Thursday, 17 October 2013

Blender's Bottom 50, Part 1

Blender magazine, which from 1994 to 2009 reviewed thousands of artists, started out as the first digital CD-based magazine. It claimed to be "the ultimate guide to music and more". So clearly I had to pay attention to their list of 50 worst songs, having come across them while looking up "We Didn't Start The Fire" by Billy Joel. It was stuck in my head, ok.

I'm not going to go through the entire list here (you can find it by following this link) but I will post the ones I consider to be most on target and also the ones I don't.

You may not agree, of course.

It starts out with a fairly predictable My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion. Then goes completely off the rails with Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy. What are you talking about, Blender. That song is legend. Then there's, confusingly, The Beatles' "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”--this is also wrong. I was once mesmerized by this song's saxophone and bass lines for an entire week. Dear Reader, you didn't even notice the saxophone, did you? Apparently it's supposed to be a tribute to reggae, which I don't know about, but this song is great! And weird and wonderful. Ok, on to the first gem of ridiculous horribleness:

47 BRYAN ADAMS - “The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You” 1996

"It’s Great-Uncle Disgusting — from Canada!" Apparently this was what happened when he decided to go from innocent to sexy... possibly to try and revive his career. In the video, he spends entirely too much time staring into mirrors and pouting for his lyrics to be believable. On the same album is the even creepier “(I Wanna Be) Your Underwear," which starts with a guitar wolf whistle. Worst Moment in this song according to Blender: “…There’s only one thing that fits me like it should.” Bleah.

46. NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK - "Hangin' Tough" (1989)

Oh my gawd. Yes. We have just hit the pay dirt… skinny suburban Abercrombie and Fitch rejects (Abercrombie and Fitch, for those of you who aren't American and don't know what I'm talking about, is a heady mix of boring prep wear and semi-fascist imagery) who are trying to cash in on hip-hop, mix it with a (very) little old-fashioned rock and roll... and this is the result. "We're rough!" Yes dear, yes you are. Run along now.

Breezing past Uncle Kracker (aw, the sounds of my adolescence), Simon and Garfunkel with "Sounds of Silence" (I like that one! It's better than "Feeling Groovy") and Billy Joel (Post-Christie-Brinkley... he falls in love hard and stops being "Piano Man" good and starts being "We Didn't Start The Fire" bad. Hey, at least it's catchy)...

40 COLOR ME BADD - “I Wanna Sex You Up” 1991

I'm amused by the intro to this song's video. Sexy woman says "Yes, I will watch my videocassettes," which I suppose was shorthand for "look at me, not only are my nails painted the same colour as my lipstick but I can afford VHS!" but it just seems like a non-sequitur. Then the lyrics: "We can do it til we both wake up." That doesn't particularly sound like fun to me. Then come various scenarios in which women watch the guys have sex with other women. Interspersed with their incredibly sexy dance routines. Im bein serious gaiz.

Ricky Martin - She Bangs, Rednex - Cotton Eye Joe... pfft. I have danced to both of these songs.

37 GERARDO “Rico Suave” 1991

Replace all the lyrics to this song with "I am a dick" and be done with it... "So please don't judge a book by its cover / There's more to being a latin lover / You got to know how to deal with a woman that won't let go / The price you pay for being a gigolo"...

Let's see... we've got a song called "Make 'em say 'Uhh!'", which really does sound like constipation. However, the video has glitter by the bucket, basketball, and a gold-plated tank, which kind of redeems it a bit for me. Then there's R.E.M.'s "Happy People," which is clearly satire that the folks at Blender didn't pick up on. And her hair is amazing.

34 DAN FOGELBERG - “Longer” 1979

I am actually resisting the urge to vomit right now.

Barbie Girl by Aqua, but we all know that one is horrible... Will2K by Will Smith. "We're gonna party like it's 1999... hold up, it is." Good job, Will. Now stop sampling Rock The Casbah.

31 CRASH TEST DUMMIES - “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” 1994

It's true what Blender says, that Brad Roberts sings like someone burping the alphabet. And it's about kids with problems like having their hair turn white after a car crash, being covered in birthmarks and having religious parents. What.

And Whitney Houston singing about how "they can't take away my dignity" in "Greatest Love Of All." This was just before she became a serious drug addict.

29 DEEP BLUE SOMETHING - “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” 1995

What a deep and meaningful song. "We should stay together because of this movie. Not that we ever really loved it, just 'kinda liked' it." Apparently that's what it takes to really know someone. The video is a showcase of terrible haircuts. If you're going to invoke Audrey Hepburn at least show some style.

27 EUROPE “The Final Countdown” 1987

Another huge miss, Blender. My does the lead singer of Europe have a Scandinavian face (that makes sense, as they are Swedish). But that's not why I like this song (that would be really weird), it's because it's an EPIC SONG. My friend Pockets got Youtube famous doing this amazing cover of it, as you can see above.

Right, this post is getting a bit too long so I'm going to split it into two. Next time: the second half of Blender's 50 worst songs. Who would have predicted it.

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