On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging 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 everyday (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…
The Bangles – Manic Monday (1985)
We’re continuing in the US today, dear reader, and find ourselves over in Los Angeles in California. The Bangles were formed in 1981 by Susanna Hoffs, Debbi Peterson, Vicki Peterson and Michael Steele. An all-female rock group, The Bangles achieved significant success in the 1980s with some truly classic songs such as Eternal Flame and Walk Like an Egyptian. When we join the group in 1985 they are working on their second album, Different Light, and 1001 Songs have gone with what would be their first single from this record – Manic Monday.
Manic Monday was written by Prince who shelved it rather than use it for his latest album but when he first heard The Bangles he offered the track to them. The song is simple but very relatable. A woman describes waking up and having to go to work on a Monday morning. It’s all a mad rush to get there and she knows she will be late. To make matters worse she spends a great deal of time wishing it was still Sunday and that she could do what most of us like to do at the weekend i.e. nothing.
Manic Monday is a song I grew up with and even at a young age I was captivated by Susanna Hoffs’ vocals. It would have been interesting to see what Prince’s original intention was for the track but it’s hard to imagine anyone but The Bangles singing this one today. The song would be a huge hit for the group reaching no.2 in both the UK and US. Ironically, in the US it was Prince himself that kept The Bangles off the top spot with his track, Kiss.
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)