Various Artists – And I’ll Scratch Yours

I have to admit that tribute albums are not usually my piece of cake. And I’ll Scratch Yours is the exception that proves the rule. I recommend it to any music fan and especially one of Peter Gabriel. Maybe the key is the fact that the man himself put together the album. Gabriel selected all the acts performing covers of his songs. Makes sense when you think of it in that who would know better which act would bring something great to a song than the performer themselves? It is also a tit for tat kind of situation in that in 2010 he released a cover album featuring songs by his favourite acts called Scratch My Back. Now those same artists are covering his songs. A warning is that a few artists were not available for the reciprocation like Radiohead, David Bowie, Neil Young and Ray Davies), but the talent here is still astonishing. A sampling of the artists you get are Montreal darlings Arcade Fire, Paul Simon, David Byrne, Lou Reed, Feist and Randy Newman. Two of the best are Arcade Fire (totally surprising as I am not usually a fan) faithful rendition of one of my all-time Gabriel faves, “Games Without Frontiers” and a haunting (because of his recent death) Lou Reed fuzzy guitar take on “Solsbury Hill”. Reed has totally changed the song though still managed to produce something wonderful. With the diversity of acts on the album you get a wide variety of musical styles and all are great.

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