And I'll Scratch Yours

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And I'll Scratch Yours
Studio album by Various Artists
Released 24 September 2013
Recorded 2009–2013
Genre Art rock, progressive rock, worldbeat, experimental rock
Label Real World Records
Producer Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel chronology
Live Blood
(2012)
And I'll Scratch Yours
(2013)
I/O
(TBA)
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 63/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]
Pitchfork 4.9/10[3]

And I'll Scratch Yours (originally announced as I'll Scratch Yours) is a much-postponed concept album developed by British progressive rock musician Peter Gabriel. Initially slated for release in 2010, the album was released on 24 September 2013.

The original concept was that And I'll Scratch Yours would serve as a companion piece to Gabriel's 2010 covers album Scratch My Back. The idea was to give the artists whose songs Gabriel covered on Scratch My Back a medium to reciprocate – And I'll Scratch Yours would feature those artists covering Gabriel's songs. However, several of the artists ultimately declined to record covers of Gabriel's material. The release version of the album deviated from its initial concept in having two new artists (Feist and Joseph Arthur) contributing covers to the album.

Album history[edit]

And I'll Scratch Yours was originally announced and scheduled for release in 2010, but several artists failed to deliver material as promised, or declined to participate in the project altogether. The album was subsequently postponed, though six tracks from it were released on iTunes between January and June 2010, and two of those tracks have also appeared on vinyl, as B-sides. In October 2011, Gabriel stated that he had "given up" waiting for the remaining artists to contribute to the project, and was looking to have other artists record cover material so that he could release And I'll Scratch Yours sometime "next year" (i.e., 2012). Eventually, Feist and Joseph Arthur were recruited to cover for some of the missing artists, and the album was announced for release on 23 September 2013.

Tracks released in 2010[edit]

Twelve artists were covered by Gabriel on the Scratch My Back album; 13 if one includes the cover of The Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset" (written by Ray Davies) on the limited edition bonus disc. However, only six artists originally submitted reciprocal covers of Gabriel material in connection with I'll Scratch Yours. Gabriel originally intended to release Scratch My Back and I'll Scratch Yours simultaneously,[4] but as completion of the latter dragged out, it was instead decided to release a series of double A-sided singles with one song from each album every new full moon during 2010 on iTunes.[5] In order of release, the I'll Scratch Yours tracks were:

"Not One of Us" – Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields); 30 January 2010
"Biko" – Paul Simon; 28 February
"Come Talk to Me" – Bon Iver; 30 March
"Solsbury Hill" – Lou Reed; 28 April
"Mercy Street" – Elbow; 27 May
"I Don't Remember" – David Byrne (of Talking Heads); 26 June

On 17 April 2010 "The Book of Love" (by Gabriel) b/w "Not One of Us" (by Merritt) as well as "Flume" (by Gabriel) b/w "Come Talk to Me" (by Bon Iver) were also released on 7" vinyl to independent record stores.[6]

Later developments[edit]

Of the seven remaining artists covered on Scratch My Back, four (Radiohead, David Bowie, Neil Young, Ray Davies) ultimately declined to participate in the I'll Scratch Yours project.

It was reported[7] on a January 2010 Peter Gabriel podcast that Radiohead would be covering "Wallflower" from Gabriel's fourth self-titled album. However, Gabriel subsequently reported in an interview in The Guardian that Radiohead had withdrawn from the project since hearing his version of their song "Street Spirit".[8]

David Bowie and Neil Young also declined to record a Gabriel song. Brian Eno, the co-writer of David Bowie's "Heroes", covered "Mother of Violence" in Bowie's stead.

Regina Spektor, Randy Newman and Arcade Fire did ultimately submit material to the project, albeit later than expected. In an October 2011 interview published in Rolling Stone, Gabriel said, "I've sort of given up waiting for the others ... So now I think that I might try to find three or four other people to cover my stuff so that I can make an album out of that, and then get that out next year in some form."[9]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Peter Gabriel except "Mother of Violence", written by Peter Gabriel and Jill Gabriel.

No. Title Performer Length
1. "I Don't Remember"   David Byrne 3:38
2. "Come Talk to Me"   Bon Iver 6:20
3. "Blood of Eden"   Regina Spektor 4:39
4. "Not One of Us"   Stephin Merritt 3:49
5. "Shock the Monkey"   Joseph Arthur 5:49
6. "Big Time"   Randy Newman 3:29
7. "Games Without Frontiers"   Arcade Fire 3:22
8. "Mercy Street"   Elbow 5:28
9. "Mother of Violence"   Brian Eno 3:00
10. "Don't Give Up"   Feist feat. Timber Timbre 5:28
11. "Solsbury Hill"   Lou Reed 5:24
12. "Biko"   Paul Simon 4:19
Total length:
54:50

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Peter Gabriel Tribute Album: And I'll Scratch Yours". Metacritic. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. And I'll Scratch Yours at AllMusic. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  3. ^ Deusner, Stephen M. "Peter Gabriel | And I'll Scratch Yours". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Jon Pareles (1 March 2010). "Peter Gabriel Says, 'I'll Sing Yours, You Sing Mine'". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  5. ^ McCormick, Neil (11 February 2010). "Peter Gabriel: Scratch My Back, CD review". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  6. ^ "2 'Scratch' 7-inch singles for Record Store Day". Petergabriel.com. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  7. ^ News Archive | Radiohead to cover Peter Gabriel's 'Wallflower' ateaseweb.com
  8. ^ Rogers, Jude (2 June 2010). "Peter Gabriel: 'It doesn't have anything to do with witchcraft!'". The Guardian (London). 
  9. ^ Peter Gabriel: Story That Bruce Springsteen Was Inspiration for 'Solsbury Hill' Is 'Hogwash' | Music News | Rolling Stone