I Dig Everything

dig

I Dig Everything.
I Dig Everything (live, 1999).
I Dig Everything (Toy, 2000).

“I Dig Everything”‘s opening Hammond organ riff is pure Austin Powers soundtrack, but as the track goes on its charm deepens. A kid fresh arrived in town, mostly likely high, is running around London delighting in everything he sees—the commonplace becomes the mystical, not just through whatever stimulants he’s using, but via the creative arrogance of youth. This is my world, my city, he sings, and those who don’t see the beauties in its slums and on its sidewalks are either blind or old (or cops).

If “Can’t Help Thinking About Me” is a provincial leaving for London, “I Dig Everything” finds the kid having arrived, living in a squalid apartment, having (boho-style) more friends than food, sitting and smoking and laughing at the squares running off to work; he’s besotted at the bounty of city life. There’s an edge buried in the song—the singer’s unemployed and poor, and reality’s going to knock him on his ass sooner or later—but within the track’s confines he’s always going to be young, and each day will drop off fresh promises like a newspaper delivery truck.

It’s very much of a track of its time: the UK’s sun-filled glory of a summer in 1966, the last time Britain won the World Cup, the summer of Revolver and Aftermath, of the Emma Peel Avengers and “Sunny Afternoon” and “Daydream.”

The groovy cod-Latin rhythm (washboard and bongos!) is the most notable sign that Tony Hatch is using session players in place of The Buzz, and this is easily the best-sounding Bowie record so far in his career. Sadly, the single was yet another flop for Bowie, whose time with Pye ended soon afterward.

Recorded 5 July 1966 and released on 19 August 1966 as Pye 17157; on Pye 1966 Singles. Bowie revived it in 1999, occasionally performing it live.

2 Responses to I Dig Everything

  1. Momus says:

    That 2000 version of I Dig Everything sounds like they’re pretending it’s a lost track from Scary Monsters!

    The Toy-era revivals of Bowie’s 60s material seem to be a (slightly belated) response to Britpop’s raiding of 1960s songs and sounds. Bowie could go one better than Suede, Blur and Oasis because he was actually there in the 60s, writing songs. Time to dust them down, perhaps while wearing lilac-tinted John Lennon glasses which make the statement (in the vague direction of Liam Gallagher): “You wish you knew John Lennon. I actually did.”

  2. J.R. Clark says:

    Sounds like a Graham Gouldman or PF Sloan-penned song for Herman’s Hermits.

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