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50 worst songs?

   Discussion: 50 worst songs?
Kat Kunz · 17 years, 8 months ago

ok.  the "one good song?" forum (specifically, magical bob's post) got me thinking about the article in the most recent issue of blender magazine listing their top 50 worst songs.  qualifying factor: they had to have been hits to some degree, so it's not just bad music that no one liked.  and i know that any list of the "best of" or "worst of" is bound to be inflammatory to some degree, but i figured y'all would certainly be curious and have plenty of opinions of your own to share.  so without futher ado (one being worst, 50 being least-worst... which is highly debatable):

1. We Built This City - Starship ... 1985 
2. Achy Breaky Heart - Billy Ray Cyrus ... 1992
3. Everybody Have Fun Tonight - Wang Chung ... 1986
4. Rollin' - Limp Bizkit ... 2000
5. Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice ... 1990
6. The Heart of Rock & Roll - Huey Lewis and the News ... 1984
7. Don't Worry, Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin ... 1988
8. Party All the Time - Eddie Murphy ... 1985
9. American Life - Madonna ... 2003
10. Ebony and Ivory - Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder ... 1982
11. Invisible - Clay Aiken ... 2003
12. Kokomo - The Beach Boys ... 1988
13. Illegal Alien - Genesis ... 1983
14. From a Distance - Bette Midler ... 1990
15. I'll Be There for You - The Rembrandts ... 1995
16. What's Up? - 4 Non Blondes ... 1993
17. Pumps and a Bump - Hammer ... 1994
18. You're The Inspiration - Chicago ... 1984
19. Broken Wings - Mr. Mister ... 1985
20. Dancing on the Ceiling - Lionel Richie ... 1986
21. Two Princes - Spin Doctors ... 1992
22. Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American) - Toby Keith ... 2002
23. Sunglasses at Night - Corey Hart ... 1984
24. Five for Fighting - Superman ... 2000
25. I'll Be Missing You - Puff Daddy featuring Faith Evans and 112 ... 1997
26. The End - The Doors ... 1967
27. The Final Countdown - Europe ... 1987
28. Your Body Is a Wonderland - John Mayer ... 2001
29. Breakfast at Tiffany's - Deep Blue Something ... 1995
30. Greatest Love of All - Whitney Houston ... 1986
31. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm - Crash Test Dummies ... 1994
32. Will 2K - Will Smith ... 1999
33. Barbie Girl - Aqua ... 1997
34. Longer - Dan Fogelberg ... 1979
35. Shiny Happy People - R.E.M. ... 1991
36. Make Em Say Uhh! - Master P featuring Silkk, Fiend, Mia-X and Mystikal ... 1998
37. Rico Suave - Gerardo ... 1991
38. Cotton Eyed Joe - Rednex ... 1995
39. She Bangs - Ricky Martin ... 2000
40. I Wanna Sex You Up - Color Me Badd ... 1991
41. We Didn't Start the Fire - Billy Joel ... 1989
42. The Sounds of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel ... 1965
43. Follow Me - Uncle Kracker ... 2000
44. I'll Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) - Meat Loaf ... 1993
45. Mesmerize - Ja Rule featuring Ashanti ... 2002
46. Hangin' Tough - New Kids on the Block ... 1989
47. The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You - Bryan Adams ... 1996
48. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da - The Beatles ... 1968
49. I'm Too Sexy - Right Said Fred ... 1992
50. My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion ... 1998

i will state, for the record, that i really enjoy "ob-la-di, ob-la-da," "two princes," "we didn't start the fire," "shiny happy people," "breakfast at tiffany's," "what's up?" and "mmm mmm mmm mmm."  everything else, even the songs i sorta kinda like for the kitsch value (hello, right said fred; meet vanilla ice), i can make a case for.  maybe.

...ok, i like that "superman" song, too.  but you'll never get me to admit it again.

hkath Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
While I was scanning the list, my eye caught these two entries and mixed them up:

28. Your Body Is a Wonderland - John Mayer ... 2001
33. Barbie Girl - Aqua ... 1997


Which makes you wonder. How awesome would a John Mayer/Aqua supergroup sound doing "Your Barbie is a Wonderland"?
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
I like a bunch of these.

1. We Built This City - Starship ... 1985
6. The Heart of Rock & Roll - Huey Lewis and the News ... 1984
14. From a Distance - Bette Midler ... 1990 I know the Nanci Griffith and Julie Gold versions and they are great
26. The End - The Doors ... 1967 This is a classic
41. We Didn't Start the Fire - Billy Joel ... 1989
42. The Sounds of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel ... 1965 shouldn't this be on greatest songs ever list?
48. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da - The Beatles ... 1968 ????
Rachel Marie aka RAI Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
::GASP!!!!::

Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE SONGS!!!!

How DARE they. How DARE they!!!

::fumey::
Bruce Rose Back · 17 years, 8 months ago

As I recall, I think it was a pretty bad song.  I liked it too, but... it wasn't exactly quality work.

Rachel Marie aka RAI Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
What makes a song "bad" though? What are the things they were looking for in "bad"?
Bruce Rose Back · 17 years, 7 months ago

It's opinion, nothing more.  This is the same magazine that's been ripping Manowar for months, then listed them as one of the top 50 metal groups, furry loincloths and all.  Supposedly, they evaluated composition, sensibility, performance, and performer.  I'd actually guess that the 10 people who contributed each came up with five, then they voted on a sequence.

If you're asking why I said it, well... my opinion is that it's bad.  I like the song, but I can admit its failings.  Of course, I liked over half of the songs on the list.  I can appreciate good music and bad music, but I especially enjoy overpopular schlock.  Not only do I get to argue with people who hate the song, I get to be confrontational with people who enjoy it.  Best of both worlds. :-)

Zach Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
.oO "As I recall, I think we both kind of liked it," and I said, "Well, that's one thing we've got." Oo.
Songbill Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
There's definitely an "anti-catchy-pop" theme to the selections.
Janos Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
I heard of that the other day, but you know what makes it even funnier, in model parliament this year we passed a bill saying that the new National Anthem is "We Built This City" :D

And WHYWHYWHY did they put Sounds of Silence on there?? Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da?? And why wasn't "My Heart Will Go On" at the very top of the list? lol!
Agent Scully · 17 years, 8 months ago
13. Illegal Alien - Genesis ... 1983

That was one of my favorite videos when we first got cable in 1983!
Bruce Rose Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
Oddly enough, the only reason the magazine cites fro including this on the list is the video, which might be considered stereotypical and offensive to some.  I can't really comment, since I don't remember the video.
Mollie · 17 years, 8 months ago
I don't think these songs are so bad, so much as they're just plain *cheesy!*
Nik Chaikin · 17 years, 8 months ago
I realy liked shiny happy people.(35) and how can you put sounds of silence (42) on that list?
Kris or Norm · 17 years, 8 months ago
No list for the worst song is complete without Afternoon Delight by the Starlland Vocal Band. It's like having a group of ex-hippies who can't sing or play talk about making sweet love to their disturbed children.
Andrea Krause Back · 17 years, 8 months ago

It's like having a group of ex-hippies who can't sing or play talk about making sweet love to their disturbed children.

Heh. In parsing that sentence my brain went to the not-happy place first. :)

Mamalissa! Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
oh - that makes so much more sense. I was feeling dirty at first.
Bender Back · 17 years, 7 months ago

oh, man.  I didn't even realize there was a non-screwed-up way that that sentence could go.

in related news, my father refers to EFO as the "Afternoon Delight" band, because he claims that they stole all of their harmonies from that one song.

discuss.

or not.

Talcott Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
Holy crap, he's right ;-)

(and, for the record, I like efo)
goovie is married! Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
than maybe i shouldn't have been surprised to see former members of the starland vocal band playing with efo so many times. :)
nate... Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
Is there a non-not-happy way to take that sentence?
goovie is married! · 17 years, 8 months ago
14. From a Distance - Bette Midler ... 1990 OK, Bette Midler is cheesy and overblown and so is her arrangement of this song, but have you ever heard the songwriter, Julie Gold, sing it? Julie is the embodiment of sweetness and sincerity and she can pull it off without making it a treacly, annoying mess. If you want to go for lame inspirational late '80s/early '90s songs that every single middle and high school choir was forced to sing, go for "One Moment in Time" by Whitney Houston.

21. Two Princes - Spin Doctors ... 1992 I adore this song. Even if it weren't for the nostalgia factor, I'd adore this song. It's fun. So there.

31. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm - Crash Test Dummies ... 1994 A very cool song that sounded nothing like anything else on the radio at that time. It's a shame that they're regarded as a one hit wonder, because they've done some very cool stuff since then, too.

35. Shiny Happy People - R.E.M. ... 1991 Y'all. This was A JOKE SONG. Have you seen the video? None of them are taking it seriously. And anyway, it's a hell of a lot of fun.

42. The Sounds of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel ... 1965 and 48. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da - The Beatles ... 1968 I'm convinced that these are only on here so that the people who wrote the list can be all, "See how cool and controversial we are? We're dissing Simon and Garfunkel and the Beatles! Take that, baby boomers! Your music sucks, too! HAHAHAHAHA BITCHEZ!!!" (but dude, if you really wanted to pick on those groups, you should have chosen "We've Got A Groovey Thing Going" and "Buffalo Bill.") :P
Bruce Rose Back · 17 years, 7 months ago

14.  I think they stuck to a one-song-per-artist format, which kept Whitney from collecting any more.  I hate the song, but I've only heard Bette's version.  Maybe that will change when I hear the other.

21.  Put it in the "Lyrics? We don't need no steenking lyrics" file.  Just go ahead now.  (But I agree... it was fun, and I love it)

31.  Hated it when it came out, love it now.  Thanks, Teri.

35.  And Kate was in it... how could they pick on a song with Kate in it?

42, 48.  I was disappointed in them for this.  The Spice Girls belonged on the list more than the Beatles did, and I'm having trouble coming up with a song I like more than "The Sounds of Silence."  Maybe "Under My Thumb."

renita Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
crash test dummies are considered a one-hit-wonder?
Bruce Rose Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
The US is a twisted place. :-)  I'm sure there are some people who think ABBA only recorded "Dancing Queen."
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
What? they covered Fruvous?
Rimbo · 17 years, 7 months ago
1. What was that dang Jessica Simpson song a few years back that just ENTIRELY stole "Jack & Diane" and put worse lyrics to it? I hated that song. Every time it came on, it fooled me into thinking they were playing a good song.

2. Blue - Whatever Stupid Group did Blue.
I hate this song. The chorus is annoying enough, but the irregular pseudo-talk-rapping in the verses makes me want to dig my eardrums out.

3. We Like To Party - The Vengaboys.
They obviously do like to party. Maybe they should party less and study songwriting a bit more. I once knew someone who liked this song. Liked it.
Mamalissa! Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
4. Kokomo - The Beach Boys
my god, I hate this song.
Rimbo Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
But John Stamos is on auxilliary percussion!  JOHN STAMOS!  I -- ok, it sucks.
Bruce Rose Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
I had the worst time with this one.  I couldn't figure out why the Beach Boys were singing about exotic Caribbean islands... but wanted to go to Indiana instead.  Umm, no waves on the Wildcat River, guys.  Wait, you couldn't surf anyway... nevermind.
Rimbo Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
But that's SO like the Beach Boys, isn't it?  When I think of the Beach Boys, I think of a reckless, contradictory love for Indiana.  It's like they're saying, "We know there's no surfing in Kokomo, but we want to go there anyway, in spite of how highly we've been talking about topical paradises."  That just SCREAMS Beach Boys for me.
Bruce Rose Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
It screams, "I'm old.  Indiana is more my speed."
Bruce Rose Back · 17 years, 7 months ago

1.  I liked the song because it ripped "Jack and Diane."  It didn't put lyrics to it, it put lyrics OVER it.  There's nothing like seeing the college students in Bloomington (Mellencamp's town) cheer for "Jack and Diane," then watch as their faces fall when Jessica starts singing.  It's like one of those "Priceless" ads.

2. Eiffel 65 did the song.  I swear I just saw it listed on a Top 5 list... but I think it was a Top 5 songs to clear a dance floor.

3. Agreed.  It's entertaining, but only if you don't hear it more than once a month.

Laura P. · 17 years, 7 months ago
They (whoever wrote this list) totally discounted the "so bad it's good" factor. Ice Ice Baby, Party All the Time...they are not masterpieces, but I find them fun in a cheesy way. A bad song is one that has no shred of happiness in it at all.

It's a girl! Back · 17 years, 7 months ago

 Exactly.  I feel the same way about  "I Would Do Anything For Love(but I won't do that)"   Come on, you gotta love the sheer operatic cheese of Meatloaf!

speaking of cheese, I can't hear that song anymore without having flashes of Spice World in my head (Meatloaf played their bus driver and was asked if he'd unclog the toilets on the bus- his response was  "I love these girls and I'll do anything for them. But I won't do that.")

  As for  the inclusion of  "Sounds of Silence" I can only say The Hell?

  *wonders what kind of crack they were smoking*

Arbie Back · 17 years, 7 months ago

I agree, Sounds of Silence is a classic of the era. Which doesn't mean it was a great song, it is actually much stronger lyrically than musically, but it does mark electric folks entry into the mainstream (though Dylan did it first and S&G actually had nothing to do with the version that was released which was essentially a remix of the way they planned to release it with just guitars and vioces)

As somebody pointed out, many (most) of the other songs on the list are "pop-y", that is to say other than a really strong hook or chorus they don't effectively have much to say either in tune , lyric or funky beat. Or, like Ebony and Ivory, had something important to say but said it so cliched.

Somebody mentioned Buffalo Bill as being worse than Ob-La-Di. I guess that is debatable but in my opinion neither is all that great, and either is Rocky Racoon. I mean George Martin had fun creating "period" arrangements for them but they aren't cutting edge Beatles by any stretch. More like bored Beatles. But still better than Spice fluff.

No one has defended 34. Longer - Dan Fogelberg ... 1979 so I will. That song is no more cliched or musically hackneyed than Lady in Red or worse than the other two Fogelberg songs I can think of, Leader of the Band and Another Auld Lang Syne, both of which are sentimental and treacley but are pretty fair songs IMHO.

Nik Chaikin Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
I have a S&G box set with sounds of silence as they originaly intended it, no band, accoustic guitars, and they switch parts on the harmony. I prefer it personaly, but i can see why they changed itt for radio release, the release version has a stronger feel to it, more mainstream.
Mamalissa! Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
I'm assuming y'all mean Bungalow Bill. Don't forget - that's the first fab song to have a non-Beatle sing lead (or maybe even backup - I don't know). Yes, that "but when he looked so cute" is courtesy of the bloodcurdling vocals of everyone's favorite Yoko Ono.

Am I the only one who thinks Phish's "Fee" is just "Rocky Raccoon" with weasels?
Andrea Krause Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
Dammit...one of two Phish songs I even know. So you managed to earworm me. :)
K-Lyn · 17 years, 7 months ago

All I Want to Do - Sheryl Crow

You're Having my Baby...who sang that Sh*t anyway?

Where Have All The Cowboys Gone - Paula Cole

To All The Girls I've Loved Before - Iglasis and Nelson...who allowed that duo

She Drives Me Crazy - Fine Young Canibals

Anything by Neil Diamond (Heartlight anyone?)

or the BeeGees

renita Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
To All The Girls I've Loved Before - Iglasis and Nelson...who allowed that duo

that is one of my all-time favourites.

yah, it's bad. but it's so so good. I have a julio 2cd set that i bought, mostly just because it had that song on it.
goovie is married! Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
You're Having my Baby...who sang that Sh*t anyway?

that would be paul anka. and word, word, word on all of those choices. :)
Mamalissa! Back · 17 years, 7 months ago
Anyone who's been to my parents' house can attest to the fact that their hallway has a 3 part photo display of Paul Anka pulling my mom onstage, kissing her on the cheek, and then walking her back to her seat.

Let's just say I come by it honestly.
Paul · 17 years, 7 months ago
that turkey plucking lead singer makes me want to hurl especially that song "faithfully"
Bruce Rose Back · 17 years, 7 months ago

I feel obligated to say something here.  Steve Perry is from my old hometown.  And I love Journey.  And they inspired a great 2600 game, Journey Escape.

I think the best thing about Journey was the way they offset the "rock band" with the "crooner."  I can't think of anyone else who pulled it off... well, maybe REO Speedwagon.  Anyway, it was the contrast that set the band apart.  I'll agree that "Faithfully" does hit the 'nails on the chalkboard' end of Steve's range, but the song itself is timeless.  Poppy schlock, but timeless.

Dave · 17 years, 6 months ago
1) Every cheesy song that gets famous because it's formulaically (new word?) catchy and has a dance attached to it. See: Macarena, etc., etc.

2) "Unbreak my heart" by (?) Toni Braxton or someone like that. I can't help thinking "Unsuck my ****" when I hear that song.

3) WHY IS NO BRYAN ADAMS ON THE LIST???? "The only thing that looks good on me is you..." I AM BARFING RIGHT NOW JUST THINKING OF THOSE LYRICS!

4) Sting's "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" is a very sad song for a once-cool artist. I guess the committee that wrote the song thought it was good, though.

I could go on. But there is a formula to a bad song:

1) Reuse the most basic chord structure of other bad (but popular) songs. Don't forget a bridge, but keep it under 3 minutes at all costs.

2) Refuse to write lyrics that aren't a string of clichés. See any popular love song released in the past 20 years.

3) Have great hair. Or be a Diva. One or the other.

4) DON'T EXPERIMENT. That only leads to good, but largely unpopular, songs. Ask your producer to find something for you, if something hasn't already been found and already recorded (!) for you.

...and there you have it -- my tips to make yourself both incredibly famous and incredibly rich (if you are good looking), all for the low price of being loathed by many.

:)

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