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!
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Scar Tissue (1999)
” Scar Tissue” is the first single from the American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers’ seventh studio album Californication , released in 1999. It is one of their most successful songs, spending a then-record 16 consecutive weeks atop the US Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart as well as 10 weeks atop the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and it reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100.
We’re staying in the US today, dear reader, but making our way over to Los Angeles in California. It is a second appearance on our list from Red Hot Chili Peppers. They previously appeared in 1991 with Give it Away from their successful album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik. When we join the group in 1999 it is with the release of their seventh album, Californication, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track, Scar Tissue.
Scar Tissue is said to be in reference to recovering drug addicts and how they immerse themselves again back in the world of sobriety. Lead singer, Anthony Kiedis, would release an autobiography entitled, Scar Tissue, chronicling his own drug addiction and the tragic death of bandmate, Hillel Slovak, in 1988 from a heroin overdose in the group’s fledgling years. Scar Tissue makes reference to unscrupulous people to be dealt with but also offers hope using metaphors of birds in flight and the desire to open up about how it feels to be alive again.
Californication would be a well received album upon release and it demonstrated a group who were remaining partially faithful to their root sound but also honing, experimenting and developing it with a more melodic sound. Scar Tissue is an excellent example of a group in transition with deep and meaningful lyrics. The group have had numerous lineup changes but are still going to this day with their 12th album being eagerly awaited.
Favourite songs so far: