So AOL has an internet radio station. And that station has a blog. Who knew? Or cared? Anyhow, they have recently published a list of the all-time 100 worst songs in popular music with a blurb-style explanation for each selection – that is, a dozen words per selection.
While the vast, vast majority of the songs deserve to be here, I do have a few gripes about a handful of choices. Before I get to that, here’s their top 10:
10. Los Del Rio, “Macarena”
9. Sir Paul and Stevie Wonder, “Ebony and Ivory”
8. Right Said Fred, “I’m Too Sexy”
7. Helen Reddy, “I Am Woman”
6. MC Hammer, “U Can’t Touch This”
5. Aqua, “Barbie Girl”
4. Ricky Martin, “She Bangs”
3. Vanilla Ice, “Ice Ice Baby”
2. Baha Men, “Who Let the Dogs Out?”
1. DJ Pauly D, “(It’s Time To) Beat Dat Beat”
A pretty solid top 10, sure, but how “Popozao” doesn’t crack it I will never understand (it’s actually no. 84). Also, I don’t know if Pauly D’s “Beat” is worse than, say, the Baha Men or even Las ketchup’s “The Ketchup Song” (no. 52). Finally, I’d trade Paul and Stevie’s “Ebony” for the incredibly ridiculous Paul and Michael collabo “The Girl is Mine” (it’s 97). At least “Ebony” had a point to make.
On to the gripes of the rest of the list.
The Bloodhound Gang’s “The Bad Touch” is at 49. It shouldn’t be, and even if it should it shouldn’t be that high. The bass line alone saves the song from being a total waste of time. And then there are those lyrics. Yes, they’re trashy. Yes, they’re juvenile. But they make you smile. Admit it. C’mon, “Coming quicker than Fed Ex” is pretty much the greatest thing ever.
Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” is 42. The song’s lyrics are stream-of-conscious, which is a nice way of saying they’re nonsensical. I’ll give you that. This fact, however, doesn’t make it an inherently bad song. The seemingly unrelated pop culture references are in list-form for a reason – it’s the point of the goddamn song! Joel’s simply listing important cultural events in his life and illustrating during the chorus that, while society isn’t responsible for fanning or flames or even beginning them, we nonetheless have to deal with the results of having this ginormous “fire.” Even if you ignore all of that, “We Didn’t” still should be left off the list because it isn’t “Captain Jack.”
Hootie and the Blowfish’s “Hold My Hand” is 68. Sappy doesn’t equal terrible, or even bad. And, really, that’s the only quarrel you can have with this track. The vocal melodies (and harmonies) are gorgeous, if incredibly obvious, the production is beautiful (seriously, that guitar tone is something fucking special), and the song’s just uplifting. Hell, Darius’ foray into country is so much worse than this. Pick one of those atrocities.
Meat Loaf’s “I’d Do Anything for Love” is 38. The thing about Meat Loaf is this: You either hate his entire catalogue for the same reason or you embrace it. The reason? Jim Steinman’s songwriting is bombastic – perhaps moreso than any other mainstream songwriter – and suffocatingly so. And that’s the point. His songs are microcosmic histories of rock’s storied existence. Therefore, if you choose one Meat Loaf song to hate on, you must hate on them all. So picking one is ridiculous. It’s like singling out a drop of water in a flood. If nothing else, “Midnight At the Lost and Found” is so much more awkward – and Steinman didn’t write it.
The rest of the list I can deal with…I guess.
Now we can go back to forgetting that AOL still exists.