After hurricane Gustav, I was deluged with a few emails from the American Red Cross asking for donations (both monetary and otherwise) to help out in the relief efforts.Â And yes, they were asking for blood donations – which made me start thinking of a certain Pete Townshend song.Â Pete’s song dovetailed into searching for other songs that either have blood in the title or mention blood in the lyrics, and here we have today’s “Bloody Hell” mix.
“Give Blood,” Pete Townshend (download)
Because this is the song that started me thinking about this mix, why not put it first? I did see the film White City when it was released in ’85, and had a tough time following the storyline, but I’ve always had a fondness for this solo album — even though it feels incomplete. It’s like Pete had these grand plans for a rather lengthy project and then scaled it back to a collection of songs that, while very good at times, seem like they were part of a larger narrative.
“Blood Makes Noise,” Suzanne Vega (download)
A very underrated early ’90s single from Suzanne, and one that does a nice job of evoking panic and dread surrounding a certain disease that affects the immune system.Â I’ve always found Suzanne Vega’s work compelling (even the sleepy/dreamy stuff), and have never failed to buy a record she’s released. I guess it’s love!
“Sunday Bloody Sunday,” U2/Saul Williams (download)
I pieced these two songs together last year.Â I’m sure most of you have heard of “Mash-ups,” but this is my own variation called the “Smash-up.” Basically, I got tired of listening to the original and the cover versions of songs at different times, so I thought “Why not just smash them together to see how they sound side by side in one recording?”Â You tell me if you like it, and if you do, maybe I’ll start doing more of these.
“The Blood,” The Cure (download)
Combining a Middle Eastern vibe with flamenco guitar and the lyrics, “I’m paralyzed by the blood of Christ,” can make for a potent combo when listening to this song in an altered state — or so I’m told by my friend, Kent.Â Kent was living in Bakersfield, CA in the ’80s as a young twentysomething and had a weird experience listening to this song while tripping on mushrooms. Good times?
“Don’t Drink the Water,” Dave Matthews Band (download)
One of the darkest singles Dave Matthews has released to date.Â The theme of colonization and the mass extermination of whole populations (“Blood in the water”) was a bold move from a band whose songs, for the most part, have a “happy and fun” vibe to them.
“Domino â€¢ Part One â€“ “In the Glow of the Night” â€¢ Part Two â€“ “The Last Domino,” Genesis (download)
Another surprising tune (to me, anyway) by a band whose music by the mid-’80s had a lot of radio-friendly fluff, but very little substance.Â “Domino” is a 10 minute prog-song mostly told from the perspective of someone in war-torn country (“Blood on the windows … I fight to rise from this river of hell … Their bodies dissolve and I am alone”). I was also surprised to learn that the song “Invisible Touch” was to be part of “Domino,” but because the lyrics really didn’t fit the darker tone of “Domino,” the band decided that “Invisible Touch” should be a stand-alone tune.Â Wise move.