On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging 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 everyday (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…
Mudhoney – Touch Me I’m Sick (1988)
” Touch Me I’m Sick” is a song by the American alternative rock band Mudhoney. It was recorded in April 1988 at Seattle’s Reciprocal Recording studio with producer Jack Endino. “Touch Me I’m Sick” was released as Mudhoney’s debut single by independent record label Sub Pop on August 1, 1988.
We’re continuing in the US today but making our way over to Seattle in the state of Washington. Formed in 1988 Mudhoney would be another group that did not achieve mainstream success but they established an early template for grunge which would see the likes of Nirvana and Pearl Jam achieve great success. We join Mudhoney at the start of their career with their first single, Touch Me I’m Sick.
Touch Me I’m Sick is a raw and gritty piece that proved influential upon release especially on college radio. The song itself describes a pretty unpleasant scene with the narrator seemingly dying from some unknown disease or perhaps this has something to do with drug addiction, it is not overly clear. They seem to be appealing to a young woman to touch them before they perish and towards the end of the song they have a desire to go beyond mere touching and onto sexual intercourse.
Touch Me I’m Sick was an early precursor to grunge but although it grabbed a lot of attention upon release it did not translate to great success for the band. Instead, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains would be among the key names to grab the commercial plaudits and popularise the grunge movement. There is nothing overly wrong with Mudhoney, it’s just against the likes of the biggest grunge bands you simply don’t have a chance. Mudhoney continue to this day with a loyal fanbase despite mainstream success continuing to be beyond their reach.
Favourite songs so far: