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…
The Isley Brothers – Shout Parts 1 & 2 (1959)
We’re flying back to the US as the countdown to the end of the 1950s continues. Up today we have a family affair in the form of a trio of brothers – The Isley Brothers. The story goes that they were working on a cover version of Jackie Wilson’s Lonely Teardrops on stage when an improvised line about shouting stuck and became a song the brothers wrote themselves and one that takes them onto this list. The song is Shout Parts 1 & 2 and if you’re a fan of the singer, Lulu, you’ll know what song we’re discussing now.
Shout Parts 1 & 2 sees the brothers getting pretty pumped up about an individual who makes them want to shout and do a wide array of body movements. They tell us that they have known this person since they were children, always had them in their lives but now there is the danger of this individual going away and The Isley Brothers simply don’t want that. They’re going to keep on shouting and pleading with this person to stay. The second half of the song sees the trio lead the audience in a spot of participation to round off the number.
Being of the generation I am and from the UK, my first association of Shout is with Lulu but that doesn’t taint this original effort from The Isley Brothers. You could imagine this one getting everyone up on their feet, onto the dance floor and letting it all go to the music. The audience participation in the second half is also a fun way to conclude the song and something Lulu chose not to visit in her own version.
Favourite songs so far:
Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel (1956)
Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill (1956)
Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line (1956)
The Louvin Brothers – The Knoxville Girl (1956)
Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode (1958)
Cliff Richard & The Drifters – Move It (1958)
Ritchie Valens – La Bamba (1958)
Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues (1958)
Peggy Lee – Fever (1958)
The Everly Brothers – All I Have to Do Is Dream (1958)