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!
Madonna – Into the Groove (1985)
We’re leaving Norway behind, dear reader, and making our way over to the US and to Michigan. While Michael Jackson was often labelled the King of Pop, the title for Queen of Pop has often been attributed to Madonna so it’s no surprise that we find her on our list today. Madonna began her career in the late 1970s and was a member of a rock band known as Breakfast Club but would ultimately leave and eventually pursue a solo career. We join her in 1985 with Like a Virgin released the year before and the singer now pursuing film parts as another string in her bow. A starring role in Desperately Seeking Susan with Rosanna Arquette yielded a new song from Madonna by the name of Into the Groove.
Into the Groove is all about Madonna’s first love: dancing. She had originally pursued dancing as a career beforemoving into music. The song is simple enough with Madonna beseeching a guy to show his love for her by hitting the dance floor and getting “into the groove” of the title. It sounds like the narrator has been dancing a long time, it is their form of escape and comfort, but it isn’t much fun dancing alone so she now wants this man to join with her and make all future dances perfect. Isn’t that just nice?
Madonna doesn’t really need any introduction and mere words can’t fully grasp the magnitude of her achievements. She’s had a long and distinguished career, regularly reinventing herself to avoid being typecast as a one trick pony. Into the Groove represents the early Madonna though. It’s not her best song by a long shot but a key moment in her career when millions were taking notice and going crazy for her music. It would be her first UK no.1 and from there she didn’t really look back, recording dozens of Top 10 hits and singles. The biggest selling female solo artist in history, Madonna’s place in the annals of music is assured.
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)