Greatest-hits albums are a traditional way of buying time for artists between albums. Peter Gabriel's, entitled Shaking the Tree: Sixteen Golden Greats, arrived in December of 1990, as he was toiling away at the follow-up to his smash So, which was four years old at that point. As greatest-hits albums go, it's pretty good, containing all the hits, plus an effective re-recording of "Here Comes the Flood" and a good new song in the form of the title track. While the sequencing may leave something to be desired -- it is neither chronological, nor as supple as a good mix tape -- it does contain nearly everything a casual fan could want (nothing from the second album, though; both "On the Air" or "D.I.Y." would have been nice additions), making it an effective sampler.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine