The acclaimed singer has been slowly revealing the record one track at a time
Peter Gabriel has confirmed the release date for his forthcoming album i/o, the long-awaited follow up to 2002’s Up. The record is slated to arrive on December 1. The upcoming 12-track album has two stereo mixes – Bright-Side and Dark-Side – as well as a 3D immersive In-Side Mix. It will be available on 2-CD, 2-CD + Blu-Ray, and double vinyl LPs. Fans can pre-order all versions now HERE.
A special box set is also available. It comes in a foil blocked, clamshell box with obi-band, containing both Bright-Side and Dark-Side stereo mixes of the album across four pieces of black vinyl cut at 33rpm. The same mixes also appear across two CDs and the In-Side Mixes on a Blu-Ray in Dolby Atmos. The Blu-Ray also contains 24/96 versions of the Bright-Side and Dark-Side stereo mixes. Also included is a casebound book with expanded liner notes and a poster.
Check out the tracklisting and cover art for all versions below now.
“After a years-worth of full moon releases, I’m very happy to see all these new songs back together on the good ship i/o and ready for their journey out into the world,” Gabriel stated.
Recorded mostly at Real World Studios and Peter’s home studio, the lengthy gestation of i/o means it has a sizeable cast list. Peter has kept his trusty inner circle of musicians close to hand, which means guitarist David Rhodes, bassist Tony Levin and drummer Manu Katché are sterling presences throughout. Several songs bear the fingerprints of long-time associate Brian Eno, whilst there are notable contributions from Richard Russell, pianist Tom Cawley, trumpeters Josh Shpak and Paolo Fresu, cellist Linnea Olsson and keyboard player Don E. Peter’s daughter Melanie contributes warm backing vocals, as does Ríoghnach Connolly of The Breath, while Real World regulars Richard Chappell, Oli Jacobs, Katie May and Richard Evans collectively provide programming and play various instruments. Soweto Gospel Choir and Swedish all-male choir Oprhei Drängar lend their magnificent harmonies to a selection of tracks, and the mass strings of the New Blood Orchestra, led by John Metcalfe, both soothe and soar.
Renowned for being a boundary-pushing artist, i/o is not simply a collection of a dozen songs. All 12 tracks are subject to two stereo mixes. The Bright-Side Mix, handled by Mark ‘Spike’ Stent, and the Dark-Side Mix, as reshaped by Tchad Blake
“We have two of the greatest mixers in the world in Tchad and Spike and they definitely bring different characters to the songs. Tchad is very much a sculptor building a journey with sound and drama, Spike loves sound and assembling these pictures, so he’s more of a painter.” A third version – the In-Side Mix, in Dolby Atmos, comes courtesy of Hans-Martin Buff “doing a wonderful job generating these much more three-dimensional mixes” and is included in a three-disc set, including Blu-ray.
Continuing the idea developed for Peter’s US and UP albums, he has again invited a range of visual artists to contribute a piece of art to accompany the music and each of i/o’s 12 songs were handed to a world-renowned artist to create an accompanying work, whether paint, photography, sculpture or even Plasticine. The dozen artists make an exceedingly impressive team of collaborators: Ai Weiwei, Nick Cave, Olafur Eliasson, Henry Hudson, Annette Messager, Antony Micallef, David Moreno, Cornelia Parker, Megan Rooney, Tim Shaw, David Spriggs and Barthélémy Toguo.
Another visual link with Peter’s past work is the cover shot. Taken by photographer Nadav Kander, it echoes with the covers of his earlier albums, always present but, with the exception of So, intriguingly obscured or manipulated. These echoes of the past might resonate, but i/o is fundamentally an album of – and for – the here and now. Many of its themes may be timeless, but they’re also warnings that we’re living on borrowed time, both as a planet and as individuals. As Peter sings on the divine So Much, “this edition is limited”.
Peter Gabriel wrapped up the first leg of his North American i/o Tour on October 13 at the KIA Forum in Los Angeles. More dates are set to be announced soon in Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Paul, Denver, Austin, Dallas, Houston, and Washington, D.C. Fans will also be able to purchase VIP Packages, which may include premium tickets, access to the pre-show lounge, limited edition gift item, and more.
Peter Gabriel – i/o 
2. The Court
3. Playing for Time
5. Four Kinds of Horses
6. Road to Joy
7. So Much
8. Olive Tree
9. Love Can Heal
10. This Is Home
11. And Still
12. Live and Let Live