Saturday, 18 September 2010

“100 Worst Songs” shows Harrington’s trends spreading

A few days ago, I found that AOL of all people had compiled a list of what it considers to be the 100 worst songs of all time. I had trouble finding it on the web, but today I have found it and decided I should listen to a few of the songs with which I was reasonably familiar.

On the whole, the list is not entirely unfamiliar from previous lists of the worst songs of all time like that by Blender magazine. In fact, one can see twenty-one of the Blender songs on AOL’s list:
  • “Ebony and Ivory” by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder from 1982
  • “We Built This City” by Starship from 1985
  • “Party All the Time” by Eddie Murphy from 1985
  • “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel from 1989
  • “Hanging Tough” by New Kids on the Block from 1989
  • “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice from 1990
  • “From a Distance” by Bette Midler from 1990
  • “Rico Suave” by Gerardo from 1991
  • “Achy Breaky Heart “ by Billy Ray Cyrus from 1992
  • “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred from 1992
  • “What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes from 1993
  • “I’ll Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” by Meat Loaf from 1993
  • “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” by Crash Test Dummies from 1994
  • “I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts from 1995
  • “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Deep Blue Something from 1995
  • “Cotton Eyed Joe” by Rednex from 1995
  • “Barbie Girl” by Aqua from 1997
  • “Make Em Say Uhh!” by Master P featuring Silkk, Fiend, Mia-X and Mystikal from 1998
  • “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion from 1998
  • “She Bangs” by Ricky Martin from 2000
  • “American Life” by Madonna from 2003
What is particularly notable with hindsight about both the AOL and Blender lists is that the vast majority of the songs on both come from after the “punk revolution”.

The only ones on the AOL list that did not were:
  • #07 “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy
  • #63 “Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks
  • #79 “Tie a Yellow Robbon” by Dawn
and from the 2004 Blender list:
  • #42 “The Sounds of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel
  • #48 “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” by the Beatles
This suggests a definite affinity with Joe S. Harrington’s brilliant Top 100 albums list from 2001 to 2003, whereby commercially successful albums from before the “punk revolution” are common but major-label or commercially successful albums afterwards completely ignored. What one notices having read reviews written over the period since 1992 is how commercial albums from the 1980s that were regarded quite well in 1992 are generally disparaged completely. This can be see with the following artists on Blender lists:
  1. Mike and the Mechanics
  2. The Hooters
  3. Arrested Development
  4. solo Mick Jagger
  5. Storm Front by Billy Joel
  6. Was (Not Was)

1 comment:

RJMiller91 said...

some of these songs I expected but some are a surprise to me. after thinking about it a little of them make sense but not all. interesting list thanks for posting this little tidbit