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!
Gotan Project – Vuelvo al sur (2001)
Gotan Project is a musical group based in Paris (France), consisting of musicians Eduardo Makaroff (Argentine), Philippe Cohen Solal (French) and Christoph H. Müller (Swiss), a former member of Touch El Arab. Gotan Project formed in 1999. Their first release was “Vuelvo Al Sur/El Capitalismo Foráneo” in 2000, followed by the album La Revancha del Tango in 2001.
We’re leaving Australia today, dear reader, and taking the unusual step of combining two countries. In this case we are merging Argentina and France. Gotan Project were formed in 1999 and combined Argentinian tango with various other styles. When we join the group in 2001 they have released their debut album – La Revancha del Tango – and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track, Vuelvo al sur.
Vuelvo al sur translates as “I go back to the south” and reads as a love song, both the love for a person but also for a place. The narrator describes in the song how they are from the south, perhaps Argentina, or maybe the south of France given the group’s origins. Our protagonist is both in love with the south, with the feel and memory of it, but they are also in love with someone that waits for them there. It’s not clear how long they may have been away but it sounds like homecoming is long overdue.
Vuelvo al sur has a long instrumental that plays out the first half of the track before we are graced with vocals. Acoustic guitar is prominent here while the vocals on offer are simply delightful. The group are still together and have three albums under their belt though the last one was more than a decade ago. I’m assuming the group are busy with live commitments but fans eagerly await a fourth record.
Favourite songs so far: