Peter Gabriel: Don’t Give Up (1986)

Don’t Give Up (Version 1)

Don’t Give Up (version 2)

Don’t Give Up (Secret World Live with Paula Cole)


Peter GabrielReturn with us now to the thrilling days of yesteryear, a time before music had turned to crap, a time when people who made music could actually sing and play instruments.

Peter Gabriel’s tenure as lead singer of Genesis marked the band’s creative heyday. After his departure, Genesis went on to become a hugh commercial success (emphisis on the word commercial), while Gabriel eventually became a megastar in his own right. No cause-related benefit concert of the 1980s was complete without Gabriel performing Red Rain and Biko.

I was at Gabriel’s first-ever solo show at the legendary Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ on March 5, 1977. The opening act was Television. Unfortunately, the suburban prog-rock audience wasn’t ready for Television’s New York new wave sound, and the band was literally booed off the stage.

But I digress. The reason that I chose to highlight this particular song isn’t because it’s Gabriel’s best or even my favorite. I selected it because it’s topical.

Don’t Give Up, a duet with Kate Bush, tells the story of an unemployed man who’s at the end of his rope because he can’t find a job during hard economic times.

We’re living in that time now. The current American president cares more about nationalizing the private sector and listening to the sound of his own voice than doing anything effective to stimulate the economy so people can get back to work.

There are three videos this time. The two studio versions were directed by Kevin Godley and Lol Creme. The first features Peter and Kate embracing and revolving while the sun slowly goes into and out of an eclipse. The second shows Gabriel superimposed over a town with people in hard times. The last video is a live version filmed at the Secret World Live concert in Italy and features Paula Cole as the other singer in the duet.

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Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel: Star For a Week (1992)

steve_harleyWhat would the seventies have been without Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel?

Steve was born Stephen Malcolm Ronald Nice in Deptford, South London, on February 27, 1951. He first performed with Cockney Rebel, then dissolved that band and started Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel. Steve has also recorded solo projects as Steve Harley.

He’s had many hits throughout his career, including Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me), which reached number one on the UK charts in 1975. Other hits include Judy Teen, Mr. Soft, Mr. Raffles, (Man It Was Mean), Here Comes The Sun, Love’s a Prima Donna, Irresistible, and Phantom of  the  Opera (with Sarah Brightman).

Steve was and is well-known in the UK and Europe but you’d probably be hard-pressed to find people in the U.S. who’ve heard of him. His live shows always feature the audience singing along to Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me).

One of my favorite songs by Steve Harley is Star For a Week, which appeared on the album Yes You Can. The song is based on the actual story of troubled youth in Norfolk who began a crime spree because he wanted to be famous. This video clip comes from a 1989 UK concert.

Search Amazon.com for Steve Harley.