first four, which caused some confusion leading them to be renamed based on their album art.
** No. 4 was actually released under the title "Security" in the US.
* ShoutOut: During his ''New Blood'' tour, which features a symphony orchestra, his performance of "Solsbury Hill" contains the melody from the OdeToJoy.
** "Mercy Street": to AnneSexton.
* TheSongBeforeTheStorm: "Down The Dolce Vita" from ''Car'', both in the context of the song itself (it's literally before an impending storm) and the album as a whole (it's the penultimate song on the album, preceding and leading directly into the even more bombastic original version of "Here Comes The Flood").
* SopranoAndGravel: "Don't Give Up", a duet with KateBush.
* SpiritualSuccessor: "Steam" is basically Gabriel's attempt to recapture the sound and feel of "Sledgehammer". Whether he succeeded or not and its overall quality is up to the listener.
* StudioChatter: At the beginning of "Not One Of Us".
* TakeThat: "The Barry Williams Show", against trashy, exploitative daytime TV-like shows (Barry Williams is basically the UK equivalent of Jerry Springer, and actually appears as himself in the music video, which was directed by Sean Penn).
** "Solsbury Hill" is about Gabriel's departure from Music/{{Genesis}}. WordOfGod has confirmed this.
*** Though unusual in the annals of Take Thats as Gabriel once [[http://youtu.be/KPdEPC2AsB8?t=40m22s performed the song with Genesis]] in 1982.
** Gabriel refused to attend the induction of Music/{{Genesis}} into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, and referred to them disparagingly as "[[{{Jerkass}} My old band from school]]."
* TextlessAlbumCover: ''Passion'', ''Us'', ''OVO'', ''Up'', ''Scratch My Back'', ''New Blood''.
* TitleOnlyChorus: "Not One Of Us", "Kiss That Frog"
* UncommonTime: In several songs. Most famously, "Solsbury Hill" is in 7[=/=]4 time. So are the verses of "And Through the Wire".
* UnusualEuphemism: "Sledgehammer" is about Gabriel's "sledgehammer", [[LampshadedDoubleEntendre If You Know What I Mean]].
** [[DontExplainTheJoke The hammer is]] [[WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog his penis.]]
** "Kiss That Frog" also counts.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: Many of Gabriel's songs are about or inspired by various psychologists and their works: "Milgram's 37" (about, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin well, Stanley Milgram's 37 subjects in his infamous shock experiments]]), "Rhythm Of The Heat" (whose working title was "Jung In Africa", and is about...[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin well, you know]]), "Kiss That Frog", inspired by Bruno Bettelheim's ''Uses Of Enchantment'' (about the role of fairy tales in development; the song uses one of its exemplar stories, "The Princess and the Frog").
** His song "Mercy Street" is about/inspired by the life and works of poet Creator/AnneSexton, who wrote a book of poetry called ''45 Mercy Street.''
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