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August 9, 2006

Worst songs ever written (that are also overplayed)

As promised, here is my list of the songs that I feel are so horribly awful that I actually hurt myself trying to change the radio station in my efforts to spare my ears from bleeding. They are so bad they make any Britney Spears song seem like an important contribution to Western Civilization. They are so bad that God actually cries every time they are played. And not because the songs are bad necessarily, but because the talent he gave these musicians has been so obviously wasted. They are so bad that if George Carlin could actually go back in time in a phone booth to save the future, he would travel back in time to stop these musicians from writing these songs. So, without further ado, here is the list:

  1. "Hotel California" -- The Eagles
    Seriously, why in the world is this song so popular? And why is this song played so much? And why can't I GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD? Argh! Will anyone admit to actually liking this song? Anyone? How the Eagles are so popular based on this pile of junk baffles me to no end.
  2. "Wonderful Tonight" -- Eric Clapton
    If this song could be tapped, the sap would pour out of it like a waterfall. And those whiny guitar chords. Wow, this song is painful. Sheesh! Just thinking about it makes me want to change the radio station, and I don't even have a radio on right now. Do women even like this sap-fest?
  3. "You Shook Me" -- AC/DC
    AC/DC is a blight on the kingdom of music. AC/DC shouldn't be able to play at a high school dance let alone to a stadium crowd. The lead singer wears a stupid hat, sings like a drunk water buffalo (didn't know that, did ya?), and you can't understand him even if you wanted to. This song is the height of their badness (and badness in a bad way, not a good way).
  4. doors.jpg
    Ugh. What a bunch of untalented hacks.
  5. "Rock and Roll Hoochie Coo" -- by Who Cares?
    I listen to KQRS every once and a while, and I swear every time I turn on that station they play this song. It is like a curse. I don't understand why KQRS plays this song at all. There are a phenomenal number of great classic rock songs out there they never play (how about "The Ocean" by Led Zeppelin?). And yet they choose to waste valuable air time playing this song probably 53 times a day. It is one of the big mysteries of life.
  6. "Sex and Candy" -- Marcy Playground
    Speaking of mysteries ... why? Why must we be subjected to this song? Why is this song considered even remotely worthy of listening to, let alone recording? Let me put it in a way you might understand: this song is so horrible that every time it is played the very fabric of the space-time continuum almost collapses under the weight of its crappiness. Yes, our lives are in danger ... no, even worse, humanity as we know it is threatened every time this song comes on the radio.
  7. "Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is" -- Chicago
    Oh my goodness. Even thinking about this song puts it into my head for a good 12 days. And yes, I do know what time it is: it is definitely time to stop playing this song. The last time I heard this song was at Snuffy's Malt Shop in St. Paul. Here I was, enjoying a delicious chocolate milk shake, when all of the sudden I noticed my milk shake started to taste different ... almost like a combination of cauliflower and brocolli with a little beef gristle thrown in. Yep, this song came on and ruined everything. You owe me $4.30 Chicago!
  8. "Light My Fire" -- The Doors
    I've already talked about this one, but how this song can be considered a classic is mind blowing to me. Even though I know Jim Morrison didn't write these lyrics (and he is overrated to begin with) the chorus features this stroke of brilliance: "Come on baby light my fire, try to set the night on fire!" What? They couldn't come up with a rhyme for "fire?" I suppose they had already used "mire" and "pyre" but this is the chorus for goodness sakes! How about "tire?" Or "conspire?" Or "wire?" Everytime I hear this song I try to come up with something different before deciding any song featuring a 3 minute organ solo of questionable quality isn't worth it.
  9. "Lady" -- Kenny Rogers
    A latecomer to the list. I just heard a snippet of it on a commercial for Kenny's appearance at the State Fair and I thought to myself, "If they had played more than 5 seconds of this song I might have had a seizure before driving this car straight into a lightpole." So, based on that revelation, it makes the list.

Well, there you have it. I know there are probably some more, but these songs quickly rise to the top of my psyche when thinking about the truly awful. Feel free to add you own!

Posted by snackeru at August 9, 2006 9:14 PM


"Clocks" - Coldplay
Absolutely horrible. The keyboard track sounds like Ross from Friends got an album deal. Plus, the guy's voice, it's like a pit bull has clamped onto his genitalia and he's trying to still sing.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at August 9, 2006 10:48 PM

Oh no...I like 1,3,6,7, and AC/DC isn't that bad...I have seen them twice in concert.

I went to a Kenny Rogers concert one time with am ex-girlfriend of mine and her mother...I wanted to blow my brains out 10 minutes into his show. Women 50 rows away from this guy were swooning, and he ain't that good looking. Two 40ish aged women in the front row pulled their shirts up to show their beasts to him.

Enuf said.

Posted by: John B. at August 10, 2006 7:05 AM

Um, I guess that is 'breasts'...I can't proofread.

Posted by: John B. at August 10, 2006 7:07 AM

"Spoonman" - Soundgarden"

Played everyday, everywhere, all the time. By far one of the single worst audio experiences ever.


Posted by: Anonymous at August 10, 2006 7:25 AM

I like the ACDC song. That Marcy Playground song has got to be the absolute worst. I think it's only because it has the word "sex" in the title. If it was "Beer and Candy" the song would have died a merciful quick death.

However you missed the absolute worse song that is overplayed: Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Seger. I hate that song so much I forbade our wedding DJ to play it at our reception (this was nearly 16 years ago!) I said I would stop payment on the check if I so much as heard that opening piano riff.

Posted by: freealonzo at August 10, 2006 8:49 AM

Shane, you are insanne. Hotel California is an inspired song, and when I hear it on the radio I will stop whatever I am doing and listen. How you could not like this song is beyond me. You are right on target, though, with "wonderful Tonight" and anything by Chicago. I seemed to be cursed by hearing "25 to 6 to 4" all the time. Other obvious titles you missed where "Twilight Zone" and "Blinded by the Light," as well as anything by the Allman Brothers. I have been driving my office mates nuts by singing "Ramblin Man" to myself after hearing only the opening chords on the radio. Anything by the Doors also causes me to leap for the radio dial.

Curt in Grand Forks (where the classic rock station seems to play "Stray Cut Strut" at least once an hour")

Posted by: Curt Hanson at August 10, 2006 9:21 AM


The mother of all bad songs is by YES... "I've seen all good people" 25 key changes on the same repetitive chorus. My ears literally bleed when I hear it. As for AC/DC, the one band that can EXACTLY replicate live, their sound in the studio. Why???? Because they suck in the studio!! That being said, I did see them in concert and got a kick out of it in a trainwreck sort of way.

The one song I can't get out of my head is actually titled "Can't Get You Out of My head" by Kylie Minogue... however, I picture her video and it then becomes a pleasant experience!

Posted by: Anonymous at August 10, 2006 9:40 AM

I could tolerate "Hotel California" until the college radio station we have looped in our building put on a "winter break" mix while they were all out of town that featured it 6 times during every 8 hour shift. Needless to say, I unplugged the radio station's power before the end of the first day.

Posted by: Will at August 10, 2006 9:40 AM

Impressive list Shane. "I would do anything for love" by Meat Loaf needs to be added though. "My Name is Luka" by Suzanne Vega is another one that practically induces a seizure in me when it comes on the radio.

Posted by: Tim R at August 10, 2006 10:19 AM

Thanks for the input everyone. Pitbulls attached to genitalia is a good way to describe a lot of these songs (although I do like "Clocks"). And I also think "beasts" is a good way of describing what you probably saw, John B! Hilarious!

"Spoonman" is a good selection for this list Jx2. What a load of crap. And your comment made me chuckle Freealonzo. Now that is hatred for a song.

And oh my goodness, Curt. "Twilight Zone!" How the heck did I forget that one? That is the kind of song that psychologists would discover trying to dredge up a horrible hidden memory. It is a sure sign that your mind has been abused in some way.

AC/DC sucks the same in concert as they do in the studio? What a shock! Very humorous! Thanks for sharing that.

Will, I feel for you. I think I would have pulled the plug the second time it came on.

And Tim, "My Name is Luka" is so bad I can't stop laughing right now. That one should have been on there.

Thanks for the additions everyone!

Posted by: Shane at August 10, 2006 10:49 AM

Shane: What? No rips of the greatest rock & roller of all time, Tom Petty? :)

Instead of adding more rips of people in an already insane world, I thought I would share some great new stuff that people may, or may not, have heard of:

Jurassic 5 - "Get It Together". OK, I'm 45 and I hate hip-hop....but I love this one. And The Boy, who is 6, also does. So sue us.

Sound Team - "Get Out", "Born To Please", "Shattered Glass", "Its Obvious What's Happening Here", Don't Turn Away"...and many others. A great basement band from Austin, TX that is about to really explode onto the music scene. Have opened for Bowie, which is how I heard of them. Try them, if you haven't already.

Prince - "3121" CD. I had to be begged to even play it. And I love it. Old school Prince. Very good throughout.

Klee - "Honeysuckle" CD. Oh My God, this German band is good. Great Euro-Pop, if you are into that sort of thing.

Posted by: Brian Maas at August 10, 2006 10:26 PM

Nice list. If I may offer my take on the items listed:

1. Decent pick, but I'd go with "Life In The Fast Lane" instead; two hot people who have nothing in common but good sex who then lose the good sex but have to stay together 'cause they're livin' 'life in the fast lane'. Yawn. Ask me again why I'm supposed to care?

As an analogy, consider "Hotel California" as a bad episode of 'The Twilight Zone'; "Life In The Fast Lane" becomes, by comparison, a good episode of "The O.C."

2. Excellent call, though not the most excruciating possible version - every so often I'll hear a version recorded live which is eeeeevennnn...sloooooowerrrrrr... It always amazes me that there's actual applause at the end, instead of a chorus of snores.

3. Dude. AC/DC is the fusion of metal and classic rock. Replace this with anything by Poison (though, now that I come to think of it, is anything by Poison still getting airplay?)

4. It's a rule of rock stations that any song with 'Rock and Roll' in the title has to be played at least once per shift - I think it might even be in the FCC's licensing requirements. This explains the prevalance of 'Rock and Roll Music' (usually by the Beatles) on 60's rock stations, 'Still Rock 'n' Roll To Me' by Billy Joel on hybrid adult-contemporary/nostalgia stations, and 'I Love Rock 'n' Roll' by Joan Jett on classic rock stations. (Though the Joan Jett song isn't all that bad.)

5. Yes. Thank you. Irritating, obnoxious, and utterly unnecessary noise. Eliminating this song and "It's Been Awhile" by Staind from every radio airplay list would make it possible for me to actually finish a meal in a restaurant where the 20-somethings who run the registers play the radio for their own amusement.

6. No, no, no, no. I'll admit this is one of the weaker songs of the pre-Peter Cetera Chicago era, but it blows every Peter Cetera Chicago song utterly out of the water. Which would you rather hear three times a day: this, or "Hard To Say I'm Sorry?"

7. Well, sure, but I've long been one of those who thought that everything Jim Morrison ever did was highly overrated. No argument here.

8. This really should belong on its own list: really irritating songs by performers who are otherwise really good. Of course, in Country Music, it would probably be easier to list 'really good songs by performers who are otherwise really irritating', as the list would be a great deal shorter.

Does this mean you're getting your blog legs back, Shane?

Posted by: David Wintheiser at August 11, 2006 1:11 PM

Thanx for the list Shane!!! Its an interesting and impressive one. Some of them i earlier feel like listening to but with your sweet concern , i m saved from the expected crap that these songs may have created for me. One i severly hate is the Ricky Martin's. Each and everyone just sounds similar in beats and music. His are simply pathetic.

Posted by: Josh Hallett at August 11, 2006 11:36 PM

Shane, your top ten list reminds me of one of my top ten movies "High Fidelity". The only movie scene in which I ever laughed out loud/spit pop on the dude in front of me was when John Cusak's employees beat the crap out of Tim Robbins in a fantasy sequence. The skinny guy rips the air conditioner out of the wall and pounds preppy Robbins with it. Absolutely hilarious. Jack Black would have been proud of your top ten list. Also, good to see you posting again. See you in 2010.

Posted by: zooomx at August 12, 2006 12:27 AM

All time worst John Cusak movie... "Being John Malkovich." How did this pile of steaming feces ever get financial backing?? Dumb, disturbing, and not even any humor to overcome the stupidity of the premise. Prior to seeing it I thought Cusak could never top his other previous worse movie "Con Air" I was obviously wrong!

Posted by: Anonymous at August 12, 2006 12:31 AM

Pretty much anything by Elton John is unbearable to me. Especially "BBB Bennie and the" Jeez, I can't even finish the title without gagging.
"I know, I'll just put new lyrics to my crappy old songs and no one will know the difference" Oh, we know, you gap-toothed queen, now, go jump in a lake.

Posted by: Cheesehead's wife at August 14, 2006 10:52 AM

1) as long as we are going down the annoying pretnetious classic rock ballads:
a. Led Zepplin - Stairway to Heaven
b. Steve Miller Band - take the money and run
c. Elton John - candle in the wind (a song he can simply use to Eulogize and dead celebrity without bothering to write a new song)
d. Bon Jovi - I'm a Cowboy (the video is especially pretentious - what I'm supposed to feel bad for how hard it is to get women like Heather Locklear and Pamela Anderson)
e. Brian Adams - Summer of 69 and its evil counsin, John Mellencamp Jack and Diane

2) any song of the chick-trifecta (songs which all women will drop what they are doing and run to nearest dance floor to dance with each other and whatever metro sexual male is out there) must be stopped. These songs are:
a. Broqwn Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
b. I will survive - Gloria Gainer
c. Oh What a Night - ??????

(valid substitutions for one of the above include any song from the Grease soundtrack, Buffett's Margaritaville, or the above mentioned You Shook Me All Night Long meaning you cannot hit the trifecta if only these substitutes are played)

3) I disagree with your hatred of ACDC in general although that song You Shook Me is terrible and has been stricken from my memory. ACDC has some great stuff, and they are awesome in concert (at least they were 20 years ago the last time I saw them)

4) I like the Marcy Playground song and ther rest of that album is good too. Beside it is hard to compare a song that was played alot for one summer with a song like hotel california that has more unexplicable staying power than luggage, herpes and cockroaches put together.

Posted by: J.Lichty at August 14, 2006 4:46 PM

Not a single Billy Joel song? I'd put all of them on that list.

Posted by: twayn at August 15, 2006 12:29 PM

1. Loving Every Minute of It -- Loverboy

--I'm not a man or machine, I'm just shumpen in between.

This is (mercifully) no longer played, but this song might just be the best argument for the destruction of all audio recording equipment in the world. I had mercifully forgotten this assault to our sensibilities, but I was reminded of it this last weekend while searching for my lost nephew at Valley Fair... I saw a woman wearing a 1984 Loverboy "Loving Every Minute of It" concert Tee. Good God. Was your Dee Snyder shirt in the wash? No, I'm hating every minute of it.

No need to continue with the list.

Posted by: SBG at August 16, 2006 4:10 PM

"Knock Three Times on the Ceiling"

The only reason I ever came close to appreciating - not liking - that song was because it drove my Dad more nuts than it drove me. But we're going way back in the time machine here...

Posted by: Dave at August 18, 2006 1:20 AM

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