By "worst", I mean maddeningly annoying, trite, clichéd, songs that get in your head uninvited and make you want to reach for an ice pick. To make this list, songs had to have a perfect storm mixture of an exceedingly lame melody and embarrassing lyrics.
Such is the quantity of bad songs that have become hits that if you ask me next week about it, I'll give you a slightly different list. One thing's clear, though: the '80s were by far the worst decade for bad top forty music.
In no particular order:
The Heat Is On, by Glenn Frey
Set against obnoxious saxophone accompaniment, Frey sings over and over about "the heat", but never tells us what the heat is. It must be something that brings out cliches - here's four cliches in two lines:
You can make a break, you can win or lose That's a chance you take, when the heat's on you
Other sample lyrics:
Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho Caught up in the action I've been looking out for you Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho (Tell me can you feel it) (Tell me can you feel it) (Tell me can you feel it) The heat is on, the heat is on, the heat is on
It's on the street The heat is on, the heat is on, the heat is on Yeah it's on the street The heat is on
Sometimes When We Touch, by Dan Hill
Is this the dorkiest, wimpiest song in history?
You ask me if I love you And I choke on my reply And sometimes when we touch The honesty's too much And I have to close my eyes and hide
I wanna hold you till I die Till we both break down and cry I wanna hold you till the fear in me subsides
And what's up with this sudden flare-up of violence?
At times I'd like to break you And drive you to your knees At times I'd like to break through And hold you endlessly
Wimpiness mixed with misogyny: that's kind of creepy.
Sometimes When We Touch gets extra points for being covered by Donny Osmond on his album, Love Songs of the '70s.
Footloose, by Kenny Loggins
Kenny Loggins could make up this entire list. Footloose, though, masterfully sums up everything woefully wrong with '80s top forty music: dumb lyrics, a nearly non-existent melody, cheesy synthesizer...and it gets extra points for being created for Kevin Bacon to dance to.
I'll hit the ceiling Or else I'll tear up this town Now I gotta cut
Loose, footloose Kick off your Sunday shoes Please, Louise Pull me offa my knees Jack, get back C'mon before we crack
Walk Of Life, by Dire Straits
Featuring an incessantly moronic riff, Walk Of Life has been torturing unsuspecting souls for decades.
Down in the tunnels, trying to make it pay He got the action, he got the motion
He do the song about the sweet lovin' woman He do the song about the knife He do the walk, he do the walk of life, yeah he do the walk of life
Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now, by Starship
This song for the movie Mannequin is possibly the one top forty hit worse than Starship's "We Built This City"
Standing here beside you, I want so much to give you this love in my heart that im feeling for you.
Let the world around us just fall apart. Maybe we can make it if we're heart to heart. And we can build this thing together, stand in stone forever, nothing's gonna stop us now.
Special mention needs to go to Bob Seger for three of the most annoying songs ever written by anyone, We've Got Tonight, Like a Rock and Old Time Rock and Roll.
I also have to mention Foreigner's I Want To Know What Love Is, Air Supply's All Out of Love and Hello by Lionel Richie.
Black Eyed Peas' My Humps certainly meets the criteria listed above. I'm guessing it'll be on someone's similar list twenty years from now.
The debut of Nix Comics Quarterly #3, Columbus, Ohio's Rock N Roll Horror comic magazine, is set for tonight at 6:00 pm at Elizabeth's Records in Clintonville.
There'll be food, beverages and a Nix-related trivia contest with a chance to win big Big BIG prizes!!!
In addition to the excellento array of cool comics published in Nix #3 (I penciled, inked, lettered and colored the short, "Here Be Dragons"), many of the other artists involved will be there and available for signings and head honcho publisher, writer and all-around cool guy Ken Eppstein will be the master of ceremonies.
PLUS - you can peruse Elizabeth's Records' wide array of vinyl, 45s, music books and more.
The Nix Comics Quarterly #3 Release Party Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=222360301148541
A good friend of mine recently returned from Cambodia, where he purchased stacks of Cambodian comics and graphic novels.The artform is flourishing there. This is a fascinating world of comics to discover and I wish I could read the untranslated issues.