Wednesday, May 11, 2022

EP274: The Best of Your Worst


After Ken’s picks last week for the worst songs of all-time, the listeners now weigh in with theirs… along with a few egregious samples. Is your least favorite tune on the list?

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27 comments :

YEKIMI said...

Yes. I bought "The Night Chicago Died" by Paper Lace. The Night Chicago Died" is used by Fox Mulder on "Die Hand Die Verletzt" episode of The X-Files as an example of "Devil's music"

The Name Game. Everybody I know always sang the line "Truck, Truck, Bo Buck, Banana Nana Fo FU.....well, you can finish the rest.

I would NOT want to see the original cast of Hair doing it today.

Technically, Beth ISN'T a Kiss song. Orginally called "Beck" it was written by Peter Criss, Stan Penridge [who actually did most of the writing of the song] and producer Bob Ezrin. Performed it when he was in a band called Chelsea. When Criss joined Kiss he broought it along with him. And now, On with the countdown!

Thanks for killing Clint Holmes. I'm sure he'll appreciate it if he listens to your podcast. I usually hear about things like that the day it happens so I googled it and it says he's still alive. Or maybe he did die and nobody gave a shit to even write anything about it. I can't hate "Playground In My Mind". Hey, it's got my name in the lyrics!

And I wasn't really ripping on Rupert Holmes, just the fact that we played the ever-loving shit out the record for what seemed like years. Every DJ at the station was sick of it. If the PD or MD had ever bent over in the studio the 45 would have been jammed so far up their ass that it would have never been found again.

Steve K said...

Friday Question: When movies/shows cast multiple actors in a role to depict them across different ages, how much effort is put into the casting to ensure they look like the same person? When movies/shows cast multiple actors in a role to depict them across different ages, how much effort is put into the casting to ensure they look like the same person? Do casting agents get the adult actor’s childhood pictures and try to find young actors who match them? Are the adult actor’s childhood pictures used to try to find young actors who match them? Have you ever had to deal with this challenge Ken?

scottmc said...

Hearing the songs mentioned by readers and listeners brought to mind songs that I’d mercifully forgotten. A word, though, in defense of ‘Artificial Flowers’. It is from the musical TENDERLOIN, by the composer and lyricist of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.It’s a song, in the context of the show, which illustrates how much of a phony the character singing the song is. The show wasn't a hit. It starred Maurice Evans, a few years before he was Samantha’s father on BEWITCHED and Dr. Zaius in THE PLANET OF THE APES.
The contributions from everyone pretty much covered the territory. But this follow-up did bring to mind the one I would nominate. The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia. (Wait, the radio is playing ‘Hey, Won’t You Play Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song’. That would be another.)

Kev Pickering said...

Strange fact about Paper Lace - they had a number one hit in the UK with a cover of Billy Don't Be A Hero...

Mind you, they also inflicted Aggadoo and Superman on the world - both truly horrific...

Brian Stanley said...

Ken,
Fact correction - "Ebony and Ivory" is Macca with Stevie Wonder, not Michael Jackson. Still a terrible song, though.

Jeff Alexander said...

NOBODY (!!!) even mentioned "Oh, Babe, What Would You Say" by Hurricane Smith????
Boggles the mind!!!! How could they NOT!!!

gottacook said...

"The Girl Is Mine" is a track from Thriller, and it was on constantly in 1982-83 at the temp office clerk job I had then. Drove me nuts, the spoken part especially. "Say Say Say" (the horror!) apparently is a track on a McCartney album released somewhat later. They are two separate songs.

"Silly Love Songs" was improved when McCartney revised it for his vanity movie Give My Regards to Broad Street in 1984, enough so that I hoped it would supersede the Wings version on radio stations. It got some play at the time but then sank into obscurity, partly because another track from the movie ("No More Lonely Nights") got all the attention. The 1984 "Silly Love Songs" modulates into another key for a while, which shows that even McCartney knew how boring the original was.

Jonas Kahnwald said...

The series DARK did a brilliant job of casting actors that played the same characters over decades.

Mike Barer said...

The Cowsills had the clean image and if I remember, did milk commercials. But in reality, according to what I watched on special on Prime, a very troubled group. I believe they also did drugs.

Green Luthor said...

Paul and Michael made a video for "Say Say Say". Paul's love interest in the video was played by Linda McCartney. Sure, makes perfect sense. No problems there. Michael's love interest was played by... LaToya Jackson? HIS SISTER??? The hell? I have no idea what the thought process was there, and I probably don't want to know.

Jahn Ghalt said...



I find it interesting that "classic rock" stations seem to play NONE - ZERO of those most-hated songs. WAIT! I think Afternoon Delight might be an exception.

(and those stations don't know who Barbra Streisand was)

Thank God Muskrat Love is no kind of an "earworm".

I'd rather hear Silly Love Songs (a hit when I was impressionable) - than Mac's Christmas Song.

maxdebryn said...

I love "Oh, Babe, What Would You Say" by Hurricane Smith, a favourite of mine growing up. I am an (old) boomer, so maybe that has something to do with my fondness for the song. One of my "worst" songs (from that period) is "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep," by Lally Stott. Truly a dopey song.

maxdebryn said...

If you watched the Prime documentary about The Cowsills ("Family Band - The Cowsills Story"), they were indeed a dysfunctional family, but they have persevered, and still tour ! I think it's a safe bet that a LOT of bands "did drugs" in the 60s and 70s, and drugs are *still* used by countless bands today. Jeez, even classical composers used drugs.

tavm said...

"Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" was also recorded by Middle of the Road and Mac and Katie Kissoon, of which both those versions I'm more familiar with. They were both alright.

Cap'n Bob said...

I've said it before and I'll repeat it here, I like "Afternoon Delight" just fine. Two of the singers backed John Denver on "Take Me Home, Country Road," and they managed to finesse a TV show from the song. Margo, the dark-haired girl, had a phenomenal voice. Everyone's entitled to his own opinion and that's mine.

Mike Barer said...

maxdebryn My point was that after watching the special on the Cowsills, it's hard to see them as a wholesome band.
I saw Susan and a Bob and Bill, I think, perform in the Happy Together tour and they were great.

maxdebryn said...

Funny, this "worst" songs thing. Some tuneage posted here are songs that I have no problem with, and one or two of them I don't care for. It'll always be this way, and that's fine.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Yekimi, but “Beth” IS a KISS song. “Beck” might have been Criss’ first version of the song, but “Beth” is the one that became a mega-hit for KISS… :-)

Nick Davis said...

I didn’t mean to send my “Beth” reply as “Anonymous”…

Pat Reeder said...

Granted, most of these are pretty annoying, but you don't know what horrible is until you've heard Burt Ward "sing" "Orange Colored Sky."

DwWashburn said...

I stopped my list last week at 1969 because it seemed like after the 60s decade (post Woodstock), music really took a terrible turn to the downside. And if I had went through 1980 I would have had to list EVERY disco song that ever hit the charts.

Sue T. said...

"A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash, "Patches" by Clarence Carter, and any record with narration by Walter Brennan.

JonCow said...

@ Jeff Alexander
"Hurricane" Smith was an engineer at EMI in the 60's who worked on many Beatles sessions. In fact, it was John Lennon who gave Norman Smith the nickname "Hurricane." I cut him a lot of slack for that.

re: The Night Chicago Died, in the Mis-Heard Lyrics category, my mother thought the lyric for "I heard her pray the night Chicago died" was "I heard a brave and anxious car go by."

Roger Owen Green said...

Jeff Alexander - I'm afraid that I actually LIKE Oh, Babe... https://www.rogerogreen.com/2015/05/09/throwback-saturday-music-oh-babe-what-would-you-say/

Brian Phillips said...

I consider this one of the elements of a good Christmas: NOT hearing Elmo & Patsy singing, "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer", which has an equally bad video.

Re: Feelings by Morris Albert: I don't know if the story on the podcast is true, however, there was some controversy over the authorship. One Loulou Gasté insisted that the melody was lifted from his song "Pour Toi". All copies past a certain date now list the composers as "Albert-Gaste"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZYiaYvpO2o

I CAN verify that I saw a "Gong Show" (the Barris edition) that had every contestant come out and sing a version of "Feelings". They did the same thing for "Memories" by Barbara Streisand. One contestant came out and sang, "Mammaries".

Brian Phillips said...

If you can find it, "The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders" by Wayne Jancik is a fun read, but of all of the songs that I read about, Clint Holmes is one of the only people that said that his song, "Playground in my Mind" hurt his career.

"I Started a Joke" by the Bee Gees and "El Paso" by Marty Robbins (I don't dislike this song, by the way) have the same issue. The narrator is DEAD before the end of the song. Who has been singing?

"Pink Shoelaces" by Dodie Stevens goes on in a twee manner about her guy Dooley. She talks about the things he does for her, however, during the song he is ill to the point of worrying he might die and he insists that he be buried in "Tan shoes and pink shoelaces..." and the song doesn't go to a minor key or slow down. No, she is just as happy that her fellow may die as she was when he took her on weird dates. Wa to bounce back, Dodie!

Rolf Harris' "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" has the narrator die at the end, but someone takes over the singing, at least.

Other contenders for bad songs:

Little Arrows by Leapy Lee. Fool that I was, I bought the album, sight unheard because Monty Python made fun of him. LA is bad enough and, to be fair, he does a VERY good version of "If I Ever Get to Saginaw Again", which was a Monkees song. The worst song on it is his version of "Harper Valley P.T.A.", which REALLY should be sung by a woman.

Don't misunderstand me. I am a big fan of Sesame Street, but as a young man reading about how exciting the years of the birth of rock and roll were and how great the British Invasion was, I was horrified that "Rubber Duckie" by Ernie was a top 10 hit in my lifetime.

I have a personal loathing for songs that TRY to be bad and fail miserably. There was a response to the treacly "The Men In My Little Girl's Life", called "The Hoods in my Little Girl's Life" by "Cousin Fescue" which is almost as bad as the original.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP7pDeAQ1_s

YEKIMI said...

Sorry Anonymous, but Beth is NOT a KISS song....well, a Kiss cover version, yes. Was written well before he joined Kiss, just dragged it along with him when he joined Kiss. Here's the Chelsea version [and by the way I MUCH prefer the Kiss version] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVp2P2G4nbI.

Calling it a Kiss song is like calling "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" a Carpenter's song when it was released a year before by Klaatu, which used a crew of 160 musicians, to record it. So technically, it's a Carpenter's cover version as are a lot of songs that became popular and not by the group that had the hit...sort of like Tiny Tim's "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" in 1968 when he did it on Rowan & Martin's Laugh In.[How did THAT escape from being included as one of the worst songs ever?] It was #1 for TEN WEEKS in 1929 when it was done by Nick Lucas and it was done as part of the film musical "Gold Diggers of Broadway"