1001 Songs Challenge #883: U Don’t Know Me (1999)
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!
Armand Van Helden – U Don’t Know Me (1999)
You Don’t Know Me (Armand Van Helden song) – Wikipedia
” You Don’t Know Me” (originally titled ” U Don’t Know Me”) is a song by American record producer Armand van Helden featuring vocals from German-American singer Duane Harden. It was released on January 25, 1999, as the lead single from his third studio album, .
We’re remaining in the US today, dear reader, but leaving Ohio and heading over to Boston in Massachusetts. Armand Van Helden began his career in 1990 and became renowned as a DJ, record producer and remixer. When we join him in 1999 his third album, 2 Future 4 U, has been released and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the record’s first single – U Don’t Know Me.
U Don’t Know Me began with the music. Armand Van Helden sampled various pieces of music, put them into a loop and was finished as far as his contribution was concerned. However, singer Duane Harden was then left to come up with some lyrics and to provide the vocals which he duly did. Harden’s lyrics seem to concern an individual, possibly a celebrity, who finds themselves under extreme scrutiny. They lament the speculation and judgement of others and come back to the continued refrain of the song’s title, insisting they are their own person and will not be defined by others.
U Don’t Know Me is both a dance and electronic track that has a repetitive but catchy beat when it comes to the music. The contribution of Duane Harden can not be underestimated though and adds further depth and interest to the track. U Don’t Know Me would prove very popular upon release, especially in Europe where it climbed to no.1 in the UK. Today Armand Van Helden has eight albums to his name and is celebrated as an electronic pioneer.
Favourite songs so far:
The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)
The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)
Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)
Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1988)
Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (1994)