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…
Eugenio Finardi – Musica ribelle (1975)
Just a brief stay in the US, dear reader, as we’re jumping back on our plane and heading to Italy. How do we feel about a spot of Italian rock music? I’m pretty excited about. I hope you are too as that’s what we have in store today in the form of Eugenio Finardi. He first began his career in the late sixties but his debut solo album came in 1975. We pick up Finardi’s story in the same year though he is now working on his second album, Sugo, which translates as Sauce. From that record, 1001 Songs have gone with the opening track – Musica ribelle.
Musica ribelle translates as “rebellious music” and was written by Eugenio Finardi and would be the second single released from the Sugo album. The song itself appears to be a celebration of music and how it reaches individuals who are in need. At the outset we hear of 18 year old Anna who is alone in her room and feels the loneliness beginning to envelop her. There is respite to be found though in the music coming from the radio. In the second half of the song, Finardi switches his focus to a young man named Marco who dreams of going to Germany or to California. He is someone who enjoys music but not the words that are sung, though he sees these words replicated on the streets he walks, painted on the walls and visible in other formats. Does Marco have an aversion to this new music, or the lyrics anyway? In the chorus, Finardi sings of this rebellious music that these young people listen to and that resonates with them. He urges them to take it in, to feel the music in their veins and to let it lift them to a better plain, to a place where they can enact a change in their lives.
Given my fondness for Italian food, it’s probably high time I learned how to speak Italian or at least one language other than English. My linguistic ignorance is pretty embarrassing as I go through this 1001 Songs Challenge. Anyway, Musica ribelle is a powerful rock track from Finardi. The lyrics are beautiful though I am likely completely off track in yielding the song’s meaning. Anything that hails music as beneficial has got to be a good thing and here Finardi captures the power of this medium for the many of us who are free to enjoy it. The rebellious nature of the music makes one consider these young people being in a traditional regime that turns its nose up at change such as rock and roll. Perhaps Marco represents an old way of thinking, while Anna is the new wave wanting to be heard. Finardi’s song is a reminder that new music is to be embraced and not feared.
Favourite songs so far:
The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)
The Doors – The End (1967)
The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)
Derek & The Dominos – Layla (1970)
David Bowie – Life on Mars? (1971)
Rod Stewart – Maggie May (1971)
Sparks – This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the Both of Us (1974)
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (1975)
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)