A couple of years ago, All Songs Considered made a list of the worst songs of all time (joined by special guest Carrie Brownstein (who may or may not have worn out her Portland welcome at that point). As with most lists of this type, there are obvious choices (“We Built This City” by Starship) and complete head scratchers (“Africa” by Toto—what kind of monster hates “Africa”?). As this list is a few years old, and included no participants from my circle of friends, I thought I’d make a Facebook post. It read:
What is the worst song of all time? (Only answer with ONE specific response. Don’t say “Country Music” or “Hall and Oates,” for example.)
Figure 1 Mr. Blobby. WTF is wrong with the British?
It didn’t take long for a flood of responses. Once I had 64 responses I decided to make a bracket and let people vote for their least favorite song, because I have a lot of free time. I excluded songs that were obviously novelty songs (although Mr. Blobby’s Song almost made it in anyway due to sheer horribleness) and Christmas songs, which I felt would make an excellent follow-up poll for the holidays.
The bracket is currently open, and will remain so for 30 days. I will share how the voting is going throughout the month, and you are welcome to vote if you are so inclined. This data will be used for absolutely nothing other than blog fodder and my own amusement.
Figure 2 You tell me: Guy Fieri or singer of Smashmouth?
After 3.5 hours of being online, here are the worst—remember, this is a bracket, not a poll, so things will change drastically as the month goes on:
- Currently, the leader in awful is “Allstar” by Smashmouth. That surprised me. I mean, come on, that song is aural fecal matter (and I’m pretty sure the lead singer is Guy Fieri) but #1 worst?
- “Cotton Eye Joe” by Rednex, which seems legit.
- “Barbie Girl” by Aqua is in the third position. Again, completely justified.
- “Who Let the Dogs Out” by the Baha Men is in fourth. A guys at the bar next to me swears it is a good song. I resist the urge to punch him.
- “My Own Prison” by Creed. Yup.
Figure 3 Seriously, though. Guy Fieri or Smashmouth guy?
Here are some things I’m surprised by:
- My personal pick for worst song is “Kokomo” by the Beach Boys. It’s in 38th!
- “MacArthur Park” by Richard Harris, generally thought of as one of, if not THE worst song of all time (does “Somebody left a cake out in the rain” ring a bell?) is in 61st of 64. Shocking!
- “We Built This City” by Starship and “What’s Up” by Four Non Blondes are at 47th and 48th, respectively.
I will update as the month goes on.