This Sunday in Quebec City, Canada, Peter Gabriel kicks off his Back to Front tour celebrating the impending release of the deluxe reissues of his classic 1986 album, So. Fans who miss him on this trek may have a reasonably long wait before they get a chance see him hit the stage again, as the singer-songwriter reveals to Billboard that he intends go on "sabbatical" once he's off the road.
"I'm going to take a sabbatical after the tour with my family and travel around the world," Gabriel explains. He says that during the trip, which he's wanted to do for 12 years, he'll plans to visit "some of the people we know on the music world, the human rights world, the science community, as well as a bit of straightforward tourism."
Gabriel also has been slowly putting together a new studio effort, but he tells Billboard he won't get back to work on it until after his vacation.
As for the tour, it will feature the same backing band he used in support of So when it first was released -- drummer Manu Kache, bassist Tony Levin, guitarist David Rhodes, and ex-E Street Band keyboardist David Sancious -- performing the album in its entirety. The outing is scheduled through an October 14 show in Fairfax, Virginia.
The trek winds down nine days before the So reissues hits stores in the U.S. Among the formats in which the album will be available released is a deluxe box set that includes a CD of demos and outtakes; two audio discs featuring performances from a 1987 concert in Athens, Greece; a DVD with footage from the same Athens show; a DVD documentary on the making of So; and a 60-page bound book. While the releases celebrate the album's 25th anniversary, it's actually been more than 26 years since the record's arrival. Gabriel tells Billboard that the work that went into compiling the box set was responsible for the delay.
"That was much harder work than I anticipated, but fun," he explains. "We bit off a bit more than we could chew within the correct time frame, so we now are running a little behind our 25th anniversary. But nonetheless I think we have a good box there."
Log on to PeterGabriel.com for more information about the So reissues and Gabriel's Back to Front Tour.
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