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!
Slayer – Raining Blood (1986)
” Raining Blood” is a song by the American thrash metal band Slayer. Written by Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King for the 1986 studio album Reign in Blood , the song’s religious concept is about overthrowing Heaven. The song is four minutes and fourteen seconds in duration.
We’re continuing in the US but going from coast to coast as we leave New York and head all the way over to California. Formed in 1981 Slayer became one of the big thrash metal bands with Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax being the others. We join the group in 1986 with the release of their third album – Reign in Blood. After banging their heads through the entire record, 1001 Songs have gone with the closing track – Raining Blood.
In Raining Blood Slayer takes us through around four minutes of thrash metal with the sound of rainfall locking out thefinal minute. The song itself concerns a guy who is stuck in purgatory having been discarded from heaven. Well, there are worse things that can happen. This discarded soul bides his time, prepares himself to unleash vengeance and then ascends once again to the heavens and puts the angels to the sword. The “raining blood” is the blood of the slaughtered angels falling down to earth. A very productive way to spend an evening then, I guess.
Slayer’s Reign in Blood album would be well received and is considered one of the best thrash metal records ever released. Raining Blood is a perfect blend of that thrash metal, with some interesting lyrics and welcome sound effects to keep things interesting. The band would continue to rock audiences globally until 2019 when they completed a farewell tour and finally laid those powerful guitars to rest.
Favourite songs so far: