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The Playlist from Hell

For God's sake, button your shirts.

By now, the dozen or so regular readers of this blog are aware of the disdain I hold for Led Zeppelin's song "Kashmir," the most pretentious rock song of all time.

During the past few weeks, though, my ears have been (cliché alert) put in harm's way by the convenience store when I get my morning coffee. I speak of two malevolent earworms: "Afternoon Delight" by the Starland Vocal Band, the musical equivalent of soap bubbles; and Dolly Parton's "Hear You Come Again," which reminds me of the ending of Apocalypse Now: "The horror! The horror!

Also to blame is Sirius-XM. While I'm skipping from station to station, I frequently encounter songs that should never be heard again my human ears. Some of them are listed below.

Lest it seem as if I'm skewing pop music acts instead of rockers, fear not. Here is the first installment of the Playlist from Hell. Coming in at No. 1 is "Kashmir," followed by the the two nightmares cited above, and then we have:

4. Foghat, "Slow Ride." Quaalude blues.
5. John Lennon, "The Ballad of John and Yoko." Christ you know it ain't easy to hear this one.
6. Creedence Clearwater Revival for their interminable "Heard It Through the Grapevine." A good metaphor for this song would be "pounding headache."
7. Bachman-Turner Ovedrive, "Takin' Care of Business," which is so bad that it earned its own post on Man Overboard.
8. Chicago, "Beginnings." The percussion outro is an assault on the eardrums.
9. Anything by Meat Loaf (song TBD).
10. Anything by Electric Light Orchestra (song TBD). This is a 40-year-old grudge. After a terrifying drive through whiteout conditions in the Snow Belt on the way to Buffalo to see ELO on their first tour, they were so bad I walked out on them, despite the fact I had paid a lot for front-row balcony seats at the long-gone Century Theater.

Lest readers overdose on unsolicited memories of teeth-grindlingly bad songs, I'll stop.

Reader submissions are welcome, and the list will be updated periodically. To anyone who winced or even shuddered at the mention of these songs, I apologize.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 3rd, 2015 05:07 pm (UTC)
This list is so entertaining and horrible, all at once. "Slow Ride" literally makes me grind my teeth and cringe. Please take it easy on my ears. PLEASE.

But the song that bothers me above all others is "Piano Man." (I know, I know, I'm violating some sort of Music Law by saying that.)
Apr. 4th, 2015 03:28 pm (UTC)
I once rewrote the lyrics to "Piano Man," changing every other line to a line from "Purple Haze" but keeping Joel's melody:

It's nine o'clock on a Saturday
Purple Haze all in my brain
There's an old man at the bar sitting next to me
Lately things don't seem the same
Apr. 3rd, 2015 07:48 pm (UTC)
I see another post already with "Piano Man" but equally horrendous is "Tell Her About It." I hate that f'ing song.
Then, and Tom will love this, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" is THE MOST insidious earworm of a song ever, EVER, recorded.
Plus, anything by Boston.

Apr. 4th, 2015 03:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Earworms
I'm with you on Boston. Any band named after a city, nation or continent should be avoided.They'll make the update.
Apr. 4th, 2015 12:45 am (UTC)
Haha! None of your songs would make my list, but I totally get it. It's immeasurable just HOW MUCH I HATE Stairway to Heaven. Let's see, what else would I add?

Bette Midler's- Wind Beneath My Wings
As much as I've loved Bob Seger, I HATE Like a Rock. And it annoys me that Turn the Page beats out Main Street every year on the Rock and Roll 500.
Ooh, the worst song EVER is The Pina Colada Song. Worst. EVER.
Any song sung by Celine Dion. Yes, ANY song. Ditto Whitney Huston, except maybe the Dolly Parton song she did that I can't think of right this minute, that was ok.
I know they're revered, but I have never been a fan of The Beach Boys and will rarely listen to a radio song all the way through. Except maybe Good Vibrations.

Apr. 4th, 2015 03:34 pm (UTC)
Piña Colada Song. How could I have forgotten it?

Fortunately, my sheltered life kept me away from Midler and Dion.

Apr. 4th, 2015 02:14 am (UTC)
I know the Parton rattles you, since the song title is actually "Here ..."

But absolutely yes for the Starland Vocal Band. And the ooga chuka version of "Hooked on a Feeling" (artist uncertain), which has actually ruined the song for me in any version. And the happily-forgotten evil-memory-of-my-pro-DJ-days song "Heaven on the Seventh Floor."

And anything at all by the band Boston, who should have ended its 15 minutes of fame a very long time ago.
Apr. 4th, 2015 03:34 pm (UTC)
"Heaven on the Seventh Floor." You are evil.
Apr. 4th, 2015 05:53 am (UTC)
*Claps hands excitedly*

One of my most favorite subjects ever.

In once sense, "Trout Mask Replica" could be on my list. We tried to listen to it once and decided to put it back in the album wall mural and just love it for the cover art. But that doesn't really fall into the same category.

Neither does Roger Whittaker. I was forced to sit through an entire concert of his; a good friend told me her husband bought tickets for us to go as a surprise! Wow! Was I surprised! I have blocked almost all of it out excepe the part where he artlessly prowled the stage looking at the floor as he told old tired jokes as though they had actually happened to him. Even he was embarrassed.

I don't have Sirius so I don't get the exposure to those songs as much, so I don't mind the ones you listed. And I actually like ELO. But I do have my own list of Songs I Would Like To Never Hear Again.

1. "Stairway to Heaven." NEVER EVER AGAIN.
2. "Won't Get Fooled Again." See #1.
3. Carole King singing anything. I loathed "Tapestry" when I was in 9th grade and still hate it today.
4. "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." I love Elton JOhn but No. Just no.
5. "Wind Beneath My Wings." I love Bette Midler but oh God NOT THAT SONG. Tied with "From a Distance."
6. "You're Having My Baby," Paul Anka. Why people hate the 70s.
7. "We Are the World." The arrangement borrows heavily from the song stylings of a first-grader singing "Jesus Loves Me." I want to shoot myself whenever I hear it.
8. "Gangnam Style," Psy. It causes brain seizures.
9. "You Light Up My Life,' Debby Boone. I shouldn't have to explain this.
10. "Honey," Bobby Goldsboro. Just thinking about it makes me cringe.
Apr. 4th, 2015 03:26 pm (UTC)
I wish you hadn't brought up Paul Anka. I had managed to forget that song. It'll be on the list after I update it.

And thanks for mentioning Elton John. It reminded me of "Crocodile Rock," which somehow missed the Bottom 10.

Apr. 4th, 2015 09:00 pm (UTC)
Having just suffered through watched a video of the current incarnation of Van Halen, I think a new subject to discuss would be Bands That Should Have Quit While They Were Ahead. Good God, David Lee Roth looks smarmier than ever and is starting to strongly resemble Kirk Cameron. It was horrific.
Apr. 4th, 2015 10:50 pm (UTC)
I recall when Creem magazine referred to Dave as "Geddy Lee Roth" and pissed him off mightily with a capital M. You're right, though: too many bands on the road this summer should stay at home. The Eagles, for instance. Whenever I hear the words "The Eagles," two words come to mind: wretched excess.
Apr. 7th, 2015 02:07 am (UTC)
Muskrat Love. Or anything else by The Captain & Tenille. But especially Muskrat Love. WTF??? Yladst
Apr. 7th, 2015 02:30 am (UTC)
I am happy to say that "Muskrat Love" has been purged from my brain's song list. I no longer remember it. I was hoping that in reaction to/mockery of it, Frank Zappa released his "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" album, but alas, it was released in 1970.

"Weasels," incidentally, has the best album cover art of all time. It is so good that it needs a post of its own.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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