1001 Songs Challenge,  1990s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #752: Life Is a Highway (1991)

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…


Tom Cochrane – Life Is a Highway (1991)

Life Is a Highway

” Life Is a Highway” is an original song by Tom Cochrane, from his 1991 album, Mad Mad World . The song became a number one hit in his native country of Canada. The song also peaked at number six on the charts in the United States in the summer of 1992.


Lyrics (via Genius)
Learn more about this song (via Genius)


We’re leaving the US today, dear reader, and making our way north to Canada. Tom Cochrane was a member of Red Rider in the 1980s but the group were only modestly successful. When we join Cochrane in 1991 he has decided to have a stab at a solo career. His debut album, Mad Mad World, was released in late 1991 and 1001 Songs have gone with the track, Life Is a Highway

In Life Is a Highway Tom Cochrane uses the metaphor of a highway to put in place the many trials and tribulations that come with living one’s life. The opening serves as a generalisation about life and that there are highs and lows to be found along the way. Cochrane beseeches his lover to join him on the road and then the rest of the track switches its focus to them. It sounds like the relationship has its ups and downs but Cochrane does not lose faith. He assures his lover that if they keep on down the road they will be fine and that all he wants is to traverse the same path that she does. 

 After mixed success with Red Rider, Tom Cochrane had a breakthrough with Life Is a Highway. It not only topped the charts in Canada but it made its way into the US Top 40 a well. After struggling in the 1980s Cochrane enjoyed a serious taste of stardom. This was as good as it got for the Canadian though. He has released multiple albums since his debut solo effort but none have come close to the dizzy heights he enjoyed on that highway.


Favourite songs so far:

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)

The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)

The Doors – The End (1967)

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)

Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)

Ultravox – Vienna (1980)

The Smiths – How Soon Is Now? (1984)

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1988)

U2 – One (1991)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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