List Item: Listen to the 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die
Time of the Preacher – Willie Nelson
As I have yet to watch Edge of Darkness or read the Preacher comic series, this is not a song that I have yet to acquire as a cultural touchstone.
This song was the opener for his concept album about a preacher that kills his wife and her lover, which is interesting but that doesn’t mean that this song can quite stand on its own when listened completely out of context. Does make me want to give the album a whirl though.
Rimmel – Francesco De Gregori
It feels like way too long since this list last turned up something in a foreign language that is on here because of the success in their own country rather than something the broke through to the English-speaking world.
‘Rimmel’ feels so much like Bob Dylan filtered through the lens of Italian folk and I am loving it. The delicate piano line, the subtle backdrop of the Hammond organ and a voice that’s actually nice to listen to makes this such a pleasant listen.
Born to Be With You – Dion
Okay, so I had no idea who Dion was and I somehow expected this to be some sort of epic rock song when going by the track length. This was incredibly wrong.
In place of epic rock is this languorous baroque pop song that really takes a long time to go around the block a few times and end up back in the same place. Phil Spector’s fingerprints are all over this to the point that it really drowns out Dion himself in favour of the many repeated musical elements.
Musica ribelle – Eugenio Finardi
Like buses, the list delivers a second foreign-language song in quick succession. It’s another Italian number, but this time it is a rockier number whose title translates to ‘Rebel Music’.
This is a fusion of Italian folk and one of the more uplifting tracks by The Rolling Stones. When listening to it I could not help but sit and smile despite not knowing what on Earth he was saying. The 1001 book talks about it being a generational anthem in Italy, which is good enough reason for it to be on the list.
Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
Finally, a song that I know and absolutely love. Thanks to the album list I’ve started to gain more and more respect for Bruce Springsteen’s music. However, no song has yet to top the juggernaut that is ‘Born to Run’.
If you are one of those people who can get goosebumps from music and enjoy big songs that would work well in a stadium, then ‘Born to Run’ is perfect for you. It took Phil Spector’s whole ‘Wall of Sound’ idea and smashed it on the table. Such a contrast to that Dion song.
Leb’ Wohl – NEU!
I do not know anything about NEU! or this album, but from what I’ve gathered – ‘Leb’ Wohl’ has a similar function on Neu! 75 to ‘All Is Full of Love’ has on Bjork’s Homogenic. After the harsher music beforehand, ‘Leb’ Wohl’ (meaning ‘Farewell’ in German’) is an ambient palate cleanser.
The nearly nine minutes contains a simple piano line, ticking clocks, waves crashing on a shore and breathy vocals. It weirdly performs a similar function on this listen through given that I listened to it straight after ‘Born to Run’.
As I listen to this, I am getting so much of what acts like Air and Sigur Ros would later use in their music. This may not be indicative of the rest of the album, but I really enjoyed this chillout time.
Legalize It – Peter Tosh
After three great songs in a row, this was not the best to end on. I mean, if it wasn’t obvious enough that this reggae song was going to be about legalizing weed, then his singing the many names of it during an opening verse made it abundantly clear.
Just not the song for me and a bit of a damp note to finish 1975 on.