; Tangled Up In Blue: Banished to a desert island - quarantining the bad stuff

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Banished to a desert island - quarantining the bad stuff

I want to reverse the game and bring some curmudgentry into the festivus of music here.

What songs would you like to BANISH to a desert island never to be heard again by mortal ears other than those people banished into elevator-music limbo for all eternity? What songs make you practically jam your fingers into your knuckles punching the preset buttons on your car radio so that you won't have to hear one more wretched execrable crapulant note?

My top nominee is from the blando-pop group known as 'America'. Their offering 'Horse with no name' sounds like Neil Young after a focus group with cheese. There is one line in the song that still renders me insane when I am not quick enough to turn off whatever is blaring this song, 'I been through the desert on a horse with no name, where there ain't no one for to give you no pain'. WHATTHEHELL is that? Ain't no one for to give you no pain???? That one line alone would probably give Tim W. (Mother Tongue Annoyances) a coronary. I generally oppose capital punishment because of how it is rendered judicially, but I do make an exception here. Just to clear this up, I detest this song.

Second place goes to a guy whose voice I usually like: Gordon Lightfoot. He's not real exciting, but he is certainly earnest and possesses a nice tenor. Many of his songs are not unlistenable. One huge exception to the listenabilty list: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The song goes on for about 12 plodding minutes, and I swear you will be as seasick halfway into the song as the poor people who were ON the damn boat. It is unfortunate that Lightfoot wasn't singing this song on board before the wreck, because most everyone would have jumped ship and perhaps would have been saved.

My last example is by a group that, to me, pretty well exemplifies the nadir of rock and roll. I know that some people like/love these guys, but, to me, they offer little but blandness: Styx. Particularly their corn-u-rockia number - Come Sail Away. Cheesy choruses, light-weight vocals and enough smarm to make a mean dog puke. Dave Marsh once said that Billy Joel has as much to do with true rock and roll as a sneeze does to Beethoven's 9th. I disagree with that assessment of Joel, but I do think the description applies to most of Styx hellish output. One exception for me is 'Mr. Roboto', the song from which I'm assuming that the maven of Nashville night derives his name.

There's more, but I'll shut up now. I'm getting irritated just thinking about these songs because they are buzzing in my head and I need some sleep...


Blogger Kat Coble said...

One out of 3. Tim is well versed in my hatred of HWNN. The other two you've picked are staples on my iTunes turntable.

That being said:

1. Satisfaction
It's been done to death. And beyond. I'm sure if i'd seen Mick perform this live at the height of his glory, my breasts heaving in ecstasy against a taut Tongue t-shirt I'd love it. As it is now I associate it with Arnold Schwarzzenegger, commercials and about 20 movies in the 80s. They may try and try and try, but none of us can get no satisfackshuuuun. Quite frankly, I think Mick isn't getting the same spam as everyone else because there are many frequently advertised medications to alleviate his problem.

2. Ebony & Ivory
This song is just terrible. Terrible. Terrible. I'm all for racial harmony, but the song just sucks. I much prefer the parody version from SNL...
You are black and I am white
Life's an eskimo pie, let's take a bite

3. Suite- Judy Blue Eyes
So much of CSN&sY is artsyfartartsy stoner music, and this is the pinnacle of their strummy pretentious nonsense. Don't let the past remind us of what we are not now Okay. I won't. If I can sober up enough to figure out what the heck you are saying. Plus, the whole name of the song is twaddle. Sweet Judy Blue Eyes would be cute has a Monkees-like innocence. But no. It has to be Suite-Judy Blue Eyes. So you can like groove on the pun, man. Yes, Steven, it is getting to the point where you are no fun anymore. And the only person who can put Spanish at the end of a song and pull it off is Zevon in Veracruz

I'm sure there are others, but my brain is so addled with iTunes thoughts that more escape me.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

OH, without stopping to think about it number one would be "I've Been To Paradise But I've NEver Been TO Me," by Charlene.

Number two would be "Having My Baby" by Paul Anka.

Katherine, gotta disagree with you on Suite Judy Blue Eyes. The song, written for sweet Judy Collins, makes perfect sense. (Except the tags at the end of the song)

Satisfaction, while maybe tiresome after 40 years, is still one of the best rock and roll songs ever written.

I agree with you on Ebony and Ivory, especially since Jackson screwed Paul McCartney on the publishing.

John...I never did get why "Horse With No Name" was done with a Neil Young vocal, when the rest of America's songs sounded nothing like Neil Young. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOand the one that get's played to death,"Still The One" by Orleans...byebye.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Glen Dean said...

I'm with you on that Styx tune. God that song sucks.

Also, I would love to never hear anything by Billy Squier again.

Is there any way we can completely get rid of Kid Rock?

11:13 PM  
Blogger Glen Dean said...

Whoa, Suite Jody Blues Eyes is a great song.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

The entire REO Speedwagon/Journey catalog.

"We Built This City" and everything subsequent by Jefferson Starship.

"Walking On Sunshine" Katrina and The Waves. See the reasons Kitty gave for "Satisfaction" above. That goes double for this song. Also, the name of the band seems to be in bad taste as of two weeks ago.

After going to Coyote Ugly last night, "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" is perilously close to desert island banishment.

And the Hall Of Fame winner, "Funky Town" by Lipps, Inc. Start humming that song and see if it doesn't stick with you all damn day.

4:20 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Okay, I'm only going to tell you the truth because I won't be in town to hear the fallout.

But I would send Rush, twice if possible, just to see their faces when I said, "No, wait, this island is not bad enough for you."

A lot of songs that I previously hated have been rescued by tv. Sure, "Come Sail Away" is aweful, but imagine Cartman siging it, and it's all good. And "Don't Stop Believing" is one of the worst songs ever and totally redeemed by Family Guy.

Sadly, I don't think there's a cartoon cool eough to save Rush.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Raizor's Edge said...

I cannot believe "H*ney" isn't #1! Add to it all the smarmy death songs of the 70s (e.g., "Seasons in the Sun," "Run Joey Run," "Blind Man in the Bleachers"). You know, you can have a good song where someone dies! (See: "The Captain and the Kid" by Jimmy Buffett, or "Sweeter Than the Flowers" by Moon Mullican.) They don't have to be these lame hunks of junk that make you realize that the person who died is lucky: they don't have to LISTEN TO THIS CRAP.

I have to agree with "Havin' My Baby." That song reminds me of a "Point-Counterpoint" skit on Saturday Night Live, in which Ackroyd said, "If I had known your mother was going to give birth to such an ignorant slut as yourself I would've performed the abortion myself!" Just substitute "lame songwriter" for "ignorant slut".

Also ditto Journey. I'd rather listen to someone rake their fingernails across the chalkboard than to Steve Perry's voice -- although, I must confess the sound is similar. Add to that Rush. Geddy Lee's voice makes dogs put ear plugs in.

I'd love to see the Eagles' (a band I truly love) "Life in the Fast Lane" put where no one could hear it or even think about it again. That song ruins Hotel California for me.

"We Are the World." I cannot believe a song that repeats the chorus over and over and over for four minutes won a "song of the year" Grammy. I especially cannot believe it beat out "The Boys of Summer"! A "good cause" does NOT automatically mean a "good song," and this piece of junk is exhibit "A" to prove that.

And, while I wouldn't necessarily want to get rid of Glenn Frey's "The Heat is On," I would like to ban its use in commercials.

6:41 AM  
Blogger HUCK said...

Not Rush! Oh no you di unt.

Do you people hate me!?!

Don't you know that cheese when taken in moderation has actually been shown to fight certain forms of manic depression?

Please don't take away my:
"Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"
"Suite- Judy Blue Eyes"
"Seasons in the Sun"

However. I agree with everything Sarcastro, Glen, and Sharon mentioned.

Also, I would happily castrate "The Boys of Summer", banish Journey and Styx back to the land of the dead, and categorically divorce Ebony and Ivory right along with all duets.

I'd also like to include anything by Bonnie tyler and Bette Midler as kindling to my island bonfire.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Holy Shit! I can't believe I forgot "Wind Beneath My Wings" and Lee Greenwood's ode to hypocrisy "Proud To Be An American".

8:40 AM  
Blogger Raizor's Edge said...

RE Carcastro: I can't believe I forgot "Wind Beneath My Wings"

You say that as though it were a bad thing to forget that song....

9:32 AM  
Blogger dolphin said...

"Mambo #5" Lou something-or-another.

I'm the type of person who sings along even with songs I hate when they come on the radio. This song will see the radio station changed in a hurry.

Another song I think alot of people would like to see go away is "Friends in Low Places." I'm not overly bothered by this song but I remember being at a bowling alley (Rock 'N Bowl) when the DJ put this song on. The DJ actually APOLOGIZED for playing the song saying that he HAD to because it was a request, but some people actually got up and left the bowling alley over it.

9:34 AM  
Blogger melusina said...

Oh god Sharon, I had forgotten about that Charlene song. Blah, now it is in my head! Definitely for banishing that one.

There are a couple that need to be banished, but I think only European audiences have been plagued with these songs. One is "The Ketchup Song" by Las Ketchup (yep, I ain't kidding) and another is a remake/remix of the Axel F song (the theme from Beverly Hills Cop, in case you didn't know) by Crazy Frog (which is still, unfortunately, making the rounds here).

11:20 AM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

Put me down on the "send Rush to an island" petition...so long as someone sinks that boat on the way there. Hell, send them on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Ditto on the America song and "Satisfaction" as well.

I would also like to nominate anything by Tim McGraw and any number of mainstream country artists. They nauseate me considerably, and that is saying quite a bit, as I love tons of "bad" music. I loved me some Spice Girls back in the day, and I always stop the radio scanning when I come across Christina Aguillera, but only when I drive alone.

2:15 PM  
Blogger HUCK said...

I'm going to pretend I didn't read your last post and move on.

I would like to throw one more subgenre of crapola out there into the banned pile: Hair Metal Ballads - may Allah roast their immortal husks slowly over an eternal pit of fire. Pitooee... Pitooee... Pittooee...

2:46 PM  
Blogger Glen Dean said...

Heh. Have any of you ever seen that show Nashville Star, that has the Poison lead singer judging?

Poison. Oh my.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Kerry Woo said...

For guys who can't sing, but want to sing real loud in their cars - "Suite Judy Blue Eyes" and for that matter, "Hey Jude" long endings give ample opportunity for me to sing the same phrase over and over -

Change my life, make it right
Be my lady.
Doo doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Na, na na na na na na
na na na na, hey Jude
Na, na na na na na na
na na na na, hey Jude
Na, na na na na na na
na na na na, hey Jude

As for worse songs - "Woman" by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap; "Hooked On A Feeling" by Blue Swede and somebody please tell me that Dolly Parton did NOT cover "Stairway to Heaven"!

Ouga Chaka ouga...

10:06 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

I do a fantastic impersonation of Ceecee Whatever who was the Whatever with Poison. Guitarist? See how much I care...?

Anyway, back when their Behind The Music was on VHI every five friggin' minutes they would show that clip of him saying

"It was the house of hooous and it became the house of hoooous" in his drug-addled voice.

It was THE soundbite of the show and I think we were supposed to think he was saying

"It was the house of whores and it became the house of horrors"

but with his New Boozey accent it just came out goofy. I've been known to annoy people by repeating it in same accent.

And that is ALL I know about Poison.

12:10 AM  
Blogger Raizor's Edge said...

RE Kerry Woo: Hey Jude" long endings give ample opportunity for me to sing the same phrase over and over...

"Hey Jude" is a great three-minute single....but as a nine minute song, it blows chunks.

Someone at work asked why Air Supply and Bread weren't mentioned, to which I replied, "There are some bands' songs that are obviously banned to a desert island so they don't have to be mentioned." :D

5:38 PM  
Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

Kerry--Can you figure out what Stephen Stills is "singing" at the end of Suite Judy Blue Eyes? I'm not talking about the do doo doo doo do backgrounds, but Still's oba oba goosh goosh, etc.

Karen...LOL You're right. Banished to an island and Air Supply and Bread would be redundant.

4:13 AM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

It's something in Spanish about the Spanish civil war.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Kerry Woo said...

Hey Sharon -

Stephen Stills sings the following Spanish lines:

Que linda me la traiga Cuba,
la reina de la Mar Caribe.
Cielo sol no tiene sangreahi,
y que triste que no puedo vaya,
Oh va, oh va, va.

Loosely translated is:

How happy it makes me to think of Cuba,
the smiles of the Caribbean Sea,
Sunny sky has no blood, and how sad that
I'm not able to go
Oh go, oh go go

or Babelfish says:

That is contiguous brings I Cuba, the queen of the Caribbean Sea. Sky sun does not have sangreahi, and that sad that I cannot goes, Oh goes, oh goes, goes.


no clue - but hey I'm Chinese...

9:20 AM  

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