1983 Peter Gabriel – Shock The Monkey
From 1967 to 1975, Peter Gabriel sang as a member of the group Genesis. During that time, he often appeared in costumes and displayed theatrics that bordered on performance art in shows.
Peter left Genesis to begin a solo career; he wrote the single Solsbury Hill about letting go of being a member of the group to pursue something more. Phil Collins filled the hole he left in the group.
The record was a top twenty hit in the UK but stalled at #68 on the US Hot 100. Games Without Frontiers reached #4 in the UK in 1980 but did not reach the top forty in the US. His first successful US single was Shock The Monkey.
The single succeeded in the US due in part to the endless airplay the video for the song got on MTV. While the video comes off as some sort of animal protection video, Peter has said that the song is about how somebody’s basic instincts can be ignited by jealousy.
The single peaked at only #29 on the Hot 100 but topped the US Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. It did not reach the UK top forty.
An interesting remix contest took place in 2006. Realworld made the original unmixed tracks for the song available to people who wanted to make their own remix of the music. New Zealand composer David Downes won the contest with his entry, the Simian Surprise Remix.
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