Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer
Lately, I played a lot of Trapped Dead Lockdown, a game that is basically about killing zombies. So, I steered and murdered my way through really bloody levels collecting different weapons. At various points in the game my character – an assassin – found sledgehammers. I did not use them for I had my frying pan and my gun and later my swords but each time I collected a hammer I automatically had one line in my head: “I want to be your sledgehammer”.
Sledgehammer is a song written and composed by Peter Gabriel in 1985 and released on his solo record So. The song clearly shows influences of 60s soul music but what is most striking is the distinctive horn track throughout the song and the shakuhachi flute at its beginning. A shakuhachi flute is made of bamboo and was introduced from China into Japan around the 8th century.
The lyrics consist mostly of sexual innuendos with steam trains and bumper cars on the male and fruitcages on the female side of sexual organs. And let’s not forget about the honey bee – only the flower is missing.
With Sledgehammer Gabriel outdid his former Genesis band mates in the US Charts replacing Invisible Touch as number one.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of So the Sledgehammer music video was digitally restored and can now be viewed in high-definition quality. What is so special about the video is the fact that it was filmed in stop-motion; i.e. it had to be recorded frame by frame which takes a hell of a lot of time. The people who helped producing the stop-motion and other animations of the video ended up producing Wallace and Gromit.
Sledgehammer is the most played video in MTV’s history.