On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge 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 every day (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 Rolling Stones – Tumbling Dice (1972)
We remain in London, dear reader, and we’re catching up with The Rolling Stones. This is actually their fourth appearance on our list after (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Paint It Black and Sympathy for the Devil. Will they claim a fifth entry? Anyway, in 1972 we join The Rolling Stones as they release a double album – Exile on Main St. From that double LP, 1001 Songs have gone with the biggest hit from the record by the name of Tumbling Dice.
Tumbling Dice is another collaboration between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The song is about a gambler who loves women as much as gambling. They love women so much in fact that fidelity is an alien concept to them and they shift from one woman to another. In the song the women are described as “low down gamblers” so suit the needs of the narrator aplenty as their favourite hobby is the same as his. At one stage the narrator seems to be down on his luck, worn out and penniless, but he spots another woman and wants to buddy up with her and roll the dice one more time.
The Rolling Stones were considered to be at their peak in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Tumbling Dice is another example of their staying power with Jagger’s lyrics and Richards’ music being the perfect foil for one another. I would say that the group’s work from the 1960s is superior to the likes of Tumbling Dice but the song still has a lot of merit and bagged the band a UK Top 5 placing. The group are still going strong to this day but as the 1970s came to an end their most commercially successful days were already behind them.
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)