If you have a surround-sound DVD system, and if you have any interest in the music of Peter Gabriel, Play has just become THE ultimate Peter Gabriel experience.

Featuring all-new mixes by Daniel Lanois of many of Gabriel’s greatest tracks, complete with their music videos, this collection will set your surround-sound system on fire.

Anne and I sat in reverent silence last night while songs like “Mercy Street,” “In Your Eyes,” “Biko,” “Digging in the Dirt,” “Shaking the Tree,” and “Games Without Frontiers” filled the room from all directions, with crystal-clear instrumentation, entirely new flourishes and subtle improvements, and vocals so fresh and clear it’s hard to believe Gabriel recorded them almost twenty years ago (in some cases).

“Red Rain” was the very first song I ever heard on a CD player, and I remember how it blew my mind at the time. Now, listening to it on this collection, it really is like a whole new song.

On top of that, we now have the videos, which in many cases were new experiences for me. Gabriel is such an artist that only a few of his videos seem “dated,” and even those are still worth seeing. “Biko” is probably the weakest video because of the way it depends on imagery from the film. But “Mercy Street” remains one of the most awe-inspiring, moving videos I’ve ever seen, and “Red Rain” is an eloquent prayer both in sound and picture.

Trust me on this one — pick it up, put it on, turn it up LOUD, and you’ll be glad you’re living in a time when such extravagant, relatively-affordable, and artful blessings are possible.

Now… the day they start making the U2 catalog available in this format is the day I go absolutely broke.

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