10 Songs I’d Never Recommend
I thought it would be easier to choose ten songs I’d never recommend, but to be honest it’s far more challenging than picking my favorites. The list of terrible songs is endless, so what criteria does one use? Terrible songs by great artists? Terrible but popular songs by terrible artists? Songs with deep personal trauma attached to them? Perhaps a combination of all, which is ultimately how I approached the problem. So, let’s get started.
Love Shack — B52s
So it turns out I’m the lone B52s hater in this 365 Songs gang, and you know what? I’m fine with it. I get that they tore up the scene when they hit it, and I respect that. I even buy old Preach’s argument from Dec. 19th: “From the abrasive surf guitar, to the hyper-gay spoken word components, to the drag queen beehives, the band was a total affront to the actual diner culture they were lambasting.” But sometimes there’s such an egregious, treacherous affront to culture and taste that every good piece of art you crafted before, and after, that offense is wiped away.
Love Shack might be the worst song ever recorded from a band that should’ve known better.
The Rhythm is Gonna Get You — Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine
Admittedly, I’m unfair to Gloria. I respect that she’s a groundbreaker loved by millions across generations, and I respect that she gets grandmas and kids alike to flop around at suburban, strip-mall party center weddings every Friday and Saturday night. Perhaps I’ve been to one too many of those events to be a reasonable man, but I dislike this song to unhealthy levels. I fly into a bout of rage the first moment I hear “Oh-way oh-way.”
If you’re ever sick of me, or want me to leave your party immediately, play this song. It’ll work every time.
Place in this World — Michael W. Smith
You know those scenes from the great movie, Office Space, when the character Michael Bolton has to address the fact that he’s not, actually, that Michael Bolton? Yeah, well that’s my life. My middle initial is W, so every goddamn time I call a goddamn customer service line, or check-in at a suburban dentist I inevitably field the question, “Oh dear Jesus, is it really you?” No, it’s goddamn not me. That “talentless ass clown” has been ruining my life for 30 years. Fuck that guy, this song, and every single person who confuses me with him.
Oh, and another thing: we also share a goddamn birthday. Imagine that.
Everlong — Foo Fighters
What is it that you people like about this band? Pop faux-grunge attention-seeking garbage. Don’t get me wrong: I like Dave Grohl. As a person. AS A DRUMMER. But I can’t actually think of a single nice thing to say about this, or any of their songs, so I’ll just end it there. Remember the late ’90s dumpster pop years with bands like Creed, 3 Doors Down, Nickelback. Staind, Lifehouse, Smash Mouth? Well, Foo Fighters belong in that sentence.
Are You Gonna Go My Way — Lenny Kravitz
Close your eyes and play this song. Now picture Larry David instead of Kravitz, and tell me if you still like it. The song is powered by Kravitz’s fashion and sex appeal, and perhaps our collective desire to bring Jimi Hendrix back to life. That’s it.
That’s not to say he’s not talented. I respect his skills, but I’m good if I never hear this song again.
Hot for Teacher — Van Halen
Van Halen is the band that inspired decades of bad wannabe bands. I respect the talent here, but for fuck sake this is not a good song. Would we even know this song at all without MTV and the associated music video? Doubtful. This was MTV’s first Jersey Shore.
I Want to Hold Your Hand — The Beatles
I like the Beatles. Not nearly as much as most people, but certainly a whole lot more than my fellow 365’er. But not these Beatles. This is bubblegum pop trying so hard to be provocative. You know all those one-hit wonders out there who followed a formula straight to the top of the charts? Blame this song. This is the blueprint.
Fly Me To the Moon — Frank Sinatra
I don’t care if this is a good song. Maybe it was a good song like fifty years ago. Now it’s just what you listen to while you wait for unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks.
Don’t Bring Me Down — Electric Light Orchestra
I’ve always despised this song. Like, really despise. My father-in-law, who otherwise has great music tastes, shared this song with Charlie when he was baby and so I’ve been forced to listen to it no less than 4 billion times. It’s Dantean Circle of Hell cruel to put someone through that sort of punishment, and yet…
Hotel California — Eagles
Has there ever been a more talented group of individual musicians who collectively made worse music? I don’t think so. Dad rock doesn’t need to suck, but apparently the Eagles never got that message.
Sure, I hate some songs and bands simply because they’re excessively, inexplicably popular — like the Foo Fighters. That’s not the case here. The Eagles are just flat out not good.