David Bowie: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — May 27, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

464) David Bowie — “I Dig Everything”

I dig this song! Richie Unterberger: “Before landing his first commercial success with 1969’s ‘Space Oddity,’ David Bowie released a number of flop records in a variety of styles. He first emerged in the mid-1960s as a mod . . . .” (https://www.allmusic.com/album/early-on-1964-1966-mw0000264185) “I Dig Everything”, Bowie’s last Pye A-side (’66), was certainly mod. It and its Pye companions represented, as Dave Thompson says, “the young Bowie at his most endearing, mourning lost love and celebrating youthful promise, with his whole life ahead of him and fame still more than half a decade away.” (https://www.allmusic.com/album/i-dig-everything-the-1966-pye-singles-mw0000245251)

No one nails the essence of the song as well as Pushing Ahead of the Dame:

[Its] 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). . . . [He’s] 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 groovy cod-Latin rhythm (washboard and bongos!) is the most notable sign that Tony Hatch is using session players . . . . Sadly, the single was yet another flop for Bowie, whose time with Pye ended soon afterward.

https://bowiesongs.wordpress.com/2009/08/22/i-dig-everything/

Bowie himself had mixed feelings, commenting in 2000 that:

[The song] was really awful when I recorded it. I hated it. It’s not my fault, really. It’s always everybody else’s fault, you know that, in life? Did you know that? If something goes wrong, don’t worry about it. It’s never your fault, it’s always everybody else’s fault. It’s a very good rule to remember. In this case it was poor Tony Hatch’s fault. T ony Hatch was a very big producer at the time, and he’d just had a big hit called ‘Downtown’. And he really believed in me, really believed in my songs, but every one he produced always ended up sounding like ‘Downtown’. I said, ‘Can I have a loud electric guitar?’ ‘No, no, no, you don’t want to do that.’ [sings] “Dig everything, da-da-da-da-da… Downtown…”

https://www.bowiebible.com/songs/i-dig-everything/

“I got the village tied up. (chorus: “dig everything”) I walk along beside the garbage man ’cause I dig everything. (chorus: dig everything) I wave to the policemen, but they don’t wave back. They don’t dig anything (chorus: dig everything). Ain’t had a job for a year or more and I don’t own a thing (chorus: dig everything). Everything’s fine and I dig everything. Everything’s fine and I dig everything. Dig! I feed the lions in Trafalgar Square and I dig everything. (chorus: dig everything) I sit just behind my window, till my cigarette’s low and I dig everything. (chorus: dig everything) Got a backstreet room in the bad part of town and I dig everything (chorus: dig everything). I see people in the street below, who don’t know where they’re going, they don’t dig anything. (chorus: dig anything) Everything’s fine and I dig everything. Everything’s fine, and I dig everything. Dig! I’ve got more friends than I’ve had hot dinners. Some of them were losers, but the rest of them are winners. Rick, John, Sally, a connection named Paul. Holy law and money, their intentions are tall. We smoke and talk in my room and we dig everything. Dig! I made myself at home. (chorus: dig anything) I made good friends with the time-check girl on the end of the phone. All the movie shows (chorus: dig everything). I sunbathe for love (chorus: dig everything). Even when it’s not hot (chorus: dig everything). ‘Cause I dig everything (chorus: dig everything).”

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