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!
‘Til Tuesday – Voices Carry (1985)
We’re leaving the UK today, dear reader, and heading over to the US and to Boston, Massachusetts. Formed in 1982 ‘Til Tuesday were a new wave alternative rock band led by Aimee Mann on vocals and bass. Joining the group in 1985 they have released their debut album – Voices Carry – and 1001 Songs have gone with the title track and the leading single from the record.
Voices Carry was originally written about a relationship between two women but a nervous record label convinced Aimee Mann to change this to a relationship between a man and a woman. I know, me neither! In the song, Mann’s narrator is a woman in a very challenging relationship with a man. She is madly in love with him but he is often dismissive and tells her that he does not want to see tears as they are something that one should keep to themselves. The song’s title refers to his frustrations with her, that she often becomes too much for him with her worries and insecurities and that she should keep the noise down as “voices carry.” What is this poor woman to do other than seek out the nearest door and leave? This guy is clearly a moron.
I wasn’t familiar with ‘Til Tuesday but I have heard of Aimee Mann and fondly recall her work on the soundtrack to Magnolia. I enjoyed Voices Carry but was bemused that the record label did not want a song about a relationship between two women. Nothing wrong with the song as it is, of course, but this would have been a more interesting angle to explore I feel. The group would disband in 1989 with Mann pursuing a solo career but, bizarrely, she continued under the band name until 1992 as legal contractual obligations prevented her going 100% solo.
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)