Shaking the Tree: Sixteen Golden Greats (Remastered)
Even when putting together a simple greatest-hits collection, Peter Gabriel has to fuss and fight with himself and give fans a new experience at each turn. On this set, “Here Comes the Flood” was a brand-new 1990 rerecording, with “Shaking the Tree” (his duet with Youssou N’Dour that appeared on N’Dour’s 1989 album The Lion) including new vocals from Gabriel. Many tracks here (“I Don’t Remember,” “Sledgehammer,” “Shock the Monkey”) are either radio edits or edits to ensure that everything could fit on a single CD. Casual fans are often disappointed by this collection's omission of “In Your Eyes,” which appeared on the soundtrack to the Cameron Crowe film Say Anything. (Of course, the digital era has made it much easier to purchase a single track.) What stands out most here, however, is the beauty of the pacing. Gabriel took great pains to oversee this album and to ensure that it played as he envisioned it. From “Solsbury Hill” to “Biko,” the effect is complete. Other artists should take such care with their hits collections.