Up (Peter Gabriel album)

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Up - Peter Gabriel.jpg
Studio album by Peter Gabriel
Released 23 September 2002
Recorded April 1995 – October 1998
(Principal recording),
Early 2000 – April 2002
(Additional recording)
Genre Progressive rock, art rock, electronic rock, industrial rock, downtempo, worldbeat
Length 66:40
Label Geffen (US & Canada), Virgin
Producer Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel chronology
Long Walk Home: Music from the Rabbit-Proof Fence
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (74/100)[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]
Entertainment.ie 4/5 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly A−[4]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[5]
Pitchfork Media (7.2/10)[6]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[7]

Up (2002) is the seventh studio and 13th album overall released by the British musician Peter Gabriel.


In the Spring of 1995, Gabriel began work on the album. Its name was Up from the start, though at one point the name I/O was considered. Gabriel began saying the album was near completion somewhere around 1998 but did not release it until September 2002. In the months preceding the album's release, video clips of Gabriel talking about the songs as well as short demos of each song were released at the coming of every full moon on Gabriel's official website.


The album's lyrics deal mostly with birth and especially death. The opening track, "Darkness", is a song about overcoming fears. "Growing Up" is a summation of life put to a pulsating beat. "Sky Blue" is a track Gabriel claimed to have been working on for 10 years before finishing it. The track "No Way Out" is the first track to deal with death solely, though death is a common theme across the entire album. "I Grieve" was conceived after Gabriel looked over his catalogue of music as if it were a catalogue of emotional tools. He found one major missing tool to be one to cope with death and therefore "I Grieve" was born. Gabriel performed the song live on the television show Larry King Weekend on the one-year anniversary of September 11 attacks in the U.S., during which Gabriel said that his two daughters were living in New York City and he could not contact them for some time, and that this song was for people who did not hear anything from their relatives then.[8] It was not, however, written specifically for 9/11, having appeared on the City of Angels soundtrack in 1998 (in an earlier version) and performed live prior to 9/11.

The first single from Up, "The Barry Williams Show" is a down-beat, jazzy song dealing with reality talk shows such as Jerry Springer (in fact, The Brady Bunch star Barry Williams appeared as an audience member in the Sean Penn-directed music video for the song).

The second single, "More than This" is one of the more upbeat songs from the album. The song wonders over there being something more to life. The song "Signal to Noise" was a challenge for Gabriel because the guest vocalist for the track, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, died. All that was left to work with were recordings from a live performance of an early version of the song at the VH1 Witness show on 28 April 1996. Finally, "The Drop" consists of only Gabriel and a Bösendorfer grand piano.

Other information[edit]

Many artists, including Trent Reznor and Elbow, remixed the tracks. These remixes were included as b-sides to the singles.

The album cover pictures five water drops in a diagonal line, over a blurred background of Gabriel's face. Each drop contains a refracted image of Gabriel's face.

The song "I Grieve" is (in an earlier version) on the soundtrack from City of Angels (1998), as well as featuring in the Smallville episode "Reckoning" and the episode "Found" of NCIS: Los Angeles. An instrumental version of "Signal to Noise" appeared on the soundtrack from Gangs of New York (2002).

An instrumental version of "Darkness", entitled "Darker Star", was used as the theme song to sci-fi TV show Starhunter 2300.

The Tarja Turunen album Colours in the Dark includes a cover version of "Darkness".

The album is available in stereo on CD & vinyl while Surround Sound versions are encoded in Super Audio CD, and DTS DVD-A.

The album, in a similar fashion to the earlier Us, used specially commissioned artwork representing each song, which was reproduced in the CD, vinyl, DVD-A, and SACD packaging. In this case the medium chosen was photography. Pictures are by Arno Rafael Minkkinen for "Darkness", M. Richard Kirstel for "Growing up", Shomei Tomatsu for "Sky Blue" and "I Grieve", Mari Mahr for "No Way Out", Paul Thorel for "The Barry Williams Show", Granular-Synthesis (Kurt Hentschläger and Ulf Langheinrich) for "My Head Sounds Like That", Susan Derges for "More Than This", Michal Rovner for "Signal to Noise", Adam Fuss for "The Drop."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Peter Gabriel.

  1. "Darkness" – 6:51
  2. "Growing Up" – 7:33
  3. "Sky Blue" – 6:37
  4. "No Way Out" – 7:53
  5. "I Grieve" – 7:25
  6. "The Barry Williams Show" – 7:16
  7. "My Head Sounds Like That" – 6:29
  8. "More than This" – 6:02
  9. "Signal to Noise" – 7:36
  10. "The Drop" – 2:59




Year Chart Position
2002 Polish Albums Chart[9] 4
2002 UK Album Chart 11
2002 US Billboard 200 9
2002 Billboard Top Canadian Albums 2
2002 Billboard Top Internet Albums 9
2002 Italy FIMI official Albums charts 1


Organization Level Date
BPI – UK Silver 18 October 2002
CRIA – Canada Gold 23 July 2003


External links[edit]