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!
Pata Negra – Camarón (1987)
Pata Negra is a Spanish flamenco-blues band, established by brothers Raimundo Amador (singer and guitarist, b. 1959 in Seville) and Rafael Amador (guitarist and cantaor, b. 1960 in Seville) after the breakup of their previous band Veneno. Their style of derivative rhythms based on flamenco nuevo and blues, which they titled “blueslería”, made an impact on other modern flamenco music bands.
We’re leaving the UK and making our way over to Spain and to Seville. Founded in 1981 by brothers – Raimundo Amador Fernandez and Rafael Amador Fernandez – Pata Negra translates as “black leg” and the siblings focused on flamenco music fused with blues to take the genre in a slightly different direction. When we join them in 1987 it is the track Camarón which translates as “shrimp.”
I had to seek out a translation for Camarón but from what I could discern it appears to concern a gathering, perhaps a coming together of a community or more likely family members. Individuals are named as they pass food around a table. Then the music kicks in and there is the desire to sing the Camarón of the title, as you would after a good meal and a few glasses of wine, I am sure. The narrator is singing to someone named Jose and by doing so they hope this will be reciprocated and they can respectively sing to one another’s good health. Sounds like a drunken get together to me but I can be cynical.
I was not familiar with Pata Negra prior to this challenge but this is the kind of song that was even capable of making me move. Only a smidgen I might add but I daresay my head did shift slightly to the rhythm of the flamenco guitar. You can’t help but admire acts such as Pata Negra that take the avant garde approach with music genres. We have seen many of them on our list so far and the brothers here are another welcome addition.
Favourite songs so far: