Everyone has their favourite songs; they soundtrack our lives, they remind us of good times and good people, they make us smile and sing along and want to dance. Music has an intensely powerful emotional impact on our lives, whether it is the music we love and that makes us happy – or otherwise…
So, then, what about those songs you just can’t stand? What about those songs that make you dive across the room to turn the radio off? Those songs that make you wince and shudder and set your teeth on edge? Those songs you just hate?
Having read an interesting article in The Guardian on this very subject not so long ago, I asked the lovely people over at the Another Kind Of Mind Facebook page what their most hated songs were – and I got some interesting results.
It’s certainly pleasing to note that, as I have long suspected, I am by no means the only one who gets incandescent with rage over shit music; some of the responses I got from my readers simply dripped vitriol in the most fantastic fashion. There is clearly music out there that really, really pisses you lot off.
As you may have already guessed, the usual boy and girl band suspects are, of course, present and correct (anything by Robbie Williams or The Spice Girls etc), although I admit to doing a slight double take at an American friend’s suggestion of LFO’s Summer Girls, before realising he meant LFO the US boy band rather than LFO the legendary Warp Records signing and early-90s inventors of ‘bleep’ techno. My inner geek would have been devastated had he meant the latter!
Other trashy ‘pop’ suggestions included Ricky Martin’s horrendous Livin’ La Vida Loca (anyone else as disturbed by his dancing in the video as I am?), Fast Food Rockers breathtakingly, gobsmackingly awful The Fast Food Song (which somehow manages to be both bland and gut-churningly agonizing all at the same time), and any number of Mariah Carey’s hopelessly over-sung and downright painful cover versions, which ought not to be allowed. Ever.
Oh, and R Kelly’s dribbly and insipid I Believe I Can Fly also gets a mention (a ‘song’ which has, admittedly, always provoked the response of “Well, jump off a building and prove it then” from me), as well as one of the most irritating, annoying and pointless songs of recent years in the shape of Black Eyed Peas’ My Humps. Who told them that was big, let alone clever?
A recurring theme of your musical hatreds appears to be unnecessary cheesiness. In the right context, cheesiness is not an issue – I’m a bit of a sucker for cheesy, uplifting, hands-in-the-air trance and I adore 80s pop – but when it involves cheesiness with no redeeming features at all, many of you (quite rightly) appear to get a bit rationally irrational about it.
Kool and The Gang’s overplayed cheese-fest Celebration “makes me physically ill”, one friend declares, and Eminem’s collected output makes another friend so despair that it actually “makes me feel like killing myself”. Then there’s Meatloaf’s overblown and still puzzling I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That), which, in combination with other musical grimness, has even prompted voluntary amnesia in another, who writes: “I know there are more [hated songs] but I deliberately forget them.”
I can’t say I blame any of them for their reactions, I feel the same way about Ricky Valance’s frankly puketastic 1960 UK number one Tell Laura I Love Her, which is quite possibly the cheesiest song ever recorded anywhere in the known universe and ought to be banned on the grounds that a) it’s crap and b) it makes me go a bit postal.
Another of my least favourite songs actually cropped up several times, and I can’t say I’m surprised that so many people hate the revoltingly twee Lady In Red by the man Bill Bailey describes with deadly accuracy as that “monobrowed purveyor of ultimate filth”: Chris de Burgh himself. I mean, really. Sucks much? If you own a copy of that song, you should be ashamed of yourself.
Lady In Red was a huge hit, but, as we already know, popular doesn’t always mean good. And neither does ‘cool’. For example,one friend rightly describes the Manic Street Preachers’ dirge Design For Live as “utterly tedious” (putting it mildly), and Jay Z and Alicia Keys’ Empire State Of Mind provoked another to spit: “the lyrics are probably the most cringe-inducing thing since Tom Clancy’s last novel” – which is indeed saying something.
And on the subject of ill-conceived ‘cool’, Joss Stone came in for quite a mauling from you lot, with ‘bland’ and ‘insipid’ being the descriptives of choice from a number of people. In fact, her version of Fell In Love With A Girl (with lyrics suitably changed for a straight female voice, of course!) prompted this outraged comment: “[it’s] the White Stripes song on Mogadon while dressed circa Haight-Ashbury 1968”. Luckily, I’ve never heard it, but I’ll know to avoid it like the plague now.
Despite a list that clearly contains a few quirky and very personal choices alongside the obvious, one song in particular was named and shamed by more people than any other in both anecdotal conversations on the subject and this highly unscientific Facebook survey. I bet you can’t guess which one. Go on, guess. No? I’ll give you a clue then: it’s the love theme to an abysmal movie starring a big fuckin’ boat and an even bigger fuckin’ iceberg…
A big thank you to Jason B, Martin M, Signe, Aelfwynn, Grant, Lisa, Richard W and all the other music lovers who have (wittingly or unwittingly) contributed to this blog post – thanks for sharing your righteous musical rage!
Have we missed any obvious howlers? Post a comment and let me know!