Your Thread to Keep You Occupied for Today: Tuesday
Posted on October 6, 2009 Posted by John Scalzi 178 Comments
Work, work, work. While I’m off, here’s another Thread to Keep You Occupied for Today.
Please to answer the following question:
You have the ability to expunge one song from the history of your favorite musical artist. Name the artist and song. Because even your favorite musician has a song that totally sucks, and you know that for sure.
The Eagles: “Hotel California”
Not so much that the song sucks, but that it’s over played. The band has many other and better songs.
Capital G – Nine Inch Nails.
It violates my separation of politics and entertainment too much.
Starship’s song “Nothing Going To Stop Us Now”
“Money” by Pink Floyd. I’ve always found that song to be a screeching, out of place annoyance in their catalog.
REM Everybody hurts. I hurt when I hear it.
Not really a song, but The album “A Little Light Music” with musics from Mozart. That album should not exist. I bought it mistaking it for “A Little Night Music” and needless to say, I was disappointed.
Tom Sawyer – Rush. Overplayed, keening and pretentious. Waitaminute…
The Beatles: Revolution 9
I just want to know when word got out that a pirate’s gone soft.
The entire oeuvre of PDQ Bach.
The Who never should have recorded “Cache Cache” off of Face Dances.
Actually, that whole album’s pretty much a waste except for “You Better You Bet,” “The Quiet One,” and “Another Tricky Day.”
And I have my doubts about “You Better You Bet.”
The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love.”
Pearl Jam: “Wishlist”. I bought the first four Pearl Jam albums religiously (“Ten” was my introduction to Rock and Roll, so it has an extra special place in my heart). “Wishlist” is the reason I didn’t buy “Yield”, and after that I drifted away from listening to mainstream rock–mostly by turning off the radio.
Devin Townsend: None. No song. His back catalog is immaculate. (And the only thing I’m really missing of his is the Punky Brüster album, which I expect is as well thought out and polished as anything he’s ever done.)
“Ice Cream” by Sarah McLachlan. *gag*
Megadeth – A Tout Le Monde. Megadeth should not be doing slow melodic metal in French. Seriously WTF?
I can deal with slow melodic metal. I can deal with metal in French (Trust is fine). But never ever combine the two.
Steve Miller Band, “The Joker”
Very pretentious, pompous, not to mention “pompatus” song.
Not a fan of the rest of their catalog, either.
The Beatles: Tomorrow Never Knows. Egads, what a horrible piece of cacophony.
Least favorite song from your favorite artist, guys. Some of you are doing it wrong.
For me: The Mountain Goats – “Wild Palm City”
Come Sail Away – Styx
Dennis DeYoung’s pretentious attempt to make himself an anthem rock god. I just don’t get the appeal of that song.
JD: Not a fan of Revolution 9, but honestly I’d listen to that 100 times over rather than hear Ringo belt out “Act Naturally” even once.
For myself I’d have to excise “When the world is running down” by The Police. Something about that one rubs me the wrong way.
pnkrokhockeymom@12: you know, that’s about my wife’s favorite song.
(And good lord, I know I’m peeing in someone’s wheaties by trashing on “Wishlist”–that song was wildly popular back in the day.)
I think I figured out the host’s trick. He’s trying to get us to fight amongst ourselves by telling us to dis each other’s musical tastes. I see right through you, John Scalzi. Oh yes.
Billy Joel, “You’re Only Human (Second Wind)”
Recorded during Joel’s “being married to Christie Brinkley is affecting my songwriting ability” period, this anti-teen suicide ditty is the musical equivalent of an After School Special. If I ever get the time machine working again, this song gets erased.
Thomas @18: Oh, right.
If it has to be the Beatles as a group, then “Hey Jude.” Way overplayed.
If you count their solo works, then Paul McCartney’s “Someone’s Knockin’ on the Door.”
Damn. My *favorite* artists don’t have anything in their regular repertoire I’d delete. OTOH, they’re not exactly world-famous. Yet.
OK. Songs you’d know. Jimmy Buffett has a bad habit of doing “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw.” Jimmy. Dude. Get drunk and *forget that song.* It’s not even yours.
But, Rob K. @1: don’t be messin’ with the Hotel. Them’s fightin’ words.
C’mon guys. Just because a song’s overplayed doesn’t mean it’s bad. It just means you ought to stop listening to radio already and get an MP3 player.
As for songs that ought to get deleted from the discography… “This Is Radio Clash” has the unfortunate dishonor of being completely unlistenable to me.
Nick Cave’s Green Eyes. I actually have to turn it off when he talks over the music even though the man’s clearly a deity of some sort the rest of the time!
Invisible Kid – Metallica
I don’t doubt someone could *like* the song. It’s just, for me, with my preferences for the darker moments on Pornography, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me and Disintegration, that chipper ditty GRATES on my nerves.
I mean, I’m picking my least favorite song by my favorite band. It’s not my least favorite song ever, because, of course, no Cure song could EVER be my least favorite song ever.
Oh God, that’s an easy one: “The Wrestler” by Bruce Springsteen, a laughably morose song that features some shockingly pathetic lyrics. At one point he plaintively sings “Have you ever seen a one-legged dog/making his way down the street?”
A ONE-legged dog? Ah, that would be a big no, Bossman. I don’t think a one-legged dog would be goin’ ANYwhere. I mean, snails move with one foot, but most critters require a bare minimum of two to accomplish much in the way of forward motion.
Did I mention I thought the movie was for crap too?
It’s okay, though, all I have to do is put on THE RISING and I’m ready to forgive him.
Hold On My Heart by Genesis. That, That Is by Yes. I Think Im Going Bald by Rush. Elvis Presley and America by U2. Eminence Front by the Who.
Hugh: FAVORITE artist. I can think of plenty of artists whose back catalog I would wipe from history–name your favorite punk-pop band. (If I could rage a scorched earth campaign against the back catalog of all punk-pop bands–just the back catalogs, not the people, they have every right to exist–I would burn the fields and salt the earth with cobalt-60. Other metalheads have similar feelings about other genres.)
The other interesting bit is asking yourself “Why is that the one that sticks out like a sore thumb?” I like Pearl Jam’s progressive-yet-down-to-earth hardrock sound. The music is approachable and punchy, but still highly complicated (“Ten” is the epitome of this sound). It also lacks any of the overt sexism of 80s rock–which ends up getting cheesier as it ages, and Pearl Jam has never had that problem (if you think Pearl Jam is cheesy, you probably thought that in 1991). “Wishlist” is none of these things and it got way overplayed.
“Friday I’m In Love” is kind of the perky Cure song. The lyrical content is mostly nonsensical, but a little depressing if you try to overthink it (which my mother-in-law did, and does not understand the appeal of the song–she thinks it’s horrible to only like Fridays, and despise the entire rest of the week. A bit too straight-forward a reading, methinks). But if you are looking for the sound that by-and-large defines The Cure and albums like Disintegration, that song stands out, and of course, it was wildly popular and overplayed.
(I’m thinking out loud, I hope y’all don’t mind. I’m a hardcore music nerd.)
Kate Wolf’s godawful early protest song Agent Orange. They killed him back in Vietnam, and he didn’t even care. I cannot tell a lie, it was me with my little TARDIS!
David Bowie’s Laughing Gnome is famously horrid, but I prefer to preserve it as a homage to the whimsicality of existence. In formaldehyde, and on a purpose-built island somewhere in Dubai where Bacchus and I shall never go – but preserved it must be.
The Police’s “Mother” off the synchronicity album. I edit it out whenever I rip albums because Summers’ freaking out is just too jarring sandwiched between the relatively jaunty Miss Gradenko and whatever comes before that.
pnkrokhockeymom@28: didn’t see your post (I think ours went through at the same time–as my submit refresh updated to #23), but nice to know you don’t hate-hate the song. Also, I’m not offended, just trying to pick apart why (nice to know I got it in one). Again, I’m sure someone on here likes “Wishlist” (I, unfortunately, find “Wishlist” to be grating enough that I actively dislike it. So, I do hate a song by one of my favorite bands, but I’ll live and still love the rest of their music. I don’t even hold any resentment for them writing and publishing the song.)
Besides, Devin Townsend’s music is still note-perfect. I have high hopes for Addicted. OMFG, it is going to be good. He posted a teaser on his myspace the other day.
Also, Hugh, didn’t see your later post when mine went through. Sorry for the later reprimand.
Jim Croce – “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” and “Big Bad Leroy Brown”
Yes: Owner of a Lonely Heart.
Sorry to deprive them of their greatest hit, but Steve’s right, it’s just Not Yes Music!
“Every Breath You Take” –The Police
“Owner of a Lonely Heart” –Yes
“All My Love” –Led Zeppelin
“Big Time” –Peter Gabriel
“I just called to say I love you”. Stevie Wonder. I thought everyone knew the answer to this question.
Paul Simon – Stranded in a Limousine.
Johnny Cash – Personal Jesus
Look, I know that his crossovers on American Recordings are made of win and awesome (i.e. U2’s “One,” Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” and most especially Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt”)… but Marilyn ****ing MANSON? (Yes, I know it was originally Depeche Mode. No one of my generation cares, all they know is that… thing’s version.) How Cash let Rick Rubin talk him into it we will never know.
Darn it, you mean I can’t expunge the entirety of the Sammy years from Van Halen history? Sigh…
Well, crap. Out of all my favorite artists I don’t think I’d dump any of their songs. That’s why they’re my favorites. Even their clunkers have value.
I guess would have to choose Cheap Trick’s “The Flame,” because I know they themselves hate that song with a blistering nuclear passion, and will never play it ever again anywhere for any reason.
Forgot one: Wow by Kate Bush. Oh, and The Barry Williams Show is not a high point for Peter Gabriel either.
“Cyclop Rocks” by They Might Be Giants. Blech. Ugly, rude, unpleasant. What were they on the day they wrote that?
I think I have to agree with the previous poster, REM’s everybody hurts.
If I could pick ANY song that’d be way easier. The song “Redneck Woman” is so horrible I’d gladly remove it from history.
R.E.M. — Ignoreland (they have worse songs, but this has the problem of being a terrible song on an otherwise-great album. If this wasn’t there, there might be a better song on AFTP in its place.)
Dire Straits — Les Boys (same, except I’m not sure they have any worse songs.)
Matt Nathanson — Come On Get Higher (I’ve been following Matt for about 10 years, and I’m trying really hard not to do a “he’s popular so now he sucks” thing. It would help if he had gotten popular off of a better song. Or even a better arrangement — his original arrangement of COGH was much better, then for the album and single release he basically neutered it and it became a wimpy soft-rock thing, and that’s what turned into a hit. ARGH.)
Do we look like the kind of store that carries “I Just Called To Say I Love You”? Go to the mall.
Top five musical crimes perpetrated by Stevie Wonder in the ’80s and ’90s: go.
The thing is, even a bad song performed by a favorite artist still has its appeal, if you are truly a fan of the performer.
However, the exception that proves this rule is the cover of “Dancing in the Streets” by Mick Jagger and David Bowie. Even having been recorded for the benefit of starving African children cannot imbue this recording with any social value whatsoever.
I agree with R.E.M. “Everybody Hurts” It is a really hangy song, with a hangy video, by an otherwise great band.
But I would have to go with “Sloop John B” by the Beach Boys. While it is a fine song, it ruins the aural flow of Pet Sounds, so it should be shunned and stoned in the town square.
I sort of want to say “I Never Talk to Strangers” by Tom Waits (featuring Bette Midler), except that I worry about the temporal consequences: without “Strangers” there might be no “One from the Heart” soundtrack, and I can live with the song if it means I get “Empty Pockets” and “Little Boy Blue”.
So instead I’ll go with “November”.
“Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen. Cannot even be redeemed when he does it live.
47 comments and nobody has suggested Jimmy Webb’s hideous bombast, “MacArthur Park”?
Leave the cake out in the rain or bring it in. Eat it or don’t eat it, I really don’t care.
But please stop singing about it.
Lips Like Sugar by Echo & the Bunnymen. The beginning of the end, as far as I’m concerned, so naturally the only song that anyone knows.
Few people I talk to know this band but they are hands down my favorite ever. In their 25+ years of recording I would only ditch 2 songs:
New Model Army – Bury The Hatchet and Sex (The Black Angel).
I adore much of their early catalogue, but these both just reek of cheese. You know, the smelly, moldy kind that reminds me of dirty, locker room feet. Blech!
“Chicken Blows” by Guided By Voices. Or maybe “Frostman.”
Shit, now I can’t decide.
I don’t see how someone can talk about “Hey Jude” when “Fool on the Hill” exists.
@50 Jill. Please no! You would destroy a thing of beauty. McArthur Park is a fabulous song. Melodrama, campery, utter nonsense and all set against swelling strings. Love it!
Johnny Cash, “Why Is a Fire Engine Red” off the Children’s Album.
In fact, probably the entire Johnny Cash Children’s Album, possibly excepting “I’ve Got a Boy and His Name is John”.
Give this to your children only if you’re prepared for nightmares and other psychological damage.
Steve Goodman’s “Fourteen Days.” It’s the only song of his that I didn’t transfer over to MP3 when I ripped my CD library. It’s not so much that it sucks as that it’s so gratuitously depressing that I wish I’d never heard it, and am trying to arrange to never hear it again. That, despite the fact that Steve Goodman, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton are my three favorite artists.
Are you nuts? It isn’t one of their best songs but its pretty good… besides the lyrics:
“Pony, Twist, Monkey, and Frug
These are the things that I taught to you
Hitchhike, Boogie, Hypocrite Bop
I’m stuck in a van outside of New York AAAAAAAAAHHH!”
Good use of a high fidelty quote…
My least favorite song from one of my favorite bands has to be Kokomo by the Beach Boys… Its unfortunate because I really like the movie Cocktail! (thats a lie I loathe the movie cocktail).
The world would be a better place without Cocktail and Kokomo.
Help me Xenu your my only hope!
Rush – Scars. I think I’m the only person in the world who actually likes the Presto album but hates Scars.
Anything by Lady Gaga…. *shudder shudder*
Sorry to be pedantic Anne but -songs you HATE by artists you LOVE! (Although she makes me shudder too)
Lousy songs by favorite artists:
Lucinda Williams: “Joy”.
Steve Earle: “Transcendental Blues”.
The Clash: “Train In Vain”
The Who: “It’s Hard.” The whole damn album, but especially the title track.
Bruce Springsteen: “Froggie Went a Courtin'”. The horror!
Warren Zevon: “”Sentimental Hygiene”. He did a lot of bad ones scattered among the genius tracks, but that one particularly reeks.
X’s cover of Soul Kitchen.
Actually, anything X did with Ray Manzerak on the organ. Insane circus lilts worked for The Doors. Not so much for X. I imagine that if Exene Cervenka sang of kilter harmonies with Jim Morisson it would have sounded just as awful.
David Bowie – Dancing in the Street
I love Bob Seger. He’s AWESOME.
I absolutely CANNOT stand “Turn the Page”. I will change the station as soon as I hear the opening wail of a saxophone. omg.
Oh, i’m so sorry – you’re making a fraking living playing guitar, and you want me to feel sorry for you that you have to tour? to promote your album? Give me a break.
@22 — Aw man, that song got me through so many depressing times. It’s loud and obnoxious and can be sung rhythmically whilst mopping.
Cream – Pressed Rat and Warthog
Although I’m stretching for that. My musical tastes are way too diverse. First, I don’t really have a favorite band as such. It would change from day to day and mood to mood. If I did have to choose a favorite artist in any genre, it would probably be either Miles Davis or Thelonious Monk, and there’s nothing in either of their catalogs that I would banish.
“One World, One Sky” by Covenant. That is such a horrible song.
I’d also keep Sublime from covering “Steppin’ Razor.” I love Sublime, but how stoned do you have to be to mess up “Steppin’ Razor”?
It took 37 entries before Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You.” For shame.
Both Ummagumma and Atom Heart Mother by Pink Floyd.
I understand that they were very important in the development of the band, but listening to them is just painful. They should have been kept in the studio and never been published.
45. Kevin R – I have to echo Rabid Android – you made me laugh, too. I love “High Fidelity”. What a great book and movie.
All those folks putting the hating out towards The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love”, please remember, that’s Our Host & his Lovely Wife’s first dance song…
I’m just sayin… :)
You do realize that The Man in Black’s version(2002) came out before Manson’s(2004) and in fact both are covering Depeche Mode(1990)?
That being said, yeah wipe out the Cash version of “Personal Jesus”. Although his cover of NiN’s “Hurt” is brilliant.
Canadian content ahoy:
Apartment Song by the Tragically Hip. Gord’s lyrical flights of fancy get too damn twee for anyone’s good here. That said, I almost never hit skip when it comes on.
Reach Out by Sloan, because sometimes Patrick just puts it on auto-pilot, and I’m annoyed that there aren’t any Andrew songs on Action Pact.
Oops, reading comprehension is not my forte MasterThief. I see you *did* in fact acknowledge the DM. My head just went all asploady when I saw the demon-spawn’s name in your post.
Bad Religion, I Love My Computer.
Sweet Christ I hate that song. Blenderhead is a really close second.
I swear if I have to listen to ANYONE one more Dad-damned time sing “Amazing Grace”…
Enough, people! I’m the King of Kings! I should be getting something like Van Halen or a John Williams number.
My disembodied ears have calluses.
Runner-up: Sarah McLachlan’s “Arms of the Angel”
Unless she does a remake with Metallica.
Pearl Jam is one of my absolute faves – like Jeff @13, Ten was a formative album for me, and remains one of my top five, must-have-when-stranded-on-a-desert-island albums. That said, I think the band crested with Vitalogy, if for no other reason than the brilliance of songs like “Corduroy”, “Nothingman”, and “Tremor Christ”. (It should be noted that I’ve not yet listened to Backspacer in its entirety, though I like what I’ve heard so far)
However, I simply cannot stand the ill-advised, almost contemptuous inclusion of “Hey Foxymophandlemama. That’s Me (Stupid Mop)” as the closing track. Utterly pointless, noise-driven dreck. Even “Bugs”, with its grating accordion track, outperforms this experimental slop. If I had a Tardis… well, it’s not the first thing I’d do, or even the 101st, but eventually I’d get around to going back and stopping them from ever recording this.
I had been trying to make up my mind about a bad Bowie, and was leaning very strongly toward Dancing In The Streets, but I think I have to go with Memory of A Free Festival. As for Everybody Hurts by REM, funny, but that song had always been one that worked for me. Then I realized that the awful, arty video for it was probably killing the song for people. So yeah, I sympathize. Lesson: avoid videos.
I have trouble picking a favorite band, so I’m gonna give this a few tries.
Moxy Fruvous: One of “Ash Hash”, “Your New Boyfriend”, or “The Incredible Medicine Show”. “You Will Go To The Moon” was such an up-and-down album.
Jonathan Coulton: Discarding some of his weird experimental crap from the early Thing-A-Week days, I guess I could do without “Overhead”.
Jamie Cullum and Ben Folds each have a few songs I’m not too enthusiastic about, but nothing I can pinpoint for total expungement.
Tally Hall: I could really do without “Welcome to Tally Hall”. They muddied up an otherwise excellent track with a bunch of rapping. A bit of it’s clever, but most of it just feels clumsy. (Also, “Two Wuv”, but mostly because I’ve been sick of the Olsen twins for at least a decade.)
The Pogues. I’d ditch…. well, I suppose I’d ditch everything after Shane McGowan, but the qualify as a different band at that point.
I’m not a fan of _Auld Triangle_ from Red Roses for Me.
“Little King” by Not Drowning, Waving.
That song ruins an otherwise fantastic album (The Cold and the Crackle) by showing up in the middle of the CD and having absolutely nothing musically to do with anything that goes before or comes after. Plus, it’s a truly lousy song. What the hell were they thinking even recording that, much less actually putting it on the album?
“Time Passages” by Al Stewart. He did weaker but inoffensive songs, but this one is annoying, especially when he whines the title words in the lyrics, and it also got very popular, though not as popular as “Year of the Cat”.
Even Al Stewart himself didn’t like it: “I didn’t realize truly how bad a song it was until one day I was in an elevator and I was listening to what I thought was Muzak. About 30 seconds went by, and I finally began to recognize it and said to myself, ‘This sounds pretty horrible.’ Then, horror of horrors, I heard my voice come on, it actually was the record. So I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God what have I done, this is terrible!'”
Dog years by Rush is a pimple on the ass of an otherwise great cd
Rush – Spindrift
#83 Chris P…I actually liked Dog Years.
John Lennon: Woman
Phil Ochs – Spaceman. Not a bad protest song, per se, but it is anti space program, and well, I am a SF geek.
And yes, he is my favorite, in the genre of folk protest.
Easy. “Punk Love” by Magnetic Fields off their magnum (and I do mean magnum) opus, 69 Love Songs. It’s not punk, it has horrible Chipmunks-style vocals, and it displays neither the songwriting chops nor the brilliantly witty lyrics (“Punk rock love, punk rock, punk rock love” is repeated throughout) that Stephin Merritt is deservedly famous for. Its only redeeming feature is that it’s less than a minute long.
Cake — “Carbon Monoxide”
Warren Zevon, Raspberry Beret on the Genius album.
I love the guy, but holy sweet baby pickles what the fuck was he thinking? It’s one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever heard. It’s like finding out your beloved sweet grayhaired grandmother had a wild jungle monkey threesome with Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter – and there’s video, on the Internet.
Jim “jungle monkey threesome” will haunt my sleep. However, it is bedtime here in Blighty so night night all and thanks for a great thread!
Slight correction, Zevon’s cover of Raspberry Beret was orignally on the astoundingly bad Hindu Love Gods album recorded with REM’s Peter Buck, Bill Berry, and Mike Mills during a night of drunken revelry in the studio – it’s basically shitfaced karaoke.
The song did later appear on the compilation album Genius.
I’d kill off The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill or that godawful Rocky Raccoon. Pointless, piece of crap gimmick songs fouling up my otherwise immaculate White Album.
I’d also exorcise Invisible Man from Queen’s back catalogue.
I am going to be altruistic and say The Beatles “When I’m 64” for Paul’s sake, because the answer of course was no.
@92: “Wild Honey Pie” could go, too.
Man, maybe I missed it, but how on God’s green Earth can you people miss ELO’s “Don’t Bring Me Down”?? What the hell are they saying in that song anyway??
Scott Forbes: I like “You’re Only Human (Second Wind).” If we’re going to delete a Billy Joel song, let’s get rid of “Piano Man.” It’s bloodyfucking depressing, drones on and on and on, and the instrument you remember more than anything else isn’t the piano, it’s the harmonica.
Husker Du – The Baby Song
I know substances were around but, sheesh, why?? Ruins the flow of maybe the greatest run of tracks they ever recorded (Flip your Wig)
Oh, and another one by The Who, “Eminence Front”.
I agree with the poster above who ripped on “It’s Hard” as being just horrible. This was what a great band wanted to go out on as their final album?? (Yeah, yeah I know about Wire, but have never listened to it, I am afraid it would just be too painful.)
Matt #95: Maybe ELO isn’t anyone’s favorite band.
Dire Straits “Walk Of Life”. I cringe every time I hear it. A perfect example of a song with a good theme, good lyrics and an abysmal tune.
Halve the tempo and put it in a minor key and it MIGHT be listenable.
“If You Love Someone (Set Them Free)” – Sting. Triteness embodied.
I am not the hugest of Stevie Wonder fans, but I got to agree that “I Just Called to Say I Love You” needs to be purged from the world.
Bruce Springsteen, “Mary Queen of Arkansas.” I love me some Boss, but that was a mistake.
@36 Luisa: Berlin did an awesome live cover of “Big Time” for the 4Play album. Peter Gabriel’s version I could take or leave.
@52 Sam: NMA’s last couple of albums have not done it for me. Justin sounds more beaten down now than angry.
For me, it’s U2 and “Discotheque”. The whole effin _Pop_ album stinks, but “Discotheque” is the crowning glory of the disc.
@100 Tim M.: That song was called “Private Investigations.” If you want to drop something from Dire Straits, how about “Communique?”
@74 Phil: Heh, no worries. As far as the demon-spawn thing, I wouldn’t dignify Manson with a title. NiN pegged him exactly right in “Star****ers, Inc.” – “a skinny little b**** trying to make the scene.” Dude never shocked most people. He just bored us.
@104 MasterThief: if you’re going to drop a Dire Straits song, make it Les Boys. Please.
With my favorite band being Dream Theater – “The Answer Lies Within” is a pretty easy choice to erase., in my opinion.
It’s a pretty enough tune until you realize the lyrics are simply one tired cliche after another.
That being said – if I could erase one line from a nigh-perfect song…
“Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti”
Hint to the guys in Toto… Kilimanjaro is a FAR sight more impressive than Olympus.
The Police — Roxanne I HATE that song.
I ditto The Cure’s Friday I’m In Love. (Although the Threadless shirt based on it cracks me up.)
#79 – Darth Paradoxon 06 Oct 2009 at 4:27 pm
Moxy Fruvous: One of “Ash Hash”, “Your New Boyfriend”, or “The Incredible Medicine Show”. “You Will Go To The Moon” was such an up-and-down album.
Ye Gawds – I haven’t heard anyone mention Moxy Fruvous in years. Do they still record? Do tours? They were awesome live. You’re right – “You Will Go To The Moon” was quite variable.
#99 Thomas Wagner – *I* like ELO.
Finally, Thanks to Jim Wright, I now have a new phrase to say when I don’t want to swear, but I want to swear. “Holy Sweet Baby Pickles”.
Can we purge albums instead? I think the back catalog of Duran Duran would be a happier place without their ill-advised “covers album”, Thank You. “White Lines” was kickass when they played it live, but the rest could go and not be missed.
Neil Young – “The Ways of Love”
Hard to come to terms with the fact it’s on the same album as “Rockin’ in the Free World.”
Only the Heart May Know – from the “Innocent Age” by Dan Fogelberg. He sings this with Emmylou Harris – I loathe her voice. Not to mention it’s not one of Fogelberg’s strongest songs.
Pearl Jam – Parachutes. The only PJ song I ever skip past on any of the studio records.
I must admit, I’m surprised by the anti-Wishlist thread here. Stupid Mop I expected. Maybe someone would Jeremy was overplayed or Evenflow is overrated. But an innocuous little tune like Wishlist? I think it’s soothing (maybe not what Ed was going for but still).
I don’t know that Styx is actually truly my Favorite Artist anymore, but they were for just ever, so:
“Music Time,” by Styx.
I think pretty much any band that does a covers album is going to end up with that as their weakest one.
I really like Iron Maiden, but I really don’t like “Fear of the Dark”. The rest of the album is fine, just don’t like the song.
Deep Purple – “Too Much Is Not Enough”.
They have some more disappointing songs I could whittle off if I had that power, but that is their song that really sucks.
I was gonna say Beatles “Within you without you,” but then I realized that over time it’s actually grown on me a bit.
Lisa Loeb: “Stay.” should be given the airbrush treatment.
@GaryG #98: Hey, do you know whether Husker Du ever recorded “Love is All Around,” the Mary Tyler Moore theme song? I heard them play it once, and it was amazing (way better than the Joan Jett version).
@GeorgeMi #104: Berlin! They played my Senior Night at Disneyland in 1983. Good times. Haven’t thought about them in years; must go find their cover of “Big Time.”
“What’s Going On” by the 4 Non-Blondes.
Maybe “Silly Thing” by Siouxsie and the Banshees. Really, though, there’s nothing from their catalog that I’d want to delete. Every track is at least listenable.
Sol Invictus is another group that I wouldn’t delete anything, really. I do skip over “Rise And Fall” on Sol Veritas Lux on occasion, so maybe that?
I’ll second “When I’m 64”, for the same altruistic reason. Plus, I lol’d.
Oh…oops…by my favorite artist.
Tori Amos — “Professional Widow.”
Lotta Rush fans out there. I’d delete “Virtuality” from “Test for Echo.” Sample lyric: “Net boy, net girl, send your signal ’round the world.” Sounded bad even in 1996…
You specified my favorite artist, and therefore I shall limit myself to Pink Floyd, and select “Money”. I am not, of course, referring to the totally freaking awesome version they recorded on the best album ever made, Dark Side of the Moon–but the note-for-note studio re-recording of the song that they put on A Collection of Great Dance Songs, which managed, somehow, to retain nearly every aspect of the original while excising every last milligram of soul.
But if we broaden the question a bit, this is the change I would most like to make to music history: I would go out and buy a brand new CD of the Beatles’ Let It Be… Naked, dub it onto half-track open-reel tape, jump in the time machine, and drop it off at EMI records in 1970 with a note saying “Save the money on Phil Spector and release this. You’re welcome.”
John Gorka, “Talk About Love” (1994; a self-evidently misguided attempt at a hit single by someone whose work I otherwise enjoy and is worth checking out if the name is unknown to you)
Jimmy Buffett, “Come to the Moon” (~1984; an awful sci-fi song wherein one is urged to take a “starship” to get to the Moon)
Joni Mitchell, “Sex Kills” (1994)
A most excellent category today.
Luisa @36: I wasn’t fond of “All of My Love,” thinking it just a ballad to some girl, until I found out that it was dedicated to Robert Plant’s son Karak, who died suddenly at the age of 6. Now I find it very poignant.
I think that the Eagles “One of These Nights” is a perfect album except for “I Wish You Peace” at the end, which seems like a wispy and somewhat anticlimactic song to finish on.
Props to Tundragirl way back @ 52 for naming the song that killed my favorite band for me (“Lips Like Sugar”). However, the true beginning of the end for Echo far as I’m concerned was “Silver” off Ocean Rain, so that’s my choice.
And on that tip, the chief runner-up is another “Silver,” this one by the Pixies. Everything else on Doolittle is absolutely sterling so why’d they have to use this clunker?
Other runners-up: Midnight Oil, “Whoa” from Diesel & Dust; the Clash, everything from the last Mick/Topper album except “Car Jamming” and maybe “Straight to Hell” (cue up Too Much Joy: “every great band should be shot/before they get the chance to make their Combat Rock”); REM, “Oddfellows Local 151” (didn’t realize how much I disliked the song until I saw them on the Document tour and some drunken lout in the seat nearby kept calling out “FireHOUSE!” at every lull).
@83 Nicholas Waller– “Time Passages” is weak, and undeserving of such popularity when Al has so much better, but “Football Hero” off his most recent album is almost unlistenable to me. Additionally, it feels incredibly out of place on the album. Ugh.
Almost in a similar vein, “The Sporting Life” by the Decemberists is almost unbearable. Not a strong lyric, and Colin Meloy’s nasal voice really works against him in this case.
House of Four Doors by the Moody Blues. A paean to Timothy Leary. Oh please.
After a lot of thought about this after my initial reaction earlier today, I’m going for “In Another Land” off of “Their Satanic Majesties Request” by The Rolling Stones. If I could, I would expunge the whole album, despite it having a few songs that people seem to be fond of (“Sing This All Together”, “She’s A Rainbow”, and “2000 Light Years From Home”). I think that those songs are only good by comparison with the rest of this steaming pile of crap that is the Stones trying to one-up Sgt. Pepper’s.
Queen – You’re My Best Friend.
It’s just so darned cheesy, is all. I know Queen didn’t get famous by being subtle and that’s part of why I love them, but still…
Queen: Bicycle Race and Fat-Bottomed Girls
The Beatles: Hey Jude
Aerosmith: Dude Looks Like a Lady
Snoop Dogg: Life Goes On
Tupac: Deadly Venomz
“Goodnight, Travel Well” by The Killers. Possibly “World We Live In”, but, I think I dislike GTW more.
U2’s cover of “Fortunate Son” is pretty bad.
And “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues” by The Gaslight Anthem has few redeeming qualities, but, it was actually pretty good live.
Prince – Purple Rain. Love Prince. Really don’t care for this song, and, of course, it’s the one that’s played the most. (I think that’s a theme here)
The Tea Party was my formative teen angst band, and they got knocked off my list of favorite band ever by the abysmally bad last CD, Seven Circles. In particular, “Oceans.”
“If I promised an ocean would you care for the notion…
Of staying here and resting your weary head.”
If we’re going with current favorite bands, I’d give the tie to Abney Park, (goodbye, horrid cover of White Wedding.) and Nightwish, (I could pick anything off their first CD, really, but we’ll go with Elvenpath.)
The Long and Winding Road, The Beatles.
It’s not that the song is trite and treacly, it’s that the song is plain bad. Bad in terms of lyrics, bad in terms of composition. It sounds to me like a case of Lennon throwing up his hands and telling McCartney, “Fine, put it in the damn album. I’m sick of all this shit and I’m just giving up.”
I don’t condemn a song just because it’s been played to death. I certainly don’t condemn a song because I didn’t like it when I first heard it, needing to listen to it a few times to understand it. If I did I wouldn’t be able to stand The Who, Led Zeppelin, or the Moody Blues. I refuse to condemn a song because it is, in a word, “pretentious”. I condemn a song because it plain stinks on ice. The Long and Winding Road stinks on ice. The Long and Winding Road stinks on dry ice to a man born without olfactory bulbs. Its a bad song, simple as that.
In McCartney’s independent work, Live and Let Die. Doesn’t stink as bad as The Long and Winding Road, but it can still kill shit eating flies at a range of one mile.
Peter Gabriel – “Sledgehammer”
or another vote for “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M.
There’s a whole lot I would erase, but there’s one that I have actually thoroughly expurged from my Itunes, it’s Iron Maiden’s “Can I Play With Madness”. It’s the absolute worst thing they’ve done, I grind my teeth whenever I hear the first five seconds…
@15 Kelly Norton –
really, A Tout le Monde? I would think Megadeth has done so much worse than that – “I’ll be there” from Risk, for instance…
Dave Matthews Band, Crash.
I know, I know – chart-topping, huge seller, yadda yadda yadda – but for me it went from “quirky ditty, tolerable” to “meh” to “$DEITY, not again” to the audio equivalent of having one’s eye socket reamed with an increasingly-splintered broom handle.
I’ll forego any other musical retro-chrono-nullification options against the chance that the particular dulcet grating of this one song never impinge upon these ears, thankyouverymuch.
“The Boy Who Never Cried” by Steve Earle. Whiny and obvious.
I wonder what the average age is for Scalzi blog readers? Based on the music discussed it has to be mid-30’s at the lowest. Pearl Jam is one of the “newer” bands in the discussion.
I scrolled all the way down waiting to see it, and it never appeared: REM’s “Shiny Happy People”.
Sure, “Everybody Hurts” was only good the first listen or two. But “Shiny Happy People” makes me wince each and every time I hear it.
Bob Dylan’s “Joey.” Utterly execrable, both morally and stylistically.
‘Walking the ghost’ by James.
It just troubles me.
-Sometimes I’m ‘Friday I’m in love’; but mostly I’m not.
Anything from Kenny G.
@143 A lot of rock fans too Chad. I’ve never met more than two Rush fans in the “real” world and I haven’t come across The Dave Matthews Band before. Then again I grew up an Indie fan. (Mid-30s is a little generous though!)
Iron Maiden – “Public Enema Number One”. Can you think of anything worse?
Metallica – I am fought between “Invisible Kid” and “My Friend of Misery”
The Pogues (with Shane, as without him it was a different band) – “The Auld Triangle”
The Beatles – “Wild Honey Pie”
David Bowie – …no, I can’t think of anything.
Frank Zappa – as above
“All Because Of You,” by U2. Not because it’s their worst song, but because they think it’s so much better than it is. And Bono’s voice just grates on it.
Trying to decide which track off The WHO’s lame “Endless Wire” album.
@130 Almost Lucy – That’s a good song of his (Almost Lucy, not the Football Hero one… which is not great, but he has done weaker and worse I think. BTW my brother used to see him live in a small folk club in Bristol in 1969, memories here).
@131 Cassie – I was going to pick something from The Moody Blues, but couldn’t decide what as they’ve done quite a few weak and irritating tracks to go with their good stuff (eg, the constantly fading-in-and-out Beyond instrumental on To Our Children’s Children’s Children, some of Ray Thomas’s croony ballads, which feel out of place, or some of Graeme Edge’s poems).
However, their Timothy Leary song is Legend of a Mind, not House of Four Doors: “He’ll fly his astral plane/He’ll take you trips around the bay/He’ll bring you back the same day/Timothy Leary. Timothy Leary.”
@Luisa Perkins #121: “Love is All Around Us” was on the “Eight Miles High/Makes No Sense At All” EP released between Metal Circus and Zen Arcade.
Night Ranger – “Sister Christian” (channeling my late 80’s mullet-headed self).
Rush – “Chemistry” (I love me some synth-era Rush, but this song just irritates me)
The correct answer for “Rush” is “the entire Caress of Steel album”.
@105 MasterThief: No the song is called “Walk of Life” it is on BROTHERS IN ARMS. “Private Investigations” is on LOVE OVER GOLD. Two completely different songs, though I admit I wouldn’t cry if I never heard “Private Investigations” again.
I never got around to buying the album COMMUNIQUE, so I don’t recall ever hearing the title song. I probably should buy it to fill the gap in my collection.
@107 Jim Wright: Don’t drop “Les Boys” its funny.
@109 Christopher Turkel: Dear god, yes! Worst Police song EVER.
@24 Technoshaman : Please check your facts…Buffett wrote Why Don’t We Get Drunk under an assumed name (a very common practice for songs likely to be controversial in the 60s and 70s)
That being said…that is the only song of his I would like wiped from history.
Having grown up on Long Island, Billy Joel is an institution. While “Second Wind” definitely sucked wind, it is the a soothing balm compared to the grotesque “James” from the Turnstiles album. Bad music, (no, the electric piano synth sound from 1975 is NOT a good thing) insipid lyrics, and screwing up my favorite Billy Joal album.
“Walk of Life” Dire Straits
“Shiny Happy People” REM
“Mary’s Place” Springsteen (I’m in a distinct minority on this one.)
How could you have missed:
Silly Love Songs – Paul McCartney
Ruby Tuesday – Rolling Stones
Right up there with “I just called to say I love you”
One song that I would otherwise put in the list is “Ebony and Ivory” by McCartney and Wonder. Speaking of “after-school special” overload. But that song gave us my #1 favorite filk “Buggery and Sodomy”, so it’s been redeemed.
#158 – Shiny Happy People is partially redeemed by the Sesame Street version of it…
“Baby Genius” by The Eels on the Cancer for the Cure album. What the hell is that!?! It’s so out of place in an album that is so otherwise made of win.
Thomas (#18): As the Mountain Goats are also one of my favourite artists, I immediately went and downloaded “Wild Palm City.”
I can certainly understand that you might consider it to be your ‘least favorite’ MG song, as you wrote, but do you really think it ‘totally sucks’ and needs to be expunged from Darnielle’s body of work (as per the brief)?
I see that someone has put in a vote for Tori Amos “Professional Widow”. I’ve got agree that this is one of the worst songs in her catalogue, but my vote for That Which Must Be Removed is the monstrosity known as “The Beekeeper”.
Kevin @ 155: I agree you may have a point, but consider that for Rush “Caress …” had to occur, and nearly lose their record contract in the process, before they could decide “screw it!” (ahem), and produce the magnum opus of — 2112. So in that time machine historical sense, psychometrically speaking, the mind wonders.
The Who. “Squeeze Box.” Makes everything on “Face Dances” sound like a classic.
Bozo @159: McCartney must have been ashamed of the original hit-record version of “Silly Love Songs” (who wouldn’t have been?) because he reconfigured it for his 1984 vanity movie Give My Regards to Broad Street. Primarily, he made it musically more interesting by introducing a modulation into a new key region and then back to the original key. The lyrics, of course, still bite…
“Bare Skin Rug” by Blake Shelton
Yeah, it’s kind of cute that he’s dating Miranda Lambert. But this song is just icky.
“False Knight on the Road” by Steeleye Span. Not the Hart/Prior version but either of the SSpan cuts. They’re my favorite group, but I skip over this song.
There are Beatles songs that are silly, or don’t live up to the rest of the album, but the only one that is actively bad is “Blue Jay Way.” In the days before the iPod it’s the only Beatles song I would ever press FF through.
Shinedown – Devour.
It’s a GREAT Disturbed song. Unfortunately it wasn’t recorded by Disturbed. It was recorded by Shinedown. VERY jarring, especially since it’s track one on the 3rd CD. Starts things off absolutely off kilter. Fortunately there are many redeeming qualities to the CD too.
Weird Al Yankovic, “Girls Just Want to Have Lunch.”
Yankovic’s label interfered with his creative process by demanding that he parody a Cyndi Lauper song for album filler material, and this unfortunate recording was the result.
All you Yes fans picking on anything on 90125 are missing the point, when Drama exists. “Machine Messiah” is a good candidate for getting the heave-ho. Or the entirety of Open Your Eyes except for “New State of Mind”.
Strong agreement that “Virtuality” is the Rush song that should go.
“Sing”, by Annie Lennox. It’s well-intentioned, but then so was the New Economic Program in the nascent Soviet Union.
“Man With a Mission”, by Don Henley. A lump of perfectly average rock twaddle dumped into the middle of Building the Perfect Beast, one of the better albums of the latter ’80s, with several obscure wonders besides the couple of famous ones.
Whoever said “Elvis Presley and America” for U2…right on. Another lump in the midst of a darned good album.
“Beaujolais”, by Alan Parsons Project. Yes, thanks, a song about a wine is just what we needed there. Surely there was something else to sing about.
I hate “Halfway Through the Tour” by a-ha. Love the band most of the time, but I can’t stand that song. Deleted it off my Ipod.
Enya, “Orinoco Flow”. Just think — if I could retroactively expunge it from existence, then I would never, ever, ever have ever listened to it in the first place. Ever. Nor would anyone else. Oh, what joy.
“Danny Boy”. Period. Wipe from history, so that none of my favourite artists will ever have prostituted themselves with it. The lyrics, that is. Eliminating the lyrics from history will then restore a passably nice air to tolerability. Flaming annihilation to the soggy, tear-jerking words written (purely for profit) by an Englishman, who was thinking of Scotland, which have been adopted by the Americans, who think the song is Irish.
Ouisel, I didn’t know that! I thought DB was Irish. I know the TUNE is. (The tune is sometimes called “Londonderry Air,” to which I respond “Londonderry Air your English butt!”)
So what the heck is the line “…and kneel and say an Ave there for me” doing in there? Neither England nor Scotland is notably Catholic, and no good Protestant would say an Ave.
The band: U2
The songs: a tie between “Love Rescue Me” and “Heartland” from the most uneven album ever released: Rattle & Hum. Honestly, you could probably lose half of the songs, and it would go from among U2’s worst to among U2’s best.
and one more vote for The Beatles – Revolution 9… 8 1/2 minutes of listening to a dentist’s drill would actually be a more pleasant experience.
‘songs of faith and devotion’ by depeche mode can go away forever if you ask me.
Who’s Pippa Middleton ?