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‘Big Time’ by Peter Gabriel – Classic Hit or Miss

“Big Time” alternates mode between A♭ minor (Aeolian) in the chorus and A♭ Dorian during the verses and is played at the speed of 116 bpm. The song’s bass guitar part is unique in that backing bassist Tony Levin and then-backing drummer Jerry Marotta teamed up for the main bassline. Using one of Levin’s fretless basses, Levin handled the fingerings while Marotta hit his drumsticks on the strings, which is why the bass part sounds percussive. Inspired by this sound, Levin later invented Funk Fingers, which were little drumstick ends that could be attached to the fingers to achieve a similar bass guitar effect in concert. Police drummer Stewart Copeland plays drums on the song.Gabriel, successful after his smash hit “Sledgehammer”, used the similarly up-tempo “Big Time” to create another visually stunning video. The visual style was very similar to the “Sledgehammer” video, using stop motion claymation by David Daniels, and strata-cut animation. The larger video was supervised by Director Steven Johnson, Produced by Prudence Fenton, shot at Peter Wallach Studios, and graphic designer Wayne White contributed heavily as well.

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