Steam (Peter Gabriel song)

Last updated

Steam single.jpg
Single by Peter Gabriel
from the album Us
Released11 January 1993 [1]
Genre Funk rock [2]
  • 6:03 (album version)
  • 5:19 (video edit)
  • 4:45 (radio edit)
Label Geffen
Songwriter(s) Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel singles chronology
"Digging in the Dirt"
"Blood of Eden"

"Steam" is the second single from English rock musician Peter Gabriel's 1992 album Us . Gabriel has said that the song is about a relationship in which the woman is sophisticated, bright, cultured, and knows everything about anything while the man knows nothing about anything; however, he does know about the woman, and she does not know much about herself. [3] [4]


"Steam" reached number 10 on the UK Singles Chart, number 32 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number one on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart. In Canada the single became a number-one hit, topping the RPM Top Singles chart on the week of 27 February 1993, knocking Whitney Houston's hit "I Will Always Love You" off the top spot after a 10-week run. "Steam" also charted within the top 10 in Iceland, Ireland, New Zealand and Portugal.

An alternative version of this song called "Quiet Steam" was a B-side on the "Digging in the Dirt" single. It is a very lo-fi take on the popular version that appeared on the album. On Secret World Live , "Steam" is preceded for a minute or so by the "Quiet Steam" version.

Music video

The surreal video for "Steam" was directed by Stephen R. Johnson, who also directed the videos for Gabriel's earlier hits "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time". The director said he wanted to cram the video with as many "things" as possible. [5] The video features digital imagery and numerous instances of sexual symbolism.

Awards and nominations

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1993 MTV Video Music Award Best Male Video Nominated
Best Visual Effects Won
Best Editing Won
1994 Grammy Award Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance Nominated
Best Music Video Won

Track listing

All songs written by Peter Gabriel. [6]

  1. "Steam" (LP version) – 6:02
  2. "Games Without Frontiers" (Massive / DB mix) – 5:19
  3. "Steam" (Oh, Oh, Let Off Steam mix 12") – 6:44
  4. "Steam" (Oh, Oh, Let Off Steam mix dub) – 5:44





See also

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