10 Worst Songs of the Last 25 Years

809 words written by dylan
Posted July 25, 2003 @ 07:30 AM
7 comments , 4 TrackBacks

Having done the 100 best songs of the last 25 years, we should look at the 10 worst songs of the same period. I'm only doing ten because I can easily list 100 songs I hate (c.f. the entire Michael Bolton catalog), but I want to filter for my good (or bad) perspective and only get the ones that are truly, truly abysmal. BTW, I throw down the gauntlet to the Rev to produce a more cringe-inducing list.

So, in reverse order:

10. God Bless The USA, Lee Greenwood -- I know I'm going to get hate mail for this. Wrap every songwriting cliche in an American flag and you still wouldn't get something half as self-serving as this song. Our national anthem, though a drinking song and a hastily written poem, can be eloquent and poignant if you choose it to be. "God Bless America," played into the ground the last two years, is a good ol' fashioned Broadway singalong showstopper. "America The Beautiful" is probably the closest thing we have to a traditional anthem, vague and hymnlike it may be. "God Bless The USA" is none of these -- it's a pandering, cliche-driven piece of glurge. And yet, it's only #10....

9. We Are The World -- The problem started when they recorded this song after the American Music Awards. The talent you're going to assemble from the audience of the AMAs is going to produce some treacly song that will be completely unlistenable twenty years later. Completely unlistenable. Just try to imagine Frank and Sammy doing this at the Sands as a duet. And the idea that the 50 or so people who are in the room are "the World" just boggles my mind.

8. She's Like The Wind, Patrick Swayze -- Why do they let actors near recording studios?

7. Achy Breaky Heart, Billy Ray Cyrus -- You want to know when country music officially died? 1992, when "Some Gave All" bowed at #1 on the pop albums chart. It's that damn hook, built to bore into the heads of 5 year olds and truckers As a footnote, this is, I believe, the song the late Jonbenet Ramsey is dancing to in that beauty pagent tape.

6. Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley, Will To Power -- Why? Why attempt to merge a decent rock ballad with one of the greatest rock anthems and then have the audacity to run it through a karaoke machine? Would anyone attempt to do that to Beethoven? Oh yeah, forgot. Well, they'd never do it to Rachmaninoff! Yeah, forgot about Eric Carmen.

5. Baby Don't Forget My Number, Milli Vanilli -- They have to appear somehwere on this list, right?

4. To All The Girls I've Loved Before, Willie Nelson/Julio Iglesias -- This never should have been allowed to happen, EVER. If Willie had to list every girl that went in and out his door, it'd probably take a 7 CD box set.

3. When A Man Loves A Woman, Michael Bolton -- A few years ago, I was having dinner with some friends, and the Desert Island Discs question came up: Which $number albums would you take if you were stranded on a desert island? I listed mine (that's another post) and it came around to the accountant friend of mine. He proceeded to list EVERY Michael Bolton album. I realized why accountancy never appealed to me. On the song... Percy Sledge should be given a shoulder-launched TOW and tickets to the next Bolton concert.

2. Barney's Theme Song, Barney the Dinosaur -- It's beyond inane, it's downright insidious and stupid. Barney tells kids to be docile junk food consuming couch potatoes, but it's OK, because we're a happy fat family! I mean, look at Barney's paunchiness. No wonder the dinosaurs went extinct -- if it wasn't the coronary heart disease, it was the type 2 diabetes.

1. Songbird, Kenny G -- Truly, truly, this is everything that is wrong with music. It's one Coltrane lick cooked like an English vegetable until all soul, all flavor is gone. It's so nondescript it's used on every Muzak system in America. It didn't spawn the "smooth jazz" movement, but it's the flagship for that whiteified garbage. And this guy made GOBS and GOBS of money off this song, because middle-aged secretaries and managers listened to it so much on Muzak that it burrowed into their Precious Moments buying brain and demanded that they buy the damn album. Finally, how many commercials have you heard this in? Enough to make me wretch. If this song had a bit of bite, it would be classified as a weapon of mass destruction. It doesn't, though, so it can't be considered psychological torture to play this 24/7 at GTMO. Makes me wonder if the ICRC will start shipping this in their POW kits.


  1. Nothing by the Spice Girls? Verily, you slippeth, Dylaneth!!

    Posted by: Harry | July 30, 2003 10:00 AM

  2. At least you didn't pick Bolton's "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay." That was his only good song.

    Posted by: Sean Hackbarth | July 30, 2003 11:32 AM

  3. "Dock of the Bay" is Otis Redding. Period. End of discussion. Otis, Marvin, Rev Al, the Godfather, they are the true gods of soul. Bolton's version is bad, but at least he didn't try to out-Otis Otis, where on "When A Man" he tries to out-Percy Percy.

    Posted by: Dylan | July 30, 2003 05:13 PM

  4. Philistine I may be...........but when I heard the 5th Infantry Division Band play "God Bless The USA," I cried.

    Posted by: Michael Strickland | July 30, 2003 07:17 PM

  5. Good list of pukers; but, you forgot "Mambo Number 5" by Lou Bega. A little bit of... And, when they use it for commercials, I want to hurl! When this abortion was in Casey Kasum's American Top 40, the major networks were planning to adopt this turd to their promos. Fortunatly Fox was the only one who went through with it. And, even the network of sleazey reality drivel and right wing slanted news put us all out of our misery and terminated this promo.

    Posted by: Simon | April 20, 2004 09:14 PM

  6. Man, there are so many horrible songs out there. Ten is not a long enough list. Not NEARLY long enough.

    Posted by: John | June 9, 2004 12:16 PM

  7. Michael,

    When you heard the 5th Infantry Dividion Band play, "God Bless the USA' you say?

    Yeah, I can believe that. I was playing in the band when you heard it most likely...

    Posted by: BillG | June 19, 2004 10:05 PM