A while back I sent a list of my least favorite songs ever to Blender for their 50 Worst Songs Of All Time issue. They didn't ask me to write any of the captions (though there was some overlap) and enventually I posted my list on ILX. There's been enough discussion of it there that I think I should offer some explanation as to my choices. So for the next five days I'll be counting down my 50 Worst Songs Of All Time (in alphabetical order). I removed Puff Daddy's "Come With Me" and Englebert Humperdinck's "After The Lovin'" from my original list because they're too fucking funny to hate.
1) "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus
It seems like a dull, obvious choice, but no song stirs up the lingering remains of my high school redneck hatred (which is wrong, I know) like this one. Oh sure, I could rail against some post-9/11 asshat patriotic number. Unlike "God Bless The U.S.A." this song at least has some humor and a groove. "Achy Breaky Heart" reminds me of line dancing, though, and line dancing reminds me of fascism, conformity, gym class and K-Mart. The song is much more tolerable in its video form, where that goofy-ass himbo is there to take my mind off the song's personal connotations.
Honorable Mention: Lee Greenwood, "God Bless The U.S.A." The only thing that makes me want to break into "The Internationale" more is the phrase "planned obsolescence."
2) "All For One" by Sting, Rod Stewart and Bryan Adams
I love Rod Stewart. I think the guy's been knocking out great singles his entire life (his entire life). But him and Bryan Adams together adds up to an intolerable amount of rasp. Throw in Sting, a sluggish ballad and memories of a time when Chris O'Donnell, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen and Oliver Platt got to share space on the silver screen and we've got a situation far more troubling than "Love Touch."
Honorable Mention: Bryan Adams, "Have You Ever Loved A Woman?" Please forgive me, Lucy.
3) "American Life" by Madonna
Yeah, this song has been crucified enough, but for as much as I love to hate on Bono and Sting, neither of them would have capped an incoherent drone "about" "America" with the words latte and shot-ay.
Honorable Mention: U2, "Beautiful Day/Walk On/New York" People who think Bono's charity work makes up for his insufferable grandiosity should rent The Omega Code, in which Michael York cures world hunger despite being Satan.
4) "The Barry Williams Show" by Peter Gabriel
This guy might have mulled "shot-ay", though. The problem with spending a decade working on your sluggish prog-worldbeat horseshit is that your withering dismissal of TV culture is usually a bit off mark. Your critique of the media is probably not that apt if you don't know who played Greg Brady and think the fu manchu looks good on your fat, bald ass.
Honorable Mention: all those songs where George Harrison reveals that the point of his mystic journeys was to make sure we knew he was better than us.
5) "Beth" by Kiss
My downstairs neighbor William gave me the chance to finally to this track earlier this year. I'm still not sure I actually heard it. It can't possibly be as worthless and airy as it sounded. It's like a ribbon tied around piss.
Honorable Mention: "Hard Luck Woman" by Kiss. Man, did that kittycat write some lame shit.
6) "Cumbersome" by Seven Mary Three
There's reasons - sick, sad reasons - that these guys didn't make it and Creed and Nickelback did. They lacked artistic vision. They were more annoying. The video for this song is a key moment in the death of the concept of "alternative rock": it was set in a sportsbar.
Honorable Mention: "Figured You Out" by Nickelback. The problem with "Cumbersome" was that it didn't rhyme "on your knees" with "my favorite disease."
7) "Dizz Knee Land" by Dada
There are plenty of wack-ass lightweight bar bands who stumble onto a fluke hit. Rare is the one that throws topical references to "President George" (Sr.) and attempts to use phrases like "I'm going to Disneyland" to some sort of ironic effect. Imagine Hootie & The Blowfish trying to make you think.
Honorable Mention: "Breakfast In Tiffany's" by Deep Blue Something. I have a hard time imagining human beings performing this song all the way through.
8) "Every Other Time" by LFO
Sometimes we sit around, just the two of us on the park bench. Sometimes we swim around like two dolphins in the oceans of our hearts. But then I think about the time that we broke up before the prom and you told everyone that I was gay, OK. Sometimes it's black,
sometimes it's white. Sometimes she's wrong, sometimes I'm right. Sometimes we talk about it or we figure it out, but then she just changed her mind. Sometimes she's hot, sometimes I'm cold. Sometimes my head wants to explode, but when I think about it I'm so in love with her...every other time.
Honorable Mention: Blink-182, "What's My Age Again." Later on, on the drive home, I called her mom from a pay phone. I said I was the cops and your husband's in jail; the state looks down on sodomy. That's about the time that bitch hung up on me...
9)"Flood" by Jars Of Clay
The chorus basically consists of one excruciating high note. It's told from Noah's point of view.
Honorable Mention: DC Talk, "All Apologies." The song really does make a lot more sense when you replace the line "everyone is gay" with "Jesus is the way."
10)"The Garden Of Allah" by Don Henley
Henley returns from a six-year hiatus from solo recording to share this with us. His resources tapped, its another five years before he finally releases an entire album.
Honorable Mention: Every song on that album, particularly "Workin' It."