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!
Gnarls Barkley – Crazy (2006)
” Crazy” is the debut single by American soul duo Gnarls Barkley, taken from their 2006 debut album St. Elsewhere . It peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, and topped the charts in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand and other countries.
We’re remaining in the US but leaving Texas behind and making our way to Atlanta, Georgia. Gnarls Barkley were formed in 2003 and made up of a duo by the names of CeeLo Green and Danger Mouse (I’m assuming not their real names). They specialised in both soul and alternative rock. When they join them in 2006 with the release of their debut album, St. Elsewhere and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track, Crazy.
As the song title implies, Crazy seems to be about a form of mental instability, focusing on a feeling of maladjustment with one’s self and with the world. The opening verse talks about losing one mind and how there was comfort to be found in this. The second verse is addressed to another person and seemingly mocking them for thinking they are in control when really they too are “crazy”. The third verse speaks in admiration of heroes, likely celebrities, that the narrator wishes to follow and in summation they think of themselves as maybe “crazy” for how they have approached their life.
I distinctly remember this track being released and finding it both engaging and accessible which was a rarity as I am generally lost when it comes to the music charts these days. I prefer to consider myself cultured, rather than old! Crazy was actually leaked in 2005 and gained airplay in advance of its release the following year. The song is notable as the first song to hit the UK no.1 spot based on download sales only and was the country’s biggest selling hit that year. The duo are still together but their last album was in 2008 and the third record continues to be a work in progress.
Favourite songs so far: