1001 Songs Challenge,  1990s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #823: Insomnia (1995)

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!


Faithless – Insomnia (1995)

Insomnia (Faithless song) – Wikipedia

” Insomnia” is a song recorded by British musical group Faithless. Released as the band’s second single, it became one of their most successful. It was originally released in 1995 and reached number 27 on the UK Singles Chart, topping the UK Dance Chart in the process.


Lyrics (via Genius)


We’re leaving Australia today, dear reader, and making our way back to the UK and to London. Formed in 1994, Faithless were made up of Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss and Rollo and their favoured genre was electronic music. We join the group in 1995 with the release of their single – Insomnia – which has landed a coveted place on our exclusive 1001 Songs list.

Insomnia is self-explanatory and its lyrics very much live up to the title. Maxi Jazz takes the vocals here and offers a painful narration of the impact insomnia has on an individual. Try as he might, the narrator can simply not get to sleep and after tossing and turning in their bed, they are left to wander their home and make do as the hours slowly tick by and sleep fails to find them. The song is said to have tapped into the drug culture in many dance clubs with the revellers on the dance floor sometimes tanked up on drugs and all set to be awake for a good long while, sleep being secondary.

I have heard of Faithless but knew nothing about them prior to researching this post. I did not find Insomnia familiar until the closing minute or so when the vocals have ended and we are given some electronic music that immediately resonated with me. I have heard it before for certain, though whether it is this song or it was sampled by someone else, I am not 100% sure. Faithless disbanded in 2011 but Bliss and Rollo reformed the group in 2015, with Jazz opting to start a new band instead.


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)

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (1994)

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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