-->"''The place where I come from is a small town\\
They think so small, they use small words\\
But not me; I'm smarter than that\\
I've worked it out\\
I'll be stretching my mouth to make those big words come right out''"

''So'' is the fifth studio album by singer songwriter Music/PeterGabriel, released in May of 1986. It has become his most successful album commercially, and it also fared well critically, appearing on the ''Magazine/RollingStone'''s "Top 100 Albums of the Eighties" list, taking the number 14 spot. A documentary about the creative process behind the making of this album can be seen in the ''Series/ClassicAlbums'' TV documentary series.

The album was listed at #187 in UsefulNotes/RollingStone500GreatestAlbumsOfAllTime.

!! Tracklist:


[[folder: Side One ]]

# "Red Rain" (5:39)
# "Sledgehammer" (5:12)
# "Don't Give Up" (feat. Music/KateBush) (6:33)
# "That Voice Again" (4:53)


[[folder: Side Two ]]

# "In Your Eyes" (5:27) [[note]] Later editions of the album have this as the ninth track instead of the fifth track; Gabriel originally planned for the album to be in that order, but due to technical limitations at the time, he had to move this track to the beginning of side two. [[/note]]
# "Mercy Street" (6:22)
# "Big Time" (4:28)
# "We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37)" (3:22)
# "This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds)" (feat. Music/LaurieAnderson) (4:25) (CD bonus track)

!! This Is the List (Excellent Tropes):

* AlliterativeTitle: "'''R'''ed '''R'''ain."
* AndStarring: Music/KateBush sings along during "Don't Give Up."
* BookEnds: The video for "Big Time" both begins and ends with Gabriel, with a FakeAmerican accent, saying "Hi there!" The song itself just has that part in the intro.
* BrokenRecord: "Big Time" has the word "big" repeated ad finitum near the end.
* BroodingBoyGentleGirl: "Don't Give Up" has notes of this between Gabriel's character and Kate Bush's character.
* DoubleEntendre: "Sledgehammer" is packed to the rafters with these; the very first line has the narrator promising his love interest a "steam train," and he doesn't let up from there.
** "Big Time" refers to "the bulge in my big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, BIG." (The previous line is "Look at my circumstance", so it's pretty easy to guess what the [[SubvertedRhymeEveryOccasion implied rhyme]] is.)
* DownerEnding: "In Your Eyes" was written to win back a woman Peter lost -- it didn't work. ([[Film/SayAnything At least it worked for Lloyd Dobler.]])
* EarnYourHappyEnding: "Don't Give Up" qualifies both lyrically and musically.
* EpicRocking: "Don't Give Up" (6:35) and "Mercy Street" (6:18), with "Red Rain" (5:41) just missing the mark.
** Well over half of the bonus tracks from the 2012 remaster are examples. From ''Live in Athens 1987'' we have "San Jacinto" (7:27), "Shock the Monkey" (6:44), "Mercy Street" (9:15), "The Family and the Fishing Net" (7:09), "Don't Give Up" (8:17), "Lay Your Hands on Me" (6:15), "In Your Eyes" (10:38), and "Biko" (9:38). From ''So DNA'' (demo versions of the whole album) we have "Red Rain" (6:15), "Sledgehammer" (6:31), "Don't Give Up" (6:11), "That Voice Again" (6:39), "Mercy Street" (7:51), "Big Time" (6:54), and "In Your Eyes" (10:15). That means seven of nine tracks from the demo disc and eight of sixteen from the live discs top the six-minute mark (and the live version of "This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds)" just barely misses at 5:57).
* FaceOnTheCover: Gabriel's face in close-up.
* GodIsLoveSongs: "In Your Eyes" is sometimes mentioned by Peter as being this; he deliberately wrote the lyrics so that it could be interpreted either as one of these songs or as a romantic song.
* HeroicBSOD: "Don't Give Up" is about a man driven to suicidal depression after becoming unemployed. He seems to get better towards the end of the song.
* IntercourseWithYou: "Sledgehammer:"
-->''Oh let me be your sledgehammer''
-->''This will be my testimony''
-->''Show me 'round your fruitcage''
-->''Cause I will be your honey bee''
-->''Open up your fruitcage''
-->''Where the fruit is as sweet as can be.''
* LimitedLyricsSong: "We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37)".
* LoudnessWar: While not the worst modern example, the 2012 remaster is louder than the original, at the expense of some dynamic range. Oddly, the demos on the fourth CD are mostly unaffected.
* LyricalColdOpen: "Big Time".
* MeaningfulName: Do-Re-Mi-Fa-''So''. This is Gabriel's fifth album. You can figure out the rest.
* MinimalisticCoverArt: The vinyl covers (except the 25th anniversary version cover) only feature the photo of Gabriel, without text. The other formats are aversions of this.
* MoneySong[=/=]IWantSong: Again, "Big Time," though it's very likely satirising these tropes.
* NewSoundAlbum: Compared to his previous albums.
* NotChristianRock: "In Your Eyes."
* OneWordTitle: "So" and "Sledgehammer."
* {{Pastiche}}: "Sledgehammer" is a pastiche of Southern {{Soul}}, and Gabriel himself has described the song as "[his] chance to sing like Music/OtisRedding."
* RearrangeTheSong: "This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds)" is an alternate version of Music/LaurieAnderson's own song "Excellent Birds" (on which Gabriel provided backing vocals).
* {{Retraux}}: "Sledgehammer," according to Gabriel, was written as a throwback to soul music from TheSixties, and even features the Memphis Horns (who played on a lot of [[StaxRecords Stax produced records]]) on backup.
* SmallTownBoredom: As shown in the quote on top of the page, it's heavily implied that the narrator of "Big Time" feels this way.
* SpecialGuest: Music/KateBush on "Don't Give Up," Youssou N'Dour on "In Your Eyes," and Music/LaurieAnderson on "This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds)."
* SubvertedRhymeEveryOccasion: The ending of "Big Time", as seen above under DoubleEntendre.
* UnusualEuphemism: The title of "Sledgehammer" refers to Gabriel's "''[[LampshadedDoubleEntendre sledgehammer,]]''" and the lyrics are littered with other such euphemisms.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: "Milgram's 37," [[AsYouKnow as those who pay attention to psychologists know,]] is about [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Stanley Milgram's subjects in his shock experiments,]] and "Mercy Street" is about / InspiredBy the works of the late poet Creator/AnneSexton, who wrote the source of the song's title -- ''45 Mercy Street.''
-->"''[[TheStinger Anne with her father is out in the boat\\
Riding the water, riding the waves\\
On the sea.]]''"