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 Osmonds – Crazy Horses (1972)
We’re extending our stay in the US, dear reader, and leaving Chicago so we can head down to Utah. Our guests today are similar to The Jackson Five in that we have a group of family members, in this case siblings who began back in the 1960s before recruiting their younger siblings, Donny, Jimmy and Marie in the 1970s. By this point the group were known as The Osmonds and focused on soft rock and cutesy ballads that the young Donny tended to sing. In 1972 the group were in the midst of pushing themselves towards a harder rock sound. Donny’s voice was maturing in puberty so his brothers took centre stage for our featured song – Crazy Horses.
Crazy Horses is a song that is more relevant today than ever before. The Osmonds were conscious of the environment and the damage that could be wrought by pollution. The “crazy horses” of the title refer to the plumes of smoke rising into the air above towns and cities and poisoning the skies. The Osmonds sing of how the horses are eternal, never dying, and that they multiply. Are they free roaming horses though? Actually no, for The Osmonds reveal that these “crazy horses” have riders and that they are in the form of you and I, the very humans who are guilty of polluting the world. Thought-provoking stuff indeed.
I am not well seasoned with the work of The Osmonds and have heard people be quite dismissive of them in the past. Crazy Horses is a song that I recalled as soon as the chorus hit. It’s a far cry from a song such as Puppy Love which Donny Osmond recorded as a solo artist. You have to applaud the group for wanting to branch out into different genres and this particular track is a catchy one with sounds like some innovative use of music for good measure.
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)
Carly Simon – You’re So Vain (1972)