Browsing on Grooveshark, I noticed a Peter Gabriel track I didn’t recognise called “The Book of Love”. Imagine my surprise — no, go on, see if you can imagine it — when I realised after a few seconds that it’s a cover of the Magnetic Fields’ song from 69 Love Songs. PG’s voice makes the song into something else — it does have a mournful air that suits PG’s oeuvre perfectly.
A few years ago Stephen Merritt of the Magnetic Fields was interviewed on Mixing It, the now-defunct experimental music show on BBC radio 3. He said that he thought his song “It’s Only Time” (from the excellent album I) was the most likely of his songs to become a classic, probably in a cover version. But I think “The Book Of Love” could do it, especially with the final lines about wedding rings. I can almost hear PG’s version echoing over a million soulful couples’ nuptials.