Tuesday, September 19, 2006

50 Worst Songs

Wendy Cooper has a link to the 50 Worst Songs Ever!
Starting with...
My Heart Will Go On” 1998
And on and on and on...
Lop off all but the first 20 seconds of this monster ballad, and it still merits a slot on this list for the unconscionable crime of adding pan-flute solos to the pop lexicon. But it doesn’t stop there: With a voice full of ornamental quivers and trembles, Canadian dynamo Céline Dion pushes arena-size schmaltz into the red, first cutting her syllables preciously short, then strangling each one out. Never has a song about all-consuming love sounded so trivial and been so inescapable — it powered the Titanic soundtrack to a year-topping 10 million copies sold, and made millions more pray that an iceberg would somehow hit Dion.

Worst Moment The third chorus, where she goes from soft to eye-bleedingly loud.
Down to...
Achy Breaky Heart” 1992
At least the haircut never caught on. Oh, wait…
Country, but not as we know it. Written by Vietnam vet Don “Pickle Puss” Von Tress in the style of a brain-dead “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Achy Breaky Heart” represented every prejudice non-believers have about country: It was trite, it was inane, it was big in trailer parks and it was thoroughly enjoyed by the obese. Strangely, it was covered by Bruce Springsteen, with slightly less irony than you might imagine; still, this does not make it good.

Worst Moment An instrumental break that single-handedly rejuvenated the line-dancing fad.
We Built This City” 1985
The truly horrible sound of a band taking the corporate dollar while sneering at those who take the corporate dollar
The lyrics of “We Built This City” appear to restate the importance of the band once known as Jefferson Airplane within San Francisco’s ’60s rock scene. Not so, says former leader Grace Slick, who by 1985 had handed her band to singer Mickey Thomas and a shadowy team of outside songwriters.

“Everybody thought we were talking about San Francisco. We weren’t,” Slick says. “It was written by an Englishman, Bernie Taupin, about Los Angeles in the early ’70s. Nobody was telling the truth!”

Certainly not Starship, who spend the song carrying on as if they invented rock & roll rebellion, while churning out music that encapsulates all that was wrong with rock in the ’80s: Sexless and corporate, it sounds less like a song than something built in a lab by a team of record-company executives.

The result was so awful that years afterward, it seems to bring on a personality disorder in the woman who sang it. “This is not me,” Slick remarks when reminded of the 1985 chart-topper. “Now you’re an actor. It’s the same as Meryl Streep playing Joan of Arc.”

Worst Moment “Who cares, they’re always changing corporation names,” sneers Slick — whose band had changed its name three times.
The one song that is not on the list, but definitely should be is Feelings by Morris Albert. But maybe it's so bad it doesn't even qualify as a song.

1 comment:

nadine said...

Apparently my adolescence was full of bad music. Swooned at Titanic, swooned over Billy Ray...

I do think that the "Achy Breaky" stage was mostly just rebellion. It was the one thing I knew would disappoint you greatly.