"More-on Music"


One of the easiest ways to write something that’ll attract attention to you is to make your own All Time Top 10 or 40 or 100 Best Whatevers List. The only thing easier (and more attention-whoring) is an All Time Top 10 or 40 or 100 WORST Whatevers List. I’ll admit I’ve done a few myself, but I don’t make it so easy on myself. I’ve written about the Best Summer TV Shows of All Time, the Best “Bad Clowns” (NOT the Worst Clowns) and not really the worst, but the Most Overrated Celebrities (“We wish them well, but, mostly, we wish they were better”).

And I have recently witnessed an unprecidented proliferation of “Worst Pop Songs” lists on and off the Web. The trend could be traced back to 1993 when Dave Barry actually wrote a newspaper column (they were simpler times) and got a massive response (mostly via snail mail, how quaint) to his own suggestions of the Worst Songs Ever. the top three from his survey were (3) Paul Anka’s “You’re Having My Baby”, (2) “Yummy Yummy Yummy” and (1) anybody’s version of “MacArthur Park”. If you want to see any more of his list, you have to buy the book.

All remained quiet on the Worst Songs front until two years ago when rock-music-magazine-nobody’s-ever-heard of Blender got some recognition for its Bad Songs list, and next thing you know, VH-1, the BBC, WFMU, and even some people without a TV or radio station have gotten in on the act.

Most recently, nouveaux blogger (who’s also a veteran TV writer/producer for “M*A*S*H”, “Cheers” and a dozen lesser comedies, former major league baseball announcer, L.A. disc jockey who used the name “Beaver Cleaver” and one of the people I am most in awe of in the business of show) Ken Levine put out an exhaustive but unranked list. Then CNN.com entertainment writer Tom Leopold has gone the Dave Barry route, trolling for sucky song suggestions after giving his own vote to the awfulness that is Bobby Goldsboro’s “Honey”.

And now, AOL.com’s free streaming radio service, which already has specialized narrowcasting channels for fans of Sinatra, Pearl Jam, Anime Soundtracks and Sports Bloggers, have opened up a stream playing “The Top 111 Worst Songs of All Time”. Like Dave Barry, AOL does not have a full list openly available, but unlike Barry, you can listen for no charge (except maybe the forfeiture of your immortal soul), and that’s what I did during a surreal 8-hour period last weekend, while doing other stuff on my laptop, interrupting myself every 4 minutes or so to log the latest AOL-designated bad song, so now I am somewhat ashamed to be able to present their entire countdown (if you follow the -more inside- link)…

I’ll have some in-depth analysis of this list after an appropriate period of emotional decompression, but be forewarned: some of the recordings on all of the “Bad Songs” lists are not really awful, just boringly mediocre, and nowhere are these ‘faux-bad’ songs more plentiful than the AOL 111:

111. Rock Lobster – The B-52’s
110. Looking for Freedom – David Hasselhoff
109. Tarzan Boy – Baltimora
108. Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of..) – Lou Bega
107. America A O – Aaron Carter
106. Let Her Cry – Hootie and the Blowfish
105. Straight Up – Paula Abdul
104. Will 2K – Will Smith
103. Jenny from the Block – Jennifer Lopez (featuring Styles and Jadakiss)
102. Born to Be Wild – Ozzy Osbourne with Miss Piggy
101. Escape (The Pina Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes
100. Here Comes the Hotstepper – Ini Kamoze
99. We Are the World – USA for Africa
98. Heartbeat – Don Johnson
97. Cherry Pie – Warrant
96. Once Bitten Twice Shy – Great White
95. Thong Song – Sisqo
94. My Sharona – The Knack
93. Fast Food Song – Fast Food Rockers
92. Cotton Eye Joe – Rednex
91. Girl You Know It’s True – Milli Vanilli
90. Step by Step – New Kids on the Block
89. Some Girls (Dance With Women) – JC Chasez (featuring Dirt McGirt)
88. Get Ready for This – 2 Unlimited
87. Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
86. Tom’s Diner – Suzanne Vega
85. I’ll Be Missing You – Puff Daddy & The Family (featuring Faith Evans & 112)
84. Dancing on the Ceiling – Lionel Richie
83. My Humps – Black Eyes Peas
82. The Hamster Dance Song – Roger Miller and Hampton
81. Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree – Tony Orlando and Dawn
80. Butterfly – Crazy Town
79. Electric Boogie – Marcia Griffiths
78. Break My Stride – Matthew Wilder
77. Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid
76. Tootsee Roll – 69 Boyz
75. (Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection – Nelson
74. Puttin’ on the Ritz – Taco
73. The Lady in Red – Chris DeBurgh
72. Liquid Dreams – O-Town
71. Hold My Hand – Hootie and the Blowfish
70. Rumors – Lindsay Lohan
69. How Bizarre – OMC
68. Whoomp! There It Is – Tag Team
67. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something
66. Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks
65. Supermodel – RuPaul
64. Walk the Dinosaur – Was (Not Was)
63. Make ‘Em Say Ugh – Master P
62. From a Distance – Better Midler
61. American Life – Madonna
60. Boom Boom (Let’s Go Back to My Room) – Paul Lekakis
59. Love Will Keep Us Together – Captain & Tennille
58. It Wasn’t Me – Shaggy (featuring Ricardo)
57. I Know What Boys Like – The Waitresses
56. Summer Girls – LFO
55. Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle) – Limp Biskit
54. The Ketchup Song – Les Ketchup
53. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
52. The Bad Touch – The Bloodhound Gang
51. (You’re) Having My Baby – Paul Anka (featuring Odia Coates)
50. C’mon and Ride It (The Train) – Quad City DJs
49. I Touch Myself – The Divinyls
48. We Like to Party (The Vengabus) – Vengaboys
47. Bye Bye Bye – ‘N Sync
46. Laffy Taffy – D4L
45. Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) – Backstreet Boys
44. We Didn’t Start the Fire – Billy Joel
43. Blue (Da Ba Dee) – Eiffel 65
42. Sometimes When We Touch – Dan Hill
41. Physical – Olivia Newton-John
40. I Would Do Anyting for Love (But I Won’t Do That) – Meatloaf
39. I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll – Britney Spears
38. Party All the Time – Eddie Murphy
37. Tubthumper – Chumbawumba
36. Jump – Kris Kross
35. Informer – Snow
34. The Loco-Motion – Kylie Minogue
33. Broken Wings – Mr. Mister
32. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm – Crash Test Dummies
31. Pretty Fly for a White Guy – The Offspring
30. Axel F – Crazy Frog
29. Livin’ La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin
28. Wild Wild West – Will Smith
27. Afternoon Delight – Starland Vocal Band
26. I’ll Be There for You (Theme from Friends) – The Rembrandts
25. Hangin’ Tough – New Kids on the Block
24. Nookie – Limp Bizkit
23. We Built This City – Starship
22. One Week – Barenaked Ladies
21. Funkytown – Lipps Inc.
20. The Final Countdown – Europe
19. What’s Up – 4 Non Blondes
18. Gettin’ Jiggy With It – Will Smith
17. Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus
16. MMMBop – Hanson
15. Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani
14. Rico Suave – Gerardo
13. Convoy – C.W. McCall
12. With Arms Wide Open – Creed
11. Wannabe – Spice Girls
10. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
9. Macarena – Los Dos Rios
8. Ebony and Ivory – Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder
7. I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred
6. I Am Woman – Helen Reddy
5. U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer
4. Barbie Girl – Aqua
3. She Bangs – Ricky Martin
2. Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
1. Who Let the Dogs Out – Baha Men

Until then, feel free to leave your own “How dare they dis the B-52’s/Susanne Vega/Barenaked Ladies/whoever” comments here… I’ll be moderating comments, but I promise to promptly approve anything not containing spam links…

14 Comments (so far) about

"More-on Music"

  1. Jojo Says:

    That’s funny!

  2. Whosoever Says:

    I could change that name to “Top 111 best songs ever”. Up in the top 20 list, there are some of the best songs ever made. I stand my ground.

  3. Noone Says:

    whats the problem of my humps ?? Its a great music! maddona should have more songs there ! Britney spears too!! And o-zone??

  4. Rob Says:

    Sometimes When We Touch– the lyrics make me sick! I want to hold you till I die, ’till we both break down and cry… what the hell is that!? First, why is holding someone going to give you a breakdown? Second, if you held someone until you died first, then crying is moot.

    I can’t agree with Who Let the Dogs Out? That was intended to be silly to begin with. I think it’s just funny.

  5. Bren Says:

    Hi Wendell,
    Thanks for taking the time to listen to and list the top 111 Worst Songs! Although a lot of them are NOT the worst by far…

  6. Ross Says:

    The crazy frog song should be #1. It is the downfall of music.

    And how could barenaked Ladies be on the list!?
    If you have ever heard Rock Lobster, that song is understandably there, and it is funny that it is there. With Arms Wide Open!? What!? And MEATLOAF!? AND BILLY JOEL!? Some of these are some of the BEST songs ever! Who made this list!?

  7. Dan Says:


    Thanks for punishing yourself for the good of the rest of us. For me, I think they totally miss the point here. A song that’s deliberately bad or goofy, like My Humps or Rock Lobster, does not belong here. Stuff that people think is art but actually sucks should. How they could leave Michael Martin Murphy’s “Wildfire” or Henry Gross’ “Shannon” off, which were ballads to…gulp…dead animals, is beyond me.

  8. Kris Says:

    I think the list was pretty acurate but it seemed to only span four decades. I’m sure if they added another hundred some whoppers (namely that tune by the Big Bopper) from the 50s and early 60s might have made the list. I think Right Said Fred (Too Sexy song) should have been #1. It’s funny but oh so horrid! LOL

  9. Mandyerin Says:

    I would have to say that Backstreet Boys “Everybody” is one of the best songs ever. Its like ther signiture song…….its one of my favorite!!!!!!!!!

  10. Monkey Says:

    Clearly AOL knows as much about music as they do in running an ISP.

  11. Jonah Falcon Says:

    Where’s “Pac-Man Fever” by Bruckner and Garcia?

  12. E.Zoseph Kliethermes Says:

    I guess they gave Country music a free pass for the most part, but how could they leave off that damn Keith Urban song “Love Somebody Liyeeek Yeeeewwww?”
    I quit listening to the Aol Folk channel because they play a snip of it every 10 minutes trying to push their Country channels.

    Anyway, thanks for the list. I found the link AFTER I wrote them all down over a week’s time.

  13. E.Zoseph Kliethermes Says:

    A couple of sundry comments.
    If you ever slow danced to “Shannon”, you’d love that song.
    Whoever mentioned the Wretched Bopper, yes, Chantilly Lace ought to be #1 on this list, and the version of same by Jerry Lee Lewis ought to be #2.

  14. Oldies But Baddies in Wendell.Me. Says:

    […] blogged at length in 2006 about the flurry of “Worst Songs” lists popping up at the time, including a […]

Your Turn...

You can use these HTML elements without blowing things up: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>