Sunday, August 22, 2010

Not On My Play List!

We all have different tastes in music and like different genres of music. There are certain genres that I just can’t stand. There are some artists that I don’t care for within the genres that I do like. It’s all about personal taste. One person’s most hated is another’s most loved.

I love music, BUT there are certain songs in the general music universe that I just wish would somehow disappear – permanently! Better yet, I wish they’d never been recorded! These aren’t just the songs that get stuck on auto replay in our brains and won’t disappear. Those type of pieces, which are called earworms are just plain annoying!

No, I’m talking about the songs that make you cringe when you hear them. The songs that make you want to gag, throw something, change the station or put it on mute for a few minutes!

I’ve been thinking about this post for awhile. I didn’t go looking for titles – I let the songs come to me. I started making a list of songs last spring and added to it as I thought of more or had the misfortune of hearing them again. (Oh, lucky me!)

Today, I’m going to list some of the songs that I personally, really wish had never been recorded. My list is just that – MY list of songs and therefore you may or not agree with them. Like so many things in life, music is subjective.

These songs have all made the charts in the last 60 years or so. Some even made it to number one. YIKES! There really is no accounting for public taste – or lack thereof. There are love songs, ballads and upbeat pop songs. Some of these are definitely considered as novelty songs, but they still managed to hit the charts and gnaw away at my sanity.

These first four are songs about cars. They all involve speed, but the last two are also the sappy, tragic, teenage love songs:
“Hot Rod Lincoln” - Commander Cody (1972)
“The Little Nash Rambler” (Beep Beep)The Playmates (1958)
“Tell Laura I Love Her”Ray Peterson (1960)
“Dead Man’s Curve” Jan And Dean (1964)

Then there are the ones that are definitely novelty based:
“Shaving Cream” was written by Benny Bell in 1946 and recorded by both him and Phil Winston. They have both recorded under the name of Paul Wynn. This song is full of innuendo as you think the line will end with a curse word but it slides into the next line starting with “shaving cream”. It was rereleased in 1975 as part of a Dr. Demento collection.
“The Thing”Phil Harris (1950) We never are really told what “The Thing” is, but then again we are probably better off not knowing!
“And Then Along Came Jones”The Coasters (1959) Pays homage to the old movie trick of the villain tying the lady to the railroad tracks.
“Space Oddity” (Ground control to Major Tom)David Bowie (1969) I heard this a lot as a kid. I hated it then and still hate it today. There is even a version of it now being used in a TV commercial. Whoopee!
“Coconut”Harry Nilsson (1972) “You put the lime in the coconut and you drink ‘em both up...” This is one of those songs with a catchy beat but the words and voices of the narrator, sister and doctor (all done by Nilsson) are just so annoying that you want to take the coconut and shove it!

The country trucker type songs:
“Teddy Bear” - Red Sovine (1970) Actually anything by Sovine should be banned. He pretty much talks his way through all the sappy lyrics to his story songs including “Giddyup Go” (1965) and ”Phantom 309” (1967)
“Convoy” C. W. McCall (1975) The trucker novelty song hit number one on both the country and pop charts! The song sparked a fad for CB radios and was even an inspiration for the 1978 movie Convoy.

The romantic ballads:
“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”Roberta Flak (1972) The song was written in 1957 by political singer/songwriter Ewan MacColl. It is rumoured to have been written for Peggy Seeger who later became his wife. The two performed the song on the British folk circuit in the 1960’s. I think I hate Flak’s version so much because it was played ad nauseum by so many radio stations of the day
“Feelings”Albert Morris (1975) This was another of the overkill songs of my late teens. Some of my friends took to singing the song in an Elmer Fudd like voice just to break the monotony but even that grew thin after a few times!
“Muskrat Love”Captain and Tennille (1976) Could the synthesizer generated muskrat courting/screeching sounds BE more grating?
“Midnight At The Oasis” - Maria Muldaur (1974) The slightly suggestive lyrics tell of a dessert love affair but it rates right down there with Muskrat Love!
“MacArthur’s Park”Richard Harris – (1968) This so called lovers lament goes on forever – or at least feels like it – and is orchestrated to the hilt. The only reason this song continues to be played is to give the announcer time to run out for coffee!

The remake gone horribly wrong:
“Candy Man"Sammy Davis Jr. (1972) I was never a fan of Sammy, but this one just oozed sugar to the point of nausea! The song is originally from the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and was sung by Aubrey Woods who played Bill the candy store owner in the film. I’ll take the original any day!

Songs about places and experiences:
“Sky Pilot”Eric Burdon & The Animals (1968) This is a 7:27 war song from the Vietnam era with flight and weapon effects thrown in. Not something a pacifist wants to keep hearing.
"Mull of Kintyre" - Paul McCartney and Wings (1977) I loved the Beatles and I really like a lot of the stuff that Paul has done over the years, but I HATE bagpipes and this song is enough to make me want to huck some haggis at him!
“Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald” - Gordon Lightfoot – Don’t get me wrong here, I love Gordon Lightfoot, BUT this so called melody of this song is so drab. The lyrics, which are based on the real sinking of the ship are so depressing that it makes me want to sink every copy of it to the bottom of Lake Superior!

Well, those are the songs I’d rate as bottom of my request list. After I wrote this list – and looked up some info for each of them - I made the mistake of searching for worst songs ever and was unfortunately reminded of a LOT more I could have added. Perhaps, after I’ve had sufficient time to recover from this post, I’ll do a part two. For now, my original 20 was all I could handle! Heck, I couldn’t even bring myself to find audio/video links for any of them. Writing this post was nauseating enough! If you really want to hear any of them for yourself, type any of the titles into Google or YouTube and I’m sure you’ll find a copy of it somewhere! Just don’t blame me, for any nausea or damage you may cause after listening to these songs.


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