Friday, 3 January 2014

Blender's Bottom 50, Part 2

Right, so, continuing from the last Bottom 50...

Starting with number 26: "The End", by the Doors. I don't really like the Doors, I always end up mixing them up with the Who, and I always think they're a bit too serious for their own good. I haven't finished listening to this song yet (it is almost 12 minutes long) and so far it's ok. Whatever. Then we have number 25: Puff Daddy's "I'll Be Missing You" featuring Faith Evans. It's about his dead friend; leave it alone. Though I haven't heard that one yet, either. I'm still listening to The End.

24 Five For Fighting - “Superman” 2000

Bleah. Bland. Reminds me of that time when the songs "Kryptonite" and "Behind Blue Eyes" were really popular. The video is annoying. Apparently it was really popular after 9-11, presumably because the US saw itself as a fallen superhero. I agree with Blender on this one.

Next is "Sunglasses At Night" by Corey Hart--which I don't find annoying; perhaps because I was not alive at the time when it would have been popular, and now has an 80's kitschy appeal. Also he's kind of attractive. And "Don't switch the blade on the guy in shades"? Classic line! I completely disagree with Blender's assessment.

Toby Keith - “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” 2002

Vomit. There were a load of these songs that came out after 9-11, and all of them should be put on this list. "'Cause we'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way." Thanks Toby Keith, for your homespun wisdom courtesy of a man who's one of the most highly-paid musicians in the world. Here's another gem from him, American Soldier. Which makes it clear that soldiers shouldn't expect to be well-compensated ("I don't do it for the money, there's bills that I can't pay"). Sigh. I wonder if Toby Keith would change his tune were he to actually fight in that military he so adores... but I suppose the troops need him up on the stage, making shitloads of money and "inspiring" them.

I like number 21: "Two Princes" by Spin Doctors. "And if you'd like to buy me flowers, just go ahead now." Cute.

18 Lionel Richie - “Dancing On The Ceiling” 1986

This one's not so bad... I mostly posted the video because of the abundance of truly amazing mullets. And a keytar!

Passing over Mister Mister - "Broken Wings" because of aforementioned '80s kitsch appeal. I am so analytical about this stuff, innit. Blender uses words like "anodyne... production" and "synth bass solo." I just base my judgements on whether or not I have a pleasant feeling about it. In this way I am like the contestants on "Come Dine With Me." Maybe I should apply.

Ok, fair enough, number 18, "You're The Inspiration" by Chicago is pretty bad, for the reasons they criticised "Broken Wings." Anodyne doesn't begin to cover it.

17 Hammer - “Pumps and a Bump” 1994

Leave aside the bit where he turns a waterfall on with a remote control (which is awesome, and makes me want to be rich) and peruse the zebra print banana hammock. The lyrics... are like this: "I don't like 'em stiggity fat! (No!) / I like 'em stiggity stacked (Yeah!) / You wiggity wiggity wack if you ain't got biggity back" No idea what "pumps in a bump" are, or how you can praise someone having a big arse and then insult them if they are too big for you. [EDIT: It was 4 AM, or else I would have realized that the lyrics site got the words "Pumps and a bump" wrong. From Hammer's gestures I'm guessing "pumps" are high heels and a "bump" refers to the rear end in question] Apparently this song wrecked his career.

16 4 Non-Blondes - “What’s Up?” 1993

It's pretty cool that they have a female drummer, and singer Linda Perry has gone on to start her own record labels and mentor people like Pink, and the lyrics carry something like a good message (though fairly watered down, and reminiscent of teenage angst more than a statement of anything actually radical), but this song still sucks, and the cooing noises she makes are definitely not to my taste, and what is with Perry's accent? But I like her hat.

Next is the Friends theme, the video for which features the cast of the sitcom trying to be funny around the band. Nobody is very successful, including the band.

14 Bette Midler - “From a Distance” 1990

"Satanic ballad depicts the Lord as neglectful oaf," says Blender. "Sure, war and famine suck, but Midler assures us that “God is watching us, from a distance.” In other words, the Almighty is some kind of heavenly grandfather, loving and caring, but too doddering and distracted to really get involved. Thanks, God!" Blender says the worst part is "The drum machine. If God exists, He probably hates drum machines." I would disagree: the synthesizer is worse.

Wanna watch Phil Collins being horribly racist? Here you go with number 13: "Illegal Alien" by Genesis. After that is The Beach Boys with "Kokomo", a tourist's survey of the Carribean islands. And on to Clay Aiken's "Invisible", which is more self-pitying stalker fare, made a bit more understandable by his being gay (whereas Blender says, "It’s the whole hey-girl-I-want-to-watch-you-while-you-think-you’re-alone-in-your-bedroom thing that transforms this song from a merely mediocre ballad to a disturbing voyeur fantasy, filling your head with images of Aiken downloading porn and thinking bad things about that girl from homeroom.") Nope!

Number 10 is Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder with “Ebony and Ivory.” I do hate almost everything that Paul McCartney did after the Beatles and he definitely ruined this song too. Number 9 - Madonna's "Modern Life." I like the tune. The lyrics are pretty silly. Wait until she starts rapping about being a yuppie though, and you'll hate this song. Number 8: Eddie Murphy takes a turn at the mic with "Party All The Time," which isn't too bad... and has more amazing '80s hairstyles in it, as well as some "look at all this technology" fetishism.

7 Bobby McFerrin - “Don’t Worry Be Happy” 1988

"Oh, great — a bumper sticker set to music," says Blender. "McFerrin’s various accents — all different, all patronizing — are an object lesson in trying too hard. The lyrics are appalling, too: If your landlord is indeed threatening you with legal action, you should not under any circumstances follow McFerrin’s advice, which seems to involve chuckling at him and saying “Look at me, I’m ’appy” in a comical Jamaican voice." This is probably true, considering that McFerrin is from New York. But I wouldn't call the song "depressing."

"The Heart of Rock 'n' Roll" by Huey Lewis and the News occupies number 6, and deserves it--this is not the Heart of Rock 'n' Roll, or if it is, it should definitely get checked up by a doctor, maybe get put on a low-cholesterol diet.

5 Vanilla Ice - “Ice Ice Baby” 1990

'Nuff said, really...

Number 4: "Rollin'" by Limp Bizkit. Somewhere in the back of my mind this brings up something like a pleasant memory from my time at an all-girls private school in Columbus, Ohio. "Tell me what you gonna do now," coupled with a dance move that looks certain to punch someone unintentionally in the face. Smooth... and then Number 3, Wang Chung's "Everybody Have Fun Tonight." They are not Chinese, and their song is so boring that I stopped listening after like two seconds. I am so good at doing the research for this blog.

The last two songs, however, are where Blender, quite frankly, veers wildly off the mark and shoots off into the bushes somewhere where you're going to have to search for it for hours before it gets dark. "Achey Breaky Heart" and "We Built This City"? These songs are great.

2 Billy Ray Cyrus - “Achy Breaky Heart” 1992

"You can tell my arms go back to the farm
You can tell my feet to hit the floor
Or you can tell my lips to tell my fingertips
They won't be reaching out for you no more"

Blender complains that it was big in trailer parks and revived line dancing. I see no problem with either of these things... I recently saw some very good line dancing at Gay Pride in Manchester. Yes, I know. Though apparently he has now re-recorded it as a hip-hop track, not content to let his daughter Miley have all the limelight. So that might be featuring on this blog soon.

1 Starship - “We Built This City” 1985

Blender's main gripe with the song is that it's hypocritical, in that it complains about corporations in music while itself being written by a shadowy team of corporate songwriters. But if we let that get in the way of anything, we'd hate all modern music, the X-factor, and that godawful song by Jessie J., "Price Tag." Oh, well, at least she part-wrote it. "We don't need your money, money, money / We just wanna make the world dance, / Forget about the price tag" She wrote another version for Christmas. I suppose that was all out of the goodness of her heart, too. Hey, looks like someone did an Obamacare-themed version. :)

Right, that's the last of that... Happy New Year everyone, and let's hope that 2014 is a better year for music than this last one!

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