Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday Music Club: 13 annoying songs

Some songs that have inflicted some acute unpleasantness over the years...sometimes in part because they were, however blessedly briefly, ubiquitous. The first here might be might be the least bad musically, but the annoyingly preachy yet cutesy lyrics, delivered in large part by long-term abusive parent Der Bingle, brings it to this list (runners-up here...possibly Frank Sinatra's pathetic recordings of "Sunny Side of the Street" [which he concludes with "All those chicks at my feet/On..."] or "Mrs. Robinson" ["How's your bird, Mrs. Robinson?..." "bird" being a Rat Pack euphemism for penis]):

Well, I guess it was meant to be funny. Instrumentally, really not too bad...real pity about the vocals and everything else (extra demerits for use in commercials that actually work as aversion therapy to cheesecake):

Simply the most annoying song from a very annoying band's career; I've hated this song longer than any other ("I Started a Joke", not the other bad song which follows):

This track is impressive enough instrumentally, and the arrangement acceptably hokey, but the lyrics...well, I guess sufficient amounts of LSD or something similar leaves them as somehow tolerable, as they outclass even the best/worst efforts of Moody Blues (just barely), Led Zeppelin, or Pink Floyd:

You know, I rather liked "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)"--but whining and cloying cuteness don't cut it for me, and never have:

Speaking of whining, and inanity of the highest caliber:

Speaking of inanity, the closest I'll come, I think, to a consensus choice--and the genius that is Rupert Holmes would go on to inane sitcommery eventually, too, with Remember WENN, thus making him a forerunner of what Alan Thicke would be...I refuse to go check if Holmes was ever the host of a bland chat show, as well:

The mid-'70s featured entirely too many trivial throwaways (Jim Stafford's unpunctuated "My Girl Bill" almost took this slot), but one of the most half-assed would have to be this one, between the thin vocal, hectoring lyrics, and charmless bar-band organ and guitar riffs  (I gather this was recently dusted off for some reason for a Marvel Comics film soundtrack):

Did I mention my aversion to whiny and inane? And, in this case, morosely cutesy...manages to just outdo "Stairway to Heaven" in all of these and to rival it in its ineluctable miasma, particularly when it was newish, and for entirely too many years after:

Synthesizer haircut bands have faced all sorts of derision, but none deserved it more...manages to out-inane the likes of Lionel Richie's "Hello" as well, not the easiest thing to do:

Robot music. Though some robots have more spirit and soul:

Isn't casual misogyny adorable? Particularly when so smugly self-congratulatory?

Really adorable? Of course, this could be replaced by any number of Mashall Mathers or other pathetic expressions, including so many that didn't get constant airplay.

If you play them all simultaneously, they sound a little better, but Melanie's vocal still gets through distinctly, alas.


Phillyradiogeek said...

Interesting that I like about 6 or 7 of these songs (I'll leave their names a mystery), but I have to agree with you on Pina Colada and Hotel California. I have a high tolerance for 70s cheese, and not in an ironic way, but even I have my limits (I'm lookin' at you, Terry Jacks).

Todd Mason said...

"Seasons in the Sun" just seemed too easy to mention. "Billy, Don't Be a Hero," "Brother Louie" and the KISS and Sweet discographies, too. One could go on (I'm thinking of you, Tommy James).

Jerry House said...

I bet, if you tried, you could squeeze Pap-ooh-mau-mau in there.

Todd Mason said...

The Rivingtons' or the Trashmen's? I'm afraid I have too much fun with at least the latter's...I mean, Jerry, don't you know, the bird is the word? And while the Rivingtons are a bit more monomaniacal, think of all the Barry Manilow I'd have to get through before I'd take on that somewhat overwhelmed bit of doo-wop...or, do yourself a favor, don't think of it at all...nor Neil Diamond from THE JAZZ SINGER re-remake period, particularly...(the Beach Boys' concert cover? But there's so much Four Seasons--and so on...)

D Nelson said...

I totally agree with "Short Shorts". The really bad lyrics and worst melody, and the awful video make "Short Shorts" probably oneof the most atrocious popular songs. I also agree with "Material Girl", but how can you leave out the other Madonna 80s "songs" such as "Like A virgin", "Holiday". Just hearing Madonna's awful voice makes me vomit in my mouth. "Hotel California" is great compared to "Holiday".

Todd Mason said...

Well, one song each is enough...or more than enough...from each artist-of-sorts. "Holiday" does have an even more grating vocal, but isn't quite as awful, by me, all-'round. And I'm afraid I don't see "Hotel California" as great compared to much of might've been the least bad song Barry Manilow ever recorded, had he offered that, but then again, maybe not...even he might've made it less lugubrious.