Sledgehammer (Peter Gabriel song)  

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"Sledgehammer" is a hit song by Peter Gabriel from his 1986 album So. It peaked at number one in Canada for four weeks on July 21, 1986, number one in the U.S. on July 26, 1986, and number four in the UK singles chart, thanks in part to a popular and influential music video.

Music video

"Sledgehammer" spawned a widely popular and influential music video directed by Stephen R. Johnson. Aardman Animations and the Brothers Quay provided claymation, pixilation, and stop motion animation that gave life to images in the song. The video ended with a large group of extras jerkily rotating around Gabriel, among them: Peter's daughters Anna and Melanie, the animators themselves, and director Stephen Johnson's girlfriend. Also included were six women who posed as the back-up singers of the song. Gabriel lay under a sheet of glass for 16 hours while filming the stills for the video.

In 1987, it won nine MTV Video Music Awards, a record which still stands as of 2007. It ranked at number four on MTV's 100 Greatest Music Videos Ever Made (1999). MTV later announced that "Sledgehammer" is the most played music video in the history of the station. "Sledgehammer" has also been declared to be MTV's number one animated video of all time.

The video was also voted number seven on TMF's Ultimate 50 Videos You Must See - first aired 24 June 2006. It ranked at number 2 on VH1's top twenty videos of the 80's as well as being named the #1 amazing moment in music on the Australian TV show 20 to 1 in 2007.

The portion of the song featuring the synthesized flute solo was realized in the video by first one and then two oven-ready chickens, headless and featherless, animated using stop-motion. These were animated by Nick Park (of Wallace and Gromit fame) who, at that time was refining his work in plasticine animation.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sledgehammer (Peter Gabriel song)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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