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Big Blue Ball
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Product Description

Big Blue Ball is the long-awaited, much-anticipated collection of stand-out tracks culled from the all-star, pan-global collaborations that took place over three years of Peter Gabriel s legendary Recording Week gatherings at his state-of-the-art Real World Studios in the English countryside.

Produced by Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger (of World Party, Waterboys) and Stephen Hague (Pet Shop Boys, OMD), it s a nonstop stream of poignant, sterling performances by a truly stellar lineup of artists-- including Gabriel, Wallinger, Sinead O Connor, Natacha Atlas, Iarla O Lionaird and James McNally (both of Afro Celt Sound System), Papa Wemba, Joseph Arthur, Tanzania s late music legend Hukwe Zawose, Hungary s Marta Sebestyen, Tim Finn, Cameroonian starFrancis Bebey, Vernon Reid, Justin Adams, Jah Wobble, Billy Cobham, Rupert Hine, gospel group the Holmes Brothers, flamenco guitarist Juan Canizares, Japanese percussionist Joji Hirota, and many all totaling 75 artists from over 20 countries.

It s like a wall of sound coming at you, listening to the planet from outer space, says Karl Wallinger of the final mix. It s a real world-view of music, a snapshot of the music-making continents at that time. It s a more apt time to release it now than ever before. I think it s actually gathered weight with time, because it s people from all over the world playing together, just getting on together. There s an iconic aspect about that which is probably more important now. Things have become more partisan. It s a timely reminder of how you can cooperate.

Big Blue Ball s songs were created and recorded between 1991 and 1995, but the album has been an active work-in-progress at Real World ever since, a labor of love with ace producer Stephen Hague working closely with Peter Gabriel and Karl Wallinger. Holding the disparate elements in place is the powerful backbone of big drum tracks underpinning many of the songs. Wallinger says, Everyone was in orbit around this groove, and there is a universal language of dance, of dance grooves. That groove is the one bit that s non-denominational on the album.

Says Peter Gabriel, It s a fine wine ready to be drunk. It was the most fun music making I ve ever had. I d love to do it again.

An album of collaborations, a truly international, multi-artist project that grew from a series of "recording weeks" at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in the early 1990's. Many artists took part in writing songs, making music and being part of the musical community. Produced by Gabriel, Karl Wallinger (World Party) and Stephen Hague (Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Robbie Williams). This album comes in two different covers, this cover option is a photograph of a big Blue Ball on a hill whereas cover option 1 is a graphic design of a winking big blue ball.

Customer Reviews:

  • Don't miss it
    If you have SO, US or UP, you can't miss this exciting album. The Gabriel's influence is all over every track... It's the missing piece in between US and UP, you will discover what kind of music Peter had created, played or simply listen during his long silence. A new milestone.
    ...more info
  • Straight From The Heart
    From tapes compiled during the early-1990s festivals for musicians at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios, producers Stephen Hague, Karl Wallinger and Gabriel put together an outstanding retrospective from the events.

    The list of musicians put the "world" in "World Music," and include Papa Wemba, Billy Cobham, Wobble, Wallinger, Sinead O'Connor and Hukwe Zawose. Gabriel takes the lead vocal role on several tracks, but he is more like a super-glue that brought the artists together to share their styles in a considerably looser atmosphere than typically found in recording sessions.

    The U.S. release was facilitated through a venture-capital trust initiative, hence Gabriel (finally) had control over the production and content. This is straight from Gabriel's heart and is a celebration of the wonderful colors that music provides to the universal canvas of joy and peace....more info
  • Love it!
    I have always been a huge fan of Peter Gabrial and the projects he has taken on. This project is one of the most interesting he has done. I have been a fan of World music for many years and he has brought together some of the best. I will always be a fan. It would be nice to hear what else did not make it to the CD or to have a follow up of some of the other great artists that contributed to this project. Kudos!!...more info
  • Big Blue Ball
    If you like Peter Gabriel and like the music he's been putting out on his Real World label you'll love this. Good music and a great variety of artists. Recommended....more info
  • There is a reason...
    Things sometimes get put off for a reason. Lack of interest, better things to do, or just plain not worth the time or effort. This seems to be the result here. I will always support anything Peter Gabriel touches and my wife is an even bigger fan (she didn't like it either), but this pushes the bounds even for me. It is such a hodgepodge of varying styles that no flow is given to the work as a whole. There are maybe 2 or 3 tracks even worth a listen, Peter's and the haunting track by Sinead. Spend your money elsewhere....more info
  • Peter Gabriel's big blue ball
    Having listened to the free samples, I can safely conclude that this figurative ball sack of songs is a mixed bag, as it were. The songs seem to be organized around the theme of being unable to satisfy one's deepest desire--hence, "Big Blue Ball"--and indeed, I walked away from the samples with a very real case of big blue balls (actually I merely rolled over). I wanted satisfaction but what I got only made me hurt more.

    However this veritable mid-life crisis of world music is notable for highlighting the barbaric chants and whoopings of primitive countries, which lends the album a certain poignancy. I cannot listen to certain tracks without being filled with great sadness that luxuries as simple as margarine or 80/20 polyester blends have yet to reach most of the developing world.

    In closing, I would advise Peter Gabriel to tackle a bigger subject next time--not to imply the size of Gabriel's own bullocks is somehow lacking, as I have no evidence despite years of unanswered fan letters in which this subject came up more than once....more info
  • PG comes through again
    I really enjoyed this CD. It's amazing how cohesive the disc is, given all the different time periods it was recorded in. A good idea during one session may not sound as good when you're adding to it 3 years later, but this collection contradicts that theory easily. All the tracks sound superb. I particularly like Whole Thing and the original version of Burn You Up, Burn You down. I have been a Peter Gabriel fan for decades, and I have yet to be let down by one of his releases. This is not totally a Gabriel disc, but there's enough of him on it to warrant adding it to my collection....more info
  • Not the best Gabriel album of all time, but it really isn't one
    If I were to rate this as a pure PG album, it would not be on the top of the list, but as a Gabriel inspired and directed project I think it does quite well. The semi-consistant world drum groove in the background of most of the tunes helps provide a general consistency and vibe to the whole album. Burn You Up Burn You Down is a fun tune, as is the title "whole thing". This seems like more of an album you have on in the background than one you actively listen to (like 3, security or melt), but Gabriel fans won't be disappointed, and by the time you get to "Big Blue Ball" at the end, the album will already feel like an old favorite....more info
  • It's not really what I hope at the first time......
    Well, I haven't paid attention to Peter Gabriel, but I'm a huge Sinead O'Connor's fan. After I listened to her song on this album, I can say that it's NOT really a good song. ...more info
  • Great Gabriel!
    Although not a "Peter Gabriel" album per se, this album bears his siganture handprint. From mystical to grinding, the tunes here will not disappoint. ...more info
  • World Music at it's Best
    this collection, albeit various artists and times, is quite riveting. I couldn't get it off my CD player for weeks...Every listen warranted a new attention to each song...The one constant I've learned from Peter Gabriel, you need to listen to him with a new ear. If your expecting more of the same, your not going to get it. I've always appreciated his boldness in being a pioneer in sounds, and his honesty in sharing himself. I share in his Dream of Us being One World...Idealism at it's best....more info
  • Big Blue Ball
    I've been a fan of Mr. Gabriel since he went solo a few decades ago. Without a doubt, he is a unique musical talent. This compilation CD is a nice addition to his repertoire. I'm particularly drawn to "Exit Through You", co-written with Joseph Arthur, and "Altus Silva", also written by Mr. Arthur and Iarla O' Lionaird. I just have one complaint with this CD-there aren't enough Peter Gabriel songs! Then again, one the many objectives of any artist is to"leave em wanting more."...more info