i sure do love atrocities: my 5 worst songs of all time

Consider the gauntlet thrown. My BFF Robespierre has just launched a cool personal blog, Roblog. I assume it'll be a bit livejournalish, but today it took very little effort to coerce him into posting his five worst songs of all time. We make very good music, but man, do we enjoy bad music. His list was really good [and quite principled] so I really had to dig into the vault for this one.

5. Billy Don't Be A Hero by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods -

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So dreamy! Nothing, not even M.O.P., makes you want to strap up and go to war like this song. Which is unfortunate, because as far as I can tell, it's a misguided antiwar effort. The chorus goes:

Billy, don't be a hero, don't be a fool with your life
Billy, don't be a hero, come back and make me your wife
And as he started to go she said, Billy, keep your head lo[ooooooooooooooo]w
Billy, don't be a hero, come back to me

No, seriously, that's the chorus. And the instrumentation/progression are equally bad. If lamesauce Casio synths had been around in 1974, BDatH would gladly have used them instead of the crappy war piccolo they did use. Incredibly, Paper Lace originally wrote the song. 

[The lyrics and an EFFING MIDI arrangement of 'Billy Don't Be A Hero']

[BoDonaldson.com ... .... they're still active ... brain shutting down ...] 

[A lip-synching video of the song] 

4. Ballroom Blitz by Sweet - The first fifteen seconds of this song, the lead singer effeminately checking with his bandmates to see if they're 'ready', then launching into a shriek of what was presumably supposed to be unbridled power ['Let's gaaaoooowww!'] are somewhere beyond unintentional comedy. And it gets worse from there. Imagine Poison with alcohol-influenced retardation; that shouldn't be too difficult. It's metal-ish; it's classic rock-ish; it's bullshit. This actually went #1 in Sweet's native Australia, which is as good an argument as any for returning the continent to a prison state. If I was a cop trying to get information out of someone, I'd play the first fifteen seconds of this about five times and then give the guy a chance to talk. Those phone books are heavy, man.

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I really wouldn't play this if I were you. 

[Ballroom Blitz songfacts] 

3. With Arms Wide Open by Creed -

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If the the Christian God or his son ever do come back, I have a feeling that after He lets the Seahawks win a Super Bowl, He's personally going to flip Scott Stapp off a cliff. Let's hope He doesn't get Eddie Vedder (the singer in Pearl Jam who Stapp ganked for his voice). Ignoring the extraneous hilarity of Stapp not having custody of his son, the subject of the song [never mind being in an apparently straight sex tape costarring Kid Rock], the lyricism in this song is essentially as well as factually wrong. Faux-grunge, poorly executed instrumentation makes for a track where the 1st-level Guitar Hero solo is the 'highlight'.

[The video for 'With Arms Wide Open'. Just inexcusable. Why are they in a cave? And why didn't they stay there?]

[That time Creed got sued by their fans] 

2. Me Against The Music by Britney Spears ft. Madonna -

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Everyone forgets that this whole 'Britney's a total loon' thing had been brewing since the early aughts. To be fair, she is a lot crazier now. But 'Me Against The Music' featured a slumping Madonna [I know some of us remember the kiss] and was such a shitty lead single Britney had to get softcore in the video for 'Toxic', which saved her career. This sounds like Max Martin had a damn aneurysm. The production is ehh, but the busy, skittering vocals are poorly written, poorly performed, and generally sound like 'My First Techno-Pop Crossover'. Also, Madge and Brit's in-song dom/sub relationship is just ... creepy. Surprisingly, Justice appears to have copped the pre-chorus progression - the chorus is probably the worst part of the song - for 'D.A.N.C.E.'. Justice are the best thing to happen to France since deodorant. I'm gonna post the video for 'Me Against The Music' because that way you might listen to more of it:

1. The Night Chicago Died by Paper Lace - There's not much I can say that Rob didn't. It's my clear number one because of it's pacing. Like an excellent horror film, Paper Lace filled the with twists and turns, lurching towards its inevitable, horrible end. The only suspense is how bad it's going to be. Having listened to it an estimated 15 times in my young, difficult life, I can attest to its power. It can break the strongest of snobs and the most ignorant of listeners. I defy anyone to leave this experience thinking 'Man, that wasn't half bad.'

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Click 'play' if you dare.