Family Snapshot (4:28)

Cover of Shaking the Tree

From Shaking the Tree and 32 other releases

“Family Snapshot” is a song written and performed by British musician Peter Gabriel, appearing on Peter Gabriel 3 album. The song was inspired by An Assassin’s Diary, published in 1973 and written by Arthur Bremer, who attempted to assassinate George Wallace, a politician who supported racial segregation.

The musical transition reflects the progress and emotions throughout the story. It starts off as a slow, jazzy piece, where the killer goes through his plan. It transitions twice; first to full-blooded rock for the building suspense, as the target unwittingly comes closer to the assassin; and then back to a quiet, mournful climax as the shooter, having just shot his target, remembers his childhood loneliness and thirst for attention that led him to where he now is.

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Albums featuring this track (33)

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  • herrh1977

    it's been about 15 years or so since listening to this. I have no clue why. oh my goodness. this is amazing.

    28 May 8:32pm Reply
  • radio_face

    Genius...............

    27 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Pellkoppf

    ☆ ★ ღ ♫ ღ ★ ☆

    25 Oct 2012 Reply
  • julius_ebola

    Chilling, heartbreaking, brilliant.

    30 Sep 2012 Reply
  • sentenza338

    I don't really hate you I don't care what you do We were made for each other Me and you

    29 Jan 2012 Reply
  • prominence_la

    Impressive!

    4 Nov 2011 Reply
  • Allronix

    The rest of the album is like this - all about going violently insane, becoming a monster, and being terrified of the sanity slip. Beautifully done, but disturbing as hell.

    22 Jul 2011 Reply
  • tomrud73

    one of the best voices ever

    11 Apr 2011 Reply
  • kdahey

    "All turned quiet - I have been here before Lonely boy hiding behind the front door Friends have all gone home There's my toy gun on the floor Come back Mum and Dad You're growing apart You know that I'm growing up sad I need some attention I shoot into the light"

    11 Dec 2010 Reply
  • BahamutZ

    such a tense buildup on this one.

    7 Dec 2010 Reply
  • precipitous

    This one never fails to give me goose-bumps. So beautifully sad, it always hurts.... A perfect example of what great singers and songwriters do.

    22 Oct 2010 Reply
  • Jens33

    one of my favourite songs of Peter!The Climax of the song is fat!:)

    15 Oct 2010 Reply
  • o0Mullen0o

    Love it love it love it love it

    3 Sep 2010 Reply
  • TheMcEneaney

    Meat Loaf should cover this.

    30 Aug 2010 Reply
  • umberto71

    oh my fucking god [2] it's such an emotional overkill

    7 May 2010 Reply
  • RealAir2112

    "All you people in TV land I will wake up your empty shells Peak-time viewing blown in a flash As I burn into your memory cells" Some of my favourite lyrics of any song - those lines in particular I think are absolutely fantastic.

    3 May 2010 Reply
  • delone2

    Fretless Bass

    11 Mar 2010 Reply
  • djggou

    oh my fucking god

    21 Jan 2010 Reply
  • BeauxJangles

    why is this song so good

    13 Jan 2010 Reply
  • RbS

    Brilliant song. No one makes lyrics like Peter.

    18 Dec 2009 Reply
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