A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Blender purees its attempt to list the fifty worst songs of all time

Mike in Texas had a link to Blender's list of the Fifty Worst Songs of All Time. Apparently, these guys had NO sense of humor, because I find some songs like "Two Princes," by the Spin Doctors, amusing-- not great, but there's so much out there that is worse! Now I can hate on anything by Uncle Kracker. That's just gross. But what a missed opportunity! This is such a fertile field in which to cultivate an appreciation of the truly awful.

So here are just FIFTY-ONE of the ones they missed. I am not even going to repeat any of those with which I agree from the original list. I even will break them down into categories for clarity's sake. But we haven't even begun to plumb the depths here.

Okay? Let's go!

1. The Macarena, by Los Del Rio-- Convinced millions of people to caress their own behinds in public, usually while wearing formal wear.
2. Le Freak, by Chic-- Disco zombies who could come up with four whole words in French to repeat over and over.
3. Mickey, by Toni Basil-- never let a dancer sing. There's a lesson for you, Madonna.
4. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, by Wham!-- Sure, I bought the straight act from George Michael. Uh-huh. Choose life. And avoid public restrooms.
5. On the Radio, by Donna Summer-- Disco didn't die because of this song, but it started staggering soon afterward.
6. Fly, by Sugar Ray-- I just want to puke. People who host Entertainment Tonight have to be stopped, musically speaking.

7. I Want Action, by Poison-- if only this was, "I Want Poison," by Action.
8. Karma Chameleon, by Culture Club-- there is no excuse for Blender missing this one. If you're going to use the "too easy" standard, then half your list disappears. Boy George bragged that he couldn't read music. We could tell.
9. Come on, Eileen, by Dexy's Midnight Runners-- Two different songs, keys, and tempos all at once! It's twice as awful!
10. Superfreak, by Rick James-- I always figured he was bound to get arrested as some sort of sex offender. What, he did? Oh.
11. Girl You Know It's True, by Milli Vanilli--The greatest shame in the whole sorry tale lies with those who actually SANG this crap, not the puppets dancing in the videos.
12. Electric Avenue, by Eddie Grant-- "Out in DE STREETS! Out in de PLAYground! In de DARK side of TOWN!" And the synthesized motorcycle revving added that certain je ne sais quoi of tastelessness that Eddie's patois lacked.
13. Rock You Like a Hurricane, by the Scorpions-- Oooh, fake German Metal and tight perms!
14. Photograph, by Def Leppard-- Those high notes. Those tight pants. Righteous.
15. Take It On The Run, by REO Speedwagon-- Kevin, if only you'd had those adenoids removed....
16. Separate Ways, by Journey--Bom bom BOM bom BOM bombombom BOM bomBOM! And it didn't take Steve Perry too long to go his separate ways from Journey. They're touring this summer with Heart and Cheap Trick, and I just paid waaay too much when I don't even want to see the headliners because I adore the Wilson sisters. Sorry, Neal. The word is "Overwrought."

NEPOTISM (People who got a record deal by being related to someone famous):
17. Kiss Kiss Kiss, by Yoko Ono-- Oh My God, how much love-- blind, deaf, besotted love-- did it take to put a microphone in this woman's hand?
18. Cherokee Outlaw, by Tim McGraw-- How hard would it be to know that your wife AND your Dad were more talented than you?
19. She's So High, by Tai Bachman-- I wonder who really was high when this one was written.

20. Shannon, by Henry Gross-- An Irish Setter drowns. If she'd been on a leash, you moron, that wouldn't have happened unless she'd have taken you with her. Hmmm.
21. Ben, by Michael Jackson-- a song about a rat. That's a kid's best friend.
22. Wildfire, by Michael Martin Murphy-- "She ran calling, "WILDfire!" The poor horsie was lost in a blizzard. That bothered us more that the girl dying in the killing frost. What does that say about us?

23. Honey, by Bobby Goldsboro-- and to make it worse, he then vocally vomited all over the animated version of The Hobbitt, which was all we had for so many years until Peter Jackson promised us rescue. Gaah!
24. How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, by the Bee Gees-- the breathy quality of that "AHHHHHHHH..." shrunk testicles everywhere.

25. Up Where We Belong, by Kim Carnes and Joe Cocker-- "Who knows what tomorrow brings/ In a world, few hearts survive/ All I know is the way I feel/ When it's real, I keep it alive...." There ARE mountains in our way. That's why Mr. Nobel created dynamite.
26. Eye of the Tiger, by Survivor-- cheesier than the Rocky movie that spawned this piece of tripe.
27. Do You Know? (Theme from Mahogany), by Diana Ross-- what happens when a diva is given a star vehicle in which to act? Three examples: The Jazz Singer, with Neil Diamond, Glitter, with Maria Carey, and Mahogany, with Diana Ross. This song was the prettiest thing in the whole mess.
28. One Night in Bangkok, by Murray Head-- picture a bunch of Broadway producers completely hopped up on something in the halcyon days before they came up with the brilliant idea of turning commercials or movies into Broadway plays in a subversion of everything that is good and right in the world. "Hey, let's have the guys from ABBA write a musical about a board game!" Yeah, and someone still hasn't been punished for this: "The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free/You'll find a god in every golden cloister..."

29. This Girl is a Woman Now, by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap-- And, speaking of Thailand, this one's a pedophile's manifesto. I wonder if Gary Puckett ever trolled Bangkok with Gary Glitter?
30. Me So Horny, by 2 Live Crew-- Not if you were the last men on Earth.
31. You Were Meant for Me, by Jewel-- "People been used" when they spent money on this nauseating nervous breakdown. Let him go, already. He's just not that into you.
32. Sunglasses at Night, by Corey Hart-- Needs no explanation, but now you're hearing this one in your head, aren't you? Bwahhahaha!
33. I Want to Kiss You All Over, by Exile-- More cowbell! MORE COWBELL! Nothin' says sexy like cowbell....

34. Do They Know It's Christmas? by People Who Should Have Known Better-- Yes, it was for a wonderful cause. But write a check next time, or do a real song and forbid Cyndi Lauper to wear so many bracelets.
35. That's What Friends Are For, By Elton John, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, and Dionne Warwick-- That's what you get when you party with Dionne's niece before recording a song. And she ruined poor Bobby Brown too. I think we can blame Whitney for the whole thing.

36. Hollabackgirl, by Gwen Stefani-- Spell "bananas" for me. Girl, you are too white bread to pull this off.
37. Fergilicious, by Fergie-- And here I thought it was "dulishus...." The message here: I'm not a tramp, I'm just a tease. Sets back the women's movement singlehandedly.

38. Fernando, by ABBA-- Nothing like the Spanish Civil War for some stirring pop music.
39. The Night Chicago Died, by Paper Lace-- "I heard my mama cry/ I heard her pray the night Chicago died..." That's all I need to say. Just say no to joining the mafia, kids-- that's a lesson we all could follow.
40. Kung Fu Fighting, by Carl Douglas-- Whoa-hoa- HOAAAAAAAA! Even made David Carradine cringe. And HE was easy.

41. Venus, by Bananarama-- did they name the razor after the song, or the song after the razor?
42. Intuition, by Jewel-- another razor marketed to help us denude our gams. I got the irony of what Jewel was trying to say about having to sell yourself in the music biz. I just didn't like it.

EVEN THE REALLY GOOD ARTISTS CAN HAVE AN OFF DAY (Or, don't force it just to round out the album, please, because some radio stations will play ANYTHING)
43. Leaving Las Vegas, by Sheryl Crow-- Darling, I've heard you sing before you were famous, and you can do so much better than that.
44. Sowing the Seeds of Love, by Tears for Fears-- Please, even when the Beatles used those sound effects, they should have told Sir George Martin to shove it. Shamelessly derivative and yet random at the same time.
45. Physical, by Olivia Newton John-- It wouldn't have been more shocking if Amy Grant had done a cover of "Superfreak."
46. Hurts So Bad, by Linda Ronstadt-- This one would have sucked even in her Spanish phase. Perhaps more. I'll have to think about that.
47. Little Jeannie, by Elton John-- All of a sudden, Captain Fantastic loses his mind and marries a German frau. The result? He tries to dress butch and ruins everything.

48. Cherokee People, by Paul Revere and the Raiders-- If they'd only pursed their mouths and gone, "Woo-woo-woo-wooooo!" by hitting their lips with their hands, it would have been even more perfect.
49. Half-Breed, by Cher-- Bob Mackie's outfits were definitely the best thing about Cher's performance here. And since we're talking about music here, that's not a complement.
(see also Cherokee Outlaw. Why are my people victimized so?)

50. I Write the Songs, by Barry Manilow-- "I am MUSIC! And I WRITE THE SOOOOOOOONGGGSSSSSS!!!!!"
51. Riding With the Wind, Christopher Cross-- you have to be really mellow to produce an entire album this comatose, and this was the edgiest thing on there. Recreational drug use might explain it.

Hello, by Lionel Ritchie-- "I've been alone with you inside my mind..." Thank God they have medication for that now.
Three Times a Lady, by the Commodores-- Is this guy thanking his lady for dumping him? Man, she's GOOD.
Brick House, by the Commodores-- "She's mighty mighty; just letting it all hang out..." There's hope for us fat girls yet. Now if Nicole would only EAT something.

And there you have it.



At 4/22/08, 11:28 PM, Blogger abbagirl said...

i do agree with a good number of your songs as being the worst possible sh!t ever . . . .

but i am affronted by the fact that you put an abba song on your list.

sacrilege!! i never!


At 4/22/08, 11:38 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

But I only put ONE on, despite being dreadfully provoked......

; )

At 4/23/08, 6:28 AM, Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

YOU are a riot!

I agree with you on Two Princes; it's a fun song that's great to walk to (it's in my "fitness" playlist on my iPod).

How about Copa Cabana by Mannilow? Achy Breaky Heart?

Now I've got to go listen to something GOOD to scrub the bad stuff out of my ears...

At 4/23/08, 7:51 AM, Anonymous bev said...

Whew! I'm relieved. I paid a buck for only one of the songs on your list. "One Night in Bangkok," to be precise. I think of it every time The Shane Company ads air on the radio. "I'm Tom Shane, and when I go to Bangkok to buy sapphires..." It's not pretty.

Though, I must also confess that I do have a really funky remix of "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees. And four - count 'em - FOUR versions of "Word Up." iTunes is the online dollar store.

At 4/23/08, 4:07 PM, Blogger Spencer Kent said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4/23/08, 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, I can only pray that the Eagles "Witchy Woman" made someone's list. I've never heard a woman insulted in so bland a way. And hey, I ike Dexy's Midnight Runner's! And the WHAM! They make me giggle

At 4/23/08, 7:26 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Here's what you learn from this exercise: there are a LOT of really awful songs. You have no idea how many I culled from to get to this point.

It makes you wonder. You are right-- "Witchy Woman" is horrific, I am the only person who never saw Saturday Night Fever all the way through, and I never owned a copy of Michael Jackson's Thriller.

But I am intrigued by someone who liked "Come on Eileen." Why? For the love of humanity?

At 4/23/08, 8:21 PM, Blogger Mike in Texas said...

Oddly enough, Murray Head of One NIght In Bangkok fame played Judas in the absolutely outstanding Jesus Christ Superstar album.

At 4/23/08, 9:02 PM, Blogger NYC Educator said...

What about "Feelings," Ms. C.?

Doesn't that one make you wanna lose your lunch?

At 4/23/08, 9:44 PM, Blogger Mister Teacher said...

Well, some people will always disagree with some choices. On Blender's list, for instance, The Heart of Rock & Roll is in the Top 5!!! I LOVE Huey Lewis!!
As for your list, I always liked Rock You Like a Hurricane. Especially the version sung by my 3-year old nephew since we play it all the time on Guitar Hero 3...
Now what list is "Mmmmm...Bop" on?? Or "Mony, Mony?" Now THAT is a stupid song!!

At 4/23/08, 9:58 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

"Mmmm-bop" is just one example of really bad music that has come out of Tulsa. but we are not responsible for that, any more than we are responsible fir 900 foot Jesuses calling Oral Roberts home.

And "Feelings" is bad, but "Alone Again, Naturally" is even worse, and I left that one off too. Rats. Well, at least I got the song abut the rat.

At 4/23/08, 10:32 PM, Blogger educat said...

You know what I’ve discovered about myself as I read this list?

I love awful music.

I not only love Chess, I own the soundtrack and can sing along to much of it. Hell, they did Chess at the community theatre when I was in college, my roommate was in it! The other morning, I sang along loudly and lustily to “You Light Up My Life” on the 70’s station. I love Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain! You know what else? I find the words to “Have You Never Been Mellow” inspirational (because, really, have YOU never let someone else be strong?)!

It’s also a good time to point out that I love kitsch for its value and love fine music as well.

All that said, I really don’t like Elvis. For what it’s worth, I nominate “Devil In Disguise”.

At 4/23/08, 10:36 PM, Blogger SciGuy said...

At least you didn't list my class theme song- "She blinded me with Science" by Thomas Dolby. That one's so bad it's good!

Well, sorta...

At 4/23/08, 10:50 PM, Blogger Polski3 said...

Hummm......I LIKE several of the tunes you mention here. And, one of those I like is COME ON EILEEN. I really don't care if it or any other song is "screwed up" musically, There is something about it that I just like.

Why is "AFTERNOON DELIGHT" NOT on your list????

But, music tastes, like food, sex, books, movies, is subjective. I am thankful we live in a country where we have a choice and can enjoy what we want....within reason anyhow.

I appreciate the energy you put forth in creating this list. And here it is, so close to the end of the school season !!!! :-)

At 4/23/08, 11:06 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Polski, because it was on the original list, and there was too much bad to repeat anything. I will pray for you regarding Come on Eileen.

SciGuy-- I love Thomas Dolby too. The Flat Earth was actually a pretty good album. "Good heavens Miss Nakamoto, you're beautiful!" But he wasn't being serious, either. In these songs, these people were serious.

Educat, I TOLD you, and somehow I knew you'd be fond of these lost, red-headed step-children of the musical world. I'll send you a picture of Elvis painted on velvet for your birthday. And what about "In the Ghetto?"

At 4/24/08, 9:54 AM, Anonymous Betty said...

"Mandy" by Barry Manilow makes me want to cover my ears and scream.

At 4/24/08, 9:31 PM, Blogger Mrs. T said...

I'd have to put "Hotel California" on that list, and I know it's a Beatles song and all, but I've always hated "Strawberry Fields". "Don't Worry, Be Happy" was on the original list,but it always made me want to eat a gune. Same with that "Eternal Flame" song. Ugh.
"Mandy" makes me think of that Murphy Brown episode where she sings that song to her new baby because it's the only thing that will settle him down.

At 4/25/08, 5:45 PM, Blogger MommyProf said...

They say, they say "Brandy...you're a fine girl. What a good wife you would be. But my life, my love, my lady is the sea."

This trip into the kind of stuff I got to listen to driving my parents's car, which only had AM radio, brought to you by MommyProf. Also Are you Ready for some Football.

But I like Brick House. I used to hate Don't Stop Believing until I saw it on Family Guy. Now it's a classic. You can pray for me, too.

At 5/1/08, 10:46 PM, Anonymous oxeador said...

Macarena is even worse if you understand the lyrics. It is embarrasing that the two songs in my mother language that were big hits in the US were "Macarena" and "Asereje". Sigh...

However, if you are going for the worst songs, you need to include the song that was "scientifically" created with the purpose of being the most annoying song ever.

At 5/2/08, 12:28 AM, Blogger Ahistoricality said...

Given the way tastes vary, I consider it a pretty good sign that there's only about four on their list and two on yours I disagree with significantly.

Chess: What's wrong with smart people having a musical now and then?

At 5/7/08, 11:31 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

ahist: What do you think Cats was?

And smart people wouldn't have hired Benny and Bjorn to write the music..... :-P

At 9/30/09, 10:24 PM, Anonymous Bangkok Hotels, Thailand said...

When I first visit Bangkok I found that I can see Temples everywhere, especially during the tour of the Chao Phraya River. I've saw the real lifes of people living on both sides of the river, It's a heart warming experience for me. One things to remember: when visiting temples, show respect to the Buddha, and the monks. Take off your shoes before entering into the hall and don't wear shorts or tank tops in temples.


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