To complete today’s pair of splenetic rants, I’ll simply list what I’ve added, over the years, to my list of the Worst Rock Songs of All Time. (Well, some don’t qualify as “rock”, but they were all played on popular radio.) I’ll link each song to the original recording. .
You know what to do: add to the list!
Green Berets (Sgt. Barry Sadler). What can I say? I’m a conscientious objector.
An Open Letter to My Teenage Son (Victor Lundberg) A real anti-hippie song, the MAGA of the Sixties. You probably haven’t heard it, but it was popular.
Spill the Wine (Eric Burdon) Burdon couldn’t recognize good lyrics if they bit him in the tuchas.
Brand New Key (Melanie) Sexual innuendo with roller skates.
I’ve Never Been to Me (Charlene) Don’t miss this one! Seriously! She’s been undressed by kings but is unfulfilled without a husband and baby. n.b. lyric: “I’ve been to Nice/and the Isle of Greece”. There is no “isle of Greece”!
Octopus’s Garden (The Beatles) I know some people are gonna say this one’s good. . .
Macarthur Park (Richard Harris) Does anybody like this song?
Old Rivers (Walter Brennan) This kind of grows on you, but it’s still a dreadful song.
Take the Money and Run (Steve Miller) This takes the prize for the worst rhymes in any song (e.g., “They headed down to, ooh, old El Paso/That’s where they ran into a great big hassle” or “Hoo-hoo-hoo, billy Mack is a detective down in Texas/You know he knows just exactly what the facts is”.) They don’t write songs like that any more—thank God.
Muskrat Love (The Captain and Tennille) Anthropomorphic muskrats fall in love (“Muzzle to muzzle, now anything goes.”) This song has a decent tune, and I always had a thing for Tennille, but the words are cringeworthy (n.b. to Toni: muskrats don’t eat bacon or cheese!)
The Name Game (Shirley Ellis). This was a huge hit, and many of my contemporaries can still do the name thing.
Drops of Jupiter (Train) For pretentious songs since 2000, this takes the cake. (“She checks out Mozart while she does tai bo”)