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!
Kepa Junkera – Bok Espok (1998)
Kepa Junkera Urraza (born 1965 in Bilbao, Euskadi, Spain) is a Basque musician and composer. A master of the trikitixa, the diatonic accordion, he has recorded more than 10 albums. Junkera won the Latin Grammy Award for Best Folk Album in 2004 for his album K.
We bring an end to 1998. We’re leaving the US today, dear reader, and making our way across the Atlantic and back once again to Europe and to Spain. Kepa Junkera specialised in Baroque music and is famous as one of the most gifted players of the trikitixa, a variant of the accordion. When we join Junkera in 1998 it is with the release of his eighth album – Bilbao 00:00h – and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track, Bok Espok.
In Bok Espok we hear Junkera singing about a lost love. This may be a person he has been with or someone he desired to be with. What isn’t in doubt is they are not together now and it is tearing him apart. Junkera is admitting that he knows this is over and there is no chance of a happy ending but he continues to love this person regardless of whether it is a hopeless pursuit now. Not even the attentions of others are enough to sway him.
I was not familiar with Kepa Junkera prior to this challenge but did enjoy Bok Espok. The accordion, or trikitixa as it is called, stands out as does the rest of the music. The lyrics blend nicely with the melody but the music is very much in charge of this track. Junkera continues to perform to this day and released his 25th album in 2017. Not bad at all.
Favourite songs so far: