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…
Candi Staton – I’m Just a Prisoner (of Your Good Lovin’) (1969)
Our journey in the US goes on, dear reader, and today we are in Alabama where Candi Staton was born. She is well known for hits such as You Got The Love and Young Hearts Run Free which came in later decades to the one we find ourselves in. Back in the late sixties, Staton had just launched her solo career and from the early recordings 1001 Songs has opted for I’m Just a Prisoner (of Your Good Lovin’).
In I’m Just a Prisoner (of Your Good Lovin’) Staton’s narrator sings of a lover who has them very much under a spell. Actually it’s less of a spell and more a prison, a prison of love, you might say. I’m here all week! The narrator is at the mercy of their lover, they plead with them to never go, to always be there and make them happy. Our protagonist even goes so far as to say they do not want liberty from this prison, they want to remain a slave, bound and chained by their desire as long as it is reciprocated. The narrator has tried being without this person but they could not handle it. It sounds as if they are trapped forever. Love hurts, eh?
I’m Just a Prisoner (of Your Good Lovin’) paints a rather peculiar image of love, comparing it to a prison but one in which our narrator is happy to be incarcerated. Candi Staton’s stunning voice hammers home the passion our protagonist feels and their desperation at this situation they find themselves in. Bigger hits would come for Staton in the future but this is a promising early track from her.
Favourite songs so far:
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 Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)
Procol Harum – A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (1968)
The Kinks – Days (1968)