When Badasses Go Soft: The 10 Weakest Songs by Badass Bands
Like athletes, comedians and dungeon-porn actors, time takes its toll on badass musicians. And inevitably, you'll catch your favorite crew of leather-clad/whiskey-swilling/vagina-liking sons of bitches cranking out a song that' suitable for the closing montage of a Grey' Anatomy episode. Here are the 10 most disappointing examples of badass bands playing nice-and subsequently looking like douchebags.
"Until It Sleeps" - Metallica
Prior Interests: Riding the lightning, killing 'em all, not being treaded on
By the time the kings of metal reached critical mass in the years following 1991' The Black Album, they were old enough to be their fans' dads, and had developed more pressing interests, presumably involving minivans and youth soccer games. The first "hit" of their vag-tastic 1996 album, Load, sounds more like a bad Soundgarden impression than the satanic, alcoholic thrashing that America had come to know and love. Worst of all, newly short-haired lead singer James Hetfield pleads, "hold me," in the song' lyrics, ensuring that if the crowd that wore that "Metal Up Your Ass" T-shirt back in high school ran across the eye-liner-wearing stooges in the "Until It Sleeps" video, a Master of Puppets-style bloodbath would ensue.
"Christmas in Hollis" - Run-D.M.C.
Prior Interests: Rocking rhymes, walking that way, discarding shoelaces
When Run-D.M.C. released the 1983 album Raising Hell, they established themselves as groundbreaking musical artists, and also as three young men you might think twice about fucking with. Songs like "Proud to Be Black" and "Walk This Way" solidified their reputation and paved the way for rap artists from Tupac to the Chicago Bears. And then they went and pissed their street cred away with a song about how they saw Santa Claus one night. If that isn't enough to convince you of the song' lameness, try this: D.M.C. rhymes "yule log" with "egg nog." (Apologies for the baby in the video, but the fact that a baby fits nicely into it pretty much confirms that "Christmas in Hollis" blows.)
"All of My Love" - Led Zeppelin
Prior Interests: Rocking the fuck out, going to California, squeezing lemons till the juice ran down their legs
The band that made it cool to play like disproportionately talented mental patients laid down some of the most face-punching, awesome classic rock the world' ever known-that is, until 1979, when this incoherent, saccharine, nail-in-the-coffin tune was released. Once the purveyor of seductive, grammatically incorrect threats of sexual assault ("You need coolin' / Baby, I'm not foolin' / I'm gonna send you back to schoolin'"), Zeppelin was reduced to a synthesizer-laced, ball-less love song whose chorus lazily and unimaginatively stated, "All of my love, all of my love, all of my love to you." Little known fact: After one live performance of "All of My Love," the Village People beat the living piss out of Zeppelin backstage with minimal effort.
UPDATE: Several commenters on digg have pointed out that this song was written about Robert Plant's late son. One digger implied that this mistake "makes the author a douche." We would like to issue a correction: As one of our readers notes below, this mistake in fact makes the author "a complete idiot," not a douche, and the article "in bad taste."
"Gimme Three Steps" - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Prior Interests: Fighting people who don't like Alabama, drinking, fighting people who don't like drinking
Someone with a better thesaurus than us once described Skynyrd' music as, "the overdriven power of blues-rock with a rebellious, Southern image and a hard rock swagger," and that' generally the vibe they put out with songs about how they'd de-tooth anyone who talked shit about Alabama. But these rednecks took a turn to Celine Dion territory with "Gimme Three Steps," a song that explains how frontman Ronnie Van Zandt (a former boxer) shakes "like a leaf on a tree" as soon as a "lean, mean, big and bad" jealous husband sticks the barrel of a .44 in his face. Now for most of us, that' an understandable response, but for the band that made it cool to model your life after the bad guys in Deliverance, it' about as acceptable as Patrick Swayze fleeing the Double Deuce in the first five minutes of Road House.
"Mama, I'm Coming Home" - Ozzy Osborne
Prior Interests: Biting bats' heads off, drinking other peoples' spit, ingesting all the drugs within one square mile
Granted, the power ballad craze overtook metal in the late '80s, but when Ozzy Osbourne fell victim to it, the result was nauseating-like, catching-your-parents-fucking nauseating. When the Prince of Darkness started singing, "You made me cry," in this 1991 turd, the first act of his career (bat-decapitating, etc.) ended, and the second act (pathetic self-parody, etc.) officially began. The first time fans saw this video, they no doubt waited anxiously for the seemingly endless intro to end and for guitarist Zakk Wylde to fly through a wall of flames and douse Ozzy in chicken blood. Alas, the never-ending intro turned out to be the whole song.
"Follow Me" - Uncle Kracker
Spinning beats for tit aficionado Kid Rock, looking like he could kill you
Kid Rock' tattooed, gold-grilled DJ came entirely incorrect when he embarked on a solo career that baffles the mind in 1999. After playing a large part in creating Rock' fight-inducing rap-rock hits like "I Am the Bullgod" and "Bawitdaba," Uncle Kracker put out a top-40 shitbomb that was as far away from his Detroit hip-hop roots as John Goodman is from the 150-pound mark. In his first hit, "Follow Me," the man-titted clown' biggest Kid Rock-style boast is that he'll "be the one to tuck you in at night." And with that, Uncle Kracker went from the shady criminal behind Kid Rock' turntables to the sensitive man-boy you'd like to drill in the teeth with a pitching wedge.
"I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" - Aerosmith
Prior Interests: Fucking in elevators, making their daughters strip in their music videos
When Aerosmith was contacted by the producers of slow-motion-whore space adventure, Armageddon, they should've just reprised their shtick from the late '80s, written a song about fucking in a spaceship and called it a day. But instead-apparently touched by Ben Affleck' deft performance in the film-they wrote a soft rock mini-opera that would've been more at home on a Richard Marx album. "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" officially marked the former hard rockers' transformation into old creepy skinbags when Steven Tyler sang about how he wanted to kiss someone' eyes-an unnatural sexual act that, frankly, is terrifying.
"Game of Love" - Carlos Santana (with Michelle Branch)
Prior Interests: Taking acid, shredding in a distinctly Mexican manner, taking acid
It' easy enough to forgive the master of the Latino rock guitar for collaborating with the inexplicably popular Rob Thomas on the 1999 hit "Smooth." Sure, it was a musical abortion, but it still kind of counted as rock, and Santana worked in an okay solo or two. But as soon as Santana caught a whiff of late-career commercial success, he sprinted back into the studio and crapped out another album of collaborations. Only this time, they were with singers even worse than Rob Thomas, and the songs had all the allure of an inside-out puppy. The most high-profile single from that album (2002' Shaman), was his collaboration with whiney non-star Michelle Branch, and quite frankly, it stinks.
"Hot Hot Hot" - Buster Poindexter
Prior Interests: Freaking out squares, helping invent punk rock
Heroin-loving punk rockers The New York Dolls made it cool to look like insane transvestites long before performers like Poison or Kelly Clarkson. But after the Dolls split in the mid-'70s, frontman David Johansen was left with a lot of time-and, presumably, a lot of smack-on his hands. He returned to the limelight in 1987, but this time, as annoying party-boy Buster Poindexter, the rotten son-of-a-bitch who came up with that "Hot Hot Hot" song that' infected every wedding, prom, bar mitzvah and key party you've ever been to. Johansen' transformation from a terrifying punk icon into the cartoonish, family-friendly Poindexter is roughly the same as DMX becoming a florist-a really, really flamboyant florist.
Related: This Gear Is Hot, Hot, Hot
"Dancing in the Streets" - Mick Jagger (with David Bowie)
Prior Interests: Group sex with models, street-fighting, resisting the pull of wild horses
The frontman of arguably the greatest rock band ever assembled had a lot of explaining to do in 1985 when he released this cover of Martha and the Vandellas' G-rated Motown anthem, "Dancing in the Streets," with David Bowie. A far cry from the Stones sex- and drug-fueled glory days, the song-and particularly its homoerotic video-left a lot of fans asking if Jagger had been referring to a man' no-no spot when he sang about "Brown Sugar." (In contrast, this is the most badass thing David Bowie had ever done.) There' literally nothing we can write that'll adequately describe the sheer, utter non-badass-ness of Jagger' foray into bubble gum pop, so please watch for yourself. And make sure you have a wooden spoon handy to bite down on.