Peter Gabriel returns to his creepy face painting ways in today’s song. He is definitely one of the most mysterious singers/songwriters I’ve ever seen. The perfect example of the old phrase, looks are deceiving.
Shock the Monkey was released as a single in September of 1982 from his fourth album, Peter Gabriel. It was believed to be either about animal rights or the famous experiments conducted by Stanley Milgram as described in his book, Obedience to Authority. However, Gabriel once called it a “love song” that examines how jealousy releases a person’s baser instincts. There isn’t a “literal” monkey, it’s a metaphor for jealousy.
The song went to #29 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and to #1 on Mainstream Rock Tracks.