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…
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Up Around the Bend (1970)
Welcome, dear reader, to the 1970s. The 1960s was mind blowing but this decade will hopefully be just as good, if not better. We open a new decade by continuing our stay in the US. Over to California we go to spend time with a legendary US rock group. Creedence Clearwater Revival were together for only five years but in that time they produced many classic tracks and chart success aplenty. 1001 Songs has selected a track from 1970 – Up Around the Bend.
Up Around the Bend is the juxtaposition of a claustrophobic city with the open space of the countryside. In the song, the narrator beseeches us to get out of the city and head on down the highway. We’re going “up around the bend” of the title to move us away from the urban areas and beyond the reach of the city lights. Out among the trees we can gather and the tranquility means you don’t have to focus on too many sounds. There is no chaos of the day to day hustle and bustle of the city in this place. It’s an idyll and we’re invited to come along for the ride. We’d be mad to refuse.
I know a handful of Creedence Clearwater Revival songs but had not come across Up Around the Bend before. It’s a well crafted rock track, evoking images of a paradise retreat away from the city. Some nifty guitar work enhances the piece greatly and it packs a lot into its relatively short length of less than three minutes. Sadly, Creedence Clearwater Revival fell apart in 1972. Rhythm guitarist, Tom Fogerty, left in 1971 while his brother, John, was at odds with the remaining members. Legal battles ensued for years to come. A sad way for such a great group to end.
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)