Ooh girl, you rock my worl(d).
October 9, 2007 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Blender Magazine presents The 40 Worst Lyricists in Rock.
posted by Afroblanco (68 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: poster's request -- cortex



 
Where's Sammy Hagar? Starship? America (Horse with no name)?

Worthless list, as usual.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:37 AM on October 9, 2007


This is pretty lame - "let's try to make ourselves look cool by putting down some other folks." This list makes it to the top of the list of worst lists ever.
posted by caddis at 11:41 AM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


But but but they've taught Neil Peart's lyrics in college courses!
posted by Prospero at 11:43 AM on October 9, 2007


This was funny:

Common - Worst lyric: “I’m your worst nightmare squared/That’s double for niggas who ain’t mathematically aware”
posted by billysumday at 11:43 AM on October 9, 2007


They picked a particularly big barrell to go shooting fish in.
posted by yhbc at 11:44 AM on October 9, 2007


What a moron. Neil Peart? C'mon, especially after their most recent album.

Utter and complete shit.

This is the worst list ever. #1 No doubt.
posted by JKevinKing at 11:46 AM on October 9, 2007


Your favorite band lyricist sucks.

But I do have to say regarding the Common line: 2 is a fucking scary number. It's even AND a prime. That's some frightening shit right there.
posted by eisbaer at 11:46 AM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


What caddis said.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:49 AM on October 9, 2007


I wonder if they know that Paul McCartney was a member of the Beatles?
posted by ORthey at 11:50 AM on October 9, 2007


Wow. Lotta angry Sting fans in this thread.
posted by interrobang at 11:51 AM on October 9, 2007


God, this is SO BAD. This is the definition of "cherry-picking."

Sting? Robert Plant? WTF?

Also, why is rhyming 'girl' with 'world' bad?
posted by ORthey at 11:52 AM on October 9, 2007


I stopped at the first entry, because I like this lyric:
“Intercourse with a porpoise/Is a dream for me/Hell-bent on inventing/A new species/Bust my britches/Bless my soul/I’m a freak of nature/Walking totem pole” (“Nobody Weird Like Me”)

I mean, for what it is. I don't want it on my gravestone or nothing.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:54 AM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Starship is sort of on there.
posted by drezdn at 11:55 AM on October 9, 2007


This list is stupid. How'd they miss Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:55 AM on October 9, 2007


GodDAMN this list is a piece of shit.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:55 AM on October 9, 2007


What's ridiculous about this list is that most rock music doesn't make sense. It's about the sound of the words--and how they correspond to the song itself. So for Blender to put down Bernie Taupin for his lyrics to "We Built This City" totally ignores how fun and memorable and catchy that song is. It's not an 80s classic because it offers insight into the vagaries of the music industry; it's an 80s classic because it's fun to sing. And isn't that the point of rock music anyway?
posted by adrober at 11:56 AM on October 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


Also, it's difficult to take any list of bad lyricists seriously that doesn't include Lenny Kravitz:

I wish that I could fly
Into the sky
So very high
Just like a dragonfly

Id fly above the trees
Over the seas in all degrees
To anywhere I please

Oh I want to get away
I want to fly away
Yeah yeah yeah

Lets go and see the stars
The milky way or even mars
Where it could just be ours

Lets fade into the sun
Let your spirit fly
Where we are one
Just for a little fun
Oh oh oh yeah !

etc
posted by ORthey at 11:56 AM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Pretty blatant troll from the looks of it.
They try too hard and wind up looking foolish.
posted by a3matrix at 11:59 AM on October 9, 2007


No Front Line Assembly?
posted by boo_radley at 11:59 AM on October 9, 2007


ORthey, see comment above yours.
posted by NationalKato at 12:00 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


You have to be an adventurous, creative lyricist in order to produce really good songs, which also means lots of duds along the way. A lot of these people are actually really gifted lyricists who just have lots of very memorable flaws.

In fact, I'd say about half the list could wind up on a "Best Lyricists" list just as erroneously, simply by changing which songs you excerpted.
posted by hermitosis at 12:01 PM on October 9, 2007


I like to see Tom Marshall get some deserved recognition as one of the world's worst lyricists. They're wrong about The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday, though-- that was written by Trey Anastasio, so it's much more entertaining than Marshall's nonsense.

A list like this can never make all that much sense; you can cherry-pick and make Bob Dylan look really crappy if you want to. But whatever, it's kinda fun.
posted by ibmcginty at 12:01 PM on October 9, 2007


2112 is supposed to be whacked out and flaky, that's why it's one of the greatest songs ever.
There are indeed plenty of bad lyrics in the Rush canon - the song right afterwards, 'Passage to Bangkok', or 'Roll the Bones' e.g. e.g. - but singling out their masterpiece for rebuke is just lazy.
posted by Flashman at 12:01 PM on October 9, 2007


I'm just glad to see Jethro Tull's Aqualung getting the scorn it richly deserves. Sweet baby jesus in a smoking birchbark canoe, I hate that song. It's like an 8th grade poetry slam mixed with an ocarina played by a rusty steam engine.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:02 PM on October 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Blender Magazine- totally sucking at life.
posted by NotInTheBox at 12:02 PM on October 9, 2007


I don't know, for once I agree with about 95% of what's on this list, except that I would switch out Morrison for #1 with Sting.
And anybody that thinks "We Built This City" is "fun and memorable and catchy" is just sad.
Next you'll be expounding on the virtues of Night ranger.
posted by 2sheets at 12:03 PM on October 9, 2007


"I'm just glad to see Jethro Tull's Aqualung getting the scorn it richly deserves. Sweet baby jesus in a smoking birchbark canoe, I hate that song. It's like an 8th grade poetry slam mixed with an ocarina played by a rusty steam engine."

Just peed a little.
posted by NotInTheBox at 12:04 PM on October 9, 2007


To: Blender Magazine
Re: You calling Paul McCartney one of the worst lyricists of all time

You are Blender Magazine. You are criticizing Paul McCartney. He was in the Beatles.

As you can obviously see, you will need to disband your magazine and set your building on fire with most of you inside (those with jobs not related to the content of your publication can't be blamed for this) in order to make up for this ridiculous lapse in anything approaching sense. Please make proper arrangements to provide for your families after you are gone.

Sincerely,

ND¢

P.S. .
posted by ND¢ at 12:07 PM on October 9, 2007


Disappointing. There really are truly bad lyrics, like Lenny Kravitz's, as ORthey pointed out. I love the Beatles, but McCartney does write some pretty dumb stuff. Mostly, this list is generally just cranky opinion about bands the writer doesn't like for personal reasons.
My most hated lyrics: anything by Blink 182. Gah.

All the / small things
true care / truth brings
I'll take / one lift
your ride / best trip
always / I know
you'll be / at my show
watching, waiting, commiserating

Say it ain't so, I will not go
turn the lights off, carry me home
Na, na, na, na....

Late night, come home
work sucks, I know
she left me roses by the stairs
surprises let me know she cares
posted by oneirodynia at 12:07 PM on October 9, 2007


Wait wait wait--rock has lyrics? I've been missing out on half the experience?!

*takes a listen*

No, I haven't.
posted by DU at 12:09 PM on October 9, 2007


I'm sorry, but this list is pure hilarity. Neil Peart, Sting, Robert Plant? Though, truly, we could always use more songs about Vikings. "We come from the land of the ice and snow..." (Plant)
posted by Raoul de Noget at 12:10 PM on October 9, 2007


WTF BLENDER

This list reads like the taunts of everybody's high school jocks.

"Frodo? Dude, that's so GAY. Huhhuh huh."
posted by katillathehun at 12:10 PM on October 9, 2007


2sheets - sucking at life.

We built this city is fun.

This is all an entirely biased and rediculous list. While some of the choices are comical, it is entirely based on the author's perception. It is almost entirely pointless to judge or rate lyrics as they are one individual's view being perceived entirely different by another individual. Who's to say that there is no art in the lyrics that don't make sense, rhyme or sound good together.
posted by NotInTheBox at 12:11 PM on October 9, 2007


There are indeed plenty of bad lyrics in the Rush canon - the song right afterwards, 'Passage to Bangkok', or 'Roll the Bones'

Whenever I'm feeling blue, I put this on and the world doesn't seem so bad anymore.
posted by neustile at 12:11 PM on October 9, 2007


RE: McCartney
The Beatles broke up in 1970.
Do you really want to stand behind McCartney's work beyond the first solo album?
posted by 2sheets at 12:11 PM on October 9, 2007


If otherwise solid tunes ("Ramble On," "Aqualung") get tagged as The Worst Lyrics by The Worst Lyricists, it kind of raises the issue of how important lyrics are to the form. I mean, "she loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah" ???

Personally I'm waiting for the list of Worst Patch Cords. Clapton on Crossroads -- what the hell was he plugged in with, anyway? that thing was Re-DIK-u-lous!!!!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:12 PM on October 9, 2007


What a moron. Neil Peart? C'mon, especially after their most recent album.

It's a far cry from the world we thought we'd inherit
It's a far cry from the way we thought we'd share it
You can almost feel the current flowing
You can almost see the circuits blowing...

I went to see Rush last month (great show BTW) and this shit is still stuck in my head...
posted by MikeMc at 12:12 PM on October 9, 2007


We seriously need a lame post flag.
posted by oddman at 12:13 PM on October 9, 2007


The Neil Peart inclusion is worthy and warranted. Just because he knows a lot of big words and folds in ideas from every Ayn Rand book he's ever read, doesn't make him a good lyricist.

I was the world's biggest Rush fan for the first half of my life, and though he was the greatest lyricist ever, for those very reasons. After growing up a little, reading lots of other books, and listening to TONS of other music and lyricists, Peart's wordsmithing seemed incredibly contrived, trite and cliched.

You won't find much difference between Neil Peart's lyrics, post-Grace Under Pressure era Rush, and the lyrics on David Lee Roth's Skyscraper. Full of cliched, turn-of-a-phrase dreck.
posted by melorama at 12:14 PM on October 9, 2007


RE: McCartney
The Beatles broke up in 1970.
Do you really want to stand behind McCartney's work beyond the first solo album?
posted by 2sheets


Ah, yes. I forgot The Beatles broke up. Better go toss all those ancient, out-of-date albums. You know, since an artist is only as good as his current work.

Seriously? McCartney earned a lifetime pass on shitty music and lyrics with his Beatles work alone. You ought to know that.
posted by NationalKato at 12:16 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


billysumday: Common - Worst lyric: “I’m your worst nightmare squared/That’s double for niggas who ain’t mathematically aware”

Some African Americans have the square root of two has their worst nightmare. Let's not make a thing of it.
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 12:17 PM on October 9, 2007


"No man. He made Thriller. Thriller."
posted by ND¢ at 12:17 PM on October 9, 2007


K-Fed? K-FED? He's a fucking novelty act. That's some serious cherry picking. What happened, couldn't find any Tiny Tim or Joe Dolce?
posted by eyeballkid at 12:19 PM on October 9, 2007


No Mellencamp? How is that possible?
posted by sageleaf at 12:20 PM on October 9, 2007


Wow, that was crap. Half the people who are on that list were on for completely bullshit reasons, and yet they missed Steve Miller.
posted by rollbiz at 12:21 PM on October 9, 2007


As an aside, Fear wrote some hilarously bad lyrics. To wit:
Hey
Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey

Disconnected
Fuck religion, eat scum
Beat a corpse, fuck a nun

New York's All Right (If You Like Saxophones)
New York's all right, if you like drunks in your doorway
New York's all right, if you want to freeze to death
New York's all right, if you want to get mugged or murdered
New York's all right, if you like saxophones
(This song has been marked as "Explicit" in the iTunes store.)
posted by fandango_matt at 12:23 PM on October 9, 2007


anybody that thinks "We Built This City" is "fun and memorable and catchy" is just sad.

No, what's sad is thinking that the lyrics to popular songs need to be meaningful.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:23 PM on October 9, 2007


When did cracked.com get a redesign and a new domain name?
posted by Remy at 12:23 PM on October 9, 2007


I think y'all are missing why this post is terrible: not the content of the list but the fact that it is a list. These things are so lazy and tired and worthless, the only possible justification for publishing them has to be a cynical "people will read it so they can be angry at it!" statement. As an editorial vision this is pretty indistinguishable from the page 3 girl, except without the heady rush of honesty. Everyone that touched this, or any other best/worst of list, should be forced into data-entry slave labor camps.
posted by kavasa at 12:25 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


google sure is fast these days. i searched for "I’m your worst nightmare squared" and it returned this page
posted by bhnyc at 12:26 PM on October 9, 2007


In fact, I agree with many of Blender's choices. But what makes the bad lyricists on this list bad are mawkish attempts at profundity, not the lack of such.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:26 PM on October 9, 2007


"Well, I believe in this, and it's been tested by research:
He who fucks nuns will later join the church."

(ok, maybe the best and not the worst lyric ever)
posted by nasreddin at 12:26 PM on October 9, 2007


Ok, I withdraw my criticism of McCartney's post Beatles work after finding this:

Everybody gonna dance tonight
Everybody gonna feel alright
Everybody gonna dance around tonight

Everybody gonna dance around
Everybody gonna hit the ground
Everybody gonna dance around tonight

(Chorus)
Well you can come on to my place if you want to
You can do anything you want to do

Everybody gonna dance tonight
Everybody gonna feel alright
Everybody gonna dance around tonight

(Whistling)

Well you can come on to my place if you want to
You can do anything you want to do

Everybody gonna stamp their feet
Everybody's gonna feel the beat
Everybody wanna dance around tonight

(Bridge)

Everybody's gonna dance tonight
Everybody gonna feel alright
Everybody gonna dance around tonight

Everybody gonna jump and shout
Everybody gonna sing it out
Everybody gonna dance around tonight

Well you can come on to my place if you want to
You can do anything you want to do

Everybody gonna dance tonight
Everybody gonna feel alright
Everybody gonna dance around tonight
Everybody gonna dance around tonight
Everybody's gonna feel alright tonight


The man is a genius.
posted by 2sheets at 12:27 PM on October 9, 2007


And anybody that thinks "We Built This City" is "fun and memorable and catchy" is just sad.
Next you'll be expounding on the virtues of Night ranger.
posted by 2sheets at 3:03 PM on October 9


"Sister Christian" was the first rock and roll song to speak honestly and frankly about the taboo issues of sex with your sister.

Consider:

Babe, you know you're growing up so fast
And momma's worrying that you won't last to say
Let's play


See, here, brother is invoking the concerns of the maternal authority as a means to break through Christian's psycho-sexual boundaries that are imposed on her from outside, by the society at large. "Momma's worrying that you won't last" - that sister won't make a good lover if she doesn't get her training with bro. Brother is more charitable. His concern is that she is "growing up so fast", that soon the taboo of brother-sister love will be so ingrained in her that nothing can break it down, and she will miss out on "driving through the night" with bro.

So he implores her, "Let's play".

The chorus chides sis with "What's your price for flight? And finding Mister right?" In other words, Sister, what will you sacrifice to leave Brother and family behind? Is "Mister Right" worth that price?

"Don't give it up before your time is due", says brother, because tonight, sister and brother could be "Motoring".

On preview, Night Ranger is warren of incest-addled molesting perverts.

Get out, Christian. It's not too late to take that flight.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:27 PM on October 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Lenny Kravitz is a great songwriter (in my opinion) but at times is a horribly lazy lyricist. I'm a huge fan of his music, and i listen to it all the time. But some (otherwise awesome) songs are upsetting as hell to me, because he cut major corners with particular lyrics. I think this is a characteristic of someone who should end up on this type of list. "My mama said - you must push with much force" ... meh indeed.
posted by rude.boy at 12:27 PM on October 9, 2007


2sheets, when you get a full bucket of cherries, can I have a pie?
posted by NationalKato at 12:29 PM on October 9, 2007


...and yet they missed Steve Miller.

Whoa there. Steve Miller is to be hated for their droning, unending music, not inspired rhymes such as "taxes" with "Texas" with "what the facts is".
posted by DU at 12:29 PM on October 9, 2007


Billy Corgan wrote a lot of lyrics, not all of them are crap.

Geek USA is fucking fantastic, for example.

And I don't care what anyone says: "The World Is a Vampire" is teen angst perfection.
posted by empath at 12:30 PM on October 9, 2007


That was so much ass I couldn't even make it past the first page.

Considering that for the most part I hate rock - and lyrics in general in my music - because I'm apparently some kind of pomo techno art fag - and considering that I'm usually quite willing to see rock/pop being made fun of...

...that's a pretty terrible list.
posted by loquacious at 12:31 PM on October 9, 2007


THRILLER!
posted by ND¢ at 12:33 PM on October 9, 2007


No doubt the author of the list would find this disagreeable too (Dog is Life, by The Fall):

You don't see rabbits being walked down the street
And you don't see many cats on leads
Dogs pet dogs dogs rapacious wet dogs
Owner of dogs slow-witted dog owner
Owner of rabid dog saving fare for tunnel
Euro-dream of civil, civil liberation for dogs
Society secret society inevitable nightmare
Of drift dog pet dogs street bullshit
Dog shit baby bit ass-lick dog mirror
Dead tiger shot and checked out by dog
Big tea-chest-fucker dog
Black collar sends East German refugee back switch and crap pathetic
Of earth-like lousy dog role model for infidel doghouse continent
Most citadel dog-eye mirror hypnotic school slaver and learn
Rot from dog on grass and over nervous delicate dog
Detracts light from indiscrepant non-dog-lover
Dog pet dog come home to ya
Come home we'll talk shit to ya
Dog the pet-owner-owner blistered hanging there death dog
Plato of the human example and copier dogmaster pet mourner
Dog is life
And did those feet in ancient times,
Walk upon mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth on clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem
AIn the dark Satanic Mills?*
Jerusalem
It was the fault of the government
I was walking down the street
When I tripped up on a discarded banana skin
And on my way down I caught the side of my head
On a protruding brick chip
It was the government's fault
It was the fault of the government
I was very let down
From the budget I was expecting a one million quid handout
I was very disappointed
It was the government's fault
It was the fault of the government
I beecame semi-automatic type person
And I didn't have a pen
And I didn't heve a condom
It was the fault of the government
I think I'll emigrate to Sweden or Poland
And get looked after properly by government
Jerusalem
Bring Bow of burning gold:
Bring Arrows of desire:
Bring me Spear: O clouds unfold!
And though I rest from Mental Fight,
And though sword sleeps in hand
I will not rest til Jerusalem is built
In Englands green and pleasant Land.
posted by snoktruix at 12:33 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


NO MORE LIST POSTS!!!

Afroblanco is on TRIPLE-secret probation!
posted by tkchrist at 12:34 PM on October 9, 2007


Holy crap. On a whim, I just read the wikipedia entry for the song "Sister Christian". Apparently the drummer actually did write that song for his sister. Ick.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:34 PM on October 9, 2007


As much of a fan and consumer of music as I am, lyrics never really mattered that much to me. Don't get me wrong, bad lyrics can definitely get in the way of enjoying an otherwise good song, just as good lyrics can add another dimension to the experience. Yeah, some of the lyrics they single out are pretty terrible, but so what? I guess I'm with those folks who think this list is a waste of time and says more about the listmakers than about the artists (although I must admit I looked through the entire list). And putting Paul McCartney on the list is just a head scratcher. The guy has had some incredible peaks--what else sounded anything like "Eleanor Rigby" when it came out? And "The End of the End" off of his latest is one of the most moving things I have heard in a long time.
posted by Dead Man at 12:35 PM on October 9, 2007


Any corporate magazine making a list like this is a joke, but Blender especially. They pick an extra wide range of artists to list, so they "offend" everyone. Reminds me of their worst artists of all time list. Number one was ICP (deservedly so in the real world), and Blender had just given their last album three stars.
posted by Roman Graves at 12:36 PM on October 9, 2007


My only addiction has to do with the female species / I eat them raw like sushi. -- Rico Suave
posted by mattbucher at 12:36 PM on October 9, 2007


so tired of this crap. I'm tired of one reporter's opinion being taken for some sort of god-given list of the best and the worst brought down from Mt. Sinai. Guess what! Music is totally personal and nobody fucking cares that you have the "right" opinion on all bands.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:37 PM on October 9, 2007


ORthey, see comment above yours.

I know, but there are limits to that. Those Kravitz lyrics sound like a kid who's just learning how to rhyme words.
posted by ORthey at 12:38 PM on October 9, 2007


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