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!
Aimee Mann – Save Me (1999)
” Save Me” is a song written and performed by Aimee Mann for use in the film . It appears on the Magnolia soundtrack, which was released on December 7, 1999. In 1999 “Save Me” was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, which it lost to ” You’ll Be in My Heart” from the Disney movie .
Welcome to 1999, dear reader. To begin this year we are leaving Spain and returning to the US. We find ourselves in Richmond in Virginia and in the company of a singer by the name of Aimee Mann. She previously appeared on our list in 1985 as a member of the group, ‘Til Tuesday, and the song, Voices Carry. When we join her in 1999 she is now a solo artist and has been charged with writing music for the Paul Thomas Anderson film, Magnolia. 1001 Songs have gone with the track, Save Me.
In Save Me, Aimee Mann is a narrator who appears to be very vulnerable and is opening up to someone. She beseeches thisperson to save them, save them from “freaks” who are defined as those “who could never love anyone”. Mann’s narrator is clearly part of this group but longs to not be, to reach out, to feel, to love and to be loved back. This ties in with many of the characters in Magnolia who all have their problems and all could do with being saved for different reasons.
Magnolia is a film I have watched many times and I can distinctly remember Aimee Mann’s music. It complements the narrative beautifully and Save Me is an all encompassing track that ties in with the film’s themes of broken connections and the desire to either forge new ones or to repair damaged ones. The song would be nominated for an Oscar but lost to Phil Collins’ You’ll Be in My Heart which he wrote for Disney’s version of Tarzan. I’m not sure the Academy got this one right.
Favourite songs so far: