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!
Gorillaz – Stylo (2010)
” Stylo” is the first single from British virtual band Gorillaz’s third studio album Plastic Beach . The song features guest vocals from Bobby Womack and Mos Def. The single was released on 26 January 2010. Bobby Womack knew nothing about Gorillaz and was initially unsure about the collaboration; however, his granddaughter liked Gorillaz and convinced him to do it.
Welcome to 2010, dear reader, our journey draws ever closer to the end now. Into a new year we remain in the UK and are in London today for a second appearance from Gorillaz, a virtual band created by Blur frontman, Damon Albarn. Ten years after their last appearance, Gorillaz have released their third album – Plastic Beach – and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Stylo.
Stylo is a multi-instrumental piece as well as boasting different vocals including a hip hop segment while both Damon Albarn and Bobby Womack contribute vocals to the piece as well. Lyrically, the song seems to be a conversation between different characters including 2-D and Stylo. They appear to be talking about the importance of electricity and technological advancements that have become the mainstay of our lives in this progressively innovative world that we now live in. The song seems to be a lament, rather than a celebration, of the path that humans have taken and how our pursuit of advancements always seems to come at great cost, especially to the planet and to the animal kingdom.
I need to sample more of Gorillaz to be honest with you, dear reader, as my knowledge of the band is still very minimal. Stylo is another example of how matured and advanced Damon Albarn has become as a musician. In my school days he was singing about “Girls and Boys” and a “Country House” but with both Blur and Gorillaz he has continued to transition in his craft, taking risks and experimenting with new ideas and approaches. Both Stylo and Plastic Beach were well received by critics upon release. Gorillaz continue to this day and one can only speculate where Albarn will take them next.
Favourite songs so far: