On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge 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 every day (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… legendary!
Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough (1979)
We’re staying in the US today, dear reader, but leaving New York to make our way over to Indiana. Michael Jackson has appeared on our list previously with Jackson 5 and The Jacksons, but now in 1979 we come across the young man as a solo artist. Jackson had released solo albums earlier in the decade but when we join him at the end of the 1970s he is 21 and the question is whether the child star could continue his career as an adult. Jackson released his fifth solo album, Off the Wall, in 1979 and 1001 Songs have gone with the song, Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough.
The song opens with Jackson sounding hesitant and mentioning the force, the need to embrace the power and to continue on.Once up and running, Jackson tells us about how amazing this power is and the chorus refrain of the song’s title urges one to ride the wave until they are completely satisfied. On the surface it sounds like this might be a love song but Jackson would confirm in interviews that in writing the track, he was thinking more about the pursuit of dreams and never giving up on such desires.
I had not heard this early song from Michael Jackson prior to today. Now an adult, you can already hear the signature “oohs” and hiccups that would become the singer’s trademark as he rose to superstardom in the 1980s. I wouldn’t say this track is as strong as some of Jackson’s later material but the potential is here for what he would come to achieve. He would continue as a member of the Jackson for now but solo success was already proving Michael could go it alone.
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)
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)
Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way (1977)
Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (1978)
The Police – Roxanne (1978)