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…
AC/DC – Whole Lotta Rosie (1977)
We bid farewell to the sun-kissed beaches of California and make our way across the ocean to Australia where it’s time to rock ourselves senseless. Formed in 1973 by brothers – Malcolm and Angus Young – AC/DC are one of the most successful rock bands of all time, overcoming numerous changes of personnel over the years and some tragedy along the way. When we join the group in 1977 they have released their fourth album, Let There Be Rock, and 1001 Songs have selected the final track – Whole Lotta Rosie.
Whole Lotta Rosie was inspired by an experience singer, Bon Scott, had in Melbourne one night with a woman named Rosie. The story goes that he was about to hit some bars when Rosie and her friend approached Scott. She informed him she’d slept with 28 famous people and by the following day Scott had become no.29. The song recounts how Rosie is not the most beautiful of women and she is also described as weighing nineteen stone. However, Scott reveals that Rosie is amazing in bed, so much so that it’s an experience he will never forget.
I’m not sure a song like Whole Lotta Rosie would be written today and received warmly but 1977 was clearly a very different time. The song is in typical AC/DC fashion, a heavy rock number showcasing some stunning guitar work from Angus Young. The subject matter is a bit divisive, celebrating a woman’s performance in bed despite her weight, which should be irrelevant, but the music is sensational. In 1980 AC/DC would be dealt a severe blow when Bon Scott died from alcohol poisoning after a night of heavy drinking in London. The group considered disbanding but, instead, Brian Johnson took over as the group’s singer and their next album, Back to Black, proved to be their most successful.
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)
Rod Stewart – Maggie May (1971)
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (1975)
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)
Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run (1975)
Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way (1977)
David Bowie – “Heroes” (1977)