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!
B.B. King – Please Love Me (1953)
Riley B. King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015), known professionally as B.B. King, was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer. King introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending, shimmering vibrato and staccato picking that influenced many later blues electric guitar players.
We continue our odyssey in the US today and it’s a spot of the blues that we partake of. Beginning life on a cotton plantation in Mississippi, B.B. King rose from humble origins to the present day where he is considered one of the most influential blues musicians. From his collection, 1001 Songs… has chosen Please Love Me.
The song sees the narrator expressing his love for a woman and beseeching her to be with him. This woman is so beautiful that B.B. King has fallen for her before even learning her name. He will do anything for her if she will only return his love and pleads with her to do the same for him. If that isn’t enough, he even throws in the promise of a Cadillac so he can be with her all the more sooner.
I loved the guitar intro here which was reminiscent of Elmore James’ Dust My Broom. King gives it his all as he expresses his longing for the unnamed woman. As with many songs like this, we are left to speculate as to the outcome of his lovestruck torment but with the musical accompaniment on offer here you’ll not mind missing out on the answer.
Favourite songs so far: