|"Digging in the Dirt"|
|Single by Peter Gabriel|
|from the album Us|
|Released||7 September 1992|
|Peter Gabriel singles chronology|
"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, peaking at number 52, but it topped both the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks and Album Rock Tracks charts. The song was moderately successful on the UK Singles Chart, where it peaked at number 24, and it reached the top 10 in Canada, Portugal, and Sweden.
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.
According to Gabriel himself, "the meadow of flowers from the final scenes of the Digging in the Dirt video were actually filmed at the edge of the carpark at Real World Studios."
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 (after being stung). 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 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. Gabriel wore a special "helmet" with a video camera attached in an antenna-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 pointed down Gabriel's throat.
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|1992||Grammy Award||Best Male Rock Vocal Performance||Nominated|
|Best Rock Song||Nominated|
|Best Music Video||Won|
|1993||MTV Video Music Award||Video of the Year||Nominated|
|Viewer's Choice Award||Nominated|
|International Viewer's Choice Award for MTV Europe||Nominated|
All songs were written by Peter Gabriel.