- Personnel: Peter Gabriel (vocals, flute, harmonica, keyboards, bass, percussion, programming); Daniel Lanois (vocals, guitar, percussion); Ayub Ogada, Richard Maophall, Peter Hamill, Marilyn McFarlane, The Dimitri Pokrovsky Ensemble (vocals); David Rhodes, Leo Nocentelli, Bill Dillon, Gus Isidore (guitar); Richard Evans (mandolin); L. Shankar (violin); Caroline Lavelle (cello); Chris Ormston (bagpipes); Kudsi Erguner (ney flute); Tim Green (tenor saxophone); Reggie Houston (baritone saxophone); Renard Poche (trombone); John Paul Jones (keyboards, bass, surdu); Richard Blair (keyboards, programming); Malcolm Burn (synthesizer); Tony Levin (bass); Manu Katche, Assane Thiam, Babacar Faye, The Babacar Faye Drummers, Daryl Johnson (drums); Hossam Ramzy, Levon Minassian, Manny Elias (percussion); David Bottrill, William Orbit (programming); Doubou N'Diaye Rose (drum loop); The Adzido Drummers (percussion loop).
- Recorded at Real World Studios, England, Kingway Studios, New Orleans, Louisiana & Studio 2000, Dakar, Senegal. All tracks have been digitally remastered.
- "Steam" was nominated for a 1994 Grammy Award as "Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo."
- "Steam" won the 1994 Grammy Award for "Music Video, Short Form."
- After the worldwide success of 1986's SO, Peter Gabriel produced collections of movie soundtrack music, busied himself with the Amnesty International tour and started his own label. Released in 1992, US was long-awaited to say the least. It was not the commercial smash that SO was; instead it was Gabriel's most personal and introspective work. In the years after SO, Gabriel's marriage broke up and he went into analysis, which he addresses on "Digging in the Dirt." In the past, Gabriel wrote songs in the guise of various characters and invoked epic themes, but here even with exotic rhythms and eclectic influences, Gabriel was grounded in the real world.
- While lyrically and thematically distinct from SO, parts of US recall its predecessor. "Steam" is strongly reminiscent of "Sledgehammer," while "Love to Be Loved" has a hypnotic pulse reminiscent of SO's seductive beds of rhythm. "Kiss That Frog," with its hip-wiggling beat, is the record's lightest moment. Elsewhere, Gabriel combines gorgeous melodies, poignant vocals and the lush, atmospheric production of Daniel Lanois, especially on the soaring "Come Talk to Me" (sung with Sinead O'Connor), "Blood of Eden" and "Secret World."
Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.58) - Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone (10/1/92, p.63) - 3 Stars - Good - "..With its wave after wave of rhythmic innovation, US hints at catharsis...[It] can be heard as a combination of its immediate predecessors: The western firepower of SO meets the Eastern earthiness of PASSION.."
Spin (10/92, p.111) - Highly Recommended - "..fresh, accessible...It's a testament to Gabriel's universal voice that most tracks on the album evoke both a private moment and a plea for world peace.."
Entertainment Weekly (7/12/02, pp.84-5) - "...Nicely rounds out his catalog...revealing a surprisingly logical progression...Gabriel sharpens his writing and expands his sonic scope with every release..." Rating: B+
Q (1/93, p.71) - Included in Q's list of the 50 Best Albums Of 1992.
Q (11/92, p.102) - 5 Stars - Indispensable - "..disregard all suggestions that this is an `adult' album, designed for sensitive, musicologically correct, vaguely troubled fortysomethings. US is, first and foremost, start to finish, a truly wonderful blast.."
Musician (10/92, p.102) - "..[Gabriel] has never sounded better...filled with the longing of a middle-aged man who finds himself alone...songs with a cold wind blowing through them.."
Jazziz (Dec.-Jan./92, p.94) - Picked by critic John Dilberto as one of the 10 best albums of 1992.
Audio Magazine (12/92, p.148) - Sound: B - Performance: A- - "..possibly Gabriel's most personal album...reveals more details, sonically and emotionally, with each listening.."
Mojo (Publisher) (6/02, p.126) - "...Sustained 3's level of inspiration and craftsmanship....Gabriel constantly demonstrated a wonderful ear for choosing, from his quincontinental mental archive, sound and rhythm that did the job, no artsy farting about..."
New York Times (Publisher) (9/23/92, p.C14) - "..pure 90's material. Not only does it mix standard pop instrumentation with instruments and musicians from around the world, but it's wrenchingly confessional.."
NME (Magazine) (10/24/92, p.36) - 5 - Fair - "..a vague affair...staggers under the weight of its own earnestness.."