Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Barry Williams Show

A scathing rebuke of Jerry Springer-style American talk shows, Peter Gabriel's "The Barry Williams Show" is a guttural, shuffling and rhythmic affair whose musical make-up effectively conveys its vicious, mean-spirited lyrics. While the song might not come close to matching the confirmed-classic status of "In Your Eyes", "Sledgehammer" or "Solsbury Hill", its video clip, directed by a certain Sean Penn, is one of the most striking visual set pieces in Gabriel's oeuvre. Comprising a day in the life of the titular character and the machinations behind his show, the promo gleefully troops out all manner of freaks, and castigates the cynical ways in which certain US TV networks make use of their proclivities for mass-media consumption. Brilliant to no end.


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