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!
Blur – Song 2 (1997)
” Song 2″ (often mistakenly titled as ” Woo Hoo”) is a song by British rock band Blur. The song is the second song on their eponymous fifth studio album. Released in April 1997, “Song 2” peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart, number four on the Australian ARIA Charts, and number six on the US Alternative Songs chart (previously called the Modern Rock Tracks chart).
We’re staying in the UK today, dear reader, and extending our stay in London so a second night in this lovely hotel we can enjoy which is handy because the bed is super comfy. Anyway, we have a second appearance on our list from Blur. It’s 1997 and the group have changed direction with their fifth album, Blur, moving away from Britpop and gambling on a heavier sound. From that record, 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Song 2.
Intended as a parody of American grunge music and also something of a joke for the record company, Blur were surprised when the track received positive feedback and was considered to be hit material as well. The song encompasses the number 2 with its title, its length being 2 minutes and 2 seconds, 2 verses, 2 choruses, the no.2 track on the album and to cap it off it reached no.2 in the UK charts! What are the odds? The song itself is lyrically sparse with “woo-hoo” from Damon Albarn being a high point, while the song’s meaning seems to be the narrator complaining about issues with their head, revelling in heavy metal and how it makes them feel in the chorus, and just losing themselves in the frantic nature of the track.
Song 2 is a brief but fantastic heavy rock piece from Blur. Far removed from the likes of Parklife and Country House, this showed a different side to the band with lead single – Beetlebum – demonstrating their versatility. Britpop kings prior to this album, Blur showed with the likes of Song 2 that there was a lot more to them than met the eye and they could be considered very serious artists now.
Favourite songs so far: