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…
Chic – Le Freak (1978)
We’re abandoning the UK after a short visit, dear reader, so we can return to the US and to New York. We’ve already had a bit of disco music in the 1970s and today we have a very famous song from this era and genre. Chic specialised in funk, disco and R&B and were first formed in 1972. When we catch up with the group in 1978 they have just released a new track – Le Freak.
The song was inspired by the group being turned away from Studio 54, a former nightclub with a reputation for long queues and being selective about those allowed inside. On this particular night, Chic had been invited by Grace Jones but she forgot to inform security so the group were turned away. From that experience came Le Freak which appears to be a type of dance that Chich beseeches us to partake of and they even mention meeting on the dancefloor in Studio 54. We might need a VIP pass to take them up on this offer but the sentiment is certainly appreciated. We are told Le Freak is all the rage and should we make it to the dancefloor we are invited to “freak out.” Seems a nice offer.
Le Freak is one of those songs many will be familiar with for its chorus alone, even if you may not have heard the whole track. It’s been used in many a film and television programme in the past. One that instantly springs to mind for me is Shrek 2 when a bunch of fairytale characters take over Shrek’s home while he is visiting the in-laws and they proceed to freak out. As you do in someone else’s home. Le Freak would be a huge selling single and Chic’s biggest hit of all. The group disbanded in the early 1980s but reformed in the 1990s and have continued to perform to this day. They may even be freaking out as I write this.
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)
Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way (1977)
David Bowie – “Heroes” (1977)
Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)