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!
Justice vs. Simian – We Are Your Friends (2006)
” We Are Your Friends” is a song credited to Justice vs. Simian, and is French duo Justice’s remix of the track “Never Be Alone” by Simian. It was released as a single in 2006. It reached number 20 in the UK Singles Chart.
We’re remaining in Europe today, dear reader, and combining France and the UK. We begin in the UK in Manchester, England. Simian were formed in 2000 and recorded two albums before splitting up in 2005. Back in 2002 their second album, We Are Your Friends, featured a track by the name of Never Be Alone. The following year a French electronic duo named Justice were formed and it is in 2006 that these two acts’ stories combine. Justice took the now defunct Simian’s song, Never Be Alone, and remixed it into a track named We Are Your Friends and that is what 1001 Songs are focusing on today.
Justice’s remix of Never Be Alone retains only the chorus from the original and throws in a dominant amount of drums and synth to flesh out the track. The meaning of the song remains essentially the same. It is beseeching those who feel lost and that they don’t belong to come forward and be embraced by friends. These friends will welcome the lost souls into the fold, make them feel they belong and assure them that those days of loneliness are now in the past.
The gestation of this track made me think of Jason Nevins remixing Run-D.M.C.’s It’s Like That in 1997 and enjoyed a huge hit with it, though I understand the bulk of the profits went to the band instead. Justice took a track from a rock group and watered it down lyrically but reinvented it musically. I do always find the more lyrics the better in a song most of the time so the repetitiveness of this track limits its impact for me but that doesn’t stop it being an interesting experiment. This version would take both Justice and Simian into the UK Top 20, the highest placing for both acts there.
Favourite songs so far: