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!
Rihanna ft Kanye West and Paul McCartney – FourFiveSeconds (2015)
” FourFiveSeconds” is a song recorded by Barbadian singer Rihanna, American rapper Kanye West, and English musician Paul McCartney. It was written and produced by West, McCartney, Mike Dean, Dave Longstreth and Noah Goldstein with additional writing from Kirby Lauryen, Ty Dolla Sign, Dallas Austin, Elon Rutberg and Rihanna.
Welcome to 2015, dear reader. We have but one song featuring in this year so may as well make it something special, right? We’re remaining in the US but also including both Barbados and the UK for a gathering of three unique music stars. Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney all came together by chance and worked on a solitary track by the name of FourFiveSeconds which gets the nod for our list today.
FourFiveSeconds has vocals led primarily by Rihanna with Kanye West responding to her verses, while McCartney is on guitar and backing vocals. Rihanna and Kanye West appear to be telling the story of a troubled relationship. Rihanna’s narrator finds solace in drinking alcohol for it is the only thing that can help her lips find sincerity. Kanye West is perceptive and can see that all is not well for the couple and that something has to give, whether that means their union continuing or coming to an end.
Paul McCartney, like Rolling Stones, is one of those artists that seems like they will be with us forever and I wish that were the case. This collaboration with Rihanna and Kanye West demonstrates his versatility and staying power in the music industry. FourFiveSeconds is a decent collaboration between three popular artists and would hit the Top 10 in the US, a regular occurrence for Rihanna in the present day, but a welcome return for Paul McCartney who had waited years for another visit.
Favourite songs so far: