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!
Salt-N-Pepa – Push It (1987)
” Push It” is a song by the hip hop group Salt-N-Pepa. It was released as the B-side of the “Tramp” single in 1987, and as its own single in 1988.
We’re leaving Mali behind today, dear reader, and returning to the US. We find ourselves in New York and back in the world of hip hop though with a difference today. Formed in 1985 Salt-N-Pepa comprised Cheryl James (Salt), Sandra Denton (Pepa) and Deidra Roper (DJ Spinderella). It’s 1987 and the song, Push It, has been released as a B-side to the track, Tramp, but it is the former 1001 Songs are most interested in.
Push It has been interpreted by some listeners as concerning sex but the reality is actually they are looking at dancing here. The group’s insistence that we “push it” is about strutting one’s stuff on the dance floor but be warned this isn’t for everybody. They are calling on all the girls to show the guys what they are made of, to work up a sweat on the dance floor, then cool off during the day. This is not just for women but for sexy people as well so that’s me out on both counts. Also, my inability to dance is an issue as well.
Salt-N-Pepa were a really big deal, one of the first all female hip hop acts to achieve mainstream success. Push It would be issued as a single in its own right in 1988 and proved very popular, almost reaching the top of the UK charts. The group disbanded in 2002 with Salt having grown disillusioned with the music industry but the group reunited in 2005 and have continued to perform to this day.
Favourite songs so far: