Intruder (song)

"Intruder" is a song written and performed by English musician Peter Gabriel. The song was the first to use the "gated drum" sound created by Hugh Padgham and Phil Collins, with Collins performing the song's drum part. The gated drum effect was later used in Collins' own "In the Air Tonight", and appeared frequently through the 1980s, on records such as David Bowie's "Let's Dance" and The Power Station's "Some Like it Hot".

Song by Peter Gabriel
from the album Peter Gabriel (Melt)
Released30 May 1980
RecordedLate 1979
GenreExperimental rock, new wave
LabelCharisma (UK), Mercury (U.S.)
Songwriter(s)Peter Gabriel
Producer(s)Steve Lilywhite


It is the first track off his third eponymous album with the description of a break-in told through the eyes of the burglar, or "Intruder". The phrase "I like...." is repeated throughout the song, indicating that the burglar was not pressured into his actions, but instead intrudes homes simply for the thrill of committing a crime.

Like the rest of the album, this song features the "gated drum" sound created by Hugh Padgham and Phil Collins and contains no cymbals. In fact, the song was built upon a simple drum pattern that Gabriel asked Collins to play while he wrote the words and the music. In accordance with Gabriel's penchant for unusual instrumentation, it features a xylophone solo about halfway through the song. A glass cutter can be heard twice throughout the song.

Other versionsEdit

The song was often performed live by Gabriel in the early '80s, and is included on his first live album, Plays Live. It appears also on New Blood in symphonic version.

In 1992, the band Primus recorded a cover of the song and included it as the opening track to their Miscellaneous Debris EP.

In 2013, American industrial rock band Iron Lung Corp recorded a version of the song that appeared as the first track on the Body Snatchers covers album.