After an eight year absence of albums, Peter Gabriel is returning with a covers record, which contains his orchestral takes on tracks from Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Bon Iver, Paul Simon, Regina Spektor, David Bowie and more.
“Scratch My Back” will be released Feb. 15 via Virgin with tour dates slated for now ony in Berlin, Paris and London in March.
The set, recorded at George Martin’s Air Lyndhurst studios with producer Tchad Blake, features only voice and an orchestra, “no drums, no guitars,” according posts on Gabriel’s website.
“Scratch My Back” isn’t intended to be a standalone album and tour, though. It is what the singer-songwriter and former Genesis frontman calls “song exchange concept”: the artists he is covering will also be contributing their covers of Gabriel songs to a later volume, “I’ll Scratch Yours.” What does that mean? Well, it means a new recording from David Bowie, for one, which would mark his first since 2003.
And we’d just love to hear Win Butler of Arcade Fire sing “Sledgehammer.”
Gabriel has posted bits of the new songs in a series of podcasts, which you can listen to below. Gabriel mentions in the second that he’s planning around three shows for America and Canada, some time after the March shows.
Here is the tracklist for “Scratch My Back”:
“Heroes” (David Bowie)
“The Boy in the Bubble” (Paul Simon)
“Flume” (Bon Iver)
“Listening Wind” (Talking Heads)
“The Power of the Heart” (Lou Reed)
“My Body Is a Cage” (The Arcade Fire)
“The Book of Love” (The Magnetic Fields)
“I Think It’s Going To Rain Today” (Randy Newman)
“Apres Moi” (Regina Spektor)
“Philadelphia” (Neil Young)
“Street Spirit” (Radiohead)