Big Blue Ball is 10

Peter Gabriel and Papa Wemba at Real World Recording Week 1992 by Stephen Lovell-Davis

Originally released on 28 July 2008, the Big Blue Ball album is ten years old this week. A notable landmark for an album that grew out of three extraordinary Recording Weeks at Real World Studios in the summers of 1991, 1992 and 1995, but then took another twelve years to see the light of day.

The project’s originators and curators were Real World founder Peter Gabriel and Karl Wallinger of World Party and The Waterboys fame, but the record features contributions from an amazingly eclectic list of musicians who epitomise the spirit of the Recording Weeks. Artists such as Tim Finn, Francis Bebey, Hossam Ramzy, Papa Wemba, Vernon Reid, Hukwe Zawose, Justin Adams, Guo Yue, Joji Hirota, Manu Katché, Iarla Ó Lionáird and Sinead O’Connor are all present on the record… along with many more.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary an edit of the album’s first track ‘Whole Thing’, that features Peter on vocals, is being made available digitally for the very first time, alongside a remix of the track by Adrian Sherwood and Jazzwad that has been unavailable in recent years. The album is also being made available in high-resolution audio 24bit/48khz for the very first time via the Real World Records Bandcamp page.

Delve deeper into the Big Blue Ball project in this piece ‘10 Years of Big Blue Ball: the sound of the world playing together’ by writer Tim Cumming.

Listen on streaming services or buy the hi-res album

Rossy, Karl Wallinger and Peter Gabriel at Real World Recording Week 1991 by Pete Williams