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Guys don’t remember what chicks wear
April 23, 2014 1:07 AM   Subscribe

"It’s like magnolia paint in rented accommodations. The tune is turgid. It’s like someone going 'la la la la la' in the shower. You don’t feel there’s a strong voice, and when I say voice, I don’t mean Chris De Burgh’s voice. I mean something that’s been lived. It’s like a soup from Walmart." Steve Coogan, on why he hates 'Lady in Red'.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED (148 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
You don’t feel there’s a strong voice, and when I say voice, I don’t mean Chris De Burgh’s voice.

Although that too.
posted by Segundus at 1:18 AM on April 23


The monobrowed purveyor of ultimate filth?
posted by pseudocode at 1:33 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]


One of two things I'd like to see someday happen with this feature:

1) The AV Club guy to go, "No actually, this song is excellent and you sound like an idiot" rather than just patting the subject on the back for his banal observations

or

2) Someone to actually take a risk and pick some overrated sacred cow like "Smells Like Teen Spirit," rather than teeing off Patton Oswalt-style on the safest imaginable piece of low-hanging fruit that's usually just a fine, down-the-middle pop song.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:33 AM on April 23 [49 favorites]


Reading that, I again thank my lucky stars that I live in a country where there is no dancing at weddings. So many songs I never have to hear, let alone dance to.
posted by Bugbread at 1:47 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


and pick some overrated sacred cow like "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Good strategy if you're trying to get published in Slate.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:48 AM on April 23 [20 favorites]


drjimmy: I would pick the entire OK COMPUTER album from Radiohead. Does that count?
posted by Justinian at 1:52 AM on April 23 [7 favorites]


Guys don’t remember what chicks wear

Laaady iiin... uh... that jacket? I think you were wearing that jacket? You know, the one with the pattern. Black and white. Yeah. You don't have it any more. And. Hmm. And a dress? I don't remember what colour. I know I was wearing that jumper, because you always tease me about it, but fuck you that jumper is awesome.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:56 AM on April 23 [16 favorites]


He's doing this in character, right? Because otherwise...Christ what an asshole.
posted by Optamystic at 2:01 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]


Much as i hate it too, FPP needs Warning: Earworm tag. I now have several hours of deliberate Mozart listening to head-off a 48-hour De Burgh earworm.
posted by evil_esto at 2:10 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]


He's doing this in character, right? Because otherwise...Christ what an asshole.

The Trip is gradually looking more and more like a biopic.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:12 AM on April 23 [6 favorites]


Having just heard the song for the first time via the video on that page, I'm baffled that anybody could form enough of an impression of it to hate it. It's the very epitome of bland, generic easy listening music. There's no there there. It's no more hateable than those crackers you eat between wines at a tasting to cleanse the palate.

Which I guess is its own kind of hateable, in that "be something at all or fuck off and die" sort of way, but the idea of having the slightest emotion about something like that is weird.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:15 AM on April 23


Pope Guilty: "Having just heard the song for the first time"

I think that's a big part of it. It's the opposite of a song that grows on you with repeated listens.
posted by Bugbread at 2:18 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


He does mention Joy Division and Siouxsie And The Banshees as counterexamples... that should've provided some Earworm protection (or diversion). But then, back in those days I listened to - and enjoyed - both DeBurgh and Siouxsie. Does that make me a freak?

Anyway, don't pay the ferryman.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:19 AM on April 23 [10 favorites]


Finally, "The Lady in Red", was the #21 song on Billboard's Top 100 for 1987 (did Coogan say something about 1979?!?) Now tell me you can't find a song even more hate-able in the Top 20 (like #3, "Shake You Down", sheesh)...
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:30 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


The main problem with the song is that it gives people on the street something to call out if they want the attention of a woman wearing red. Drunk people wanting a date, rude men through car windows, charity collectors, people who think it's funny that you're running for a bus: all of them. I threw out a big red coat once because of this song, because I was sick of being the obvious woman to call out at because there was a pre-formatted phrase to do it with.

I read a theory once, I don't remember where, that Beyonce's "Single Ladies" actually made the world a better place quite apart from its quality as a song: it entered the popular imagination so unbudgeably that terrible DJs can no longer call for single ladies on the dance floor to put their hands up (or at least not without playing Beyonce afterwards). I feel like "Lady in Red" makes the world an experientially worse place in a similar way.
posted by severalbees at 2:33 AM on April 23 [31 favorites]


Someone to actually take a risk and pick some overrated sacred cow like "Smells Like Teen Spirit,"

Dean Reid on Jeff Buckley’s Cover of “Hallelujah
posted by St. Sorryass at 2:46 AM on April 23 [11 favorites]


severalbees: You are thinking of the middle section of this excellent essay about Ke$ha's TiK ToK. That whole blog is great if you are into that sort of thing.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 2:47 AM on April 23 [7 favorites]


oneswellfoop: "Finally, "The Lady in Red", was the #21 song on Billboard's Top 100 for 1987 (did Coogan say something about 1979?!?) Now tell me you can't find a song even more hate-able in the Top 20"

That's the US top 100, not the UK top 100. Dunno what the UK top 100 was, but on the weekly charts, it was number 1 in the UK.
posted by Bugbread at 2:47 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Funny comment on the Straight Dope Message Boards:
When I was in high school, my family's house was broken into. The stereo was gone, and they scooped up all of the CD's as well. No, wait - not ALL of them! The robbers who ransacked our house, even stealing a half a bag of Doritos out of the pantry, had stopped for one last thing.

In the dustless square on the shelf where the stereo had been, they had pulled my mom's Chris deBurgh CD out of the stack and left it behind.
posted by taz at 2:57 AM on April 23 [48 favorites]


The song's thematically banal, though it's historically noteworthy as an example of mid-80s yuppie excess, enabled by the digital synthesizer technology that was (expensively) coming online, manifested in production values (a bit like Berlin's Take My Breath Away); it's almost as if Lord Lloyd-Webber made a chart hit. As such its banality, its almost totalitarian blandness, is part of the noteworthiness. A few years later, and all that would be swept away by the tidal wave of grunge and soon-to-be-mainstreamed "alternative" music.
posted by acb at 3:23 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon: The Trip is gradually looking more and more like a biopic.

Surely you realize that was kind of the the point, yeah? The Trip was wholly a self-indictment.

drjimmy11:One of two things I'd like to see someday happen with this feature:

2) Someone to actually take a risk and pick some overrated sacred cow like "Smells Like Teen Spirit," rather than teeing off Patton Oswalt-style on the safest imaginable piece of low-hanging fruit that's usually just a fine, down-the-middle pop song.


There have been plenty of picks of this nature. Soundgarden's Black Hole Sun, The Flaming Lips' She Don't Use Jelly, even Lorde's Royals, which has been pretty lauded across the board.
posted by JauntyFedora at 3:26 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]


Way, way too much of an easy target, and anyway, check out that mega-80s production!

Have we not got a Fairlight breathy vocal sample (probably the legendary SARRAR) and a fretless bass going widdly and little muted guitar string rifflets in the chorus and a massively gated and echoed snare? Come on people this is the awesome. All that's missing is the 'orchestra hit' sample taken from Stravinsky's Firebird.

His voice is beyond appalling though, that is true.
posted by colie at 3:27 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]


Relevant Freakytrigger discussion on why this song in particular has people seeing, erm, red.

Shorter: horrendously inescapable at the time, beyond sappy, all the worst of eighties production tics, de Burgh's later midlife crisis masquerading as song, blonde hair, blue jeans about him shagging the babysitter while the wife (...in red) is in hospital.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:34 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


I don't think people in Britain hate Lady In Red for what it is - though it is awful, in the blandest, most milquetoast sense possible - but for what it stands for: a very specific idea of a particular slice of British life in the mid 1980s.

Lady In Red, basically, is a regional sales rep for a window blinds company who lives, with his wife and two young-ish kids, in Bedford. He totally bought into the "Tell Sid" campaign and even snagged himself some shares, and he'll be voting Tory for the third time in 1987. He drives a Sierra 1.6 Ghia (company car, natch) and tonight he's stuck in a cheap hotel somewhere just outside Portsmouth because he's got a meeting in a regional department store tomorrow morning. He watches Miami Vice, which he loves, but he's never had the gumption to buy a pastel-shaded jacket and wear it with the sleeves rolled up because secretly he knows that wearing it, he'd look like a dick. Nevertheless, he still thinks he's pretty smooth, as evidenced by his awful, quasi-joking chat-up lines to the waitress in the hotel bar while he's waiting for his chicken kiev (keep the receipt, claim it on exes), during which time the waitress looks at him with the kind of disdain 20-ish students working part time jobs reserve for mostly-harmless but slightly sleazy 40 year olds who treat you as their visual property while trying in vain to hide their wedding ring.

These days, his kids are grown up, families of their own, and they call every now and then, but not as often as he'd like. He's retired, reads the Daily Mail at 8:30 every morning while Magic FM plays in the background (his wife likes it; sometimes they even play Lady in Red), fulminating at the way modern England has gone to the dogs. He hates Cameron, and Clegg, because they're everything that he resented growing up - the smooth, comfortably-confident public school establishment - but as one of Thatcher's army, he also hates David Milliband, who is, as far as he's concerned, liberal Islington personified. He'll probably vote for UKIP during the upcoming European elections, but he also worries that this will make him a swivel-eyed bore in the minds of his own children.
posted by Len at 3:44 AM on April 23 [95 favorites]


You just described Alan Partridge.
posted by colie at 3:52 AM on April 23 [13 favorites]


To be honest, I was more thinking of the kind of people who saw Partridge's forebears on '80s Grandstand and wished they could have an ounce of their cool. Though, yes, it's pretty much an alterna-Partridge.
posted by Len at 3:56 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


A few years ago I happened to hear a live version on the radio that involved de Burgh singing the song accompanied only by the piano. It actually sounded really pretty.
posted by orange swan at 3:59 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


I mean something that’s been lived.

Well, I'll just say this: my ninth grade crush was wearing a red dress at one of the first dances I ever went to, and I danced with her to this song, and she looked never-seen-you-lookin'-so lovely, and I went home high on nothing else but that.

So, yeah, sure felt lived to me at the time.
posted by weston at 4:07 AM on April 23 [14 favorites]


Muskrat Love.

Muskrat Suzie, Muskrat Sam
Do the jitterbug at a Muskrat Land

"This song really is about two muskrats making love. It's not to be taken seriously, and even contains synthesized sound effect to simulate the muskrat copulation. This sound was played at the end of the song and included in the end groove of the 45 single, so when the record ended, it played the muskrats on a loop until the record player was attended."

"This is one of two C&T songs which include the sounds of muskrats, the other is "Tahoe Snow" (from 'the Secret of Chrismas')"

Songfacts.
posted by vapidave at 4:19 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


"This is one of two C&T songs which include the sounds of muskrats, the other is "Tahoe Snow" (from 'the Secret of Chrismas')"

I try to remember that everyone is his or her own inhabited universe, with a rich story and countless perfectly rational decisions that have brought that person to this exact place in time and space for very, very good reasons, and that I have seen no more than a few steps on anyone else's journey. But anyone who feels it necessary to abbreviate Captain & Tennille to "C&T" has clearly taken some very wrong steps and should really re-evaluate what the hell has brought them to that point.
posted by Etrigan at 4:27 AM on April 23 [25 favorites]


I'm enjoying reading these comments in the tommy saxondale voice.
posted by Poldo at 5:02 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


God, I really hate this series. I like the idea of it, because who doesn't have a hate song that they feel way too strongly about? But the implementation is just so off-putting, I think because there's so little insight and nuance. And there's an annoying amount of sexism (Jesus, the Taylor Swift and Katy Perry ones, what the fuck?). Len had more insight in his/her comment above than all of the half-dozen I just (hate)read put together.

That said, does anyone know what magnolia paint is?
posted by lunasol at 5:05 AM on April 23 [8 favorites]


Magnolia in the UK is a colour of paint that is a kind of off-white/beige. We also have 'Fagnolia', which is the same colour but is achieved by decades of cigarette chain-smoking in a room originally painted white.
posted by colie at 5:10 AM on April 23 [11 favorites]


Ah, so kind of like "eggshell white"?
posted by lunasol at 5:16 AM on April 23


Lady In Red was usually a good sign that you should be elsewhere. If any part of your psyche is a curious, lively, looks-askance sort of child, then this is a chloroformed handkerchief placed over its mouth and nose. It is the sound of the lifeblood of thought being drained away on a wet, grey, late autumn afternoon in a provincial city centre on half-day closing. It will not reward attention. It is as synthetic and bathetically dangerous as HFCS. It is as emotionally involving as being wanked off by a bored secretary after closing time in Milton Keynes who hopes she'll get a lift home but would rather walk than invite you in.

It is a horrible, horrible, horrible track.
posted by Devonian at 5:18 AM on April 23 [24 favorites]


When I was growing up, one of the nearby high schools had a jukebox in the cafeteria. It also had an outside patio area where you could also eat lunch. And so, one day, while visiting some friends, I queued up about five bucks worth of the worst song on the jukebox and then went outside to eat some lunch.

That song, as you might have guessed, was 'The Lady in Red.'

So, uh, if you were eating lunch at WHS in the early '90s, I apologize.
posted by box at 5:20 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


"Don't Pay The Ferryman" was better.
posted by jonmc at 5:23 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]


It is a horrible, horrible, horrible track.

Around the time of her death I seem to remember a lot being made of the fact that it was one of Princess Diana's favourite songs. Take that as you will.
posted by jontyjago at 5:36 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


(And not that you asked, but my favorite Hatesong might be P.O.S. on 'Bawitdaba.')
posted by box at 5:41 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


It’s what stupid people dance to at weddings.

One of the things I dislike most about music snobbery is the assumption that people who like mainsream music must be stupid.
posted by Fleebnork at 5:42 AM on April 23 [18 favorites]


Lady In Red was usually a good sign that you should be elsewhere.

That's exactly it. Whenever the song comes on, anywhere, my brain instinctively goes into fight-or-flight mode. I have a micro panic attack and I need to get out of that place immediately.
posted by naju at 5:43 AM on April 23 [6 favorites]


Soundgarden's Black Hole Sun, The Flaming Lips' She Don't Use Jelly

Ugh, ugh, ugh! Two bands with amazing and deep bodies of work, and they're best known for these stinkers. (Black Hole Sun owes the entirety of its popularity to a deeply weird music video. It's essentially Grunge Elevator Music, and people only like listening to it because it reminds them of the video. You can get much the same effect by substituting it with the "Jaws" theme in your playlist.)

Smells Like Teen Spirit, on the other hand, has only the sin of being massively overplayed back when people listened to the radio. If you can manage to find fresh ears for another listen, it's more than tough enough to stand up to whatever scrutiny you want to sling its way. I didn't like Nirvana all that much back inna day - I liked weirder and more dangerous bands like Jane's Addiction and Monster Magnet - but Nirvana grows on me, especially after a critical listening. There's a lot going in musically and lyrically.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:43 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


Huh. Honestly, having lived through the 70s, I find this song..ok. There are far far more mawkish things lurking in the sea of pop music. This one barely registers. As for hateful wedding songs, try listening to the Oedipal train wreck that is "Butterfly Kisses"' which was huge at weddings for a while.
posted by emjaybee at 5:52 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


I have to add that the funniest part of this HateSong to me was him contrasting "Lady In Red" to the work of composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, who I assume most people aren't aware of - truly beautiful, experimental electro-acoustic stuff that's expansive, stretches out in ambient, stunning waves of melancholy and transcendence. If there's a more insane yet apt way to contrast lived, meaningful music with utter dreck, I'm not aware of it.
posted by naju at 5:54 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


emjaybee: There are far far more mawkish things lurking in the sea of pop music

True, it's no Where Do You Go To, My Lovely?
posted by Len at 6:02 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


I think there's a level of fake sincerity in the song that does earn it a special degree of my dislike.

You get the feeling that last night there was a lady in blue and tomorrow there'll be a lady in green. And he'll be laying it on just as thick.

There are lots of shitty songs, though.
posted by Trochanter at 6:03 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Sure it's a horrible song, but if not for its existence, we wouldn't have the version with the special snooker lyrics.
posted by gohabsgo at 6:06 AM on April 23 [5 favorites]


Yes, yes. The song is tiresome. But, holy shit, is this guy ever musically ignorant. His precious assertions are adorable.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:07 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


I believe Coogan was at least at one point a massive fan of Keane. Take from that what you will.
posted by gohabsgo at 6:09 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


No, 'eggshell' in the context of 'Eggshell White' paint refers to the texture of the emulsion, i.e. not so shiny as some like 'vinyl' or 'matt'.

/wall paint knowledge exhausted.
posted by colie at 6:10 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


He's doing this in character, right? Because otherwise ... Christ what an asshole.

My thought exactly. Because otherwise he sounds like every 10th grade boy on my school bus. Except that he didn't call it "faggy."

Apropos the song in question, I'd have sworn that "Lady in red is driving me wild" or some such was a line in the song, but apparently not. So, so much for my joke that Lady In Red was driving Coogan wild.

Anyway, if the AV Club was going to set Coogan up to be an idiot, they should've set him up with the other Lady In Red. ("Huh, huh," I can hear him already, "I see boobies.") Sorrs. Couldn't find "Rabbit in red" from Windblown Hare.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:30 AM on April 23


Someone to actually take a risk and pick some overrated sacred cow like "Smells Like Teen Spirit,"

I have long held that Kurt Cobain and his legions of flannel-wearing mope-rockers were the culture tax that we had to pay as a society in order to receive access to Dave Grohl.

I have absolutely no problem with people who want to hate on a particular band. It can sometimes be interesting and entertaining. Where I think the author goes wrong is drawing conclusions about the people who like the music (e.g. "stupid people at weddings"). I'm not a fan of "Lady in Red", but I'm not prepared to draw conclusions about someone who DOES like it.

That's the difference between a useful music critic and a snob.

Dude probably hates on Comic Sans, too.
posted by DWRoelands at 6:31 AM on April 23 [9 favorites]


I loved loved loved Lady in Red growing up. I had this great idea that I'd have that song and Red Red Wine at my wedding and it'd be so amazing. And I'd be wearing a red dress. Thanks to this article I remember that but too late for my wedding.

I would have done it too. All you snobs looking down on music, I'd put together a set including The Macarena, The Chicken Dance, the Electric Slide, the Dougie, and then bring it around to me circa 1990s with Lady in Red, I'm Too Sexy, Everything I Do, Gonna Make You Sweat. Man, that dance floor would have been jammin'!
posted by hydrobatidae at 6:37 AM on April 23 [13 favorites]


Someone to actually take a risk and pick some overrated sacred cow like "Smells Like Teen Spirit," rather than teeing off Patton Oswalt-style on the safest imaginable piece of low-hanging fruit that's usually just a fine, down-the-middle pop song.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:33 AM on April 23 [12 favorites +] [!]


Bob Dylan is the most overrated artist in the history of the multiverse. Also, Steve Coogan is rubbish. There. Iconoclastalicious, or what?
posted by Decani at 6:41 AM on April 23


A number of comments and no mention of the V/VM version?
posted by mikeh at 6:57 AM on April 23


Bob Dylan is the most overrated artist in the history of the multiverse.

There is someone who will not speak to me anymore because he said that Bob Dylan was lame and had an ugly voice, and we got into a bit of a fight. And I'm now recalling another guy who would insist constantly that Death Cab for Cutie was the best band ever on Earth, as opposed to the Beatles, who were garbage. Oh, college.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:58 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


When I invented the word spooge in 1977 (before it became a term for something gross) we refered to these songs as "Spooge Music." (Stay with me, I'm being earnest.) These were the corporate tunes, cranked out by the big record companies, and they were all over the airwaves in the late seventies, early eighties. Nothing tunes, dumb lyrics and sung by people you'd never hear from again.

Lady in Red
Angle of the Morning
I'm not Lisa
Cat's in the Cradle
Easy

No matter the genre, these songs came out of the radio and slowly enveloped you in a fog of nothingness. These were songs that made you say, "Hey, turn on the radio so we can hear some music."

Sure, I was listening to K-15, a sunrise to sunset AM radio station in Phoenix, where I first heard Elvis Costello, and was transported. Where they had picked up on Huey and the News, before they sold out and became spooge music. No wonder the stuff on the top 40 stations sounded horrible and pointless, there was real music out there. Most of which I had to buy from the Imports section at Roads to Moscow in Tempe.

So I understand the red-hot passion of someone who HATES Lady in Red. But there is a cure.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:01 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Angle of the Morning

Obtuse.
posted by Trochanter at 7:06 AM on April 23 [9 favorites]


I love that song.
posted by eamondaly at 7:15 AM on April 23


You just described Alan Partridge.

Or maybe Gareth Cheeseman ?
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 7:18 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


I'll nominate Bullet with Butterfly Wings. Inescapable bummer epitome of what was wrong with Smashing Pumpkins in particular and its era of alt radio in general. Stoned teen pretense.
posted by wotsac at 7:22 AM on April 23 [5 favorites]


Nothing tunes, dumb lyrics and sung by people you'd never hear from again.

...
...
...
Cat's in the Cradle
...


You want to know how I know you have a little black lump of coal where the soul is supposed to go?
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:25 AM on April 23 [17 favorites]


Guys don’t remember what chicks wear

Laaady iiin... uh... that jacket? I think you were wearing that jacket? You know, the one with the pattern.


Some guys remember exactly what jacket a girl was wearing.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:27 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


One of my best friends in high school circa 1997 had incomprehensibly strong feelings about finding the perfect red prom dress, so she could wear that dress, and dance with her date to that song. Whenever she went on about it in the lead-up to prom, her date got sort of a terrified wild-eyed expression and reminded me of a horse that has been spooked.

I hope that wherever she is, she has delightful memories of dancing to her dream song at her prom in her dream dress. But I'm pretty sure everyone else who shared that limo will never hear the song or think about her without remembering that time she went totally off her rocker and made the rest of us feel like we were living in a sitcom episode of some sort.
posted by Stacey at 7:30 AM on April 23 [8 favorites]


Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa was crap. We turned it off thirty or forty minutes in.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:32 AM on April 23


drjimmy11: "Someone to actually take a risk and pick some overrated sacred cow"

That's the thing, though - it's supposed to be the personal hatesong. If, for example, I were famous enough to be called up and interviewed I'd have to say either "What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes or "What if God Was One of Us"* by Joan Osborne. Neither of those songs are sacred cows beloved by millions (or so I hope) but I didn't choose to hate them. They're just songs that really really really rub me the wrong way. That's the whole point of the hatesong series - to name your least favorite song and talk about it, regardless of whether or not it's famous or important.

[* if God were one of us he would surely use the subjunctive, Joan. That's where I'd start.]
posted by komara at 7:38 AM on April 23 [24 favorites]


As far as sheer annoyace cake, Lady in Red direct hold a candle to Bind Melon's "Rain". I saw the video of that and said "Now there's a guy who's going to die of a drug OD. And then I started a betting pool for when.

But really, even that's not as bad as your favorite song. I mean come ON! You seriously listen to that crap? You- no, just stop already. You're embarrassing us.
posted by happyroach at 7:41 AM on April 23


>> Someone to actually take a risk and pick some overrated sacred cow like "Smells Like Teen Spirit,"

> Dean Reid on Jeff Buckley’s Cover of “Hallelujah”



That is a sacred cow? Yikes. Pretty much every performance of that song not given by Leonard Cohen is unadulterated crap.
posted by slkinsey at 7:44 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]


I understand that this song is a terrible song, but I love it. I was just young enough when it was inescapable to have no taste in music, and I thought it was achingly romantic. It makes me think of being very young and summer evenings and watching my mother get all dressed up in some insane of-the-time dress, because in 1989 my parents still loved one another and did things together and I was 7 and had no taste but was already sort of a romantic, and this was a very grown up, loving-to-my-ears song and I can't shake that warm, happy feeling. Even if it is a totally shitty song.
posted by kalimac at 7:48 AM on April 23 [11 favorites]


That's the whole point of the hatesong series - to name your least favorite song and talk about it, regardless of whether or not it's famous or important.

But part of hating a song (I'd say a huge part) is its popularity. There are thousands of songs out there that are just shitty but filled Side 2 of an album, but no one cares about those enough to hate them, because they were never singles, much less huge singles that sold millions of copies and get played all the goddamn time by radio stations that go by dude's names and that you hear in a mall.

"What's Up" may not be a sacred cow beloved by millions, but people have heard of it. No one bothers hating "Dear Mr. President" or "Spaceman" (the two 4 Non Blondes songs that came out before and after "What's Up"), much less "Old Mr. Heffer" or "Calling All the People" (two other songs from 4 Non Blondes' only album that were never singles), and even if you do hate them, you never hear them, so they never ruin your day. But if you merely dislike "What's Up," that's going to come up more often (i.e., ever) and ruin your day.
posted by Etrigan at 7:49 AM on April 23


I just feel like that’s three minutes of my life I’m never going to get back again.

No fair criticizing this song for being banal and then using the absolute most tired of cliches to describe the experience of listening to it.
posted by The Gooch at 7:49 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


To me, this type of snarky, offhanded, elephant-stomping-on-a-mouse critique (Coogan's) has the unintended effect of making the horrible, godawful song that is "The Lady in Red" seem like it needs a pity party. Oh, you poor thing -- pouting in the corner over there with "Caribbean Queen" and "I Just Called to Say I Love You" -- let me pat your head gently and give you a cookie!
posted by blucevalo at 7:54 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


I like when people besmirch 'mainstream/corporate' rock by citing the 'underground' music they liked instead, and then reference a band like Siouxie and the Banshees. Awww, did you like 'underground' movies like 'Star Wars' too? You little rebelTM you.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:58 AM on April 23 [5 favorites]


Eye color either.
posted by IndigoJones at 8:05 AM on April 23


Do you guys remember that song that was on the radio constantly after 9/11- Little Did She Know She'd Kissed a Hero? Now THAT made my skin crawl.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:11 AM on April 23


Going with the interpretation that a HateSong needs to be a sacred cow classic that drives you absolutely crazy, I probably would go with AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long."
posted by naju at 8:23 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Thanks, MartinWisse, Tom Ewing's FreakyTrigger piece on LiR from a few years back is pretty great:

'In a market economy, value is not intrinsic – it’s determined by the extent to which other people desire a thing you possess. “The Lady In Red” captures this at the romantic level – Chris De Burgh’s realisation of the value of a woman occurs only when he sees higher than expected demand for her in the marketplace of a dance. A “dah-nce” no less. De Burgh lengthens and stresses the vowel, breaking its rhyme with “romance” – this is not some high street discotheque he’s in, we are given to understand: it’s a place where his lady can be properly appreciated. After all, high ticket items realise part of their value through their status as display objects and the true audience for “The Lady In Red” is that crowd of suitors, not the lady herself. The song lets De Burgh proclaim his monopoly position in this market to them: “the Lady In Red is dancing WITH ME”, and they simply vanish from the lyric. De Burgh sways across the floor victorious, an unlikely alpha male – there are many things I dislike about his performance on this soporific record, but his mock-spontaneous interjections of “’swhere I wanna be” carry off the crown for their grasping smugness.

'After the song became successful, a number of women claimed – or apparently claimed – to be its inspiration, and De Burgh’s own story changed over time. Was it his wife, or a woman he had fleetingly seen, or perhaps Princess Diana, who the singer suggested had once confronted him in the knowledge that only she could be the Lady, that modern day Mona Lisa, muse of the synthpad and the fretless bass! We may never know for sure. Besides, the actual identity of the Lady In Red is quite irrelevant: what matters is her value, not her self.'
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 8:25 AM on April 23 [16 favorites]


Going with the interpretation that a HateSong needs to be a sacred cow classic that drives you absolutely crazy

"Stairway to Heaven" with a bullet. Just about anything by Eric Clapton. And everything off The Wall or Dark Side Of The Moon.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:38 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


One of the things I dislike most about music snobbery is the assumption that people who like mainsream music must be stupid.
Isn't that the central conceit of all snobbery? A snob is just a person with particular, specific tastes, who is uncomfortably loud in voicing his opinions. A taste-jerk, if you will. "My tastes are great, and if you don't share them, you are a stupid person." I think everyone with taste thinks this, but only snobs voice it.
posted by deathpanels at 8:39 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


Tho, actually, I've hated "Stairway to Heaven" for so long, I've almost come back around to loving it again because I hate it so much.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:40 AM on April 23


These were the corporate tunes, cranked out by the big record companies, and they were all over the airwaves in the late seventies, early eighties. Nothing tunes, dumb lyrics and sung by people you'd never hear from again.

"[Angel] of the Morning"--I think many of us have a soft spot for Juice Newton, who had what, three hits, but had a good voice. "Queen of Hearts" is a decent song, surely. "Angel of the Morning" is firmly in the late 70s-early 80s country/adultery/longing genre, but it is fun to try to hold that last note on "Dar-ar-liiiiiiiiiiiiin" when singing it in the car.

"I'm not Lisa"--Also of that genre; notable for its over-the-top ridiculousness, which keeps it from being totally bland in my opinion. The more you think about it, the more fucked-up that relationship is.

"Cats in the Cradle"--a truly odd song, would indeed be forgettable except that, like the movie Brian's Song, it became that rare beast, a "male weepie" apparently tapping into an entire generation's father issues.

"Easy"--I agree with you that it was bland, but I don't think Lionel Richie can be considered someone you'd "never hear from again." He's probably still touring and had a ton of hits.
posted by emjaybee at 8:45 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


Lady in Red does contain at least one killer chord change that 'makes' the whole song as well (unlike many of the other tracks getting hated on here).

I would say the dominant 7th chord on III (D major) is pretty sublime in how it's plonked there for dramatic effect. It's the chord that comes a few beats after 'but I hardly know...' as the chorus begins to warm up.

The tension does begin to rise in the song very well at this point, but he squanders it rather than chasing it all the way down like Elton John would have done. Vocally the whole thing is a failed attempt at an Elton John song.
posted by colie at 8:53 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Now I'm trying to decide if, because I love "Stairway to Heaven" just a little because I hate it so much, I don't actually hate "Ramble On" even more because I don't love it a little for hating it so.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:54 AM on April 23


Angel Of The Morning can become a great song if you arrange and sing it as someone singing to the person they have bound and gagged to a bed frame in an isolated cabin.
posted by The Whelk at 8:58 AM on April 23 [8 favorites]


Yeah, but every song can become a great song if you do that.
posted by Etrigan at 9:01 AM on April 23 [9 favorites]


How the hell did this thread get so long without Bill Bailey's Chris De Burgh song?
posted by crashlanding at 9:13 AM on April 23 [5 favorites]


No hate for Christopher Cross ?

One of the only artists that make me wish Pandora had a "downvote and delete all recordings by this person from your database" thumb.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:16 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Pogo, Robyn Hitchcock has your back.
posted by crashlanding at 9:19 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Pogo, I can't even hate-listen to him, my brain just says MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP.
posted by emjaybee at 9:19 AM on April 23


So basically it's about exchange value over use value?
posted by acb at 9:22 AM on April 23



Pogo, Robyn Hitchcock has your back.

I see. But he brought up "We built this city" and now my ears are bleeding.

Also Jane, Jane, Jane. And "Nothings gonna stop us now".

Goddamned, I hate (jefferson) Starship.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:27 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


You know, I don't *love* "What's Up?" but it conjures up a very specific moment in my life. And I don't have very many Proustian tokens in my life, so I'm kind of pleased when I hear it.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:32 AM on April 23


No hate for Christopher Cross?

The guy best known for a song it took the combined musical genius of himself, Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, and Peter Allen to write? (I mean, Peter Allen, dude—"Bi-Coastal.") None at all. I tremble before such talent. And besides, if he had done nothing else, he wrote "Minstrel Gigolo."
posted by octobersurprise at 9:43 AM on April 23


> In the dustless square on the shelf where the stereo had been, they had pulled my mom's Chris deBurgh CD out of the stack and left it behind.

Heh. Some kids at a party my brother threw in high school did the same thing with my CD collection; they took everything except the Rolling Stones albums (of which there were like 20). It would have been a lot easier to just carry out the wooden crate they were all resting in, and it's not like the majority of the rest of my collection wasn't also classic rock.

If I were asked to contribute to this series, my choice would be "If I Had A Million Dollars" by Barenaked Ladies, and all I'd do during the course of the interview is projectile vomit.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:50 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


This song was popular enough in Canada that I knew it well at an age when I was much more interested in the Little Mermaid soundtrack.

And I loved it. This and "Careless Whisper" and Richard Marx's "Right here waiting for you" are clearly the MOST ROMANTIC songs ever written and if you don't agree then pre-teen jb will come to your house and put them on a loop until the end of time.

"Kissed by a Rose" is just silly, but it holds a soft spot in my heart because my good friend and I once won a sexy dancing contest to that song with our tango-inspired over-the-top performance.
posted by jb at 9:51 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: "No hate for Christopher Cross?"

I saw Christopher Cross in a bit on I Love the 80s or some such. "You know, I had a massive hit album. Then videos came out. And no one actually wants to *see* me. So that was that."

So I give him points for being self-deprecating.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:55 AM on April 23 [5 favorites]


Does anyone else of a certain age remember that Lady in Red was featured in Days of Our Lives? (I think it was played over a scene of Roman and Marlene dancing and OH HOLY HELL why do I remember those names?)

In any case, it's not like I ever put any thought into this right now, but I would have thought that the song became popular on the radio only after being featured in the soap.

Anyone?
posted by mudpuppie at 10:05 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


He wouldn't be hatin' on Lady in Red if he'd ever seen Linnzi Zaorski sing it in the upstairs of Mimi's in the Marigny. She fuckin' rocks that song.
posted by Scientist at 10:16 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Whatever the merits of the original song, "Lady In Red" is responsible for a sublime little YT vid from Oneohtrix Point Never (prev on MeFi): nobody here
posted by en forme de poire at 10:29 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


If we're doing the songs we hate, then I have to mention 'Groove is in the Heart'.
posted by colie at 10:33 AM on April 23


You know what, musical snobbery be damned, I fucking love Arthur's Theme to a degree that transcends normal parameters of good and bad.

As a dorky kid growing up in a stuffy, humdrum suburb, that song could always transport me to this exotic world (New York as seen through the movie the song is based on) that I imagined being so full of life, excitement and endless romantic possibility. When a song is that tied to your emotional core and memory there is no technical explanation of why it is actually, objectively totally awful that can come off as anything other than assholish. (Which I suppose is why this whole series of articles comes off so badly to me, even when I agree with the assessment of the subject song).
posted by The Gooch at 10:45 AM on April 23 [6 favorites]


Does anyone else of a certain age remember that Lady in Red was featured in Days of Our Lives? (I think it was played over a scene of Roman and Marlene dancing and OH HOLY HELL why do I remember those names?)

In any case, it's not like I ever put any thought into this right now, but I would have thought that the song became popular on the radio only after being featured in the soap.

Anyone?


I thought it was Shane and Kimberly's song, but a little research reveals that it was Patch and Kayla. How could we forget?
posted by mefireader at 10:56 AM on April 23


Reading this article and then the thread just sort of underscores how difficult it is to come up with one single song.

I have one that I never really HATED hated before I actually thought about it one day. I actually had to google to even know the song name and band, but it was one of those 90s rock songs that was constantly playing on the radio for what feels like 10 years. "It's Good" by Better than Ezra. Merely bad, boring, and unspectacular, until you think about the process this went through to get to the end product. These guys were jamming on this in some basement somewhere, tweaking it, playing it live for small crowds over a few weeks or months. At some point, the singer yodelled like heeeyeaheeyaheeyeahee-YAH-honh" a whole bunch at the chorus. And they all decided "There it is! That's what was missing! We fuckin NAILED IT guys!"
posted by Hoopo at 11:21 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Which I suppose is why this whole series of articles comes off so badly to me

The problem with the series is that "Which song do you hate?" is a pretty dull premise for a column to start with. Unless you can really make with the rapier wit or can use your hated song to reflect more broadly on the outlines of taste, it's just not that interesting to know that you hate some specific song. It's like narrating your dreams. "The Baker's Dozen" at The Quietus does this sort of thing better by asking about favorites and even when the choices are unsurprising, it's still more interesting (to me, as a reader) to know what performers like than to know what they dislike.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:38 AM on April 23


Does anyone else of a certain age remember that Lady in Red was featured in Days of Our Lives?

Sorry, I was Luke and Laura on GH.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:40 AM on April 23


You mean, "General Hospi-tale"?
posted by octobersurprise at 11:44 AM on April 23


I also loved this song as a kid but can't bear it now. More cynical? Better taste? Who knows.

I do know that Chris DeBurgh was sort of a one-hit wonder in the States - I have never heard of him before or since that song. Kind of like Cliff Richard who I gather is a UK icon but to me is the guy who sang on a track on Xanadu ...
posted by freecellwizard at 12:06 PM on April 23


The Chris De Burgh earworm antidote. Thank me later.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 12:34 PM on April 23 [2 favorites]


If, for example, I were famous enough to be called up and interviewed I'd have to say either "What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes or "What if God Was One of Us"* by Joan Osborne.

Friend! Person of impeccable taste! Comrade!
posted by MartinWisse at 1:24 PM on April 23 [4 favorites]


How the hell did this thread get so long without Bill Bailey's Chris De Burgh song?

Which leads, through the magic of the Youtube sidebar, to Bill Bailey's impression of Billy Bragg, as Bragg looks on.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:29 PM on April 23 [3 favorites]


There are a ton of essentially harmless songs that get hated on disproportionately simply because they're played to death; "What's Up", for example, which even though it's badly done in the original by Linda Perry, is also responsible for this, so it can't be all bad, right? But you probably had that one roommate in college who wouldn't stop playing the fucking thing, and would even insist on playing it and singing along when they came home at 2 AM drunk.

That having been said: "Freebird."
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:38 PM on April 23


Someone once told me they used to mishear the title as "Canadian Bread." This makes the song a little bit better.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:11 PM on April 23 [4 favorites]


To each his or her own. My wife loved this song, and the CD with a red negligee was the most appreciated Valentine's gift I have ever given her. I think it disingenuous to go to this length to diss any song. Some people like it, others don't. Obviously any song in any top 100 has been liked or loved by a lot of people. Saying everyone but you are wrong isn't actually very sane.
posted by ScotchLynx at 2:26 PM on April 23


Can I just point that weddings themselves are much worse, more boring, mind and soul sucking events than any music that is played at them?
posted by signal at 2:27 PM on April 23


I saw Christopher Cross in a bit on I Love the 80s or some such. "You know, I had a massive hit album. Then videos came out. And no one actually wants to *see* me. So that was that."

So I give him points for being self-deprecating.


I saw that too! Though I remember him being a bit whinier about it, and I remember thinking "yeah, so you're not a Hot Guy. Why not do something INTERESTING instead for your video. DEVO's a bunch of goofy lookin' motherfuckers, but they rode the Music Video Wave somethin' fierce by, y'know, doing videos that instantly lodge themselves into your brain."

Also, as for my HateSong, pick anything by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The most frustrating thing about them is that without Anthony Kiedis' fucking idiotic lyrics, they'd actually be a decent band. They've done some decent grooves and such, it's just that the lyrics are so bad, you can't just ignore them. They come and shit all over anything even remotely compelling going on.

Seriously, it's not like Kiedis has a phenomenally great voice or anything. GET SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT THE HELL THEY'RE DOING.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 2:42 PM on April 23


The song choices seem to be all the favorites on my mental Top 50 Most Insipid Songs list.

Late Weezer - Check
90's Aerosmith - Check
Spin Doctors - Check

Disappointed someone hasn't gotten around to picking Extreme's More Than Words. Also someone tell David Lynch the Its a Small World ride is a lot more tolerable if you sneak in 3 baseballs.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 3:55 PM on April 23 [3 favorites]


“I’m forever near a stereo saying, ‘What the fuck is this garbage?’ And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers.” -Nick Cave
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:55 PM on April 23 [5 favorites]


Is this where we list our our personal unfavorites?

Because mine is Sublime's Wrong Way

kill it with fire
posted by stagewhisper at 4:11 PM on April 23 [4 favorites]


Because mine is Sublime's Wrong Way

Out of the huge dog shit pile that is Sublime's catalog how does one go about picking their least favorite kernel?

Does it remind you of trashy person you dated for a lost summer?
Was it the sound track of that embarrassing skate video you edited with Movie Maker on Win98?
Does your mom like it?
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:19 PM on April 23 [3 favorites]


The worst song in the world is the one about those fucking Christmas shoes. OH MY GOD that song makes me angry. I am having palpitations right now, I hate it so much.
posted by emeiji at 4:28 PM on April 23 [5 favorites]


Oh my god, "Wrong Way" is absolutely a contender for worst song ever. I'm angry now for being reminded of it.
posted by naju at 4:33 PM on April 23


Wow, this thread is making me feel grateful a second time, because I'm realizing that I haven't actually hated a song in, I dunno, a decade or more. I remember there being songs I actively hated when I was in high school and university, but now there's "music I love", "music I like", and "music I don't care about".
posted by Bugbread at 4:36 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


My personal unfavorite is that Colbie Caillait song where she describes a vaginal orgasm as getting "the tingles in a silly place". This is way more information than I needed about you, lady.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:37 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


As I sit here, listening to the 70s channel on Music Choice (my favorite channel), what comes on?

"Copacabana".

This may be irrelevant, but whenever I hear "Lady In Red", I think of Gene Wilder. And that makes me feel better.
posted by sundrop at 5:51 PM on April 23


That frikkin' Piña Colada song makes my bilge rise.
posted by Trochanter at 6:09 PM on April 23


Rev. Syung Myung Me: " The most frustrating thing about them is that without Anthony Kiedis' fucking idiotic lyrics, they'd actually be a decent band."

On this day, in 2003, Anthony Kiedis wrote a song that wasn't about California.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:13 PM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Someone to actually take a risk and pick some overrated sacred cow like "Smells Like Teen Spirit," rather than teeing off Patton Oswalt-style on the safest imaginable piece of low-hanging fruit that's usually just a fine, down-the-middle pop song.

You gotta be really careful with this one though, or you come off like a whiny hipster douche.

"That one song everybody likes actually sucks" can also be a really lazy, contrarian for its own sake sort of thing to do. And other commenting that it would scream clickbait are also pretty on point.

If you wanted to do that, you'd have to approach it without any of the subtext of "And you're all stupid for liking this" that kind of thing usually carries with it.

It's one thing to trash a song nobody really cares about, but if you're going to trash one a lot of people like you're going to have to make some extra effort to not sound like a knob.
posted by emptythought at 6:24 PM on April 23


Disappointed someone hasn't gotten around to picking Extreme's More Than Words

And I have frequently challenged people to sing more than the title part and no one can ever do it. How could a song be such a hit with such a vague, seemingly random, meandering melody?
posted by bongo_x at 11:23 PM on April 23


I remember most of the words to More Than Words (but the order is all scrambled up), but that's mainly from my friends and I in high school marveling that a song whose main message is "If you loved me you'd put out" was seen as being the pinnacle of romance.
posted by Bugbread at 11:33 PM on April 23 [3 favorites]


Clapton's "Wonderful tonight." So fucking hideous.
posted by maxwelton at 12:26 AM on April 24 [3 favorites]


My personal unfavorite is that Colbie Caillait song where she describes a vaginal orgasm as getting "the tingles in a silly place"

Probably because her inner goddess ate something dodgy.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:45 AM on April 24 [1 favorite]


I loved Chris deBurgh when I was 12 or so. Recently, out of some weird curiosity / nostalgia, I tried listening to his greatest hits for the first time in decdes. It's a little disturbing how many I can still sing along with, and even enjoy belting out. I hear my country call me but I want to be with yoouuuu....

I always hated "Lady in Red," though.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:26 AM on April 24


> this excellent essay about Ke$ha's TiK ToK.

That essay actually made me like (or at least respect) Tik Tok more.

Of course if they picked me for this column I'd have to talk about how much Wonderwall annoys the shit out of me (and it probably wouldn't be any more insightful than any of these I've read have been). All showing it's probably for the best that I just don't get involved in music criticism at all.
posted by mstokes650 at 10:02 AM on April 24


How could a song be such a hit with such a vague, seemingly random, meandering melody?

I think the unusual meandering is the only thing that saves 'More Than Words', personally. It's a bit like Lennon's failed experiment, 'Across the Universe'.

The real crime here is the lyrics:

"Saying I love you/Is not the words I want to hear from you
It's not that I want you/Not to say, but if you only knew
How easy it would be to show me how you feel."

wat
posted by colie at 10:25 AM on April 24 [4 favorites]


Clapton's "Wonderful tonight." So fucking hideous.

We used to do that at band practice as "Dial 911 Tonight", with verses detailing Clapton's drug and Johnny Walker Blue, or whatever intake, "We go to a party/Everyone's giving me Percodans...."
posted by thelonius at 10:59 AM on April 24 [2 favorites]


I've always thought EC was rocking so hard in those days that in fact 'We go to a party...' would actually have been the end point of his evening's recollections rather than the start.
posted by colie at 11:27 AM on April 24


Cheap Trick's "I Want You To Want Me" is probably up there in terms of songs that chap my hide, but knowing it was written as a self-consciously pandering pop song does make me at least respect it a little bit (assuming Wikipedia isn't lying to me, always a safe assumption).
posted by en forme de poire at 12:21 PM on April 24


In terms of modern "songs," though, nothing can top "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black-Eyed Peas. The weakest, most vicariously embarrassing lyrics I've ever heard in a charting song, sung and rapped terribly, and then paired with the most flaccid, cliched, and obvious production/arrangement possible.

I would rather listen to "Friday" five times in a row. I mean they both list the days of the week at some point, but at least "Friday" is awkwardly endearing and has an actual narrative arc to redeem it. "I Gotta Feeling" has nothing. It's a delusional vacuum.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:32 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


"Saying I love you/Is not the words I want to hear from you
It's not that I want you/Not to say, but if you only knew
How easy it would be to show me how you feel."

wat


Seriously. It's like he got caught saying something incredibly douchey to his bros and he's just endlessly backpedaling and trying to turn it into something he can pass off as romantic or sexy or something - anything, just please don't leave because you drove and none of my buddies will actually give me a ride home because I'm half an hour in the other direction. Baby, I'm just saying that if you, like, have it in your mouth you can't talk but I know you...no come on, baby, I didn't mean it like that.

God I hate that song so much I have actually built out an entire backstory for it.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:46 PM on April 24 [2 favorites]


I've always thought that "More than Words" was pretty transparently a soft-sold "If you loved me you would."
posted by weston at 2:27 PM on April 24 [2 favorites]


Today I have learned that people have actually listened to the lyrics to "More Than Words".
There has never been a song that sounded more like someone just making it up as they went along and recording it.
posted by bongo_x at 2:36 PM on April 24


"The Baker's Dozen" at The Quietus does this sort of thing better

Yeah well it's pretty easy when you got Billy Childish answering your questions.
posted by Hoopo at 2:55 PM on April 24


Bill Bailey puts Chris de Burgh (and Lady in Red) into Room 101.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 7:23 AM on April 25


I was just forcibly reminded that the worst song ever is Kokomo.

It's like being in a slowly sinking carnival cruise ship.
posted by The Whelk at 2:58 PM on April 25 [4 favorites]


Oh come on, surely you’ve heard "Send in the Clowns"?
posted by bongo_x at 3:23 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


All I can hear is Krusty singing it.
posted by The Whelk at 3:25 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


I love Cheap Trick unironically. But they had that huge album with the ballad single, whatever that was called, and that got old fast. They weren't deep or all that interesting musically, but they were great at what they did. Very much of its time though. Power pop on overdrive. I can see why people might hate them. Still kinda feels like 8th grade to me.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:30 AM on April 26


Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let’s not start on Cheap Trick. I know someone said they didn’t like "I want you to want me" but I just took that as delusional ranting.
posted by bongo_x at 10:19 AM on April 26


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