Something Else! sneak peek: Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes” (1986; 2012 reissue)

Peter Gabriel’s exhaustive new So: 25th Anniversary Immersion Box includes an engaging disc called “SO DNA,” which follows the songs’ creative process from initial demo versions through to final takes. Listen in as he develops “In Your Eyes.”

The track begins with a ebullient bounce, almost like a reggae number. That island vibe fits more snugly with Youssou N’Dour’s chirping vocals, and it actually takes away some of their juxtapositional force — likely prompting Gabriel’s eventual turn away from this treatment.

Later, Gabriel is heard working through the lyrics, alone at the piano, and “In Your Eyes” even then has a turbulent emotional pull. Only the faintest outlines of the song’s finished form exists, though already Gabriel’s building toward its now-familiar anthematic ending.

Then, there’s a much more rhythmically focused take, with the now almost-completed lyrics presented with an echo-filled poignancy. At this point, “In Your Eyes” appears to be essentially finished, save for remixing and the final vocal take, until Gabriel gets to the second verse — where he’s still improvising some of the words.

Gabriel continues experimenting with the vocal interplay, and later deletes a final verse — one that turns out to be both urgent and deeply emotional. That’s all part of the fascinating journey here, and a must-have for fans looking to gain new insights into the former Genesis frontman’s most celebrated solo release.

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So (25th Anniversary Immersion Box)Peter Gabriel: So Classic Album [Blu-ray]So (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)Peter Gabriel 1-3 [Car/Scratch/Melt] - Picture Discs

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso