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!
Pixies – Where Is My Mind? (1988)
” Where Is My Mind?” is a song by the American alternative rock band Pixies, and is the seventh track on the band’s album Surfer Rosa . Although the song was never released as a single, it is one of the band’s signature songs. “Where Is My Mind?”
Happy New Year, dear reader. Welcome to 2021. Let’s hope it is better than 2020. We’re staying in the US, dear reader, but moving on from Long Island, New York, and heading over to Boston, Massachusetts. Formed in 1986 Pixies were led by Black Francis who was the singer and songwriter with support coming from Kim Deal on bass, Joey Santiago on lead guitar and Dave Lovering on drums. The band would be modestly successful to begin with but their influence on later bands would also propel them to stardom. We join the quartet in 1988 with the release of their debut album, Surfer Rosa, and 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Where is My Mind?
Written by Black Francis, Where is My Mind? was inspired by a holiday he took to the Caribbean and went scuba diving. Francis himself would recall that at one stage he thought he was being chased by a fish. The song itself has an uneasy feeling to it with Francis using the refrain of losing one’s mind while lost beneath the water, stepping out of one’s comfort zone and doing something unnatural for mankind. He does make reference to fish bumping into him as if wanting to communicate. The title could be interpreted as the popular belief that some fish have limited memory span, but it is just as likely to be Francis lost in the moment and trying to make sense of the experience.
I am a big fan of Pixies and do lament the recognition they did not get when they were first around. The likes of Nirvana and Radiohead cited Pixies as an influence on them. Black Francis was the creative force behind what made the group great but the other members were equally vital in creating the sound of the band. Where is My Mind? is one of the group’s best songs and was famously used at the end of 1999 classic, Fight Club. I saw Black Francis live many years ago with another band – Frank Black and the Catholics – and Where is My Mind? was played at one stage. What an experience it was.
Favourite songs so far: