Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Moon June Spoon Honeymoon

Are these the worst lyrics of all time? (link to India Uncut, this one goes directly to the Phoenix article.)

While I would not argue with some of the choices ("My Humps" is terrible), some are odd ("Glory Days") while a few are too obvious ("Wannabe")

But what puzzled me most was that the list contains only ONE hair-rock song ("Cherry Pie" - hardly the worst, I assure you.) Don't you think the genre deserves a fairer representation?

Like W.A.S.P's "I Wanna Be Somebody". This song sounded like pure taradiddle to me even at the age of 16. "I will live in fame and die in flames/I'm never gettin' old"? Just look at Blackie Lawless's life: he is NOT living in fame, he HAS escaped death in flames and he is getting old. Or Bon Jovi's "Wanted (Dead Or Alive)": A "steel horse" I ride? Hanson's "Mmm-Bop" was at least silly but what can you say about Poison's "Unskinny Bop"? "Unskinny bop/nothin' more to say".

Then there are The Scorpions. There are way too many songs in their oeuvre. Notable mentions: "Holiday" (in which the singer offers his services as a travel agent) and "Bad Boys Running Wild" (with its healthcare warning: "Dirty rats are on their way!") And remember "Armageddon it" by Def Leppard (who deserve a list all of their own): "Yeah, but are you gettin' it? - Armageddon it!"

Judas Priest went synth for one brief, lustreless moment in their career. The result was "Turbo Lover": "Wrapped in horsepower, driving into fury/ Changing gear I pull you tighter to me". Staggeringly awful. Now read a semi-scholarly analysis of Turbo Lover here.

Why no mention of Ronnie James Dio, who's baffled us long with lyrics like "Ride the tiger/You can see his stripes but you know he's clean" ("Holy Diver")? Of course, Dio is utterly convincing and entertaining even when singing pure tripe like "Man On The Silver Mountain". Which brings us to this universal rule - any band that sings of faeries, goblins, witches and wizards deserves at least two spots each on this list.

Since every rock list must start and end with the Beatles, I say this list's #1 choice should have been Paul's "My love don't give me presents/I know that she's no peasant".

BTW, what's the worst lyric Dylan has ever written? My vote's on "My love she speaks like silence/without ideals or violence" (it's also a song I love dearly)


Falstaff said...

Come on - Love Minus Zero isn't that bad. My picks:

1) "Can you cook and sew, make flowers grow,
Do you understand my pain?"

2) "Sara, oh Sara / Scorpio Sphinx in a calico dress"

(both songs I'm kind of fond of actually, but still)

km said...

Love Minus Zero is a great song. It's just that those 2 lines have always made me cringe. "Scorpio Sphinx in a calico dress" sounds like a Dylan wannabe trying to write like Dylan.

Tabula Rasa said...

you don't like those two lines? i personally would always get hung up on love *minus* zero. it should be *divided by*. sheesh.

dylan's pooped a few out in his latter days. my upbringing won't let me cast an eye on anything pre-desire.

km said...

LOL, nothing "pre-Desire", eh, TR? Does one need to be reminded of some of the rhymes he wrote on BoB, BIABH etc? ("smoked my eyelids and punched my cigarette" is one of them - it's bad and memorable.)

And while the song's title appears to have the wrong arithmetic operator, don't forget, division is subtraction.

Tabula Rasa said...

come on, you know what i meant!

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

WTF. Do I listen to "Smoke on the water" for the lyrics? Or "One white duck" for the bass line?


km said...

JAP, precisely. Pop is so much more than the components. (In fact, the line "Rolling Truck Stones thing just outside" has been described, aptly, I think, as a "brain-fart" on Gillian's part, by Urban Dictionary)

Salil said...

Eh, rock/metal isn't there for the lyrics (well, most of the time). You've got the odd band here or there with some really great songwriting from time to time (Metallica once, At the Gates), but most of the others are about a lot of other things than the lyrics.

Black Sabbath for instance. At Ozzfest in 2004, there were a *TON* of people who showed up to see them headline (to follow Judas Priest). Not one of us gave a damn as to how cheesy "Iron Man" was, or "Electric Funeral" or such.

(Oh, and on Iron Man - I'm stunned that it's not been mentioned yet in this great 'bad lyric' debate.)

km said...

Yeah, Salil, Iron Man and Paranoid deserve a place on that list.

So you like Sabbath too, I take it? :)

Salil said...

No, *love* Sabbath. And Judas Priest. And Slayer, Metallica, and most of these other heavy metal, 'not for the radio' bands. :)

Was a bit of a Sabbath fan in fact until 2004, when I went to Ozzfest. Slayer and Priest were two of the main stage bands, and they were just incredible. Sabbath closed the night though, and absolutely brought the house (well, park :-) down. After 'War Pigs' and 'NIB' (another great cheesy song), I got hooked.

[Oh, and more hilariously cheesy songwriting. AC/DC - Big Balls. I can never listen to it with a straight face.]

km said...

Salil, AC/DC is forever excused from appearing on any such list (including "She's got the Jack")

Didn't the original lineup of Sabbath play Ozzfest '04? Must have been metal heaven, listening to them play "War Pigs". Slayer's "Reign in Blood" is such an awesome album. Haven't had the courage to play it loud in so many years :)

Salil said...

Yes, they did. It'll remain one of my favourite memories - being there, and seeing them, Judas Priest (original lineup as well, and my god, Rob Halford was AMAZING - particularly during Painkiller), and Slayer.

And yes, Reign in Blood rocks. I'm partial to Seasons in the Abyss though, simply for the album closer. Very few things beat the solos in "Seasons".

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