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I/O was the working title of a planned studio album by British musician Peter Gabriel. It was initially intended to be the follow-up to his 2002 album, Up , though, in October 2011, Gabriel stated that he had not actually completed the recording of any songs for I/O and that the project was merely a set of "song ideas" that remain unfinished.
The history of I/O is closely connected to that of making the album Up, which notoriously took Gabriel almost 10 years to complete, with some of the songs being first recorded during the Us recording sessions. After the Secret World Live World Tour, Gabriel spent much of the 1990s writing new material, and in interviews circa 2002 he said that four albums would come out of this period of writing(he reportedly wrote and prepared over 130 songs during this time, of which ten were selected for Up).
Originally the album was set to be released in 2004,or 18 months apart from Up, yet extensive touring (the Growing Up Live and Still Growing Up Live tours in 2003 and 2004) pushed the release far ahead.
According to a Rolling Stone magazine article, Gabriel has 150 songs in various stages, which he has been working on with engineer Richard Chappell and percussionist Ged Lynch.He has also talked about the possibility of completing the songs, arranging them for a band, touring first and only then recording and releasing them. He has also said of a tour possibility: "I would like to try maybe just me and a percussionist, or a percussionist and bass. It's good sometimes to let go of your crutches."
In the last quarter of 2008, Gabriel (via his monthly Moon Club Video Updates on his official website) mentioned that he has been back in the studio on a more regular basis, shifting focus toward the recording of I/O and his covers project Scratch My Back (which was released in 2010). However, as of March 2012, Gabriel announced on his video updates that he has been working on twelve "brand new" song ideas,leaving the future of the I/O recordings unclear.
In 2013, Gabriel uploaded pictures of himself and Ged Lynch in the recording studio. While a release date has not been announced, Gabriel intended to put more focus on this project before committing to anything else. "I really need to stop doing other things and lock myself away for a while. It probably hasn’t moved nearly as much as I would have liked to in the intervening time. The songs are still there, but some of them I would redo now and there’s some new stuff as well. I keep arranging until the cows come home, which is sometimes a weakness".
Throughout 2015 and 2016, Gabriel posted multiple Facebook and Instagram posts about working on the new album. In March 2018, Gabriel posted on his Facebook that the new album was in the "comping" stage. In April 2019, Gabriel stated on BBC Radio that he was working on about 50 ideas, with the intention of finishing the songs by the end of 2019 to then "open then up to the band" by early next year then "get a record out".
In March 2020, Gabriel wrote back to an article in The Times and revealed he is working on a song about getting older, called "So Much".
Peter Gabriel was interviewed by UNCUT magazine for their July 2020 issue. In this interview, Gabriel was asked about new music to which he said "I'm excited by what is being cooked at the moment - I have been slowed down quite a lot by lockdown, we've not been able to have Dickie my engineer here - but I have enough songs that I like to make a record I'm proud of." Gabriel was then directly asked, "So we can expect a new studio album anytime soon?" to which he replied, "It would depend on how you define 'soon', but the answer is yes!"
As of 2021, the album still remains unreleased.
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