"The Family and the Fishing Net" (1982)
"We think we're islands, but we're all connected in a landmass," Gabriel told Mojo in 2010, reflecting on the volatile "The Family and the Fishing Net" from 1982's Security (the alias of yet another self-titled album). "What you see above the water is two people getting married. But beneath the water are the tentacles of two larger, dominant organisms which are the families making connection through those two particular tentacles. But we never observe and recognize that."
The unseen complexities of marriage – "the ritual of the wedding, the ring and the finger," as Gabriel said onstage on the Plays Live LP – anchor this seven-minute behemoth. The track simmers in one extended build, without a true chorus, anchored by Tony Levin's sparse Chapman Stick. Then, finally, it detonates: "Another in the mesh!" Gabriel yelps. "The body and the flesh!"
"The Family and the Fishing Net" is a litmus test for hardcore fans, but Gabriel has always adored the track, even plugging it into the set list for his recent Back to Front Tour. "[That's one] a lot of fans will never like really, but I want to play that," he told Rolling Stone ahead of the trek.