The time has come to have some fun with this blog. I just did some research on what the worst song ever could be. Here is what I found:
- There is a huge number of sites dedicated to bad songs. I guess bad songs are important. In knowing how to do something you might as well figure out also what not to do;
- There are a huge number of popular bad songs. I am counting 300 now. My guess is that there is a lot more;
- “What is the worst song ever?” is probably the wrong question to ask. “What is the worst artist?” would be better, as a few artists keep coming up in the list with different songs (Britney Spears, Bryan Adams, Creed, Phil Collins, New Kids on the Block, to name but a few);
- Surprisingly, a few people that are supposed to be good musicians show up often as well (Paul McCartney, Whitney Houston, and Billy Joel, for example). I guess it does not pay to be too popular since people may get annoyed;
- The 90s own the worst songs almost exclusively. I would have thought it would be the 80s. Perhaps we just have a short memory.
Here is a list of a very quick survey of the net, ordered from worst to less bad, where the worst songs are those that appear most often in various other surveys. (The first one showed up everywhere I looked; the next four showed up almost everywhere – except in one of all the surveys I checked, but not necessarily the same one).
"Barbie Girl", Aqua, 1997
"Achy Breaky Heart", Billy Ray Cyrus, 1992
"The Final Countdown", Europe, 1987
"Macarena", Los del Rio, 1993
"Cotton Eye Joe", Rednex, 1995
"Who Let the Dogs Out", Baha Men, 2000
"My Heart Will Go On", Celine Dion, 1997
"I Wanna Sex You Up", Color Me Badd, 1991
"Breakfast at Tiffany's", Deep Blue Something, 1995
"Mesmerize", Ja Rule featuring Ashanti, 2002
"I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)", Meatloaf, 1993
"She Bangs", Ricky Martin, 2000
"I'm Too Sexy", Right Said Fred, 1992
"Wannabe", Spice Girls, 1996
"We Built This City", Starship, 1985
"Ice Ice Baby", Vanilla Ice, 1990
What makes a song bad? I have no idea. I tried once to make a really bad song – a good amount of alcohol involved. The idea was to stick as many of the 1980s clichés as I could find – wailing guitar solo that goes up and up the neck to nowhere, a saxophone intro, bad love lyrics that smelled of schizophrenia (i.e., random unconnected lyrics about soul pain), an synthesizer with a pronounced vibrato in parts, slow repetitive artificial drums, whiny vocals, and slow and repetitive song, I guess. The problem is, that didn't work out. Some people liked the song, and, as I mentioned above, the 80s apparently weren't the big problem.