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!
The Passions – I’m in Love with a German Film Star (1981)
We’re staying in the UK, dear reader, but returning to London for our latest offering. The Passions were formed in 1978 and theirs is a brief career, sadly, and even more tragically we are considering a group who were regarded as one hit wonders. Never good. When we join them in 1981 The Passions are yet to grace the charts but that is all about to change as they declare, I’m in Love with a German Film Star.
I’m in Love with a German Film Star had its lyrics written by the group’s singer, Barbara Gogan. She was thinking of a man named Steve Connelly who had been a roadie for both The Clash and The Sex Pistols, but had also had minor roles in German films and TV shows. Sounds like he made quite an impression. In the song, Gogan sings of the German film star and describes how he is in a bar in “imperfect clothes” and doing his best to avoid the glare of the media and celebrity spotlights. She also tells us of watching him in a film and how the role he played wasn’t exactly a pleasant one but she was “moved” all the same by the experience. Celebrity crush or the real deal? It’s hard to say.
I’m in Love with a German Film Star is another song where the title sounded familiar to me but upon listening I could not recall hearing this one before. The song demonstrates the group’s potential and you find yourselves puzzled why their sound didn’t resonate with more people. As it was, this song would hit the UK Top 30 but that was as good as it got. By 1983 The Passions were disbanded but this track remains their popular legacy.
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)
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)
Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (1978)
The Police – Message in a Bottle (1979)
Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart (1980)
Ultravox – Vienna (1980)