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 Beat – Save It for Later (1982)
We’re continuing our stay in the UK, dear reader, but relocating to Birmingham today. Formed in 1978, The Beat dabbled in many genres such as ska, pop, reggae and punk rock to name just a few. Seems a bit greedy to me. Their time together was only brief though and when we join them in 1982 the end is nigh as the group are hard at work on their third and final album – Special Beat Service. 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Save It for Later.
Save It For Later was written by singer and guitarist, Dave Wakeling, prior to forming The Beat and when he was just a teenager. Wakeling himself has said the song is about the transition from being a teenager to an adult and the hopes and expectations one has. In keeping with the youthful feel of the track, the song actually has sexual innuendo in there but it’s a little bit rude for me to disclose here, this being a family friendly blog and all. Some of the lyrics seem to capture that transition from dependence on parents to independence, especially when the narrator is insistent on making their own decisions but still needs someone to hold their hand while they do so.
The Beat are another UK group who emerged along with other acts such as The Specials and Madness around the same time. Save It for Later would be one of their biggest hits for the band and even attracted the attention of The Who’s Pete Townshend who, along with Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, could not figure out the tuning for their guitars to play the song until they called Wakeling who was more than happy to offer his insight. By 1983 The Beat had disbanded with the members pursuing other projects. They have reformed this century with a different line-up and continue to perform.
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)