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…
Patsy Cline – I Fall to Pieces (1961)
We’re heading back to the US today and taking in some country music, in particular, the Nashville sound that came to prominence in the 1950s. Today’s song was written by Hank Cochran and Harlan Howard who offered it to different artists but they were not keen. Instead, Patsy Cline asked if she could record the song and the writers acquiesced. Good decision it turned out to be too. Cline herself had some doubts during the recording but she needn’t have worried for the song was a big success. Today we are sampling I Fall to Pieces.
I Fall to Pieces is a tragic love song with Cline taking on the role of the heartbroken narrator. She sings of a man who still haunts her heart and the mere sight of him, even the faintest mention of him, causes her to fall to pieces. She is vulnerable with this man yet theirs is a relationship that has ended. Cline desperately tries to move on but the flame of her love intensifies with each day. She tries to meet other men but, sadly, her former lover walks by and once again she falls to pieces. She simply can’t get over him and is locked in an eternal cycle trying to do so.
I had heard of Patsy Cline prior to starting this list but was not overly familiar with her work, though I do know there is a song called Crazy that was a big deal when it was released. I Fall to Pieces showcases Cline’s beautiful voice. Apparently she feared the backing music would drown out her voice when she first recorded the song but there is no risk of that here. The accompanying music is good but this is all about Cline’s vocals which are stunning.
Favourite songs so far:
Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel (1956)
Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line (1956)
Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode (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)
The Shirelles – Will You Love Me Tomorrow (1960)
Johnny Kidd & the Pirates – Shakin’ All Over (1960)
Edith Piaf – Non, je ne regrette rien (1960)