Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Agree With This? Worst Song of All Time


The worst song of all time, the one that no one can stand to hear for even a few seconds is the 1968 megahit "Honey," by Bobby Goldsboro. (It was No. 1 for five agonizing weeks in the spring of that year.) You know, it's the nauseating tearjerker about the wife dying and the tree she planted before her untimely demise. "See the tree, how big it's grown / But friend, it hasn't been too long, it wasn't big..." At least, that's what CNN music critic Todd Leopold thinks is the worst song ever.

In the interest of fairness--and because, as he says, it's foolish to single out "Honey" when there are so many other awful songs--Leopold conducted an informal poll among his colleagues at CNN. There were two rules:

1. The song had to have been a hit, the kind you hear on the radio so often you can't change the station fast enough.
2. It can't have been a song that wore out its welcome through repetition. A really bad song is one you hate from the beginning.

These are the songs CNN employees nominated as the worst song ever:
--Starship's "We Built This City," a No. 1 hit from 1985, which was also named Blender magazine's worst song ever.
--The Starland Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight"
--Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart"
--Mr. Mister's "Broken Wings"
--Don Johnson's "Heartbeat"
--C.W. McCall's "Convoy"
--Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy"
--Rick Dees' "Disco Duck"
--Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps"
--Richard Harris' "MacArthur Park"

Leopold wasn't swayed. He says, "I'll stick with 'Honey.' Or, at least, it'll stick with me...like decomposing, stepped-in garbage on a hot day."


  1. Bobby Mc Ferrin's "Don't Worry Be Happy"

    No song has ever grated on my nerves more nauseatingly. Its only redeeming quality is the fact it's on the Cocktail soundtrack, and Cocktail is one of the greatest movies of all time. But really, it could have done without Don't Worry Be Happy....

  2. Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree on We Built this City. I'm listening to it right now and it's a cool song. But I do agree on My Humps by Black Eyed Peas. The other ones, I don't think I've ever heard before.

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  4. Carrie: I remember "Don't Worry Be Happy" was a massive hit when I was in middle school. It was a crappy song for a really crappy period of my life. It's cute at some level, I guess, but I hear it and think of evil 12 year olds.

    "Cocktail" is a cool movie, even with that wackjob Tom Cruise.

    Billy: If you take "We Built This City" by itself now, it's not completely horrible, but when you consider that Starship (Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship) had fallen to this level and hearing it 40 times a day back in 1980-something, it starts getting really awful.

    Sam: We'll see.

  5. I'd have to agree with the critics and detract from billy. But taste in music is, you know........(subjective)

    Overall, a pretty good list. I don't recognize all of the songs by their title, but I'm pretty certain I have heard of of them thousands of times each, as I am old enough to have lived through all of the eras represented by this selection. Is the Black-eyed peas song their first big hit (which I like) or the other one that sounds like a misarranged version of the first? anyhoo....

    "Evil 12-year-olds" LOL

  6. Man,oh man, here's a glaring omission: Macarena.

  7. Heather: I'll bet you know them all.

    "Afternoon Delight" - Skyrockets in flight/ZOOOM/Afternoon Delight/AF-AF-AF-Ternoon Delight

    "Achy Breaky Heart" - Don't tell my heart/My Achy Breaky Heart/I just don't think it'd understand...

    "Broken Wings" - Take/These broken wings/And learn to fly again/Learn to live so free/And when we hear/The voices sing/The book of love will open up and let us in/ Yeah Yeah

    I'm gonna stop. I'm having bad pop flashbacks...

    Chris: Good call. "Macarena" definately ought to be on there.

  8. Ah, Chris's mention of the Macarena just stirred up a really bad memory....

    I got so plastered at my dad's wedding (I was 20 at the time) that when the Macarena came on, I ran out onto the (completely vacant)dance floor, set down my pitcher of beer next to my feet, and busted out the Macarena dance in front of EVERYONE. Eventually, a few people from the crowd joined me...I think mostly to damper my inherent humiliation.


  9. You had an excuse, you were drunk. What were these other people thinking? LOL

    As hard as I tried, I never could get the Macarena down. I came pretty close, but it was over before I almost got the hang of it.

    It's for the best :-)

  10. the '70's were the greatest musical decade of all time, dudeThursday, April 27, 2006 3:53:00 PM

    On the muzak today at the grocery outlet? Rubber Band Man, by the Spinners.

    Kill it!

  11. Oh man, that's a rough one. Like fresh hell x 3.