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!
Britney Spears – Toxic (2003)
We’re remaining in the US today, dear reader, but leaving New York and making our way over to Mississippi. Britney Spears was just 15 when she signed to a record label in 1997 and two years later she achieved global stardom with her debut album, …Baby One More Time. When we join Spears in 2003 she has released her fourth album, In the Zone, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the single, Toxic.
Toxic is a love song that uses an extended metaphor of the song’s title to describe a guy the narrator is drawn to. She informs us that this guy is essentially akin to a drug that she is addicted to. She simply can’t get enough of him and considers him “toxic” which sounds negative but this woman doesn’t feel like that about this guy. Having informed this guy how toxic he is, the narrator insists that she is ready for him, ready for all of his love to be given to her and she will more than reciprocate.
I remember when Britney Spears first graced the UK charts and she has remained popular ever since. While her music was never really to my taste, I do take my hat off to her for the many achievements she has had. Both Toxic and In the Zone were critically lauded, especially with Spears’ fusion of various genres, rather than playing it safe and sticking solely to pop. Her career continues but her personal life is more in the headlines these days, especially the controversial conservatorship her father had over her for many years.
Favourite songs so far: