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…
Mariah Carey featuring Bone Thugs-n-Harmony – Breakdown (1997)
” Breakdown” is a song by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey from her sixth studio album (1997). The song features rap verses by two of the five members of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. The song was released on March 22, 1998, by Columbia Records as the fourth single from .
We’re leaving the UK today, dear reader, and returning to the US and to New York. Mariah Carey began her career in 1989 and made an amazing start, bagging five no.1 hits in the US from her first five singles. Christmas lovers will be familiar with Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You, a staple of the festive season, which was released in 1994. We join Carey though in 1997 with the release of her sixth album, Butterfly, and from there 1001 Songs have selected – Breakdown.
Breakdown is a painful story of a broken relationship with the narrator being the one trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered life. Their former lover sounds like they have ended the relationship and the narrator is struggling to cope. She puts on a brave face with friends, makes believe that she is doing just fine, but deep inside she is in agony at this parting. The pain is so intense that the narrator is actually starting to fear for their sanity. The magnitude of this devastating moment in their life sounds like it is simply too much to bear right now. You wish her well in overcoming these dark days but it sounds like a long road ahead.
I have heard a few songs by Mariah Carey in the past and do recall the release of the title track, Butterfly, from this album. Breakdown is considered one of Carey’s quieter masterpieces, one of those tracks that wasn’t a hit but is still a fan favourite. By this point Carey was transitioning, incorporating more hip hop into her music, and Breakdown features a rap from Krayzie Bone and Wish Bone. These changes did not hinder Carey’s success one bit. She still continues today but there have been some commercial setbacks along the way as well a difficult period with her health after suffering an emotional breakdown in 2001.
Favourite songs so far: