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…
Crazy Horse – I Don’t Want to Talk About It (1971)
It’s time to say farewell to the UK, dear reader, as we need to head back to the US for today’s guest. What is happening sometimes at the moment is we have singers and groups who have prior associations with other acts and the same is happening again today. This US rock band – Crazy Horse – released albums themselves but they are also well known for collaborations with Neil Young who we have seen on a few occasions here of late. In 1971 band member, Danny Whitten, wrote the song I Don’t Want to Talk About It which became well known, especially when covered by other artists.
I Don’t Want to Talk About It is a song about heartbreak. The narrator has seen his relationship with a woman end and it sounds like a difficult time for them both. However, the narrator is also dismissive of his former lover, suggesting that her pain is not as great as his. In the chorus he insists that he doesn’t want to talk about the separation for it is too much to go through. You get the impression that he wants this relationship to be repaired somehow but what his ex thinks of this is difficult to tell and the narrator isn’t giving a lot away, abiding by the song’s title.
I had never heard the original version of I Don’t Want to Talk About It but you can hear the similarities between this and probably the most famous cover version by Rod Stewart which topped the UK charts in 1975. Other artists have attempted the song but Stewart’s version is the one that will spring to mind first for most people. Crazy Horse are still going to this day but they have experienced many lineup changes over the years. Danny Whitten was fired from the band in 1972 due to problems with drugs. Although Neil Young recruited him to help with his latest album he also fired Whitten on 18 November 1972 as he wasn’t fit to record, so gave him money for a plane home instead. Young was contacted later that night with the sad news that Whitten had died from a drug overdose. Another sad ending for a musician with great potential.
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)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (1968)
The Kinks – Days (1968)
King Crimson – The Court of the Crimson King (1969)
Derek & The Dominos – Layla (1970)
David Bowie – Life on Mars? (1971)