Peter Gabriel - Biko (Live on Letterman)

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Music video by Peter Gabriel performing Biko (Live on Letterman).

(C) 2011 CBS INTERACTIVE MUSIC GROUP

"Biko" is an anti-apartheid protest song by English rock musician Peter Gabriel. The song was included on Gabriel's third album, Peter Gabriel (1980). It is about Steve Biko, a noted black South African anti-apartheid activist.

Biko had been arrested by the South African police in late August 1977. After being held in custody for several days, he was interrogated in room 619 of the Walmer Street prison in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape. Following the interrogation, during which the police beat him and left him with serious head injuries, Biko was transferred without medical care to a prison in Pretoria, where he died shortly afterwards, on 12 September 1977.

The album version of the song starts with a recording of the South African song "Ngomhla sibuyayo" and ends with a recording of the South African song "Senzeni Na?", both as sung at Biko’s funeral. The German version is bookended by "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika", also sung at Biko's funeral. One line of the lyrics reads "Yehla Moya" which in Xhosa means "Come Spirit".

"Biko" was first released as a single in 1980, when it reached #38 on the British charts. A live version, recorded in July 1987 at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, was released later that year, reaching #49 in the UK. A live recording of the song was used to promote the Richard Attenborough Biko biopic Cry Freedom, and its music video, consisting of clips from the film and Gabriel singing, was heavily played on MTV during the film's theatrical run.
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Artist: Peter Gabriel
Video title: Biko (Live on Letterman)

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Category: Rock & Alternative
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