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!
Nick Cave & Kylie Minogue – Where the Wild Roses Grow (1995)
” Where the Wild Roses Grow” is a murder ballad by Australian rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and pop singer Kylie Minogue. It is the fifth song and lead single from the band’s ninth studio album, Murder Ballads (1996), released on Mute Records.
We’re leaving the UK today, dear reader, and making our way down to Australia. It is a third appearance on our list by Nick Cave. When we pick up his story in 1995, Cave is working on the ninth album from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. For the last few years he has been trying to write a song for Kylie Minogue and finally found the winning combination with Where the Wild Roses Grow.
Where the Wild Roses Grow is a creepy duet with Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue taking on the roles of new lovers. They exchange verses and share the choruses, regaling us with the tale of a man and a woman who come together and seemingly fall in love. By splitting the verses we hear proceedings from each perspective. What begins as a love song of sorts takes a sinister turn with the man murdering his lover in cold blood. The accompanying music video I recall seeing on MTV was rather unnerving with Minogue lying, seemingly dead, in a body of water. Put me right off my breakfast cereal.
It was interesting to learn about the background to Where the Wild Roses Grow. I was amused that Nick Cave was painstakingly trying to find a song for Kylie Minogue and thought one about murdering her would be ideal. It obviously had the desired effect because Minogue responded just a day after receiving the song. It became Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ biggest global hit. While not Minogue’s most successful song, it still demonstrated her versatility.
Favourite songs so far: