1001 Songs Challenge,  2000s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #928: Strict Machine (2003)

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!


Goldfrapp – Strict Machine (2003)

Strict Machine – Wikipedia

” Strict Machine” is an electronic dance song written by British group Goldfrapp and Nick Batt for their second studio album Black Cherry (2003). It was produced by Goldfrapp and describes laboratory rats in neuroscience experiments. Alison Goldfrapp read in a newspaper about experiments in which scientists stimulated rats’ brains so that the rats would feel joy when following commands.


Lyrics (via Genius)


We’re continuing in the UK today, dear reader, and find ourselves in London once again. Formed in 1999, Goldfrapp were an electronic duo comprised of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory. They started slowly with a debut album well received by critics but not translating to commercial success. Such is life. When we join them in 2003 it is with the release of their second album, Black Cherry, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track, Strict Machine

Strict Machine was inspired by a newspaper article that chronicled scientific experiments whereby rats’ brains were stimulated to the point that they carried out menial tasks and seemed to enjoy the experience. Strict Machine continues this theme with Goldfrapp singing of the machine of the title and how being the recipient of its powerful currents leaves them gushing with joy. They describe their love for this machine, their intoxication in being touched by it and it seems they are completely at its mercy, to do with as it desires.  

I have heard of Goldfrapp but could not name a song of theirs prior to this challenge. It may be I have come across their material somewhere before but I can’t say for sure. The premise of Strict Machine is interesting and the inspiration behind it even more so. Both the song and the album would hit the UK Top 20, giving the duo even more notice. They continue to perform to this day and now have seven albums to their name.


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)

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1988)

U2 – One (1991)

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (1994)

Radiohead – Paranoid Android (1997)

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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