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Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush - Don't Give Up (1986)

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  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 1.67
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"Don't Give Up" is a song written by English musician Peter Gabriel and recorded as a duet with Kate Bush for Gabriel's fifth ...

"Don't Give Up" is a song written by English musician Peter Gabriel and recorded as a duet with Kate Bush for Gabriel's fifth solo studio album So (1986). The single version was released as the second single from the album in the UK in 1986 and as the fifth single in the United States in 1987. It spent eleven weeks in the UK Top 75 chart in 1986, peaking at number nine.

Background

Gabriel drew inspiration from Dorothea Lange's images such as this, her most famous: "Migrant Mother" (1936)

The song was inspired by the Depression-era photographs of Dorothea Lange, showing poverty-stricken Americans in Dust Bowl conditions. Gabriel saw Lange's images in a 1973 book titled In This Proud Land. He felt that a song based on this was wholly appropriate to difficult economic conditions in England under Margaret Thatcher. He composed lyrics about a man whose unemployment causes stress in his domestic relationship. The verses, sung by Gabriel, describe the man's feelings of isolation, loneliness and despair; the choruses, sung by Bush, offer words of hope and encouragement.

Gabriel originally wrote the song from a reference point of American roots music and he approached country singer Dolly Parton to sing it with him. However, Parton turned it down, so his friend Kate Bush took her place.

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