The ever-qualified Palm Beach Post has printed a list of the 50 worst songs by great artists. As with any list, this one has its strong points and its weak ones.
Songs I agree belong on the list:
- In The Ghetto, Elvis Presley: I can’t even tell you how many times I had to listen to this with my Elvis-worshipping mom. It’s painful.
- Shiny Happy People, R.E.M.: A much-maligned song. And with good reason.
- My Ding-A-Ling, Chuck Berry: Lyrics aren’t exactly Chuck’s strong suit, but this was pretty bad, even for him.
- Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing, Aerosmith: Put the final nail in the coffin of my teenage Aerosmith fandom by recording a song written by the musical Antichrist (Diane Warren).
- Ebony and Ivory, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder: Two musical greats, dooming us to a lifetime of movies and television shows playing this horrifically sappy song at interracial weddings.
Songs that I like that ended up on the list:
- Angie, The Rolling Stones: I know it’s kind of annoying. But fuck you, I like this song.
- Numb, U2: It’s droning and monotonous. And yet somehow, it still rocks.
- Squeeze Box, The Who: The lyrics are dippy, I’ll grant you, but it’s still a damn good song.
- Fitter Happier, Radiohead: See Numb. There’s something hypnotizing about this song.
Songs that should have ended up on the list:
- Sweet Child O’ Mine, Sheryl Crow: I love Sheryl, and I tried to defend this at the time it was released. I now see the error of my ways, and ask forgiveness.
- Run For Your Life, The Beatles: Because even if it’s a joke, threatening to kill your girlfriend for cheating isn’t that funny.
- The Ground Beneath Her Feet, U2: A song written for a novel. I’m sure the lyrics read a lot better than U2’s least catchy melody ever, and I include the practically atonal “Numb” in that statement.
- Californication, The Red Hot Chili Peppers: A low point on their recent decline. I fucking hate this song.
So that’s my partial list. I haven’t included about three dozen albums that have just completely sucked, because that would have taken hours. Let the comment-section arguments begin!
I’d also like to note that while I was typing this post, I saw one of the oddest musical groupings I’ve ever seen:
Heart (yes, Heart), Wynonna Judd, and Layne Stayley from Alice in Chains all playing Led Zepplin’s “Rock and Roll” on CMT Crossroads. It sounded pretty good, but what the hell?!