Tuesday, April 20, 2004


‘Spose people really are obsessed with dissecting top or best whatever lists, or they wouldn’t keep a-comin’. Here’s a new twist: the 50 worst songs ever, from Blender Magazine.
“We Built This City” and “Achy Breaky Heart” land on top -- and truthfully with good reason. They suck, they’re awful, they’re painful to listen to... But the thing is, I know damn near every song on the list.
It’s weird, they all were enormously popular at one point in time. I’m from the generation in which nearly everybody can still rattle off at least the first verse of “Ice Ice Baby” -- on command and laugh hysterically at doing so. And so songs like “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” are naturally going to be stuck in my head forever, just as the Brady Bunch theme and various commercial jingles.
Largely these awful songs are summer hits - fun, catchy and mostly harmless. And for some reason they have this weird island/tropical vibe -- “Kokomo” and “Don’t Worry Be Happy.”
The 1990s selections follow the inevitable backlash of nonsensibly high charting songs. 4 Non Blonds, the Rembrandts, Spin Doctors, Deep Blue Something, Meat Loaf, Right Said Fred, Crash Test Dummies... none of these songs are truly that bad, but they were ubiquitous and unnecessarily so.
Then there are the songs that are pure slop -- bad enough to be criminal: Celine Dion. Clay Aiken. Bete Midler. These people should all be shot.
I’m not too sure why “The End,” “We Didn't Start the Fire,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and “The Sounds of Silence” make the list. They’re not the best songs of those artists, but surely there have been worse songs. For starters, I’d add “Mmm Bop” and “Macarena” to the shit list, plus everything Britney Spears has ever recorded.
I’d draw an interesting parallel between the craptastic songs on this list and the current slate of reality television. People make fun of themselves for having liked this music, but they did, one day, at some level, actively choose to listen.
My only hope is that Donald Trump, Paris Hilton, that chick who dated Fabio and whoever the hell won Survivor will one day be rightly skewered like this. Near instant fame for no real reason has its inevitable backlash. Reality TV will go down, it will be a shameful mark on American tastes... or I’ll be the last holdout, viewed as some snobbish elite because I could’t get down with shameless midget dating games and plastic surgery contests.