“There’s a purity, a strength to the songs individual enough to mark Gabriel out as a man whose creative zenith is close at hand” – NME
Recorded over the winter of 1977-78 in the Netherlands and New York City, the second self-titled album (aka ‘Scratch’, on account of the cover photography) saw light of day the following spring. Robert Fripp, the guitarist on the first record, was promoted to the producer’s chair, stewarding the recording sessions and trying to impose discipline on Peter’s working practices.
Fripp also continued to feed Peter’s growing fascination with electronics, most notably on the track Exposure where the producer’s own particular tape-looping technique (dubbed Frippertronics) came to the fore. A denser, more experimental album, it failed to yield a hit single like its predecessor’s Solsbury Hill, but nonetheless found a place in the top ten of the UK album charts.
“Robert Fripp was very keen to speed up my recording process, as many people have since tried and failed. But he got closest to it. We started to get to know each other a lot more as musicians. There were less people in the studio and, in this isolated environment of the Dutch studio, we started to interact in a different way. I think some of the band chemistry started to form.
“The tour for this record was one in which we were all dressed in sort of roadworkers’ fluorescents. We used to do a sort of punk version of Whiter Shade Of Pale, which has probably safely eroded in the mists of time.”