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!
Alicia Keys – Fallin’ (2001)
” Fallin” is the debut single by American singer-songwriter Alicia Keys and lead single from her debut studio album, Songs in A Minor (2001). Written and produced by Keys, “Fallin'” is generally considered her signature song. The official remix features rappers Busta Rhymes and Rampage.
We’re continuing in the US, dear reader, but leaving Virginia and making our way over to New York. Alicia Keys began her career in 1996, having been signed by a record label when she was only 15 years old. A gifted pianist as well as singer, we join Keys in 2001 with the release of her debut album, Songs in a Minor, and from there 1001 Songs have lifted the track, Fallin’.
Fallin’ concerns the trials and tribulations of love. In the song, Keys sings about the love she feels for another person and how this brings her both pleasure and pain. On the one hand being in love is a great feeling and she seemingly can’t get enough of it, but then this person she has fallen for suddenly hurts her and she wishes to be done with them and to not suffer anymore. The problem is the pain eases in time and she finds herself in love once again with the same person. She’s locked in a perpetual cycle of love and hate and it seems there is no way out.
Fallin’ is heavily driven by the piano and Alicia Keys’ powerful vocals. This poignant ballad carries a universal message that will resonate with many of us. The song would top the charts in the US, shifting millions of copies. 20 years on, Alicia Keys continues to perform and has collaborated with various other artists, notably Jack White to record the Bond theme for Quantum of Solace in 2008.
Favourite songs so far: