Since I’m in my mid-forties, I’ve been listening to pop music for long enough to have heard a lot of crap – and what makes it worse is that so much of it is memorable crap. Therefore, most of my list is made up of older songs that have been around for enough time to solidify my disdain for them. In no particular order, take these songs…please!
“Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks
This one shows up on a lot of people’s “worst songs of all time” lists, and if you’ve ever heard it, it’s not hard to understand why. If you’re not familiar with it, you probably weren’t around in 1974 – lucky you!
“Love the One You’re With” by Stephen Stills
My husband and I disagree about what this song is actually saying. I’ve always heard its message as “Hey, your girlfriend’s not around, go ahead and cheat,” which does NOT fly with me, and is why it’s on this list.
I’m not sure song this made sense even in the acid-soaked late 1960’s when it was originally recorded by Richard Harris (Dumbledore from the first two Harry Potter movies, to you youngsters). I can’t stand Donna Summer’s disco remake of it either, but at least the beat helps distract you from the lyrical insanity. This song actually has a long-standing reputation for its awfulness, as the winner(?) of Dave Barry’s Bad Song Survey in 1993.
“American Woman” by The Guess Who? (No, really, that was their name!)
Songwriter Burton Cummings has said that he really meant this song to praise the women of his home country, Canada, but somehow “Canadian woman, come closer” turned into “American woman, stay away.” I’ve tried to stay away from hearing this song at all, but especially from Lenny Kravitz’s cover of it, which did not improve on the original.
“Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray “Miley’s Dad” Cyrus
The perfect recipe for a song to despise – incredibly stupid, yet annoyingly catchy, and when it was popular, it was everywhere.
“A Horse With No Name” by America
“There were plants and birds and rocks and things…” Since I do tend to pay attention to lyrics, the bunch of non-sequiturs that comprise this song just make me crazy (or wish I was in a state of consciousness altered enough to make it comprehensible, which is tough to imagine).
“Miss Independent” by Kelly Clarkson
I’ve liked a lot of what the original American Idol has done since this record, but this is just a bunch of yelling to me, and doesn’t showcase her vocal talents at all.
“FM (No Static at All)” by Steely Dan
I actually like a lot of Steely Dan’s music, and maybe I should give them a pass because this was written for a (not particularly distinguished or memorable) movie, but I won’t. This song just makes me cringe, and it’s probably because I otherwise like Steely Dan.
“Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” by Rod Stewart
It’s going on thirty years of hating this song! And no, Rod, I don’t, I never have, and I’m pretty sure I never will. No offense.
“Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler
Too bad the eclipse didn’t snuff out this song, which has literally given me nightmares. The song was written by Jim Steinman, who is also to be blamed for the overwrought musical soap operas “Making Love Out of Nothing at All,” by Air Supply, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” by Celine Dion, and “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” by Meat Loaf (but since Mr. Loaf and Steinman also are responsible for the ever-awesome “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” I’ll cut them a little bit of slack for that last song I mentioned. Celine Dion gets no slack whatsoever.).
One of the good things about being able to listen to your iPod in your car is that you’ve pre-selected all of your music, and therefore you’re much less likely to have to lunge for the radio when something hideous comes on.
Your turn – in the comments, tell me one song that you would be perfectly happy if you never heard again in this lifetime!