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…
Genesis – I Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe) (1973)
We’re continuing in the UK, dear reader, and heading to southeast England where today’s guests originated. Genesis began life with a line-up of Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks and Anthony Phillips and were formed in 1967, focusing firstly on folk music. When we join the group in 1973 they have shifted to progressive rock and Phillips has departed, with Phil Collins and Steve Hackett now on board. The group’s fifth album, Selling England by the Pound led to their first UK Top 30 hit and the track 1001 Songs has selected here – I Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe).
I Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe) is an eccentric track which opens with a mellotron mimicking the sound of a lawnmower. The song’s opening and closing verses are spoken segments by Peter Gabriel with the remaining verses and chorus are sung parts. The track itself is from the perspective of a young man who is under pressure from adults and authority figures to grow up and take on the real world. Alas, he would rather sit and listen to their strange dialogue, keeping a safe distance, and then spend his days mowing lawns. It’s a more apt and carefree existence for him after all.
I am familiar with Genesis’ most famous line-up of Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks, their inability to dance or talking about someone with an invisible touch. That’s post progressive rock Genesis that came at the end of the 1970s when they shifted over into pop. I Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe) represents a very different Genesis to the one I know, where Peter Gabriel is the leader, and it’s an accessible group. The song has an experimental feel to it with the delivery of the lyrics but most of all the music. It must have seemed quirky and unusual at the time of release.
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)