Big Time (Peter Gabriel song)

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"Big Time"
Single by Peter Gabriel
from the album So
B-side "Curtains" (UK), "We do what we're told" (US)
Released 1986 (1986) (US), January 1987 (1987-01) (UK)
Format 7", 12", Cassette, CD
Recorded 1985
Genre New wave, funk rock
Length 4:26 (6:14 Extended version)
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Peter Gabriel
Producer(s) Daniel Lanois
Peter Gabriel singles chronology
"Don't Give Up"
(1986)
"Big Time"
(1986)
"In Your Eyes"
(1986)

"Big Time" is a song by Peter Gabriel from his 1986 album So. It was his second top-ten single on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #8.[1]

Music[edit]

"Big Time" alternates mode between A♭ minor (Aeolian) in the chorus and A♭ Dorian during the verses and is played at the speed of 116 bpm. The song’s bass guitar part is unique in that backing bassist Tony Levin and then-backing drummer Jerry Marotta teamed up for the main bassline. Using one of Levin’s fretless basses, Levin handled the fingerings while Marotta hit his drumsticks on the strings, which is why the bass part sounds percussive. Inspired by this sound, Levin later invented Funk Fingers, which were little drumstick ends that could be attached to the fingers to achieve a similar bass guitar effect in concert. Police drummer Stewart Copeland plays drums on the song.

Personnel[edit]

Music video[edit]

Gabriel, successful after his smash hit "Sledgehammer", used the similarly up-tempo "Big Time" to create another visually stunning video. The visual style was very similar to the "Sledgehammer" video, using stop motion claymation by David Daniels, and strata-cut animation. The larger video was supervised by Director Steven Johnson, Produced by Prudence Fenton, shot at Peter Wallach Studios, and graphic designer Wayne White contributed heavily as well.

Song information[edit]

"Curtains" is the title of the B-side to the "Big Time" single, as well as the B-side to the "Don't Give Up" single. It was used many years later in several re-recorded versions in the 2004 Ubisoft game Myst IV: Revelation.

Track listing[edit]

7" UK

  1. Big Time (7" edit)
  2. Curtains

12" UK

  1. Big Time (extended version)
  2. Big Time (7" edit)
  3. Curtains

Cassette single UK

  1. Big Time (extended version)
  2. Curtains
  3. No Self Control (live version)
  4. Across the river

CD-single UK

  1. Big Time (extended version)
  2. Curtains
  3. No Self Control
  4. Across the river
  5. Big Time (7" edit)

7" USA

  1. Big Time
  2. We do what we're told

12" USA

  1. Big Time (dance mix)
  2. In Your Eyes (special mix)
  3. We do what we're told

Remixes[edit]

Along with the two mixes found on different versions of the single, Big Time has been officially remixed by Electrokingdom. Although reputed to be more numerous, four mixes (Main Mix - Club Mix - Dub Mix - Acoustic Mix) can be downloaded on legal platforms.

Other[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. p. 160. ISBN 0-87586-207-1. 

External links[edit]