Digging in the Dirt

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"Digging in the Dirt"
DiggingInTheDirt.jpg
Single by Peter Gabriel
from the album Us
B-side "Quiet Steam"
Released 14 September 1992
Recorded 1989
Genre Art Rock [1]
Length 5:16
Label Geffen Records
Songwriter(s) Peter Gabriel
Producer(s) Daniel Lanois
Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel singles chronology
"Solsbury Hill"
(1990)
"Digging in the Dirt"
(1992)
"Steam"
(1993)

"Solsbury Hill"
(re-release)
(1990)
"Digging in the Dirt'"
(1992)
"Steam"
(1993)

"Digging in the Dirt" is a 1992 song by British musician Peter Gabriel. It was the first single taken from his sixth studio album, Us. The song was a minor hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, but it topped both the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and the Mainstream Rock chart. The song was moderately successful on the UK Singles Chart, where it peaked at number 24. The song also reached the top 10 in Sweden and Canada, but in the former country, it was his last top 10 hit.

Music video

The music video for the single was directed by John Downer and utilised stop motion animation, a technique used in the videos for Gabriel's earlier hits "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time". The work was painstaking, especially for Gabriel himself who was required to lie still for hours at a time over the course of several days. The video won the Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video in 1993. The woman in the video is played by Francesca Gonshaw.

The video is largely an exploration of the issues in his personal life at the time, the end of his relationship with Rosanna Arquette, his desire to reconnect with his daughter and the self-healing he was looking for in therapy.

In the video, Gabriel is displayed in a variety of disturbing imagery, including being buried alive, consumed by an overgrowth of foliage (thanks to a gruelling stop-motion process) and flying into a rage while trying to swat a wasp. This time, Gabriel returned to stop motion and claymation that had served him so well in the 1980s, forgoing the computer graphics used in "Steam".

Initially, the word "DIG" forms in the grass while dark imagery plays. Gabriel morphs into a skeleton while at the same time trying to excavate himself. Ultimately, the viewers are left with a gleam of hope as mushrooms sprout to form the word "HELP," followed by "HEAL" in blooming flowers after Gabriel has emerged from underground, now clad in white.

The Secret World Live version of the song is far more intense than the studio version. This is due to a chaotic blend of disturbingly high pitched distorted guitar (by guitarist David Rhodes), as well as occasional jarring synth bass stabs (Tony Levin) and an expansive performance by Manu Katché on the drums. The stage craft for the song is considered[by whom?] a highlight of the show. Gabriel wore a special "helmet" with a video camera attached in an antennae-like way, showing in great detail his facial expressions, while moving in time with the music. This is used to create a particularly grotesque image of Gabriel, most prominent during the "freak-out" sequence in which the camera is graphically pointed down Gabriel's throat.

Awards and nominations

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1993 Grammy Award Best Male Rock Vocal Performance Nominated
Best Rock Song Nominated
Best Music Video Won
MTV Video Music Award Video of the Year Nominated
Viewer's Choice Award Nominated
International Viewer's Choice Award for MTV Europe Nominated

Track listings

CD maxi

  1. "Digging in the Dirt (LP Version)" — 5:16
  2. "Digging in the Dirt (instrumental)" — 5:10
  3. "Quiet Steam" — 6:25
  4. "Bashi-Bazouk" — 4:47

7" single

  1. "Digging in the Dirt" — 5:16
  2. "Quiet Steam" — 6:23

All songs written by Peter Gabriel.

Personnel

Additional musicians

  • Richard Blair – Additional programming
  • Hossam Ramzy – Surdo
  • Leo Nocentelli – Additional guitar
  • Ayub Ogada – Backing vocals
  • Peter Hammill – Backing vocals
  • Richard Macphail – Backing vocals
  • Babacar Faye – Djembe
  • Assane Thiam – Tama

Charts

Chart (1992) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[2] 23
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[3] 29
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[4] 26
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[5] 6
France (SNEP)[6] 34
Germany (Official German Charts)[7] 23
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[8] 30
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[9] 39
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[10] 25
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[11] 9
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[12] 12
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[13] 24
US Billboard Hot 100[14] 52
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[15] 1
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[16] 1
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[17] 37

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.stereogum.com/1396971/peter-gabriel-albums-from-worst-to-best/photo/attachment/us/
  2. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Peter Gabriel – Digging in the Dirt". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Peter Gabriel – Digging in the Dirt" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Ultratop.be – Peter Gabriel – Digging in the Dirt" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1863." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Lescharts.com – Peter Gabriel – Digging in the Dirt" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Peter Gabriel – Digging in the Dirt". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 40, 1992" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Peter Gabriel – Digging in the Dirt" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Charts.nz – Peter Gabriel – Digging in the Dirt". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Peter Gabriel – Digging in the Dirt". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Peter Gabriel – Digging in the Dirt". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Peter Gabriel Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Peter Gabriel Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Peter Gabriel Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Peter Gabriel Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 24 March 2018.

External links

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