1001 Songs Challenge,  1990s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #796: Inner City Life (1994)

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…


Goldie presents Metalheads – Inner City Life (1994)

Inner City Life – Wikipedia

” Inner City Life” is a 1994 song by British electronic musician Goldie. It features vocals by British singer Diane Charlemagne. The single is taken from his acclaimed 1995 debut album, and is one of the most iconic drum and bass works of its era. It peaked at number 39 in the UK.


Lyrics (via Genius)


We’re leaving the US today, dear reader, and making our way back to the UK and to Walsall in the West Midlands. Goldie began his career first as a graffiti artist before moving into music production. Over time he became a key name in the circles of jungle, breakbeat, drum and bass, and electronic music. We join Goldie in 1994 as he works on his debut album, Timeless, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Inner City Life.

Inner City Life has minimal lyrics and is more focused primarily on the music, with Goldie combining jungle with drum and bass accompaniments. Guest vocals are provided by Diane Charlemagne and she juxtaposes the overwhelming force of inner city life and the “pressure” that comes with it, with the need to be in the open arms of an unnamed individual. They say love conquers all and here it sounds as if love is the only sanctuary that can be offered to escape from the intensity of the city.

Inner City Life is actually lifted from a 20+ minutes epic first track that opens Goldie’s debut album, Timeless. The track is driven heavily by the music but Charlemagne’s accompanying vocals complement the beat very well. The song would reach the UK Top 40 but Goldie lamented the lack of radio play the track received. It has endured beyond its chart position and is now considered one of the most essential drum and bass tracks of all time. Goldie continues to produce music and record albums, but he has also branched out into acting as well.


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)

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1988)

U2 – One (1991)

Suede – Animal Nitrate (1993)

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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