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Peter Gabriel - Biko

  • Singer: Peter Gabriel
  • Title: Biko
  • Category: Rock
  • Info: Label: Charisma ‎– CB 370-12, Charisma ‎– CB 370 12
    Type: Vinyl, 12", 45 RPM
    Country: UK
    Date of released: 1980
    Category: Rock
    Style: Art Rock, Prog Rock
  • Rating: 5.0
  • Votes 314

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Tracklist Hide Credits

A Biko
Written-By – Gabriel*
B1 Shosholoza
Arranged By – Gray*, Egnos*, Gabriel*Written-By – Trad.*
B2 Jetzt Kommt Die Flut
Written-By – Gabriel*

Companies, etc.

  • Phonographic Copyright (p) – Charisma Records Ltd.
  • Record Company – Charisma Records Ltd.
  • Published By – Peter Gabriel Ltd.
  • Published By – Hit & Run Music (Publishing) Ltd.
  • Published By – Diplomat Music
  • Marketed By – Phonogram Ltd.
  • Distributed By – Phonogram Ltd.
  • Recorded At – Crescent Studios
  • Remixed At – Crescent Studios
  • Lacquer Cut At – The Sound Clinic
  • Pressed By – PRS Ltd.


  • Engineer – David Lord
  • Engineer [From Original Tapes Engineered By] – Hugh Padgham
  • Producer – Peter Gabriel
  • Producer [From Original Tapes Produced By] – Steve Lillywhite


From the back cover:

Bantu Stephen Biko was a young South African leader who died in 1977 as a result of injuries received during interrogations by the South African Security Police. For further information, I would suggest the book 'Biko' by donald Woods on Penguin.

Why the song?:
I believe Steve Biko was very important. He could have been a very positive force in Africa and a leader young poeple all over the world could have identified with.

When I heard of Steve Biko's detention on the radio, I was sure that publicity would protect him. World attention had been attracted to the large number of prison suicides: slipping in showers, jumping from windows and hanging . . . I was shocked one breakfast to hear of his death and wrote some thoughts down in my diary which were to be the start of the lyrics two years later.

Why put it out separately?:
Some people have questioned the motive for putting this out as a 12" and a single when two other singles have been taken off the album.

Firstly I wanted the song to be available to anyone who did not want to spend the money for an album, secondly I would like to hear it on the radio and thirdly, since recording it in another language I have approached the mix differently and wanted to have an alternate version available in English. The vocal track has been re-recorded and the track re-mixed.

What 'Shosholoza' means?:
Shosholoza (Go in Peace) was one of the tracks off the soundtrack lp 'Dingaka' that inspired the direction for the music of the song 'Biko'. The original is an unaccompanied chant to which I have added an arrangement and a new rhythmic section of the song.

The proceeds of this song go to the Steve Biko Black Consciousness Movement.

Re-recorded and re-mixed at Crescent Studios, Bath.

℗ 1980 Charisma Records Ltd.
Original sound recording made by Charisma Records Ltd.

Catalog number CB 370 12 on the sleeve and CB 370-12 on the disc labels.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Runout Side A, Variant 1): CB 37012 A//2∇ESC
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout Side B, Variant 1): CB 370 12 B//1∇ESC
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout Side A, Variant 2): CB 37012 A//2∇ESC 11 JGNZ
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout Side B, Variant 2): CB 37012 B//1∇ESC 11 12 2L SOUND CLINIC

Other versions

Category Artist Title (Format) Label Category Country Year
100.8081 Peter Gabriel Biko ‎(12") Virgin 100.8081 Brazil 1985
CB 370 Peter Gabriel Biko ‎(7", Single) Charisma CB 370 UK 1980
6000 564 Peter Gabriel Biko ‎(12", Maxi) Charisma 6000 564 France 1980
0-20804, 9 20804-0 Peter Gabriel Biko ‎(12", Maxi) Geffen Records, Geffen Records 0-20804, 9 20804-0 US 1987
H 609510 Peter Gabriel Biko ‎(12", Maxi) Virgin H 609510 Spain 1987


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