BACK CATALOGUE. Peter Gabriel ‘Melt’

Other than ‘Games Without Frontiers’, the only thing I knew about Peter Gabriel’s early work was that his album covers were weird and bizarre. The covers of his first four albums all seem to riff off 70s and 80s horror tropes – all disconnected, indistinct faces in one form or another. I’ve only recently started listening to these records, appreciating them for something other than the artwork. On this record (self-titled but colloquially known as “Melt” or “3”) Gabriel’s lyrics run across alienation, anxiety, dissent, voyeurism, war – all subjects that seem to say as much about 2017 as they do about 1980. The cover artwork photo is an analogue effect, created by disfiguring a Polaroid as it developed – a wonderfully 80s technique that we’d be hard pushed to replicate in the same ‘traditional’ way.