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Here Comes The Flood by Peter Gabriel

Album: Peter Gabriel (first, car)Released: 1977
  • Gabriel: "I was referring to a mental flood... a release, a wash over the mind."
  • This presents an image of a society where people can read each other's minds. Those who are honest and open will thrive while those who have not will be exposed for who they really are.
  • Gariel was inspired by a dream he had in which people could see each other's thoughts, producing a psychic flood.
  • Gabriel got some of the ideas of transmitting mental energy from the propagation of short-wave radio signals, which get stronger as night approaches.
  • Gabriel wrote this while he was on hiatus after leaving Genesis in 1976. He claims it "wrote itself" after a moment of inspiration when he ran along a hillside near his house with his eyes closed.
  • Gabriel presented this as a quiet, simple song based on the piano and guitar. Producer Bob Ezrin made it into an extravagant piece, adding more instruments and processing. Ezrin is the man responible for the elaborate production on Pink Floyd's The Wall.
  • Gabriel was not happy with the heavy production on the album version. Most live recordings and a reworked version on the Shaking The Tree compilation are toned down and true to his original vision.
  • Guitarist Robert Fripp, who played on Gabriel's version, released his own with Gabriel on vocals in 1979 on his album Exposure. It was done in the quieter style Gabriel intended.
  • This is part of Gabriel's story of Mozo, a character who would come and go, changing people's lives. He would appear in "On The Air," "Down The Dolce Vita," "Exposure", "Red Rain," and "That Voice Again," but the Mozo story as a stage production or movie as Gabriel intended never developed.
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Comments: 18

To me, this is about the struggle between the empathetic people with souls that are nearing the end of another era of progress and unable to hold back the rush of those self serving conscience-less toxic individuals that are so adept at gaining power through fear and anger and hate. We are all watching what happens in the Arabian spring as the the toxic tyrannts are ousted from thier empires.Dan - Huds,on, Oh, Nv
I just had a near dead experience, car accident, and this song makes so much sense, it describes my exact helplesness feelings, I agree with the comment from Houston TX, the unstoppable force of fate, beyond your control...here comes the flood, will make you leave flesh and blood, a thousand minds within a flash in you head while it happens, at the same time its caotic and peaceful, like the piano music and his voice, it makes you accept what s beyond your control....Marcela - Mexico City, Mexico
I first heard this years ago on "Shaking the Tree" and played it over and over again. Just now heard the Ezrin produced version, and I agree 100% with Gabriel - the stripped down version is infinitely better to me.Adam - Silver Spring, Md
I've always felt the version on Fripp's solo album was the best. P.G.'s vocals just seem more vulnerable on that one.Jeff - Toledo, Oh
This is one of those songs that I can't hear without shedding a tear. The line "don't be afraid to cry at what you see" really stands out, to me about being witness to something so overwhelming you don't know how to react. Just thinking about what that might be is enough to send me over the edge. one of my favorite songs.Stu - Philly, Pa
This song is so awesome I <3 it!!!!!!!!!!!Ben - Bermuda, Bermuda
It's a great song, with solo piano or orchestral bombast. I like both versions equally, personally. Really, the lyrics are the important part.Angie - Jacksonville, Fl
I consider the Ezrin produced track to be much more significant and moving than the later demo versions that Peter Gabriel insists are improvements. I always thought it was about some rapture or armageddon too.Liquid Len - Ottawa, Canada
Beautiful live, just Uncle Pete and a piano. Far better than the album version, although I undersfand te comments baout the Rapture. It works so well in isolation.Peter - Huddersfield, England
Coming at the end of a very exploratory and creative album, I always thought the line 'drink up dreamers, you're running dry' referred to the dead music scene of the time (disco/punk). It seemed like a wake-up call, to me. OK, I was probably reading a lot of my own ideas into it...Evan - Tain, Scotland
Honestly, I've never heard the album version, but I have to go with Gabriel on this. The quiet introspective nature of the lyrics is best portrayed by solo piano. I always turn the radio off for a while after listening to this one.Josh - Small Town, Wi
All respect for Gabriel, but he was always wrong about this one. The bombastic Bob Ezrin version on the album is simply awesome. It's a song that deserves an apocalyptic, epic treatment! I always felt he ruined his song with his subsequent quiet, acoustic, raspy-voiced versions.Pete - Ny, Ny
Wasn't a piano-based acoustic version of this song, with Gabriel singing, featured in the first season episode of Alias during Sydney (Sidney?) Bristow fiancee's funeral/reception? I liked that version, but the original album version is majestically apocalyptic. Great song.Robbie - Honolulu, Hi
Strange...I always saw this as a song about the Rapture, mainly due to the chorus. I'm not religious myself, but that's how it struck me. And the 'Drink up dreamers, you're running dry' seemed to be Gabriel saying that those who believe in it are 'drunk' (not literally, but you know what I mean).Laurence Crook - Cirencester, England
The Flood seems like some unstoppable force beyond your control, changing everything permanently. (Whatever that may be to you)J - Houston, Tx
this song makes me wanna cry...don't know why.Scott - Los Angeles, Ca
When Peter Gabriel played in Buenos Aires -Argentina- for the second time (the first was with Amnesty in 1988), on the Secret World Tour, he dedicated this wonderful song to the soldiers killed in the Malvinas/Falklands war.K - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Incredible. I see it as the tremendous feeling that overwelms you upon the death of a person that was close to you.

Ed Engel
Ed - St. Louis, Mo
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