10 Great Songs By the Worst Bands of All Time
Who is the worst musician or band of all time? It's a question just about any music fan is willing to weigh in on, most likely with each one giving you a different answer. That's what makes putting together a list of the worst bands ever so difficult. Music is a subjective thing. The bands I think are terrible, other people might love. Granted, those people are wrong, but still, we're all entitled to our opinions.
That's one of the challenges I was faced with when I decided to write this column. Coming up with the means to generate a truly objective list of the worst bands ever escaped me at first. Granted, objectivity has never been my bag, but it seemed like an interesting twist to throw in this time around, and I eventually settled on a way to make it happen. Instead of wracking my brain over it, I just let the Internet do the work for me.
I did take pictures, though.
With a quick Googling of the phrase "worst bands of all time," I was presented with an array of list-based articles from which to choose. I compiled the choices from the first five I found (excluding the Cracked article, because the only opinion I support around here is my own) and used the results to make this list. These names represent some of the worst music ever made, not according to me, but according to everyone. Please keep that in mind when a band you love inevitably shows up on the list.
Anyway, with that all in place, it was my job to do the impossible -- scour through each terrible band's terrible songs in search of the "best" one. I listened to a lot of bad music to bring you this list. I sincerely hope you appreciate it. When all was said and done, the article ended up being so huge that I decided to break it into two parts, lest everyone fall asleep midway through reading it.
Here are the 10 best songs by the worst musicians of all time (part one).
Paris Hilton -- "Stars Are Blind"
Oh, hey, look at that -- Paris Hilton on a list of the worst bands ever. Way to go after the high hanging fruit, readers of Ranker.com. Not since the citizens of Egypt rose up in opposition to their own government have I seen a group of people collectively take such a bold stance.
That said, I'm happy to see her name on the list, because I always kind of secretly liked that one single she released a few years ago, and I relish every opportunity I have to give it a listen.
That's the one! It sort of sounds like "The Tide Is High" by Blondie.
Did I just compare the music of Paris Hilton to the music of Blondie? Sure I did. Please express your outrage in the comment section and then refresh the page constantly in anticipation of my witty retort. It's good for business.
Phish -- "Stash"
Speaking of picks that will make people angry, when the Phish fan base finally wakes up sometime around 3 o'clock this afternoon and sees their favorite jam band on this list, I expect there will be a healthy amount of outrage. If it makes any of you feel better, unlike most of the other bands present here, Phish didn't show up on a list compiled by the general public, but instead on this hipsterific LA Weekly list, which also includes absurd picks like the Raconteurs and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
"We'd like to talk to you about our lord and savior, the state of California."
OK, fine, I guess I can get behind the RHCP pick as well, but you'll never convince me that the band responsible for this song deserves to be on the list:
What I'm saying is, I understand your outrage, Phish fans, because when I look at these lists, sometimes I feel it, too. Of course, my outrage is justified and yours is LSD-induced absurdity, but I still get it.
In the name of making sure your Phish fandom is properly represented here, rather than listening to any actual Phish songs myself, I put this pick in the hands of Internet search results, just as I did with the entire list. What I found is that apparently Phish fans really like this song:
Unfortunately, seeing as how the video is nearly 14 minutes long, most of us (myself included) will never know if "Stash" is actually worth listening to or not. Don't bore us; get to the chorus, Phish.
Girls' Generation -- "Into the New World"
Checking in at #18 and here to shatter the stereotype that all Asian people look alike, ladies and gentlemen, meet Girls' Generation. This is another courageous entry from the readers of Ranker.com, a site that must get a shit-ton of traffic from South Korea. That's where this group hails from, a fact I obviously had to look up on Wikipedia, where I also learned that their massive popularity in that country has earned them the title of "The Nation's Girl Group," a crown that's still worn by '90s R&B sensation SWV in this country, if you ask me.
None of you did, though, so let's keep talking about Girls' Generation. While I will admit to being curious as to why programming a South Korean pop song requires a nine-woman IT department, the curiosity isn't enough to make me want to actually listen to their music. So to determine their best song, I turned to one of the most trusted resources available online, Yahoo Answers. Here's what they came up with.
The person who picked this song praised it for "how it's not computerized or anything," which makes me wonder just how fucking robotic the rest of this group's catalog must be, because "Into the New World" sounds like it was built around someone pressing the "pop" button on a 1980s Casio keyboard.
Nevertheless, I'm sure it would still make the cut as my favorite Girls' Generation song just on the strength of the broken English ...
... and horror movie creepiness ...
... that happens within the first 30 seconds of the otherwise standard music video.
Ke$ha -- "Die Young"
Ha! Because "die young" is what we all hope Ke$ha will do, am I right?
No, that's not right. In fact, it's a horrible thing to say, not to mention the most obvious joke imaginable. I'm better than that; you should be as well.
Anyway, you know what's wrong with Ke$ha? Nothing. You can't really hassle her about just being a pretty face who sings over music produced and written by other people. For one thing, she plays an assault-rifle-shaped guitar on stage, which isn't something you see from the Nicki Minajs of the world or whatever.
I can't tell if this is a costume or not.
So that's pretty neat. Beyond that, not only does she write a lot of her own songs, she writes them for other people as well, like this Britney Spears single from a few years ago.
I bet I changed so many minds about Ke$ha just now. Or maybe not. How about this?
That's a collaboration between Ke$ha and the Flaming Lips, and that's exactly what it sounds like. Does her recording with an indie rock icon like Wayne Coyne during a studio session that resulted in Twitter pictures like this ...
Ke$ha? On drugs? No way.
... somehow make you feel better about Ke$ha's talent as a musician? If so, get a life -- that song is terrible. You should trust me more. This is Ke$ha's best song:
That's mostly because it's the first Ke$ha song that came to mind when I put some thought into it. That's all the argument I need, really.
Bon Jovi -- "Livin' on a Prayer" (Live Acoustic Version)
Much like the Phish entry from earlier, Bon Jovi did not make this list on the strength of a readers' poll, as was the case with most of the other bands present here. Instead, this pick comes as the result of one random blog's opinion. The thing is, I agree with that opinion, so here we are.
Picking the "best" Bon Jovi song is not easy for me, because Bon Jovi is potentially my least favorite band of all time, and that was even before I found out that they treat their bass player like a second-class citizen.
It's not his fault he's in such a shitty band.
So in the spirit of all that, I guess my favorite Bon Jovi song is this one:
That's Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora playing an acoustic version of "Livin' on a Prayer" at the MTV Video Music Awards back in the day. I choose it for one reason -- there are only two people on stage in that video, and "the less Bon Jovi the better" is a rule I abide by with the fervor of a religious person.
Spin Doctors -- "Mary Jane"
First off, can we just take a second to acknowledge how great the lead singer of Spin Doctors looks? That's him up there on the left. The last time anyone heard from that guy, he looked like this:
Here's what marijuana commercials will look like someday.
Who could've predicted he'd grow up to look like Sandra Bullock's Nazi ex-husband? Anyway, I doubt Spin Doctors actually deserve to be mentioned among the worst bands ever, but I also don't know enough about the other stuff they've done to give a shit either way.
Songs like "Two Princes" and "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" earned them a permanent spot on lists like this one, so we can't point to any of that stuff as the cream of the crop. So, have a listen to "Mary Jane" instead.
Sure, that sounds like it's probably the best Spin Doctors song ever.
Hootie & the Blowfish -- "I Go Blind"
Before Darius Rucker and his bar band compatriots came along and messed things up, the black dude in Spin Doctors was like the Jackie Robinson of shitty '90s alternative bands. Also, guess who just realized there's been a black dude in Spin Doctors this entire time?
He's the one on the left.
His name is Mark White, which also sort of makes him the Frank Beard of the group.
I'm assuming I don't need to tell you which one is Frank Beard.
It's not just the lead singer; for as long as they've been an entry in my memory, the entire band has looked like this:
Here's what marijuana commercials will ... wait, I used that caption already.
Anyway, back to Hootie & the Blowfish, another band that, at the end of the day, probably isn't nearly as terrible as their constant placement on "worst band of all time" lists would indicate. I wouldn't go so far as to say I have a "favorite" Hootie & the Blowfish song, but while the singles from Cracked Rear View and Fairweather Johnson get all the retro attention, it was their cover of a song called "I Go Blind" by obscure Canadian band 54-40 that I'll always remember fondly as "that one Hootie & the Blowfish song I kind of liked."
It was only released on the Friends soundtrack, because of course it was.
Black Eyed Peas -- "Joints & Jam"
Surprisingly, this is another easy one to pick. It's a barely kept secret that, once upon a time, Black Eyed Peas were a well-respected rap outfit with a couple of fairly strong albums to their credit. These were the pre-Fergie days, before they were recording with Justin Timberlake and covering songs from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.
The standout song from the glory days of Black Eyed Peas is "Joints & Jam."
If you're a devoted Black Eyed Peas hater who's hearing that for the first time, you probably made note of how little it sucks. If you didn't, you either hate them for the wrong reasons ("What's with those outfits??!?!") or don't love "real" music as much as you claim.
Either way, who fucking cares, right? We're talking about hating the Black Eyed Peas. At the end of the day, just so long as you do hate them for something, you're doing your part.
BrokeNCYDE -- "Freaxxx"
Alright, let's get the obvious question out of the way right up top: Who in the fuck is this band? I expected I'd have to slog through some bad songs to write this column, but I didn't think I'd discover an entire genre I'd never heard of. Apparently, BrokeNCYDE is a New Mexico-based "crunkcore" band. Every single word of that description leads me to assume they suck. So does this video:
I hate that song so much that I would hold it face down in a bathtub until it drowns if I could. Did you hear all the mechanical screaming? Does every crunkcore band have a dude that plays various synth-altered versions of Lil Jon screaming "Yeaahhhh!" instead of a guitar player? Because this one seems to have that, and I don't like it one bit. It must be these kinds of shenanigans that landed this barely known band on no less than two separate "worst band ever" lists.
That said, the video has 8 million views, so it must be the best of the bunch, right? Here's hoping the answer is yes, because I'm afraid I've listened to all of the BrokeNCYDE that I can stomach at this point.
The Eagles -- "Already Gone"
It's like the old saying goes, "Nothing makes you pine for the music of your parents quite like discovering that BrokeNCYDE exists." People don't actually say that, but they should, because after listening to "Freaxxx" just once, the Eagles sound like the best band of all time.
We all know they aren't, but I've personally never thought they deserved as much hate as they get. So, once again, this was a pretty easy choice, because I already know the best Eagles song is this:
That's "Already Gone," and, uhhhhh ... it's my favorite Eagles song, I suppose. So it's on this list.
Looks like the conclusion to this entry is going to be a rather dull one. I guess that's appropriate, considering it's about the Eagles.
Adam hosts a podcast called Unpopular Opinion that you should check out right here. You should also be his friend on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.