1001 Songs Challenge,  2000s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #908: Rock Star (2001)

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!


N*E*R*D – Rock Star (2001)

Rock Star (N.E.R.D. song) – Wikipedia

” Rock Star” is a song by American funk rock band N*E*R*D. It was released as the second single from their debut studio album In Search of… (2001). The song, the second single off the album, performed better in the United Kingdom than their previous single ” Lapdance”, peaking at number 15.


Lyrics (via Genius)


We’re remaining in the US today, dear reader, but leaving California and making our way over to Virginia. N*E*R*D were formed in 1999. Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo had first recorded as The Neptunes but N*E*R*D became a side project with Shay Haley also on board. The group fused hip hop and rock into their repertoire and made a strong impression as a result. We join them in 2001 with their debut album, In Search of…, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track, Rock Star

Rock Star seems to be a power play of sorts with the narrator insisting that they are the rock star of the title and that an individual(s) are mere pretenders to their throne. They give this person a dressing down, believing them to be fake and not to be taken seriously. We are also given an insight into the life of a rock star and how the audience’s perception of them as akin to gods isn’t necessarily the case. The narrator offers some valuable advice about the importance of being ourselves and staying true to who we are, rather than contorting ourselves to fit society’s mould of celebrity. 

Rock Star was an interesting hybrid with its hip hop roots but heavy dose of rock thrown into the mix. The guitar is prominent here and the track is both catchy and fast-paced with an important message about the stars that we idolise. The group disbanded in 2005 with Williams having enjoyed great success as a solo artist in the interim. N*E*R*D would reunite in 2008 and have been together ever since.


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)

The Doors – The End (1967)

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)

Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1988)

U2 – One (1991)

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (1994)

Radiohead – Paranoid Android (1997)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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