Page last updated at 17:02 GMT, Tuesday, 27 October 2009

'All-star cast' for Gabriel album

By Georgie Rogers
6 Music News reporter

Peter Gabriel
Gabriel helped set up the World of Music, Arts and Dance Festival in 1980

Former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel will release his first album for seven years next year.

"It's a song swap," said composer John Metcalfe about the record, which sees Gabriel and some "extremely legendary artists" cover each other's songs.

The Scratch My Back project had its first outing at the Womad festival when Gabriel and a string section performed Paul Simon's The Boy In The Bubble.

It was recorded with producer Bob Ezrin at London's Air Studios in July.

'Sounds amazing'

John Metcalfe, who worked on some orchestral reinterpretations for the record, revealed to BBC 6 Music that the record is currently being mixed.

He added; "I'm not allowed to say who, just yet, but there are some very, very famous singers and bands involved."

Writing on Gabriel's official site, Metcalfe revealed the album is acoustic, with no guitars, drums or world instruments.

There are some very, very famous singers and bands involved
John Metcalfe

"It sounds amazing, even though I say it myself. It is literally Peter with an orchestra, sometimes the orchestra is quite large, then there are some more chamber music-style, sparse songs.

"But the songs are not simply covers, they are quite major reinterpretations of some famous stuff. It's quite radical and we're hoping that people really get it and enjoy it," he explained.

While Metcalfe remained tight-lipped on which other artists are involved, he said Gabriel set out to get a good range.

"There are some all time great singer-songwriters and bands, and then there are some bands that are very, very well known from the last 10 years, and one or two more recent bands and singers as well," he said.

"There should be something in there for everybody."

He added it is possible Gabriel's versions of other people's songs will be released initially and then covers of the musician's songs might be released once a month online via Gabriel's Lunar Club.

Peter Gabriel had a string of hit albums in the 1980s and in recent years has become well-known for his promotion of world music and involvement with the Womad charity.

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