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 Monday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Christine and The Queens – Tilted (2016)
” Christine”, also released under the titles ” Cripple” and ” Tilted”, is a song by Héloïse Letissier who records under the name Christine and the Queens. “Christine”, which is recorded in French, was released for download on 13 October 2014 through Because Music as the third single from her debut studio album Chaleur humaine (2014).
We’re leaving the US today, dear reader, and making our way back across the Atlantic Ocean and to Nantes in France. Heloise Adelaide Letissier, known professionally as Christine & The Queens, began learning piano at a young age but initially started in theatre before leaving that world behind in 2010 for music. Meeting drag queens on a visit to London helped inspire part of her band’s name. Their debut album, Chaleur humaine, was released in 2014 to critical acclaim but we pick up the story in 2016 when the album is first released in the UK and 1001 Songs are interested in a track by the name of Tilted.
Tilted is actually a re-recorded track from the group’s debut album, previously entitled Christine. The song actually began life in English and was entitled Cripple but negative feedback from the audience at a live show prompted a rethink. The English and French versions have variations in the lyrics but the overall theme is the same. Letissier confirmed in an interview that the song is concerned with trying to acknowledge who we are as individuals, both the positive and negative traits that we have, to try and find a good balance between the two. Sadly, the reality is that we are all unbalanced or “tilted” as in the song title so although we may strive to be more, we should be happy and content with who we are.
Tilted is an interesting piece which sounds like it is driven by a synthesiser in the background. Letissier’s vocals carry her universal message and, based on the background to the track, it was a sensible step to rework the lyrics. It sounds like the singer felt the ambiguity of the original would be well received but it is easy to see how many people could have been offended. Christine & The Queens music has been well received and they have achieved numerous accolades in France. Continuing to this day, Letissier is considered an icon and one of the most significant French artists alive today.
Favourite songs so far: