I first came across this Peter Gabriel cover of Arcade Fire’s My Body Is A Cage watching an episode of House. It’s a dramatic scene, House on the balustrade of a fifth floor balcony, getting ready to jump. It’s dark. Party goers notice him there, perched. The song builds in the background. House jumps. It’s probably one of my favourite House episodes, and if you haven’t seen it, I recommend you watch it. It’s the 16th episode in Season 7.
The song was powerful enough to make it track it down and buy the album it is on called Scratch My Back. It is an album of covers by Peter Gabriel, opening with Bowie’s Heroes, then goes through a surprising range of artists including Paul Simon and Regina Spektor. The final track is Radiohead’s Street Spirit (Fade Out). Originally a haunting track, the Gabriel cover of it takes it to the next level.
The plan was an album of Gabriel doing covers, followed by an album of the artists he had covered, doing an album of Gabriel covers. The follow up album was released in 2013, titled “And I’ll Scratch Yours”. I love the concept, and both albums are fantastic to listen to.