I Dig Everything single – United KingdomWritten by: David Bowie
Recorded: 6 June, 5 July 1966; July, October 2000
Producers: Tony Hatch; David Bowie, Mark Plati

Released: 19 August 1966

Available on:
BBC Radio Theatre, London June 2000


David Bowie: vocals
Unknown: guitar, bass guitar, Hammond organ, flute, drums, percussion, vocals

David Bowie: vocals
Earl Slick, Gerry Leonard, Mark Plati: guitar
Mike Garson: piano, organ
Gail Ann Dorsey: bass guitar, vocals
Lisa Germano: violin
Sterling Campbell: drums
Holly Palmer, Emm Gryner: vocals

‘I Dig Everything’ was David Bowie’s third and final single for the Pye label. He recorded it twice in 1966, and again in 2000 for the Toy album.

The first version was recorded on 6 June 1966, at Pye Studios in Marble Arch, London. It featured members of The Buzz – guitarist John Hutchinson, bassist Derek Fearnley, organist Derek Boyes, and drummer John Eager.

The recording was produced by Tony Hatch, and also featured trumpeter Andy Kirk, sax player Pete Sweet, trombonist Graham Livermore, and Dusty Springfield’s backing vocalists Madeline Bell, Kiki Dee, and Lesley Duncan.

The song was arranged by Bowie and Fearnley, but there was no time to rehearse with the additional musicians, and Hatch was unsatisfied with the results.

‘I Dig Everything’ was re-recorded a month later, on 5 July 1966, again at Pye Studios.

This time Hatch took no chances, and arranged for a new set of session musicians to back Bowie. Their names were not documented.

I couldn’t tell you for certain who played on the re-recording but in those days, for ‘rock’ sessions I always hired great musicians like Jimmy Page, John McLaughlin, Jim Sullivan, Herbie Flowers, Clem Cattini, Tony from Sounds Incorporated, Roger Coulam and Alan Hawkshaw, the ‘hooligans’ of their time.
Tony Hatch, 1990
Any Day Now, Kevin Cann

Also recorded during the session was the single’s b-side ‘I’m Not Losing Sleep’. The single was released on 19 August 1966 as Pye 7N 17157.

Bowie unexpectedly revived ‘I Dig Everything’ during his Mini Tour in June 2000. He played it on just two occasions, on 19 June at New York’s Roseland Ballroom, and eight days later at the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

This one 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. Tony 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…” So we’ve messed around with it and it now sounds like this.

David Bowie
BBC Radio Theatre, 27 June 2000

‘I Dig Everything’ was among the songs recorded later that year for Bowie’s aborted Toy album. The recording leaked online in 2011, and was officially released in 2021.

This was among the majority of songs on Toy that were recorded in the following configuration – Sterling (drums), Gail (bass), Slicky and myself (electric guitars), Mike (piano and organ), and David, recording together as a live band.
Mark Plati, March 2021
Brilliant Adventure (1992-2001) book

The 2000 version of ‘I Dig Everything’ features Lisa Germano on violin.

Her violin on ‘Let Me Sleep Beside You’, ‘I Dig Everything’ and ‘You’ve Got A Habit’ is the secret sauce that pushes those songs slightly off the rails, and her recorder in ‘Silly Boy Blue’ brings something child-like that slightly offsets the sophisticated string arrangement. These bittersweet elements of fragile, quirky, melancholic or occasionally angsty Americana were not something we’d anticipated, but we fully embraced.
Mark Plati, March 2021
Brilliant Adventure (1992-2001) book

In April 2022 the six-song Toy EP (You’ve Got It Made With All The Toys) was released on CD and 10″ vinyl for the annual Record Store Day. The final two tracks – ‘I Dig Everything’ and ‘The London Boys’ – were recorded live at Bowie’s show at New York’s Roseland Ballroom in June 2000.

Previous song: ‘Good Morning Girl’
Next song: ‘I’m Not Losing Sleep’
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