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!
Basement Jaxx – Romeo (2001)
” Romeo” is a song by English electronic music duo Basement Jaxx, released as the first single from their second studio album, (2001). British R&B singer Kele Le Roc provides the track’s lead vocals while Corryne Dwyer sings the background vocals. The song was released on 4 June 2001 as the first single from the studio album.
Welcome to 2001, dear reader. We’re leaving Georgia and the US today and making our way back to the UK and to London. Formed in 1994 Basement Jaxx were an electronic duo comprised of Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe who began with the emerging house scene before gradually rising to prominence. We join them in 2001 with the release of their second album, Rooty, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Romeo.
Romeo is sung by R&B artist Kele Le Roc and was originally intended to be from the perspective of a man lamenting the breakdown of a relationship. Instead, Basement Jaxx flipped the narrative to the viewpoint of a woman and the song became the story of a relationship that was once great, that this guy was her Romeo, but now it has fallen apart. This “Romeo” has gone from being kind and loving to neurotic and unreasonable. This relationship can’t last.
Kele Le Roc offers a good vocal here with Romeo but the track is as much about the music as it is the vocals. The dance track proved popular upon release, receiving critical acclaim and landing itself a place in the UK Top 10 as well. The duo continue in the present day but their last album was released back in 2014 and fans eagerly await the next record.
Favourite songs so far: