List Item: Listen to the 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die
Tous les garcons et les filles – Francoise Hardy
So it’s a chanson that starts off this ridiculously short. I know that this is not the first chanson song of the list, but I felt so aware that there is so little to this recording outside of the voice of Francoise Hardy.
The song is the story of a young person who has never been in a relationship and so is jealous of all the couples around her. It’s a really gentle, and somewhat, maudlin song. Odd way to begin the year.
You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me – The Miracles
This is truly one of THE great soul songs of the early 1960s. Many have covered this from The Beatles to the Zooey Deschanel vehicle She & Him, but nothing beats the original version by The Miracles with Smokey Robinson front and centre.
It’s one of those songs that’s fun to sing along to on a summer’s day (he says publishing this in the icy cold of January).
Boom Boom – John Lee Hooker
I am beginning to wonder when we are going to see the back of this style of blues rock song. I know that back in 1961 we still had entries like ‘Back Door Man’, but we are getting to a point where there really is not much development anymore.
By 1962 rock has well and truly been born so ‘Boom Boom’ really feels like an artefact. Apparently this is a really influential song to rock and roll so I guess that rather than being a midwife that delivered rock and roll it was that boy in secondary school that made you think ‘Hmmm’ for the first time.
I guess what I am trying to say that this was an agent of rock’s maturation rather than its conception.
He’s a Rebel – The Crystals
(Actually recorded by Darlene Love from girl group The Blossoms) this is the song I have been waiting for in terms of pop production. Ladies and gentlemen: we have a true Wall of Sound song.
Also, who is that on vocals? Why it’s Darlene Love whose voice is one of my Christmas sign posts.
The history of this song is rather odd as this was meant to be a Darlene Love solo record and Phil Spector instead had it marketed as by The Crystals with both the group and Love being taken completely by surprise upon the song’s debut.
I have been waiting for pop to emerge and, by Jove, I think it might be coming soon!
Do You Love Me – The Contours
Okay, so this is basically just Chubby Checker’s ‘The Twist’ with different words and a slightly different arrangement.
I, um, have not go much to say about this apart from the strange false ending 20 seconds before the end. I can do the mashed potato though. Both the food and the dance.
Your Cheating Heart – Ray Charles
It was an experiment that worked much better than Ray Charles could have expected. In 1962 he released a cover album of country music standards called Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music which was a massive hit. So massive that a second volume was released before the year was out.
One of the singles from that was this cover of a Hank Williams song. By adding the orchestra Ray Charles has stripped away anything that makes it a country song and moves it more towards the RnB/Soul genres.
It’s a good decision to sing it this way as it feels far more personal… which makes this song quite apt if you know anything about his personal life.