Solid Iron Heart


Prime Club, Cologne Germany 2001 Photo by Bernd Kok
Prime Club, Cologne Germany March 2001 Photo by Bernd Kok

I never liked Solid Iron Heart on the Rocket House album.  Well, I should qualify that statement:  I was drawn in by Chris’s haunting voice and entranced by the lyrics, but my ears rebelled against all the extraneous sound production in the album version.  I mean, really, why such noise should obscure such intense lyrics!

Meet me on the other side
Of the world
Meet me on the other side
Of the world
You’re farther away than anyone
Meet me on the other side
Of the world

Follow the parade of my deceit
Until a secret sends you home
Liberation follows the revolt
Now you’re farther away
Than anyone

Somewhere the truth of the two
Well it could never come apart
Alone as I and only you
Light as our solid iron heart

Down at the mechanical ballet
Where the parted thighs belong
Now you are farther away
You’re farther away than anyone

“Meet me on the other side of the world …. Now you are farther away than anyone” echoing in my head this morning, I tried (again) to listen to the RH CD version, hit END PLAYBACK halfway thru the “crap” (just my humble opinion, people), and went looking for any bootlegs.  Once again, I not only prefer the bootlegs; I’ve added another previously “meh” song to my list of CW favorites.

Note that Chris performed SIH almost exclusively during his 2001 European tour (with DJ Big Wiz on turntables), excepting the outlier at Bill’s Bar (Boston, MA) the week before he headed to Europe.  According to Maarten Demetter’s tour guide, these November 2001 gigs were the first and last times Chris included the song in his sets.  I guess that, having written so many exceptional – in this case, I would say stunning – songs, Chris could discard even the stupendously great ones from his repertoire.  Oh, well, as much as I would have liked to hear how this song might have evolved in the following years, I’m glad to have these few performances of Solid Iron Heart trapped in amber.  And I’m forever grateful to the CW fans who did the trapping.


Addendum:  Just realized that, on the advance release of RH (distributed to music critics?), Solid Iron Heart is called Mechanical Ballet!  Thanks to Hiroshi Suda for providing this info and photo:


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