To be perfectly honest, Peter Gabriel pretty much escaped my listening ears throughout most of the 1980s. The reason was that by 1983, I was a full fledged metalhead and he was too soft for me. Sure, I heard some of his stuff compliments of radio, including, “Shock the Monkey,” the big hit from this album, “Security” and his 1980 hit, “Games Without Frontiers” continues to be my favourite song of his. It wasn’t until 1990, when my then wife, asked for his “Greatest Hits” album for Christmas, that I really started listening to him and that is the reason why I am posting about the “Security” album now.
This album is further proof that I might be mellowing with age a bit. I stress, a bit, just play a Slayer album and that will reinforce it. “Security” is a good progressive rock/new wave album. Note: I only call it new wave because to ignorant American record executives, anything that didn’t sound mainstream was branded such in 1983. Anyway, “Security” opens very mysteriously with “The Rhythm of the Heat,” where a subtle keyboard intro grabs your attention and fortunately, the song is strong enough to keep it. I especially like what they do with the drums at the end of the song. Those heavy drums appear again in the third track, “I Have the Touch” and are done just as nicely. Sandwiched between those two songs is the rather interesting “San Jacinto.” Listening to it, especially with the repeated lyric, “Hold the Line,” I ask myself if this song is about the battle in 1836 that gave Texas its independence from Mexico. I wonder because I’ve just finished watching the series of “Texas Rising.” Still, it’s probably the hardest song on the album, I do hear guitars on it.
Things seem to slow down after “Shock the Monkey.” The remaining songs aren’t as catchy as their predecessors but still worth listening to. “Lay Your Hands on Me” has some good moments with the chorus and what becomes the trademark heavy drums. The two combine to close out the song very memorably.
One label you can not give to this album is synth pop. Sure, keyboards dominate the album but they’re done very well. Peter Gabriel shows that he is a true talent with the songs on it, both as a singer and as a writer, leaving me to agree with several people who claim that the true talent went when he left Genesis. Having been given the “And Then There Were Three” album in 1983, I would be inclined to agree.
- The Rhythm of the Heat
- San Jacinto
- I Have the Touch
- The Family and the Fishing Net
- Shock the Monkey
- Lay Your Hands on Me
- Kiss of Life
Peter Gabriel- vocals, electric piano, programming
Tony Levin- bass, stick
David Rhodes- guitar
Jerry Marotta- drums, percussion
Larry Fast- synthesizers
I won’t say that I’m fully converted to Peter Gabriel, but I do like this album. With what was to pass as mainstream in the golden decade, I am glad to discover that there were some artists who played true progressive rock without selling out, unlike Gabriel’s previous band.
Next post: The Police- Synchronicity
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