I’ve written before about my favorite radio station, WXPN. One thing that I haven’t mentioned before is that, at 5 pm on Mondays through Thursdays, they have a show they call the “Top 5 at 5.”
This isn’t a standard countdown like what they have on Billboard. Instead, they come up with some kind of a theme and then come up with the best five songs that meet the criteria of the theme. Sometimes, they ask for opinions from their listeners and other times they ask the listeners to guess the theme.
I mention this because a couple of weeks ago, they asked their listeners for the worst songs of all time for the Top 5 at 5. And it lasted the entire week. (This explains why they played “Wonderful Christmas Time,” by Paul McCartney in the middle of June…)
So in a couple of weeks, they’re probably going to announce whatever the next top 885 countdown that’ll get played back in October. Last year, the theme was The Greatest Rock Songs.
So I really hope they don’t do it, but if they decide to do the 885 all-time worst songs, I know exactly what I’d vote for…
10. “Einstein on the Beach,” by Counting Crows. An outtake from their debut album, August and Everything After, it should have stayed out of, well, everything. (But in fairness, it would have fit into the whole album, which contains some really good songs, like “Anna Begins” and “Round Here” and some downright awful songs, like “Mr. Jones” and “Rain King”.)
9. “Stop Singing These Sad Songs,” by Harry Chapin. Two years before he recorded this song, he wrote a really amazing, evocative, epic song about someone who climbs up a clock tower and opens fire. Listen to this song too much and you’ll want to climb that clock tower yourself.
8. “We Built this City,” by Starship. A forgettable song, at best, that I thought I’d been free of. Until it resurfaced in the recent Muppets movie a couple of years ago. (A blight on an otherwise decent movie…)
7. “If I Had $1,000,000.00,” by the Barenaked Ladies. An insipid song that really doesn’t have many redeeming qualities, lyrically, musically, or conceptually. And it’s unnecessarily long… (4 minutes and 27 seconds for a song that could probably have been complete after about a minute…)
6. “Pandora’s Aquarium,” by Tori Amos. This is an interesting inclusion on the list, as my primary point to make about this song is that it’s not an inherently bad song, but it ends terribly and, since it’s the last track on the album from which it came, it brings the entire album down.
5. “Surfin’ Safari,” by the Beach Boys. I get that the Beach Boys were a surf band, but this song makes me want to destroy their boards, not pick one up and jump in the water…
4. “Ironic,” by Alanis Morissette. The only thing ironic about this song is the fact that she doesn’t know what ironic actually means.
3. “Hey Jude,” by the Beatles. If there is any preview for the underwhelming solo career that Paul McCartney would have after the breakup of The Beatles, it was this song.
2. “Come to Jesus,” by Mindy Smith. A song with a kind of a catchy tune but a downright awful message. A song that, once you hear it for the first time, you never want to hear it again.
1. “Roxanne,” by the Police. This was actually a kind of a difficult choice. There are so many songs by Sting that make my skin crawl, it’s hard to settle on just one. Ultimately, though, I landed on the original awful song.