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…
Alice Cooper – Elected (1972)
From Michigan yesterday with Stevie Wonder to Arizona today, dear reader. It’s time we revisited some heavy metal and today’s guests are renowned also for shock rock, bringing a bit of horror to their stage shows. Gruesome indeed. They began as a group with the name Alice Cooper but today that tag belongs to a solo artist who initially led the band and was known as Vincent Damon Furnier. We join Alice Cooper in 1972 when they were still a band and in the later months of that year there was a US election going on, leading to 1001 Songs selecting a song called Elected.
Alice Cooper throw Elected at us an alternative choice for Americans in their election that year. This was in contrast to current President and Republican, Richard Nixon, and his challenger and Democrat, George McGovern. Alice Cooper lay down what they are offering the electorate which includes a nominee that has never lied to them, they are obviously cool and they assure the would be voters that if they win the election then a third party will emerge and it will be known as the Wild Party. All of this they promise but is it enough to get your vote or will you be sticking with the Republicans or Democrats?
Alice Cooper are well known for the song, School’s Out, which preceded Elected. Both are great rock numbers with Elected being very much of its time in tapping into election fever in the US air at the time. The song wasn’t as successful as School’s Out but it showcases a band who contributed a great deal to heavy metal even if they are in the shadow of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Sadly, Alice Cooper was not elected as President of the United States of America in 1972. That honour went to Richard Nixon instead, securing his second term as President but by 1974 he had resigned in light of the Watergate Scandal. Perhaps the Americans should have gone with Alice Cooper after all!
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 Kinks – Days (1968)
Derek & The Dominos – Layla (1970)
David Bowie – Life on Mars? (1971)
Rod Stewart – Maggie May (1971)
Stevie Wonder – Superstition (1972)