On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) (1985)
We’re back in the UK today, dear reader, and heading over to Kent in southeast England. It’s a second appearance on our list from Kate Bush after we enjoyed Wuthering Heights in 1977. Surprisingly, when we find Bush in 1985 her career has hit an obstacle or two with her previous album not being well received. No matter. Bush simply returned with a fifth album – Hounds of Love – and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the song – Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God).
Running Up That Hill was originally entitled A Deal with God but Bush’s record company felt overtones of religion may alienate radio stations in some countries so Bush reluctantly amended the title. The song does not actually concern religion. Instead, Kate Bush was considering the differences that exist between men and women both on a physical and emotional level, in how they may experience the world differently. The song talks of doing a deal with god whereby a man and woman can swap places and in doing so learn more about one another and thus improve their relationship entirely.
Having been somewhat in the doldrums in the early 1980s, Kate Bush hit back in style with Hounds of Love which was a critically acclaimed success. Running Up That Hill was lauded by fans and critics alike, making its way into the UK Top 10 and the US now took notice of the talented singer as well. Her star shines bright to this day and in 2014 when Bush announced 22 live performances, her first shows in 35 years, tickets took just 15 minutes to sell out! Extraordinary.
Favourite songs so far:
The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)
The Doors – The End (1967)
The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)
Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (1978)
Ultravox – Vienna (1980)
Don Henley – The Boys of Summer (1984)
The Smiths – How Soon Is Now? (1984)