Billboard #1 Hits: #603: ‘Sledgehammer’- Peter Gabriel. July 26, 1986. #1 for 1 week in Billboard Hot 100.
- Single: ‘Sledgehammer’- Peter Gabriel
- Record Company-Warner Bros
- Genre: Rock
- Written by Peter Gabriel
- Time: 4:58
- B-side: ‘Don’t Break This Rhythm’
- Album- So
- Grade: A+
- Peaked at #1 1 week in Billboard Hot 100.
The week before ‘Invisible Touch’ by Genesis was #1- Peter Gabriel formerly of Genesis- knocks it out of the top spot. ‘Sledgehammer’ would be Gabriel’s biggest hit. Not a big singles artist- Gabriel would have 11 Hot 100 singles with 5 making the Top 40 from 1977-92. The video for the song won a record nine MTV Video Awards and the song was nominated for three Grammy Awards.
The song was influenced by 1960’s soul music- Gabriel would comment-
“It’s probably about three years old… I was playing at that time with the idea of doing an album full of soul songs – mainly other people’s, but maybe a couple of my own. I’m still tempted, although probably that would be construed as an even greater sell-out. But, as a teenager, soul music was one of the things that made me want to be a musician. It was really passionate and exciting… Wayne Jackson, who plays on that track, was also with Otis Redding and was touring with him when I saw them in London. So that was a thrill for me, just to get a whole lot of fan stories. But I think the song was more influenced by many of those Stax and Atlantic tracks rather than Otis particularly.” – Peter Gabriel, July 1986