Biko

Released 9th November, 1987

Biko, originally from Peter’s third self-titled album, was re-released in November 1987 to coincide with the release of the film Cry Freedom.

On the single’s cover art Peter explained in more detail why the song was being re-issued:

Stephen Biko had the courage to work and speak out for justice in South Africa, a country that still has racism written into its constitution. He created the Black Consciousness Movement of Azania giving a real sense of community and purpose to many who had been denied the most basic of human rights.

Many believe this warm, articulate and inspiring man was destined to become a great statesman. He was imprisoned, tortured and killed in 1977.

Sir Richard Attenborough has made a very moving film about Stephen Biko and his relationship with Donald Woods, ‘Cry Freedom’. This record is be re-released to help the film make his name better known and to draw attention to what is still going on in the name of apartheid.

Written by Peter Gabriel the single features a live version of the song recorded at The Blossom Music Centre, Cleveland on 27th July 1987 by Kevin Killen and Randy Ezratty on Effanel Music Mobile.
Mixed at Real World Studios, Box, England and produced by Kevin Killen and Peter Gabriel. Engineered by David Bottrill.

Sleeve design by Brett Wickens at Peter Saville Associates, London.

First charted in the UK 21 November 1987, peaked at 49 and stayed in the Top75 for 6 weeks.

The B-side track No More Apartheid was written by Little Steven and performed by Peter Gabriel, Shankar and Little Steven.
Produced by Little Steven and Arthur Baker it was taken from the LP Sun City Artists Against Apartheid.

The single was released on various formats in the UK:

7″ / 12″ / Cassette
Biko
No More Apartheid

CD
Biko
No More Apartheid
I Have the Touch 85 remix

On 25 November 1987 Peter was a guest on the BBC TV programme ‘Wogan’ alongside Donald Woods and his wife Wendy. Donald’s book ‘Biko’ had formed part of the inspiration for the song as well as the basis for the film ‘Cry Freedom’.

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