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!
Garbage – Stupid Girl (1995)
” Stupid Girl” is a song by American rock band Garbage from their self-titled debut studio album (1995). The song was written and produced by band members Duke Erikson, Shirley Manson, Steve Marker and Butch Vig.
We’re leaving the UK today, dear reader, and making our way back to the US. To Madison in Wisconsin we must go. Formed in 1993 Garbage included among its members, Butch Vig, a music producer who had worked with the likes of Nirvana on their masterpiece – Nevermind. Scottish singer, Shirley Manson, was drafted in to complete the line up. When we join the band in 1995 they have released their self-titled debut album and already made a big impression with their singles. 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Stupid Girl.
With lyrics written by Shirley Manson, Stupid Girl was intended as a dismissal of those girls who want everything and are not content with anything less than that. The song describes the steps this girl will take to fit in and tries to warn her not to go down the road she is heading on. Later in the song the narrator laments the fact that this girl is faking aspects of herself to fit in and be accepted, not being true to who she really is. The song seems to suggest that something has to give here. Either the girl will achieve her ambitions or she will be broken trying to do so.
Stupid Girl was not the first single from Garbage’s debut album but it was one of the most successful, reaching no.4 in the UK chart. I remember listening to Garbage when they first appeared and always liked their debut effort. The second album was good too, though inferior. The group struggled after this with a less than well received third album, while later work proved difficult and the band went on hiatus in 2005, reemerging in 2010 where they seem to have settled creative differences and are generally working together well again.
Favourite songs so far: