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!
Lana Del Rey – Video Games (2011)
” Video Games” is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey for her second studio album and major label debut, (2012). The song was produced by Robopop while the lyrics were written by Del Rey and Justin Parker.
We’re bringing an end to our time in 2011, dear reader. We leave the UK behind and make our way back to the US and to New York to see in 2012. Lana Del Rey began her career in 2005 with her debut album coming in 2010. It was a steady start for the singer though and when we join her in 2011 she is working on her second album, Born to Die, and in the run up to that record a new single came along by the name of Video Games.
In Video Games Lana Del Rey tells us the story of a young woman who is in love with a guy who completes her world. She works hard to please him, dressing well, partaking of the same interests as him and convinced in her heart that he is the one. The problem with said guy is that he does not seem to reciprocate these feelings towards her. Instead, he seems to be distracted not just by the video games of the song’s title but by other passions such as his car and getting drunk at the nearest bar. Through all this our narrator is determined to make this relationship work and to not give up on love.
Lana Del Rey is another name I have heard over the years but I know nothing about her career. Musical ignorance set in for me earlier in this century. Video Games is both a pleasant and tragic song in equal measure. It’s a slow piece, led by the piano, but the poignancy is evident. Video Games would be a big hit for Del Rey upon release, reaching the UK Top 10. Her career continues with her eighth album due in 2021.
Favourite songs so far: