This is, without doubt, my favourite song of all time.
Like many others back in the late 80’s, I had bought Peter Gabriel’s “SO” Album for the incredibly catchy “Sledgehammer”. The video had plasticine stop motion and was quite unlike anything else I had ever seen. When I got home, I placed the vinyl carefully on my little record player, set the correct RPM and lowered the stylus onto the starting grooves.
The above song is the first thing on that album and as the opening played through my tinny speakers, I was sitting reading the lyrics on the sleeve. There was something about the whole musical atmosphere that the song had created that captivated me. Not long before I had picked up a whole heap of old 2000Ad comics at a bring and buy sale. Having not read it in years, I had devoured the stories that were contained within. For those that know these things (and are interested) most of the issues were from the apocalypse war storyline of Dredd. A pretty good place to start and it gave me a love of Dredd that continues to this day (and contributed to my arguing with an Ex about the merits of the Stallone Dredd film….it has none if you were wondering!!).
Also in that stack of issues I had got (20 comics for 5p) were various parts of the Rogue Trooper strip. I was struck by how harrowing some of these stories were. The chem clouds that had devastated Nu Earth and the pointless war that the Norts and the Southers were fighting. It was whilst reading these stories that something happened. I had been playing both sides of “SO” on almost constant repeat for days and as “Red Rain” started, it somehow became entangled in my mind as relating to Rogue Trooper. I would change the words in my head as it played
“Chem rain is coming down, all over me”.
Well it is the sort of thing that teenagers do, so I make no apologies.
Even today, when that song is playing, there is that part of me that will forever be a teenager that is smiling, changing the words and thinking himself clever and remembering how good Rogue Trooper was.
As for Dredd and the Apocalypse War, well that became entangled with “Don’t give up” on the same album and still brings back memories of that story. That is how powerful music can be.
So why is it my favourite song ever? To be honest I cannot give a definitive answer. There are other songs that are close to taking that title, like this one , this one and this one but they are all relating to specific moments in my life. There is just something about Red Rain that gets me every time. That is all I have.
To be honest, that is all that is needed.