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 Small Faces – Tin Soldier (1967)
We’re back in the UK, dear reader, and our artist’s today would have quite a legacy in terms of band members but more on that later. Formed in London in 1965 The Small Faces were a quartet that dabbled in rock, R&B and psychedelia to name just a few of the strings in their musical bow. By 1969 they underwent major changes but 1001 Songs has dug out one of their tracks from 1967 in the form of Tin Soldier, written by band member, Steve Marriott.
With Tin Soldier Marriott revealed that it is a love song of sorts but not of the physical kind. This one is more about wanting to dive into the mind of another person to be at one with them, rather than a sexual union. In the song’s chorus, the narrator is practically on his knees before this woman. He wants to do whatever she wants such as singing a song that she wants to hear. Her mere presence is all he needs. A look, a simple smile, all of these things are more precious to him than the outside world.
This was an enjoyable track with the lyrics really conveying the powerful desire this individual has for this woman. I thought the idea of going into a person’s mind was an interesting alternative angle to pursue as well. The Small Faces ended in 1969 when Steve Marriott left to form Humble Pie. The surviving members formed Faces and recruited two members from the Jeff Beck Group by the name of Ronnie Wood (who later joined The Rolling Stones) and a little known Scottish musician called Rod Stewart (who would forge a successful solo career). We may hear more about him and his solo career later.
Favourite songs so far:
Ben E. King – Stand By Me (1961)
The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)
The Who – Substitute (1966)
The Rolling Stones – Paint It Black (1966)
The Beach Boys – God Only Knows (1966)
The Doors – The End (1967)
The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset (1967)
Aretha Franklin – Respect (1967)
The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)