Peter Gabriel Releases Big Blue Ball
It’s been seventeen years since musician Peter Gabriel announced his decision to start making his multi-lingual, multi-cultural album, but “Big Blue Ball” has finally been released. The album, which he began back in 1991, has taken so long to get done that many fans have either forgotten about it or thought the project was a write-off.
When you consider everything else Peter Gabriel has been up to, it seems hard to believe that he has not only just finished a stunning and impressive new album, but that he’s been able to release four other music collections in the interim. For the past seventeen years he’s been dead-set on making a difference in the world and he’s been making some impressive headway in this regard. For starters he assembled “The Elders” – a group of veteran world leaders who use their collective experience to try to help solve some of the social and political problems that face our globe. There are about a dozen men who make up the group, which includes Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan and Nelson Mandela. He’s also been hard at work nurturing the WOMAD (world music and dance) festival which he started in 1982, as well as starting a lifestyle-driven site called The Filter. His innovative download website, www.We7.com, has also turned heads. All these things have taken a lot of Peter Gabriel’s time and energy so it’s no wonder that his “Big Blue Ball” project took the back burner for a while. But he never gave up on the idea and eventually decided to dive right in and get the project well underway.
Gabriel got a lot of the leg-work done for the new album by opening the doors of his studio for a week at a time, 24 hours a day, for four years. This enabled various musicians from around the globe who were invited to participate in WOMAD to collaborate and create new sounds and ideas without being limited by anything. The results are simply amazing. The creative, collaborative “Big Blue Ball” project features songs in a variety of languages including Arabic, Hungarian, Swahili, Madagascan and Congolese. There are collaborations between Gabriel and the Holmes Brothers, Iarla O Lionaird, Joji Hirota and Sinead O’Connor. The entire project seems to clearly reflect the one-world concept behind the project with an eclectic and rhythmic pulse. “Big Blue Ball” was released on June 24 and should be flying off CD stands at a shop near you soon.