I am a music nerd. No, I take that back. I am a music connoisseur. I have an undying appreciation for a good piece of music. Frequently you will find me sitting at the computer and writing, or sitting in my chair and knitting, or taking my usual lap or two around the park with ear buds planted in my ears and listening to my mp3 player. Music helped me endure some of the worst times in my life. Good music is like good food or good wine or a good book. It can give you pleasure, it entices your senses, enhance a mood, or just make you happy.
Then there’s the bad. There are the songs that are so awful, they not only make your ears bleed, but they can scar and traumatize you for life. If I had to create an iPod play list from Hell, these are the songs that would be on it. I think some of these songs violate the Geneva Convention’s rules on the use of torture. If they don’t, then they should.
For some reason, most of these songs were popular in the 1970s. Good Taste slept through the decade. Plus I think that downers and copious amounts of Peruvian Marching Powder fueled what passed for creativity during those ten years of darkness. The members of my generation were small and very impressionable children during this period of time who were exposed to these songs on the radio and on television. If you have ever wondered why Generation X (by definition, people currently in their mid to late thirties and early to mid forties) are the way that they are, then wonder no more.
There were some obvious bad songs I did not include in this post, not because I think they’re actually good, but because there was nothing witty nor clever I could say about them that hasn’t been said already.
More after the jump…
The 1970s was a very weird time where songs about rodent sex passed off as entertainment and was considered appropriate to play for dignitaries and heads of state. At the White House no less.
“You’re Having My Baby”
If this song doesn’t cause you to feel nauseous, then you have no soul. If you think this is a lovely song, then you have zero taste in music. Consider these lyrics:
Didn’t have to keep it
Wouldn’t put you through it
You could have swept it from your life
But you wouldn’t do it
Regardless of what side of the debate you are on, I think we can all agree that these are some very tasteless lyrics. I think I just threw up in my mouth.
“The Rupert Holmes Trifecta”
If there were a “Ten Most Wanted List” for musical criminals, this guy should be near the top. First consider the song “Escape (The Pina Colada Song):
Some dude is sick of his woman, so he decides to cheat on her. He answers a personal ad in the paper and together, he and the other woman with whom he shares a mutual interest in pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape, make plans to “escape”. When the appointed hour of the assignation arrives, the lady he is going to escape the boring rut of his current relationship with turns out to be…*SPOILER ALERT* his current girlfriend! Needless to say, the song ends happily, they laugh it off, and neither seems to concerned with the fact that they were just about to cheat on each other. Couples therapy would have been a lot easier, don’t you think? These two clowns deserve each other.
Then there is this next song which over uses the words “him” and “me”. I realize that songs are supposed to have hooks, but I don’t think songs are supposed to have rusty, metal hooks that will poison you with tetanus.
I dare you to not get this one stuck in your head.
And then there is the most heinous of musical offenses that Mr. Holmes has committed. I present you “Timothy”.
It seems that back in the early 1970s, Rupert Holmes thought that the world did not have enough songs about people eating human flesh, so he penned this ode to cannibalism. It also seems that Rupert didn’t have the guts to sing this one himself, so he gave the song to a band called the Buoys, who recorded it. Then some record company executive decided that this song about people eating other people’s flesh should be inflicted upon the masses.
I’m not sure who “Joe” and “Me” are, but I hope that after they got out of that mine shaft, they had eColi and salmonella all at the same time.
“Chevy Van” by Sammy Johns
Sammy Johns, I’d like you to meet a good friend of mine. Sammy, This is Chris Hansen from Dateline NBC. Chris, Sammy Johns. Why don’t you have a seat over there?
In my day, sexual predators didn’t frequent chat rooms or social networking sites. No, they drove around in vans, going past the parks and the playgrounds and even the schools. Patch the Pony warned us to stay away from strangers. Our parents warned us to stay away from strange, creepy men who drove in vans.
And speaking of jail bait…
“Young Girl” by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap
Every time a Baby Boomer likes to say the music from the 1960s was so much more clean and innocent than the music of my generation or the music of today, I like to point out this song. Enacting this song for TV just makes you yearn for a hot shower to wash off the layer of ick that accumulates on your skin.
“Afternoon Delight”-Starland Vocal Band
This song was very popular when I was six years old and I have vague childhood memories of hearing it played on the radio all the time. Being the young and innocent Kindergartner I was at the time, I thought they were singing about going camping. Of course, I know better now. Part of me still longs for that innocence whenever I hear the opening notes to this song.
This is probably the blandest, whitest, and totally NOT sexy ode to the quickie ever written. It also has the worst reference to oral sex ever penned.
Started out this morning feeling so polite
I always though a fish could not be caught who wouldn’t bite
But you’ve got some bait a waitin’ and I think I might try nibbling
a little afternoon delight.
I don’t know about you, but if the guy I was with thought that comparing my lady parts to fish bait was a complement, I’d be insulted.
And I’d be booking an appointment to see my gynecologist ASAP.
“Indiana Wants Me” by R. Dean Taylor
I will admit to this being a glorious piece of aural cheese (as opposed to those sticky pieces of aural cheese known as earwax) because of the liberal use of sound effects. This You Tube video just makes the cheese even more glorious!
Maybe I’m hearing things wrong, but isn’t the “Me” whom Indiana wants met with a hail of bullets at the end of the song? And if this is true, then how is he getting out his first person account? If he’s writing this all in a letter, did some thoughtful officer of the law take the time to put his letter in an envelope, pay for the stamp, and drop it off in the mail? Questions, questions, questions…
“Wives and Lovers”-Jack Jones
I believe that this song is singlehandedly responsible for the rise of the Feminist Movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
“We Built This City”-Starship
The 1980s were not immune from crap music, either. What makes this song especially heinous was that this is a sad reminder of a band that was once good three name changes and several line-up changes ago. Unfortunately, I remember this song quite well, and not only is it representative of the worst in modern pop music, radio felt compelled to play the damned thing into the ground! You couldn’t get away from it if you wanted to! Plus, it took away valuable radio airtime from my favorite band of the day, Duran Duran.
I was fifteen at the time. Forgive me.
“It Must Be Him”-Vicki Carr
Dear God! It must be melodrama! Oh my God! It must be HIM! If it’s not! I will stick my head in the OVEN! And turn on the GAS!!
Speaking of melodrama…
The David Geddes Double Barreled Melodramatic Semi-Automatic Assault Rifle
Unfortunately, I could not find actual You Tube videos of the actual two songs in question, but I will provide links to the song lyrics.
David Geddes was a singer in the 1970s who sang cheesy, crappy pop songs. One day, he got himself a double barreled gun and he loaded it with two of the cheesiest, tear-jerkiest songs ever, and went on a musical killing spree of sorts.
Barrel #1 was loaded with the song Last Game of the Season (Blind Man in the Bleachers), which is about a blind guy who goes to every high school football game in his town because his son is a football player. Basically, the blind man dies, and the son plays his little heart out to win the game because, as he tells his coach, tonight was the first time his dad could see him play.
In case you didn’ t have enough melodrama and saccharine from Barrel #1, Barrel #2 finished us off with Run Joey Run. Joey and Julie are dating. Joey and Julie have sex. Joey gets Julie pregnant. Joey and Julie are going to get married. Julie’s dad chases Joey with a shotgun. Julie’s dad intends to shoot Joey. *SPOILER ALERT* Julie’s dad shoots Julie. Cue the choir of angels. The end. Pass the barf bag, please.
“Alone Again (Naturally)” by Gilbert O’Sullivan
Most. Depressing. Song. Ever. By the minute-thirty mark, I’m longing to treat myself with a visit to a nearby tower. And if I’m still feeling sour by the two minute thirty mark, I will throw myself off of it.
And last, but certainly not least…
“Feelings” by Morris Albert
There is being in touch with one’s feelings and emotions while maintaining dignity. And then there is this. I also remember one episode of The Gong Show where all the contestants that were on the show that day sang this song.