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!
Lupillo Rivera – Tomando y tomando (2001)
We’re leaving the UK behind today, dear reader, and making our way to the US and to Long Beach in California. Lupillo Rivera began his career working for his father’s record label and scouting for talent at the local bars. By the end of the 20th century, however, he had earned his own record deal and began recording. When we join him in 2001, Rivera is onto his fifth album – El Senor de los Cielos – and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track, Tomando y Tomando.
Tomando y Tomando translates as “taking and taking” and sounds to be a song of heartbreak. Rivera’s narrator is lamenting the loss of someone he loved dearly but longs for their return to him. Comfort is sought in the heavy consumption of alcohol but though the devil’s brew numbs him it does little to assuage his aching heart. The poor narrator is locked in a perpetual cycle of pain, hoping for a reprieve, but it doesn’t sound like it is anywhere nearby.
Tomando y Tomando is a brief track driven by the saxophone and even has what sounds like a brass intro thrown into the mix too. Rivera’s vocals here are great and this makes for a catchy tune from start to finish. Today, Rivera has more than 20 albums to his name but the last one was way back in 2010. Fans must be itching to get their hands on a new record but it sounds like the popular singer has had other commitments including TV shows.
Favourite songs so far: