There are basically two main kinds of people in this world – – oppressors and oppressed – – For my part, I will always stand in solidarity with the oppressed” – – – Albert Camus

Why does this song stir up as much emotion today as the first listen so many years back? The strength of one man’s resistance against tyranny and oppression, perhaps? Peter Gabriel’s impassioned vocals, yes. Listen to the lyrics and find your answer.

Bantu Stephen Biko (18 December 1946 – 12 September 1977) was a South African anti-apartheid activist. Ideologically an African nationalist and African socialist, he was at the forefront of a grassroots anti-apartheid campaign known as the Black Consciousness Movement during the late 1960s and 1970s. His ideas were articulated in a series of articles published under the pseudonym Frank Talk.

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Born Bantu Stephen Biko
18 December 1946
Ginsberg, South Africa
Died 12 September 1977 (aged 30)
Pretoria, South Africa
Occupation Anti-apartheid activist
Organization South African Students’ Organisation;
Black People’s Convention
Spouse(s) Ntsiki Mashalaba
Partner(s) Mamphela Ramphele
Children Nkosinathi Biko; Lerato Biko


 
Peter Gabriel performs ‘Biko’ at Amnesty International.
LatinAutor – SonyATV, BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., LatinAutor, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA – UBEM, SOLAR Music Rights Management, EMI Music Publishing, União Brasileira de Compositores, and 2 Music Rights Societies
Recorded both at his home studio at Ashcombe House, near Bath, and at London’s Townhouse Studios, Peter’s third self-titled album was produced by Steve Lillywhite. The album saw Peter change his writing style; now the rhythm came before the melody and the songs were built up on top of the rhythmic sequences. The album delivered a top 5 UK single in Games Without Frontiers and Peter’s first overtly political song in the shape of totemic closer Biko. It also features notable contributions from Kate Bush, Paul Weller, Phil Collins, and David Rhode
Here’s a bonus track for the careful readers of the Peter Gabriel “Biko” period and Games without Frontier. (HQ digital stereo remaster) This video has never been released in full on any of the official Peter Gabriel video compilations. The versions that appeared on “CV” (1987) and later the DVD “Play” (2004) included new material over parts of the original video. So here is the original version in full with remastered audio.

 
itspetergabriel, WMG (on behalf of PLG UK Artists Services); LatinAutor, EMI Music Publishing, SOLAR Music Rights Management, LatinAutor – SonyATV, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORS DE MUSICA – UBEM, CMRRA, BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., and 5 Music Rights Societies