To Classic Albums newcomers, the franchise delivers the “definitive authorised story” of a culture-shaking disc in feature-length form, relying on video clips, concert footage and many a talking-head interview from the talents who were there, on both sides of the studio glass. In this case, that includes Gabriel, other musicians, members of the tech team and a Rolling Stone critic.
Their collective recollections and revelations include that “Red Rain” was the toughest track to tackle; that “Sledgehammer,” one of the biggest hits of the decade, was a complete accident; and that “Don’t Give Up,” the album’s gorgeous duet with Kate Bush, originally was intended to pair Gabriel with country queen Dolly Parton.
If you’re a fan of the record, you’ll appreciate the information given, and the swift yet relaxed manner in which it’s packaged. —Rod Lott