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…
The Breeders – Cannonball (1993)
” Cannonball” is a song by the Breeders from their 1993 album Last Splash . It was released as a single on August 9, 1993, on 4AD/ Elektra Records, reaching No. 44 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and No. 40 in the UK Singles Chart.
We’re leaving Canada behind, dear reader, and heading south to the US and to Dayton, Ohio. The Breeders were formed in 1989 by Kim Deal of Pixies and Tanya Donnelly of Throwing Muses as a side project from their main band commitments. Focusing on alternative rock, the group won early praise with the likes of Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain, said to be a big fan. We join the group in 1993 though. Kim Deal is in limbo with Pixies having split up and The Breeders working on their second album, Last Splash, and Kim’s sister – Kelley – now in the band. From this new album 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Cannonball.
Cannonball has been interpreted in different ways by fans. In one interview Kim Deal said the song was inspired by the Marquis de Sade, a philosopher and sexual libertine from 18th and 19th century France. The “cannonball” of the title is said to be in reference to the move one makes when jumping into a swimming pool and forming a ball shape. An alternative take, and one I actually prefer, is that in the song Deal addresses Frank Black, lead singer of Pixies, who was de facto leader of the quartet and is said to have resented Deal’s popularity with fans. Creative differences led to the band’s break up and Cannonball has been defined as Deal attacking her former bandmate.
I love Pixies and all four original members of the band. Kim Deal was a key part of what made the group as memorable as they are today and it was a great shame that she and Frank Black fell out as they did. Cannonball showcases Deal’s unused talent in Pixies and proved very popular on release as did the group’s album. They are still going to this day but there have been hiatuses, problems with drugs for both of the Deal sisters and lineup changes along the way, not to mention Pixies reforming as well. Kim Deal turns 60 this year but still mesmerises thousands of fans to this day.
Favourite songs so far: