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 Jacksons featuring Mick Jagger – State of Shock (1984)
We’re leaving Minnesota and heading over to Indiana today, dear reader. We’re checking in with The Jacksons who have previously been on our list. Joining them in 1984, tensions within the group are not great but Michael Jackson has come back from his success with Thriller to help out the band one last time. Well, that’s nice of him. Their fifteenth album, Victory, has been released and 1001 Songs have gone with the track State of Shock.
Previously intended as a collaboration between Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury for Thriller (blimey, can youimagine?), State of Shock instead ended up on Victory and instead of Mercury it was Mick Jagger that stepped in to duet with Michael. The premise to the song is pretty simple with Jackson and Jagger singing together at times but then exchanging vocals as they regale us with the tale of a girl they are really into. She is something pretty special and they simply can’t get enough of her. Seeing her, being with her, all of it leaves them in the “state of shock” of the song’s title.
I wasn’t aware that Mick Jagger had collaborated with Michael Jackson before, nor that it was with The Jacksons rather than Michael solo. It’s an interesting combination with the contrasting vocals of the two men. I can’t help but imagine what Freddie Mercury might have brought to the party though had that intended duet for Thriller taken place. The Jacksons would continue beyond this but Michael left the group at the end of 1984. He didn’t need the band anymore and by 1989 they had petered out with no further albums following though reunions with Michael would still take place.
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)
Ultravox – Vienna (1980)
Don Henley – The Boys of Summer (1984)
The Smiths – How Soon Is Now? (1984)