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!
The Sisters of Mercy – This Corrosion (1987)
” This Corrosion” is a song by English rock band the Sisters of Mercy, released as the lead single from their second studio album, (1987), in September 1987. The song peaked at number 6 in Ireland, number 7 in the UK, and number 17 in Germany.
We’re leaving France and making our way back to the UK and to Leeds in Yorkshire, a place yours truly once worked for four years, if you can imagine, though I won’t tell you what I did. Rest assured, dear reader, it was legal. Anyway, The Sisters of Mercy were formed in 1980 and had a turbulent period of line up changes leading to a split of sorts in 1985. The main stay has been Andrew Eldritch at the helm and when we join the group in 1987 it is with the release of their second album – Floodland. From there, 1001 Songs have gone with the song, This Corrosion.
The background to This Corrosion can be found in the group split back in 1985. Members, Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams,left The Sisters of Mercy and formed a new group called Sisterhood. Insert thoughtful looking emoji here. Andrew Eldritch did not take kindly to this new band sounding similar to his own and penned This Corrosion as an attack on his former bandmates. Hussey and Adams would later rename their group The Mission with Hussey expressing regret about his prior actions. This Corrosion takes the idea that Sisterhood were essentially churning out mediocre substitutes of The Sisters of Mercy, but Eldritch has explained the song is an extended attack on anyone preaching a specific message without being fully behind it themselves, essentially a false prophet betraying themselves and the masses they are addressing with words deemed to be gospel.
I have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of bands on this list to have hailed from Yorkshire. The Sisters of Mercy sound familiar by name but I don’t recall hearing their work before. This Corrosion clocks in at around ten minutes with a mesmerising opening choir and a general feeling of epicness all around. Jim Steinman, who produced Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell, was on board for this song and you get a feel of the great man’s influence. Our Jim sure likes a long song or two. The Sisters of Mercy continue to this day but stopped recording in 1993 after a dispute with their record company. Instead, they tour and tour, incorporating new material but are yet to return to a studio or sign a new record deal to make a new album.
Favourite songs so far: