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Posted by: In: Other 12 Jun 2022 Comments: 0


254-Peter Gabriel-Games Without Frontiers.

1980-Number 4 single.

Best Bit-At 0.16. Where you will hear one of Pop Music’s most misheard song lyrics. Some people hear ‘she’s so popular,’ I always thought she was saying ‘she’s so funky yeah.’ The actual lyrics are ‘Jeux Sans Frontieres,’ and were sung by Kate Bush, (see also best songs 866) who would later record the 1986 UK Number 9 hit single duet with Peter Gabriel called ‘Don’t Give Up.’

Peter Brian Gabriel was born on February 13th, 1950, in Chobham, England, before embarking on a solo career in 1975 he had been a founding member, and the lead singer of the Progressive Rock band Genesis (see also best songs 741.) Gabriel is one of the leading exponents in the making and promoting of the genre ‘World Music,’ which is basically music not associated with Western Countries. As a solo artist Peter Gabriel has released nine studio Albums between 1977-2011, and 43 singles, of which 10 have reached the UK top 40, with both this song and ‘Sledgehammer’ from 1986 both charting highest when making Number 4. In America on Billboard, five of his songs have reached the top 40, with ‘Sledgehammer’ making Number 1. In 2010 Gabriel was inducted into the ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’ as a member of Genesis, and in 2014 he was inducted as a solo artist.

‘Games Without Frontiers’ was taken from Peter Gabriel’s third solo Album ‘Peter Gabriel (Melt’) from 1980, and was written by Gabriel, and produced by Steve Lillywhite. ‘Games Without Frontiers’ is an anti-war song, comparing world leaders squabbling with each other like children in the school playground. The lyrics ‘jeux sans frontieres’ is French for ‘games without frontiers, ‘Jeux sans Frontieres was the name of a long running television programme broadcast in several European countries between 1962-1999, the British version of the show was called ‘It’s a Knockout.’ The show featured teams from different countries competing against each other in absurd games, and generally dressed in ridiculous outfits, such as large foam rubber suits.

Gabriel has explained the songs meaning,’I just began playing in a somewhat light-hearted fashion, ‘Hans and Lottie …’ – so it looked, on the surface, as just kids. The names themselves are meaningless, but they do have certain associations with them. So it’s almost like a little kids’ activity room. Underneath that, you have the TV programme [and the] sort of nationalism, territorialism, competitiveness that underlies all that assembly of jolly people.”

‘Andre has a red flag, Chiang Ching’s is blue, they all have hills to fly them on, except for Lin Tai Yu. Dressing up in costumes, playing silly games, hiding out in treetops, shouting out rude names.’