Album review: Peter Gabriel etc, And I'll Scratch Yours (Real World)


The reciprocal half of Gabriel’s I’ll-cover-yours-if-you’ll-cover-mine project Scratch My Back, in which his correspondents respond to his proposition by covering PG songs in return - a round dozen of them, including “Biko”, “Shock the Monkey” and, ill-advisedly, “Don’t Give Up”.

So you need a list … David Byrne, Bon Iver, Regina Spektor, Randy Newman, Arcade Fire, Elbow, Feist, Paul Simon: a noble array. And interestingly, very few of them add anything much at all to the original versions, which may be out of reverence or it may be a testament to the fierce identities of the songs themselves.

Only one contributor goes totally off-piste. Lou Reed. Who compresses the curvature of "Solsbury Hill" into a distorto-dirge.