Don’t Give Up

Released 27th October, 1986

The second single to be taken from Peter’s fifth solo album So, Don’t Give Up sees Peter dueting with Kate Bush, and was released on 27 October 1986.

Written by Peter Gabriel, the song was produced by Daniel Lanois and Peter and engineered by Kevin Killen and Lanois and features the guest vocals of Kate Bush. Bush had previously provided vocals for the tracks Games Without Frontiers and No Self Control on Peter’s third solo album.

The song was inspired by a Dorothea Lange photograph, but was also informed by the high levels of unemployment under the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher of the 1980s, as Peter told the NME at the time of the release of So:

“The catalyst for ‘Don’t Give Up’ was a photograph I saw by Dorothea Lange, inscribed ‘In This Proud Land’, which showed the dust-bowl conditions during the Great Depression in America. Without a climate of self-esteem it’s impossible to function”

The cover was designed by Peter Saville and Brett Wickens for Peter Saville Associates, with photography by Trevor Key.

The single first charted in the UK on 1 November 1986, peaked at 9 and stayed in the Top75 for 11 weeks

The accompanying video for Don’t Give Up was directed by Godley and Creme.

Originally, Peter had Dolly Parton in mind to sing the duet of Don’t Give Up. In 2011 he told The Quietus:

“Because there was [a] reference point of American roots music in it when I first wrote it, it was suggested that Dolly Parton sing on it. But Dolly turned it down… and I’m glad she did because what Kate did on it is brilliant. It’s an odd song, a number of people have written to me and said they didn’t commit suicide because they had that song on repeat and obviously you don’t think about things like that when you’re writing them. But obviously a lot of the power of the song came from the way that Kate sings it.”

The single was released on a number of formats in the UK:

7″
Don’t Give Up
In Your Eyes – special mix

7″ Limited edition fold-out poster sleeve and video still poster
Don’t Give Up
In Your Eyes – special mix

12″
Don’t Give Up
In Your Eyes – special mix
This Is The Picture (excellent birds)