Peter Gabriel left his band Genesis in 1975. Two years later, he released his first solo single, “Solsbury Hill.” The song went to #13 in the UK, and #68 in the US. Gabriel went on to record several #1 songs, but “Solsbury Hill” had an afterlife of its own. Almost a quarter-century after its debut, it started showing up in movie trailers. And why not? It’s a pleasant, bouncy tune that sounds familiar to the audience even if they don’t recall the song. To those who know the song, it conveys the theme of a personal journey. “Solsbury Hill” has also appeared in countless advertisements on radio, TV, and the internet.
Gabriel doesn’t regret licensing the song for commercial use, although he admits it might be overused. However, it started out as a very personal illustration of his journey from Genesis to retirement to a solo career. Read how the song came about and what it means, as well as its metamorphosis to an advertising staple, at Mental Floss.
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