Despite a lengthy career as the frontman of Genesis and four self-titled solo albums, Peter Gabriel really didn't hit the "big time" until he released his first album that didn't include his name as part of the title. That was 1986's So.
To date, So is still the best-selling album of Gabriel's career and is on plenty of top album lists, which is probably why the title received the Classic Albums treatment. Peter Gabriel - Classic Albums: So is a wonderful 94-minute documentary that goes into great detail about the project. So was a full year in the making, so there are a lot of stores about what was going on behind the music (and in front of it, too).
Classic Albums: So is broken down by song, which makes for a nice flow and gives you a personalized peek into each one of the tracks. There are a lot of interesting little tidbits (like how Gabriel wrote "Don't Give Up" with Dolly Parton in mind) and many of the interviews are told like the whole thing just happened yesterday. Speaking of which, you can expect to hear a little something from almost everyone that touched this classic album, includng Gabriel himself, as well as musicians Tony Levin, Manu Katche and Laurie Anderson, engineer Kevin Killen and producer Daniel Lanois.
Like many Eagle Rock titles, this release comes packing a 1080i 1.78:1 image. Some of the old photos and concert footage look as it good as it can. However, the bulk of the release is newer interviews, which were all shot in HD. Colors are great and there's some nice detail during those up-close segments. It's not exactly the type of film that demands high-def, but fans should be pretty pleased with this nice presentation.
Despite being about music, dialogue is really the main focus here. Maybe that's why Eagle Rock only included a lone LPCM Stereo track. It works just fine for the interviews and the few musical blips that pop up during the documentary.
If you were wondering why "Big Time" didn't get a few minutes in the main film, you're going to be happy with the extras. That track gets a spotlight, as does the making of the "Sledgehammer" video. Otherwise, there are also two other additional outtakes featured here.
So was the pinnacle of Peter Gabriel's career -- which is really saying something. Besides bringing him into the mainstream, it helped fuel MTV when music videos really meant something (and were actually shown). Peter Gabriel - Classic Albums: So does a great job at letting fans peek into a classic album and process behind it, making this an absolute must for fans.
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