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 Stooges – I Wanna Be Your Dog (1969)
We’re back to the US today, dear reader, and taking in a group who are considered very influential especially when it came to the punk rock of the late 1970s. The Stooges, led by the very well known Iggy Pop, first formed in 1967 and continued sporadically, breaking up and reforming, most recently in this decade. Back in 1969, The Stooges released their self-titled debut album and from that record 1001 Songs has lifted I Wanna Be Your Dog.
The lyrics to I Wanna Be Your Dog comprise two short verses and a chorus packed into to just over three minutes. In the song, Iggy Pop addresses another individual and they are alone together in a room. The lyrics suggest possible drug taking, lost in one another’s trips, but that chorus also insinuates that we are talking about something of a sexual nature. Pop’s desire to be a woman’s dog suggests subservience to her will and potentially has connotations of S&M as well. It’s very ambiguous, of course, and open to debate but that’s certainly my take based on the lyrics.
I Wanna Be Your Dog is probably more notable for the music than the words. Use of distorted guitar, a three chord riff and one note piano all the way through would prove to be something of an inspiration when punk rock came to the fore in the next decade. The avant garde music for this time makes this one a memorable piece while Iggy Pop’s carefully delivered singing is apt throughout. While not a group celebrated for dozens of hits, The Stooges are fondly remember as pioneers and there is no shame in that.
Favourite songs so far:
The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)
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)
King Crimson – The Court of the Crimson King (1969)
Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love (1969)