Secret World Live is the world tour undertaken by English singer/songwriter Peter Gabriel to promote his sixth solo studio album, 1992's Us. The tour took place in 1993 and 1994, including 69 concerts in Europe, and 57 concerts in the United States. A live album was released in September 1994, recorded off of excerpts from a pair of concerts in Modena, Italy, that took place on consecutive nights in November 1993.
Additionally, a concert film was released at the same time as the live album, also filmed at the concerts in Modena. The sole difference between the live album and the concert film is that the film has "San Jacinto" (from his fourth self-titled album, nicknamed Security), and the live album has "Red Rain" (from So). Streaming copies of the live album from a 2019 re-release include "San Jacinto", while the Blu-ray release of the concert video includes "Red Rain" as a bonus track.
In addition to his nominal backing band of bassist Tony Levin, guitarist David Rhodes, and drummer Manu Katché, he included Indian violinist L. Shankar (who worked with him on The Last Temptation of Christ) and keyboardist Jean-Claude Naimro. He also hired American singer Paula Cole, who would sing female parts for songs previously recorded with Kate Bush and Sinéad O'Connor. This tour would help Cole launch her own solo career in the late 1990s.
The typical venue for the concert, as exhibited in the concert film, was a dual-stage setup connected by a conveyor belt, with a flippable projector screen, and multiple elevators on the end stages.
The album was certified Silver by the BPI, and Gold by the RIAA. The concert film won the Grammy Award for Best Long-Form Music Video in 1996, and was certified Platinum in the United States.
Live Album Tracklist:
- "Come Talk to Me" (6:13)
- "Steam" (7:45)
- "Across the River" (6:00)
- "Slow Marimbas" (1:41)
- "Shaking the Tree" (9:18)
- "Red Rain" (6:15)
- "Blood of Eden" (6:58)
- "Kiss That Frog" (5:58)
- "Washing of the Water" (4:07)
- "Solsbury Hill" (4:42)
- "Digging in the Dirt" (7:36)
- "Sledgehammer" (4:58)
- "Secret World" (9:10)
- "Don't Give Up" (7:35)
- "In Your Eyes" (11:32)
Concert Video Tracklist:
- "Come Talk to Me" (6:39)
- "Steam" (7:53)
- "Across the River" (5:57)
- "Slow Marimbas" (1:45)
- "Shaking the Tree" (7:12)
- "Blood of Eden" (7:02)
- "San Jacinto" (7:34)
- "Kiss That Frog" (6:21)
- "Washing of the Water" (3:55)
- "Solsbury Hill" (4:27)
- "Digging in the Dirt" (6:55)
- "Sledgehammer" (6:05)
- "Secret World" (10:16)
- "Don't Give Up" (7:34)
- "In Your Eyes" (12:48)
Come trope to me:
- The Abridged Series: Toward the end of the tour, an abbreviated 10-song version of the Secret World Live concert set was played at Woodstock '94, with lesser theatrics due to the physically different concert stage, and "Biko" (from his third self-titled album, nicknamed Melt) added as an encore. Both "Red Rain" and "San Jacinto" were played.
- All There in the Manual: The overture at the beginning of the concert is "Zaar", a song from Passion, his soundtrack for The Last Temptation of Christ. The slow interlude for "Steam" is an excerpt from a separate track called "Quiet Steam". In both the CD and the concert video, it was included as part of "Steam".
- And Starring: Peter introduces his backup band by name during an interlude in "Shaking the Tree". He also names Paula right before her solo in that song.
- Concert Film: The video release, natch.
- Epic Rocking: The vast majority of the tracks included on both the concert album and concert tour qualify, with many of the ones that don't leaning in the opposite extreme.
- Face on the Cover: A still of Gabriel performing features on the front cover of the concert video and the back cover of the live album.
- Idiosyncratic Cover Art: The album cover repeats the visual motifs that were standard for Gabriel's Real World Records label at the time. Both albums feature a rainbow stripe that spans from the bottom-left corner of the front cover to the bottom-right quadrant of the back cover. A white stripe featuring the artist, album title, and barcode stretch across the top of the back cover and the upper spine, the WOMAD logo is present in the upper-right, and the tracklist is featured on the left side of the back cover in a white box. The one big deviation from previous releases on Real World Records is that the back cover uses a still of Gabriel from the concert video (incidentally the same still is used for the front cover on the video release, albeit mirrored), rather than a macro photograph.
- Longest Song Goes Last: "In Your Eyes", which stretches well over ten minutes and outpaces every other track on the setlist, closes out both the live album and the concert film.
- Nostril Shot: In the concert video, "Digging in the Dirt" has Peter wearing a fish-eye facecam. The projector also shows pre-recorded footage of the other members of the tour band wearing the facecams.
- Re-Cut: Many songs were cycled in and out of the set list during the tour. In many American tour dates, "Kiss That Frog" was replaced by "Shock the Monkey" (Security). Other songs cycled in and out include "Games Without Frontiers" (Melt), "Only Us" (Us), and "The Feeling Begins" (Passion).