As we all know, no romance film soundtrack is complete without a strong Peter Gabriel song a la ...Say Anything (Lloyd Dobler!) or The Last Temptation of Christ (Willem Dafoe as Jesus!). If you've seen the American remake of Shall We Dance you'll know what I'm talking about. The film's final scene plays this song on repeat for close to 10 heartwrenching minutes (Susan Sarandon!). You've got to hand it to a guy who mixes pop music with world, electronica and ambient and is still popular with punk rockers.
I once read an interview with Magnetic Fields' frontman Stephin Merritt where he said that he hated hearing fans say that they found his music touching or affirming. He has always meant his lyrics and music to be ironic, if not bitter takes on romance. Indeed "Book of Love" remains one of Merritt's most ironic views on love. Yet, what makes Peter Gabriel's cover so amazing, is how straight he takes the song. Gabriel completely removes any irony or bitterness and it is completely simple, yet oh so heartbreaking, and it's all the better for its earnestness.