On its release in September 1982, Peter’s fourth and final self-titled album (aka ‘Security’) flew into the UK top ten, while the single Shock The Monkey gave Peter his first top 30 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
Produced by himself at home at Ashcombe House (with the assistance of recording engineer David Lord), this was the first album where Peter really immersed himself in the music of distant lands and cultures, be they from Ghana, Ethiopia, Bali or the Australian Outback. As Peter’s first fully digital recording, ‘Security’ was – in its deeply effective soldering-together of futurism and generations-old tradition – a significant marker of the artistry yet to come. The album was played live on the final night of the first WOMAD Festival in 1982, with assistance from Police drummer Stewart Copeland and sitar legend Ravi Shankar.
“I’d been dreaming for some time of an instrument that could sample stuff from the real world and then make it available on a keyboard. Larry Fast [a regular keyboard player for Peter] told me that he’d heard rumours of such an instrument. It was called a Fairlight and cost £10,000, which seemed an unearthly amount of money. But I got very excited by this thing and spent a lot of time collecting sounds, going to factories and the university, getting interesting samples that were then used on that record and the ones after. It was really one of the key things that gave that record a different sound.
“Most people saw Shock The Monkey as a sort of animal rights song. But it was actually a song about jealousy.”