Thursday, March 13

We Built This City On Centerfield.


What was supposed to be a relaxing and carefree dinner at Chili's last night turned ugly when me and the Missus got into a heated argument.

What was it about? Money? Children? The correct way to divide up an Awesome Blossom? Nope.

It was about what the worst song of all-time is.

This is an argument that me and the Missus revisit on a quarterly basis. I stand firm, but she continues to push me. Insults are hurled, words are exchanged and the drive home is painfully quiet.

Determining what the worst song of all-time is needs a few parameters. It needs to be a popular song; preferably a song that was a Billboard #1 at one point or another. It can't be a cover song, nor can it be a novelty track.

For me the choice is simple, and it's the same choice I've held tight to for the last 20 years:

'We Built This City' by Starship.

There's no denying that it is, at best, one of the Top 3 worst songs in popular music history. I also didn't jump on the bandwagon as an adult; I've hated this song since it first hit the airwaves in 1984. Everything about it is awful. Even the cover of the single makes me want to nuke the 80's with reckless abandon.

The Missus, however, enjoys this song, and claims that it 'rocks.' There isn't a shred of irony in her voice when she says it, which is a feat of method acting that would make Daniel-Day Lewis weep with envy.

Her choice for worst song ever is 'Centerfield' by John Fogerty.

As a CCR fan and also the somewhat-proud owner of the 'Centerfield' 45 single, I took slight offense to this. There was no way that she could justify 'Centerfield' being worse than 'We Built This City.' Not even close. Although I did cringe quite a bit when I found out that 'Centerfield' is reportedly George W. Bush's favorite song, despite Fogerty being such an opponent of his.

On the drive home from Chili's, the argument intensified as she demanded I play 'Centerfield' for my friends in the backseat and have them judge the findings. Through a masterstroke of luck, I happened to have 'Centerfield' on my iPod, and sang along proudly as the admittedly awful tune filled my Mercury Sable.

The verdict? 'Centerfield' is a catchy song with a sing-long chorus and non-intrusive melody. While the theme of the song and the overall fruitiness is almost impossible to defend, it doesn't hold a candle to the monument of suck and failure that is 'We Built This City.'

Score one for the good guy.

Other songs were mentioned, such as 'I Want To Know What Love Is,' by Foreigner, and pretty much every other song ever recorded by Foreigner, but I have yet to hear a song as popular and as equally terrible as 'We Built This City.'

What's your choice for the worst song ever recorded? Remember the parameters, sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

Comments:
Wow, it just so happens that the front page of Yahoo! today discusses the worst songs and blunders in music history. Bizarre.
 
Ryan, if you didn't hate Fergie enough before, you will REALLY hate her now.
 
D'oh! I've been StarshipRolled!
 
Keep it up lady, and you'll get FogertyRolled.
 
For the love of God, look at the guy in the top-left of the Starship album. Someone that looks like that has no business making music; he looks like Zap Rowsdower.
 
Yeah, but it was FERGIE when she was little. did you realize that she was a Disney creation, too? I thought she was just a ho-bag!
 
Actually, he kind of looks like Sedakis from SNL if he put a wig and a moustache on.
 
I was aware she was in Kids Incorporated, sadly. What is it with Disney chruning out such monsters? Maybe that insane rant I read about Disney brainwashing kids for the illuminati was right.
 
I don't know, but I think there's a good possibility that I *may* have wanted to be in that Kids, Inc. when I was little...
 
I take it by everyone's silence on the subject that they are afraid to admit that they love "We Built this City" to Ryan. It's okay...I love it, too. You don't have to be ashamed.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
Tonight, I shall drink too much at a farewell party for a co-worker, make a scene, hit on married women and fall through a table.

Or, eat a few of those rad homemade tortillas and head for home.
 
...wow, I was all ready to make a snarky comment, but then Ryan had to go and jump the shark. Way to go, man. I thought we'd put that all behind us.

And for the record, I have always and will always hate "We Built This City." Even my three-year-old brain hated it when it first came out.
 
Oh and, "I Want to Know What Love Is" is awesome, and I will hear no arguments to the contrary.
 
When Blender magazine proclaimed 'We Built This City' to be the Worst Song Ever a few years ago, a lot of people jumped on the bandwagon, but not me (and not Emily). When even a three year old knows that a song sucks out loud, there's just no saving it.

'I Want To Know What Love Is' would only be acceptable in a High School dance setting, with a disco ball and ruffled-blue formalwear. In that regard, it's an awesome song.

'Hot Blooded,' on the other hand, is inexcusable.
 
I'd also like to nominate "Achey Breaky Heart" for this particular title.
 
That's a strong candidate, Emily. So many times did I have to do the 'achey breaky shuffle' in gym class.
 
I hate Journey. Anything by Journey. Everything by Journey. Their whole catalog - I do not celebrate it. Any song by Journey has my vote for worst.

I think 'We Built This City' is annoying mostly because my husband thinks it's funny to expose my impressionable son to the worst music possible knowing he'll bust out singing it all the time. And by worst music possible I mean half of the songs on the Top 40 charts from the 1980s, since that's a lot of what my husband's radio station plays (my son likes to play "radio DJ" sometimes, too). I've gotten to the point of desperation where I'm going out of my way to play music I like for some balance. (Seriosuly - last year the kids favorite song was 'Open Sesame' by Cool and the Gang and right now it's 'QU' by They Might Be Giants - who I just saw in concert on Tuesday.)
 
Oh, We Built This City is a terrible, awful, soul-crushing song. It's hard to name just one reason for its suckiness, but that this non-rock song extols the virtue of great rock n roll is up there. When he heard it, Paul Kantner wanted to die just so he could roll over in his grave. Oy friggin vey.

Centerfield is a stupid song, but it's better than We Built This City, much the way the stomach flu is better than chicken pox. Centerfield isn't even on my bad song list radar. We Built This City is in the sights of my missle deterrant system.

My votes for worst songs:

Dancing on the Ceiling, Lionel Ritchie

Smokin' in the Boys Room, Motley Crue

Total Eclipse of the Heart, Bonnie Tyler

Get Out of My Dreams (Get Into My Car), Billy Ocean

Party All The Time, Eddie Murphy

Must I go on?
 
Okay, I've changed my mind. Either "Sister Christian" or "Blinded by the Light" is the worst song ever. I was wrong on this one, but it's DEFINITELY not "We Built This City." That song rocks out loud.
 
Lott, I like every song you have listed there!!
 
MAUS - I don't mind Journey, but I entirely understand why they are so despised. The good part about TMBG is that kids can grow up with their kid-friendly songs, and as they get older and hipper, they'll dig their standard fare, too. Besides singing in tune, is there anything they can't do?

Hope the concert was fun; I'm very jealous, but I get the Weakerthans in two weeks.

LOTT - Mmm-hmm. I feel the same way about Centerfield. It's a bad song, but it's not bad enough to ruin your week.

Oh, 'Party All The Time.' Wow, thanks for brining that turd up. Holy Lord, was that a terrible song. For my money, that's the closest one to 'We Built This City' so far.
 
LOTT - See what sort of person I'm dealing with, here?

'Blinded By The Light' is a bad song, but it was written by The Boss, so I'll let it go. 'Sister Christian' is irredeemably terrible; on the level of a 'Party All The Time.'

Damn, we're scraping the bottom of the barrel here. I'm loving this.

Here's where we stand, in my opinion, from the songs we've named so far:

#6 - Blinded By The Light
#5 - Dancing On The Ceiling
#4 - Achy Breaky Heart
#3 - Party All The Time
#2 - Sister Christian
#1 - We Built This City
 
For your consideration:

'Heartbeat' by Don Johnson
'My Humps' by Black Eyed Peas
'Horse With No Name' by America
'Love In An Elevator' by Aerosmith
Just about everything by Peter Cetera.
 
"My Humps" definitely rates a "one of the worst songs of the 21st century" title. It is only (slightly) redeemed by this video of the song set to dancing robots.
 
Correct. Much like tracks by the Spice Girls and Avril Lavigne, they haven't sucked long enough to be considered a truly awful classic.

Speaking of sucking for a long time, I just heard a New Found Glory cover of the song 'Crazy For You' by Madonna, and it only solidified that it was not only my favorite Madonna song ever, but a stone-cold sexy pop masterpiece.
 
Again, you can't tell me that the guy in Starship isn't Zap Rowsdower from 'The Final Sacrifice.' He would be in Starship.
 
Kokomo. Let's not forget Kokomo. Or let's.

What about The Final Countdown? Now that song licks the bootheels of We Built This City.

Genesis' Illegal Alien? Does that not count?

Oh--Ice Ice Baby. How did I forget that?

The Pina Colada Song?

For song title alone: I'll Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)? That makes no sense at all.

Islands in the Stream? 9 to 5? Morning Train? God, the list is endless.

I assume you're talking about Manfred Mann's Blinded by the Light, with its use of "douche" instead of "duece."
 
Kokomo cannot be overlooked. Catchy, yet laughably awful.

The Final Countdown has achieved such cult status nowadays; all I can think of when I hear it is Gob Bluth dancing around during his magic act.

Ice Ice Baby falls into that one-hit-wonder category where only the historians will be able to truly determine where its place in the blistered anus of musical lore is.

Meat Loaf always teeters between brilliance and buffoonery. I like the music video, though.

Yeah, I'm assuming the Missus is referring to the Manfred Mann track.

I'd still listen to all of these in a row before I hear 'We Built This City' again.
 
I also found out that 'Crazy For You' was featured on the soundtrack for the 1985 film Vision Quest, along with...'Hot Blooded!'
 
1. I like 'Horse With No Name' by America
2.'Love In An Elevator' just sounds uncomfortable...
 
'Love In An Elevator' has the distinction of being one of the worst Aerosmith songs ever, which is saying something special.

Don't get me wrong, I like some of their stuff (and the forthcoming Aerosmith-only Guitar Hero is as good as bought), but they have hit rock bottom on more than one occasion.

/Fan of the Crazy/Crying/Amazing trilogy; 'Crazy' being the best of the three.
 
Further nominations:

1) "Eye of the Tiger" - Survivor (this may partially stem from being made to play this over and over in junior high jazz band...how is this jazz?)

2) "Africa" - Toto (though I'm torn on this one, because it teeters on the edge of being amazing)

3) "Say Say Say" - Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson (so much bad)
 
'Eye Of The Tiger,' to me, falls into that 'The Final Countdown' and 'You're The Best Around' category where they've become so embraced for sucking, that people enjoy them on an ironic level.

Of course, I'm biased. With 'Eye Of The Tiger' blaring over the PA at my school, I ran one of the fastest mile times in 1990's Winneconne history, with a blistering 5:56.
 
Toto is a band that always teetered on amazingness. I felt that way about Styx, too.

/Come Sail Away FTW.
 
Emily, Ebony and Ivory beats Say Say Say any day in my book.

How can we forget the Eurocentric bowl of vomit Do They Know It's Christmas and its colostomy bag American conterpart We Are the World?

They don't care if it's Christmas, ya deucebag. Africa is predominately non-Christian and they're starving to death! You might as well as if they know it's the Fourth of July. Who cares what day it is? Give me some food!
 
LOTT - You have several good points. The "And they won't have snow in Africa this Christmas" line always struck me as incredibly ignorant.

CDP/LOST FANS - Man, you guys can't catch a break: "For the second week in a row WKOW has chosen to bump Lost to a later time slot in order to make room for high school basketball tourneys. Tonight's episode is scripted by UW-Madison alums Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. You can catch it at 10 p.m."

On the one hand I'm all for girl's sports getting equal time, but I can only imagine how I'd feel if this were happening to, say, BSG.

Rage!
 
I classify those tunes as novelty songs, but they make me want to commit genocide all the same. Clearly not their intent.

The Lost thing has been rough. For the second week in a row, Jesse and Bessie cannot come over for our usual Thursday Night 'Drink-N-Fondle' Lost Party.
 
Thursday Night 'Drink-N-Fondle' Lost Party

...otherwise known as the main reason why I'm hurriedly trying to catch up on my "Lost" viewing.
 
Personally, I enjoy We Built This City in a "Sometimes your music just needs to go that far" kind of thing. So bad it looped back to amazing.

But as for bad music, I'm surprised nobody's touched country music as a genre.

I was trapped in New Mexico with my folks and there was this song on regular circulation on the country stations (which my father decided was the soup du jour every jour of the trip). The lyrics went something like this:

I got a brand new girlfriend.
we went and jumped off the deep end,
flew out to LA for the weekend,
spent the whole day, lyin' on the beach,
wearin' nothin' but a smile,
playin' kissy-kissy, smoochy-smoochy,
talkin' mooshy-mooshy bout nothin'.
Man, I think im on to somethin',
because I feel just like a kid again.
I got a brand new girlfriend.


If you can believe it, the tune is worse.

Steve Holy - Brand New Girlfriend.

Worst. Song. Ever.
 
Here's the deal: You catch up entirely on Lost during their upcoming 4 week hiatus, and you'll be added to the exclusive guest list for the second half of the season.

Drinking is optional. Fondling is required. Talk only during commercials.
 
I think the reason Country music hasn't been touched is because they're so terrible as an entire genre, that they have to get their own charts and awards. It's like the collective music community booted their ass straight outta the treehouse.
 
I assume you're talking about Manfred Mann's Blinded by the Light, with its use of "douche" instead of "duece."

Yes, you are correct, sir. I am definitely referring to the douche version.

3) "Say Say Say" - Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson (so much bad)

Emily, you're a drunkard! That song is fricken awesome, as is the video. I love everything about it! In fact, I go around the house singing that song quite frequently. I HEART that song!!!
 
HATHERY - I heart Heart, personally, but that's neither here nor there.

CDP - I'm on it.

MORGAN - Your rant reminds me of another song I'd like to nominate: "Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlile. I wanted to shoot someone after the first time I heard that. And then give their corpse butterfly kisses.
 
'Butterfly Kisses'....(shudder)

As the song continued to progress, I began to hope out loud that his daughter would be killed in some freak Threshing Machine accident. Instead, he totally sold out the ending. Whadda whore.
 
Does Butterfly Kisses even count as a song?
 
Nope, it's not a song. It's the audible tone of America dying.
 
I believe I said "Centerfield" wasn't the worst song ever, but I didn't say it was better than "We Built this City" The Verdict is still out on that one.

I would have to agree with Emily and say that "Achy Breaky Heart" is the absolute worst song ever. I wanted to Strangle Mr. Peters with my gym sock every time he made us do the Achy Breaky shuffle.
 
I loved doing the Achy Breaky Shuffle, and the Electric Slide, and any other line dance that one can think of...but then again I just spent my lunch hour watching people clog on YouTube, so that's really a non-issue... :)
 
I watched David Sedaris spoken word, and wondered to myself if I'll ever be as funny as he is.
 
And I wondered if I'll ever clog like these people do. It's good that we both have goals.
 
Po-ta-to.
 
Ryan used to sing 'Centerfield' and 'I Want To Know What Love Is' all the time when he was young.

But, his favorite song was 'All I Need' by Jack Wagner. I used to have a recording of him singing it, but I think he stole it.
 
Centerfield? Yes indeed.

I Want To Know What love Is? Nope; in fact, I would scream and cry when the song came on. Even then, I had problems with it.

'All I Need' is a masterpiece.
 
I personally despise human kind whenever I hear Livin' On A Prayer.

*puts up flame shield*

But nothing quite compares to these guys:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=CgGItLYyBQ0

Be proud you're American.
 
I dunno, man. That synth line was pretty hot in that song.

Doesn't take away from the fact that everything else was shameful.
 
That's better than pretty much anything on MTV here, unfortunately.
 
I want to know who still watches MTV, and I want to know why. For the love of all that is holy, why?

They don't even play music videos anymore. Heck, even M2, the station they started so MTV proper could go full-tilt reality shite, barely plays music videos anymore.
 
Fuse is barely tolerable, MTVU is pretty good when it comes to constant (albeit repetitious and mediocre) videos, and VH1 Classic is awesome when it comes to documentarys and vintage stuff.

Then there's the Music Choice tier, and that's pretty cool.
 
I LIKE "We Built This City"...

What's the worst song?
Maybe "Respect Yourself" by Bruce Wllis? No...not bad enough...

"Dancing on the Ceiling", perhaps? Nah...

Oh, I know what the worst song is...

"Abracadabra" by The Steve Miller Band.

Honorable mention: "Timothy" by Rupert Holmes. Cannabalism never sounded so good.
 
Indeed, How can someone respect themselves when listening to "Respect Yourself".

...I stole that joke from Demetri Martin.
Thank you and goodnight.
 
Sorry I'm late to the party. Nursing a terrible hangover and an extremely busy work day do not contribute to posting.

That being said, Cheeseburger in Paradise is by far the worst song ever. In my opinion, it trumps everything on this list by at least sevenfold.
 
JT - I'd like to add "everything by Jimmy Buffett" to your suggestion.
 
Cheeseburger in Paradise is a song? The first time I heard it I thought someone was playing a joke on me...
 
Not only is it a terrible song, but I had to hear it almost daily in junior high.

They played it every morning on thge TV news show when they showed the cafeteria menu for the day.

I now associate it with lukewarm, tastelss food, and hyper color windbreakers.
 
My saddest realization is that I think Cheeseburger In Paradise is Buffet's best song. I honestly don't know what's wrong with me anymore.
 
I'm a couple days late, but I think one of the worst songs ever is one that won a f***ing Grammy this year:

Um-ba-rella
-ella
-ella
-eh!

SERIOUSLY? Record of the year? John Lennon is doing backflips in his grave.
 
I am having a CDP catch-up party all by my lonesome, and I gotta say Emily, Toto's Africa is one of my favorite songs of all time! I must also say that We Built This City is not all bad. Butterfly Kisses is ridiculously bad. But I nominate Sunglasses at Night. Ugh.
 
This blog is great! I recently included "We Built This City" on my own list of worst songs:

http://parkstreetrambler.blogspot.com/2008/04/10-worst-songs-of-all-time.html
 
i agree that "We Built This City" is among the worst but there has never been, nor will there ever be a shortage of crap-- Meanwhile, i think "Centerfield" is a GREAT SONG-- it is intelligent, written w/ a cleverness lacking in most lyrics- subtle touches that only someone w/ awareness of baseball tradition, rock & roll (Fogerty quote verbatim an entire line from Chuck Berry's song "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" ) & knows how to grab listeners using hooks- mind you, i did not run out & buy the record but it is pleasant enough to hear & the construction lyrically & musically is SMART- in the meantime, SMART can also be grotesque - the song the make me vomit is "Bohemian Rhapsody" --why anyone likes this piece of flotsam has always escaped me- there has never been a bigger waste of talent, resources & my time in my opinion ( hearing it played 30 years after the fact, it still sucks) What the hell is the song about? Is it a parody? If nothing really matters, then the stupid song doesn't either so spare me!! (of course there is "Ebony & Ivory" -- that's dreadful as well) It's important to remember that once upon a time, "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window" complete w/ barks was #1 --
 

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