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!
Tool – Schism (2001)
” Schism” is a song by American rock band Tool. It was the first single and music video from their third full-length album, . In 2002, Tool won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for the song. “Schism” was released as a DVD single on December 20, 2005.
We’re remaining in the US and in California today, dear reader. Formed in 1990 Tool have dabbled in both rock and metal in their career, their first album appearing in 1993. The group have long had an up and down relationship with the rest of the music industry, but when we join them in 2001 they have released their third album, Lateralus, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track, Schism.
A schism is defined as a split between two or more parties who have ideas and opinions so conflicting that they cannot reconcile in the middle. In Schism, Tool address this idea in the form of a relationship that has broken down and the track uses an extended metaphor of a jigsaw puzzle with its pieces being scattered. The narrator talks of a growing distance between themselves and another person but early in the track they sound hopeful of repairing the damage, their insistence being “I know the pieces fit.” They have seen the puzzle completed before and know it can be again. As the song nears its end there is a sense of desperation about the narrator. They are feeling the gulf between themselves and another continuing to widen and action must be taken soon if this is to become irrevocable.
I was intrigued when I saw Tool appear on this list. I have heard of the group but was not familiar with any of their material prior to today. Schism has a steady build up but soon comes to life. It is intricately put together with vocals that blend eerily with the music. The group continue to this day and despite their desire for privacy and doing things their way, Tool have gathered a wide range of critical acclaim.
Favourite songs so far: