On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging 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 everyday (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…
Bo Diddley – I’m a Man (1955)
We continue in the US and revisit that wonderful world of rhythm and blues for today’s venture. This artist is considered one of the most influential with the likes of Elvis and The Beatles being inspired by his work. What an accolade that is. Inspired by the work of Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley penned our song today – I’m a Man – which would strike a chord with artists to come and in the 1960s, The Yardbirds would record a version of their own.
I’m a Man sees Bo Diddley boasting about his masculinity and his appeal to women. He promises a good time to any woman that will show him interest. At one stage he even asks all the pretty women to stand in line and he will make love to each of them in turn. Sounds pretty tiring to me! In the chorus he re-emphasises that he is a man and spells out the word “man” for even greater effect.
Though not as highly renowned as some of the artists that he would inspire, Bo Diddley has still been immortalised for his influence on music. I’m a Man may be a little sexual and boastful but it is backed by great music and carries a catchy beat all the way through.
Favourite songs so far:
Edith Piaf – La Vie en Rose (1946)
Elmore James – Dust My Broom (1952)
Little Richard – Tutti Frutti (1955)