Steam

Album: Us (1992)
Charted: 10 32

Songfacts®:

  • This is very similar to Gabriel's 1986 hit "Sledgehammer." Both songs have prominent horn lines and are loaded with sexual references: "Steam" itself is a sexual reference (hot and wet).
  • Musically, the song was influenced by the '60s soul music that Gabriel listened to as a teenager.
  • The video was directed by Stephen Johnson, who also did Gabriel's "Big Time" and "Sledgehammer." The visual effects were done by Homer & Associates, which used the same motion capture technology for the 1992 film The Lawnmower Man. Gabriel spent two days doing the movements that were captured for the effects. The following year, Homer & Associates created the groundbreaking effects for TLC's "Waterfalls" video using the same system.
  • This won the Grammy for best short-form music video in 1994. Gabriel opened the 1993 ceremony with a performance of the song backed by the cast of Cirque De Soleil. Gabriel won the same award that year for "Digging In The Dirt."

Comments: 11

  • Dt from NcThe redhead in the video is absolutely gorgeous
  • Chris from Germany For one like me born in the late 1980s this song was one of those whose clip was played on MTV every day at least 5 times back in 1991.

    And I admit that now I found out that Gabriel was in Genesis. Genesis? Peter Gabriel in my eyes had always been innovative, progressive and one of the pioneers of that music which is nowadays called Alternative Rock.

    After releasing Digging In The Dirt this song was not so dark and sad but more catchy and funny.
  • Dave from Moscow, Russia FederationOne of Gabriel's catchiest and stupidest songs.
  • Jim from Long Beach, CaThis song was great live on his '93-'94 World Tour...
  • Mike from Santa Barbara, CaGreat song, this is Gabriel's best.
  • Chris from Claremont, CaI remember as a kid watching this video, the only part I remember is where he is in a suana with various women.
  • Hunta from St. Louis, Mowow, i just went to youtube and watched it. THAT VIDEO IS ON CRACK! lol, but i like it. good song.
  • Beryl from New York, NyI just downloaded this song. It is different than Sledge, but it still rocks! It rocks a little better than Sledge. I bet the strip clubs play these two songs. It fits. Sledgehammer and Steam are two very sexy songs. If Bob Fosse were still alive, I am sure he would have choreographed some good bump and grind moves to these two songs!
  • Liane from Reading, PaIs this the video where at one point he gets out of a limo and there are people sort of groveling at his feet?

    It's a really weird video
  • Jana from Lee, NhI don't think it's fair to call "Steam" a knock-off of "Sledgehammer". The songs harbor a large handfull of differences from eachother, and to call one a knock-off of the other robs it of its individual greatness. I love both songs!
  • Travis from Somwhere, United StatesWhen Gabriel performed this song at the 1993 Grammys, he planned on wearing the muscle suit and speedo (featured in the video), until he saw, in the audience, his 60s soul idols that inspired the song.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Chris Isaak

Chris IsaakSongwriter Interviews

Chris tells the story of "Wicked Game," talks milkshakes and moonpies at Sun Records, and explains why women always get their way.

Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"

Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"They're Playing My Song

The Nails lead singer Marc Campbell talks about those 44 women he sings about over a stock Casio keyboard track. He's married to one of them now - you might be surprised which.

Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes

Chris Robinson of The Black CrowesSongwriter Interviews

"Great songwriters don't necessarily have hit songs," says Chris. He's written a bunch, but his fans are more interested in the intricate jams.

Songs Discussed in Movies

Songs Discussed in MoviesSong Writing

Bridesmaids, Reservoir Dogs, Willy Wonka - just a few of the flicks where characters discuss specific songs, sometimes as a prelude to murder.

Part of Their World: The Stories and Songs of 13 Disney Princesses

Part of Their World: The Stories and Songs of 13 Disney PrincessesSong Writing

From "Some Day My Prince Will Come" to "Let It Go" - how Disney princess songs (and the women who sing them) have evolved.

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")Song Writing

Wes Edwards takes us behind the scenes of videos he shot for Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Chase Bryant. The train was real - the airplane was not.