Peter Gabriel’s ground breaking video for the song ‘Sledgehammer’ has been newly remastered in high definition 4K by the team at Aardman and premieres from today on Apple Music.
Aardman have used the original negatives for the remastering, working through the 2,000ft of film that was shot for the video. The end result of this meticulous process gives the new version of ‘Sledgehammer’ the high definition clarity of 4K whilst remaining true to the vision of director Stephen R. Johnson and the spirit and distinctive look of the original video.
“The remastered video looks fantastic. It brought it all back to life.”
‘Sledgehammer’ was the lead single from Peter’s fifth solo album, So and its accompanying video became the most played video ever on MTV and won a raft of awards including nine MTV Video Music Awards including Video of the Year and Best British Video at the Brit Awards in 1987.
“No-one expected it to do quite what it did” says Peter, “I think we knew that it was very fresh, and that mix of hand made with its imperfections, when everything else was getting smoothed out and digitised, really made it stand out”.
David Sproxton, co-founder of Aardman, agrees; “One of the things we love about ‘Sledgehammer’ is that it did have that slightly rough edge. CGI was just coming in so we were seeing some quite slick stuff coming out and this video had a different feel, a different roughness and a kind of magic to it.”
The success of the song, its video and the So album propelled Peter into the music mainstream. “It was my time in the sun as a pop star,” he says “which wasn’t my natural place but I thoroughly enjoyed it at the time,” whilst it also had a profound effect on Aardman too. “It was an extra-ordinary conversation starter,” says David Sproxton, “a fantastic door opener from our point of view and a great calling card, that had an impact on our career.”