For the international version of the album, the song “The Story of Ovo” [with Neneh Cherry] was added at the beginning and the track “The Tree That Went Up” was cut.
Ovo: The Millenium Show
“In 1997, Peter Gabriel was asked to pilot a visual project for London’s Millennium Dome. OVO is a work based on the intersecting problems of race relations, environmental concerns, family issues, and fairy tales as allegories, violence, and more. And keep in mind that this was to be a visual piece. Gabriel, to meet the challenge for CD, added a ton of multimedia to the musical soundtrack: …[including] a view of the installation itself from every angle, and many stopgap notes, drawings, and the like.” TJ “Some pressings of the UK limited edition version contained a booklet with a comic book telling the OVO story and a bonus CD with the bonus track, The Story of OVO,” WK which is featured on the international version as the opening track.
“For the soundtrack, he enlisted the help of collaborators such as Elizabeth Fraser, Neneh Cherry, …Richie Havens, the Black Dyke Mills Band, the Electra Strings, Paul Buchanan (of Blue Nile), Adzido, the Dhol Foundation drummers, and Iarla Ó Lionáird from the Afro-Celt Sound System. Needless to say, the music is all over the map, from a rap version of the ‘Story of Ovo’ to an Irish jig to Gabriel’s percussive culture plundering soundscapes and new songs (including a truly dull rework of ‘Digging in the Dirt’) to Eno-like ambiences to folk songs and new songs with Havens and Ó Lionáird singing like the opposite ends of a heavenly choir and Liz Fraser soaring over the Dhol Foundation drummers.” TJ
“Unfortunately, it sounds “like it is the soundtrack to a visual installation, and feels incomplete without it. This is not a project like Passion was or even Birdy; it’s a pastiche that attempts to be as ambitious as the installation project. And it is ambitious. Unfortunately, musically it isn’t consistent enough to sustain the listener’s interest for the entire length of the recording. It is a curious project with moments, but is most likely for hardcore fans only.” TJ
“Two versions of the album were released, a limited edition version, which was only released in the United Kingdom, and a standard international version. The UK limited edition version was discontinued after its initial 2000 pressing and replaced with the standard international version.” WK
“Over the course of the Growing Up and Still Growing Up tours,” WK Gabriel performed Father, Son, The Tower That Ate People, White Ashes, and Downside Up,” WK the latter of which features backing vocals by Gabriel’s daughter Melanie. “These performances are available on the Growing Up Live and Still Growing Up: Live & Unwrapped DVDs.” WK