So...how many people have come up with "Best of" Rock n' Roll lists?
Yep, everybody and their mother-in-law plus their dog, cat, tropical fish and Uncle Billy. So why not a list of the worst that Rock n' Roll has ever offered?
I mean, let's face it, some of it is an affront to civilization. You know the kind I mean. The kind that have you changing the channel, fast-forwarding or whatever the case may be, depending upon your level of audio tech.
Now, of course, this is all a matter of opinion. Yep...mine. Apologies in advance, if your favorite song makes the list or your favorite band is heavily represented. Feel free to show me the error of my ways in the comments section. The songs will be listed out 10 at a time, from 100 and working downward to the single worst Rock n' Roll song of all time (I’m already cringing).
But first- some criteria.
Anyone could compose a list of obscure garage bands from Burns Junction, Oregon. Too easy. No, number one criteria is radio play. We also won't be digging through many "B" sides to find the one atrocity that a great band came up with. We will also dispense with obscure bands like The Shaggs or compilations like Metal Machine Music. These have to be songs that you have heard or could hear, on the radio.
Next up, let's answer the question....what is Rock n' Roll?
In keeping with the first point, we can boil it down to, "I would hear this on a Rock n' Roll station." That might be "Classic Rock", "Oldies", "Alternative" or other. This should give us a very broad spectrum to choose from, Pop, Punk, Heavy Metal, Acid, Grunge, Industrial and other assorted sub-genres (♫....New wave, dance craze.....any ways....It's still Rock n' Roll to me....♪). Heh, heh. So, there won't be any Rap, Country, Jazz, Hip-Hop or anything else...just Rock n' Roll, man.
A special note on "Pop" though. There was a time, when Pop and Rock n' Roll were one and the same. It is arguable as to when, but the two of them drifted apart over time, with much crossover for a long time. For the purposes of this list(based solely, on my ever-so-humble opinion), I say they diverged in 1970 and had crossover until 1990. There! Nice and neat! One example might be Billy Squier...Pop? Or Rock? The real rockers will quickly shout "Pop!" and they have the valid point that he dominated the Pop charts for a while, nevertheless, his style was heavily Rock influenced and I call it crossover...Pop-Rock, if you will. Potentially, he could make this list as opposed to Kenny Loggins, who remains safely in the Pop zone.
So, now that we have defined that, let's get more specific-
There are multiple reasons why a particular song may suck. They can be bad musically. They can have barf-inducing lyrics. They can be stupidly innovative i.e. being innovative, for the sole purpose of being innovative(I am thinking of one particular "classic" right now). Hideous tempos or changes in tempos. Lyrics that make no sense. Scatological. Lacking wit or talent. Fake emotion or sickly sweet. As a general rule, the only songs that can be considered safe are those that employ humor.
I listen to Rock n' Roll. I enjoy it. Just don't ask me to take it too seriously. Bands and songs that use humor, get my respect and gratitude even when they fail at actually being funny. I appreciate that they tried and didn't take it all so seriously.
The 100 Worst Rock n' Roll Songs, 100 to 91-
100. I Wanna Hold Your Hand, The Beatles
This song is too sappy, even for 1963. It's relative innocuousness is the only thing that keeps it from scoring higher. It sucks.
99. Last Kiss, Pearl Jam
I went back and forth on this one, whether to list the original by Wayne Cochran or the remake by Pearl Jam. I finally decided that copying suck is worse than original suck. This song creeps me out, the subject matter is depressing and while a fatal car crash is a legit theme for a song, this just ends up being brutal. It does amuse me, that later "artists", such as Ozzy Osboune, tried to be creepy and failed, while this song actually tries to have an uplifting, pseudo-inspirational message and ends up just being creepy.
98. The Trees, Rush
Only obscurity kept this song from placing much, much higher. Utterly insipid. When done right, I don't mind politics in my music at all. That does not mean that I only like political angles that I agree with. Even if I disagree with the idea presented, I can still like the song, if the requisite wit and talent are present. This song uses the most heavy handed metaphor that I can recall, in a lame attempt to make a point. It completely lacks nuance, the essence of true wit.
97. Round and Round, Ratt
This song has a decent beat. Yeah...really. It fails in the lyrics department though. Big time. What in the name of everything Holy, is this song about?
96. I put a spell on You, Creedence Clearwater Revival
In a band that I otherwise like a lot, this song is just nails being scraped on a blackboard.
95. Sledgehammer, Peter Gabriel
More stupidity pounded out to a generic, pop influenced beat. Utter crap.
94. Another Brick in the Wall, Pink Floyd
Another band that I like a lot, but this was just a vapid grab at commercial success. It worked commercially, but serious suckage as a song. How hard is it to get a bunch of dumb kids worked up about school and thus spend their allowance on an album? Not very, as is obvious from this simplistic, obtuse ditty.
93. Sweet Child of Mine, Guns 'n Roses
There are very few albums that I like, in toto. Appetite for Destruction would be one of them, excepting this song. I never did understand how Heavy Metal and sappy love songs were supposed to mesh. This one fails in a big way, made worse by it's reputation as a 'serious' offering. Uhg.
92. Shes so Cold, The Rolling Stones
Stupid, nerve-rattling song that can never end soon enough for my tastes.
91. Crawling King Snake, The Doors
Have you ever been forced to listen to one of your friends when they are drunk or stoned out of their minds and you are sober? It seems Jim Morrison thought that was a good idea for a song. Now in fairness, his audience at the time may have been even more blitzed than he was, but being stone cold sober and listening to this crap, is tedious at best. It sucks.
Yep you can go ahead and plot my untimely demise now, or maybe just yell at me in the comments.
What songs would you put on this list?