He also collaborated with Laurie Anderson on two versions of her composition "Excellent Birds" - one for her album, Mister Heartbreak, and a slightly different version called This is the Picture which appeared on cassette and CD versions of So. In 1987, when presenting Gabriel with an award for his music videos, Anderson related an occasion in which a recording session had gone late into the night and Gabriel's voice began to sound somewhat strange, almost dreamlike. It was discovered that he had fallen asleep in front of the microphone, but had continued to sing.
Unusually, in 1998 Gabriel appeared on the soundtrack of Babe: Pig in the City, not as a composer, but as the singer of the song "That'll Do", written by Randy Newman. The song was nominated for an Academy Award, and Gabriel and Newman performed it at the following year's Oscar telecast. Many who saw him on that broadcast didn't recognize him, since his hair had greyed and thinned since his most recent tour several years earlier.
Gabriel has also appeared on Robbie Robertson's self-titled album, and co-wrote two Tom Robinson singles.
WOMAD and other projects
Gabriel has been interested in world music for many years, with the first musical evidence appearing on his third album. This influence has increased over time, and he is the driving force behind the WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) movement. He created the Real World Studios and record label to facilitate the creation and distribution of such music by various artists, and he has worked to educate Western culture about the work of such musicians as Yungchen Lhamo, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Youssou N'dour. He has also recently been interested in multimedia projects, creating the Xplora and Eve CD-ROMs. He has a long-standing interest in human rights, and launched Witness , a nonprofit which supplies video cameras to human rights activists to expose abuses.
Gabriel's song "We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37)" from So refers to Milgram's experiment, and in particular the 37 out of 40 subjects who showed complete obedience in one particular experiment.
He was one of the founders of On Demand Distribution (OD2), one of the first online music download services. Its technology is used by MSN Music UK and others, and has become the dominant music download technology platform for stores in Europe. OD2 was bought by US company Loudeye in June of 2004.
Additionally, Gabriel is also co-founder (with Brian Eno) of a musicians union called Mudda, short for "magnificent union of digitally downloading artists."
In June 2005, Gabriel and broadcast industry entrepreneur David Engelke purchased Solid State Logic, a leading manufacturer of mixing consoles and digital audio workstations.
Recently, Peter Gabriel has been working with video game companies Cyan Worlds and Ubisoft to aid in the sound production of their latest video games. The 2003 videogame Uru: Ages Beyond Myst featured the song "Burn You Up, Burn You Down" in several portions of the game. The song, in a different mix, features the Blind Boys of Alabama (who also collaborated with Gabriel on the song "Sky Blue") and was on a press release copy of Up, but deleted before the album's actual release.
Gabriel played on stage with Cat Stevens 33 years after having played on Stevens' Mona Bone Jakon album. The event happened in Johannesburg during Nelson Mandela's 46664 concert. The two British artists performed Stevens' old hit "Wild World".
The 2004 release of Myst IV: Revelation (developed by Ubisoft Montreal) featured a song called "Curtains", originally a B-side from the single to "Big Time" from So. The song, slightly remixed from its original version, is also often called 'Portal to Serenia' or 'Portal to Dreamworld'. Gabriel also performs a large voice acting part in the game.
Also in 2004, Gabriel performed a cover version of "The Book of Love," a song by The Magnetic Fields, on the soundtrack to the film Shall We Dance?. He compered and performed at the Eden Project Live 8 concert in July 2005. A DVD of this show has already been released.
With his most recent release being 2003's Hit compilation, fans await Gabriel's next project, rumoured to be titled I/O. It currently has no release date.
Peter Gabriel has two daughters from his first marriage to wife Jill: Melanie and Anna. Melanie was a backing vocalist during Gabriel's 2002 Growing Up tour, and Anna filmed a documentary of that same tour, called Growing Up On Tour: A Family Portrait, currently available on DVD. Gabriel and his second wife, Maebh, had a son, Isaac, in 2002.
A new double DVD set, Peter Gabriel Live & Unwrapped, was released on October 24th, 2005.
The next DVD release will be the concert film POV (Point Of View) - previously available on VHS. It is getting the full 5.1 remix treatment at the moment in his Realworld studios.
FIFA, the international football governing body, asked Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno to organize an opening ceremony for the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals in Germany, planned to take place a couple of days before the actual start of the tournament's matches. The man who only recently became a fan of the game and European champions Liverpool was working on songs for the show in Berlin's Olympic Stadium, although the show was cancelled in January 2006 by FIFA due to going overbudget and supposed lack of interest, though the official explanation was potential damage to the pitch.
Rumours of a possible reunion of the classic Genesis line-up have also been circulating, since Phil Collins stated in an interview that he is open to the idea of sitting back behind the drums and "let Peter be the singer." The classic line-up has only reformed for a live performance once before, in 1982. However, the group did work together to create a new version of an old Genesis song The Carpet Crawlers 1999 which was released on theGenesis Hits record. Supposedly the new version was very hard to put together. On December 1, 2005, Genesis issued a statement saying the band has no plans to perform and that for at least the next year the issue will not be revisited.
Gabriel's song "Big Time" is the official theme song of World Wrestling Entertainment's WrestleMania 22.
Gabriel performed John Lennon's "Imagine" at the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy on February 10, 2006.
Cingular Wireless has aired commercials featuring Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill."
Main article: Peter Gabriel discography
" 1977 Peter Gabriel (I or Car, wet car cover)
" 1978 Peter Gabriel (II or Scratch, scratch cover)
" 1980 Peter Gabriel (III or Melt, melting face cover)
" 1980 Ein Deutsches Album (German language version of III)
" 1982 Peter Gabriel (IV, known as Security in the USA)
" 1982 Deutsches Album (German language version of IV; some remixes)
" 1983 Plays Live
" 1985 Birdy: soundtrack from the film "Birdy"
" 1986 So
" 1989 Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ
" 1990 Shaking the Tree (compilation)
" 1992 Us
" 1992 Revisited (compilation)
" 1994 Secret World Live
" 2000 OVO
" 2002 Long Walk Home: Music from the Rabbit-Proof Fence
" 2002 Up
" 2003 Hit (compilation)