Thursday, April 19, 2007

The 5 Best Songs by Really Bad Bands Ever!

This week we are taking a break from the literary realm, and entering into the equally as entertaining world of music. For those of you read our other blogs you are by now very familiar with the idea that Casey and I love music. We don't always see eye to eye, but more often than not we are coming from a similar place.

So in the spirit of music, this week "The 5" is counting down the top 5 Best Songs from Really Bad Bands. The criteria is simple: The songs have to be ones that we really liked at the time of their release, and at the same time the band has to be one that we otherwise would never consider putting on the jukebox. Make sense? To help illuminate the topic I present to you:

(5) Here I Go Again - by Whitesnake

This song has everything that a good power ballad needs. Slow buildup? Check. Drums that start on the second verse? Check. Crazy-ass lead singer? Check. Kick ass music video with hot lady? Check -and I know that at least Mysterygirl! has already mentally filled in the name of said "hot lady." Every time this song comes on at a bar or on the radio I want to crank it up, and I secretly hope that everyone around me will start singing along.

But with all this said, I would never ever play another song by Whitesnake on the jukebox, mp3 player, or my clarinet (but that does now have me thinking....). In fact, I can't even name another Whitesnake song, let alone the name of one of their albums. This all adds up to a kick ass song, but terrible band.

Man, are you serious? This song is terrible, even if I do know all the words. This song immediately takes me back to alligator shirts and shitty TV reception we had to pull in from Albuquerque. I'm having flashbacks of my sister's Hairnet hairspray wafting through the faux-wood paneled house. Yes, it has all the earmarks of a power ballad, way to go. It's songs like this that lead someone into November Rain, and that is just not acceptable. I have to say, though, this song does improve my pool game. So does Freebird. I'm not sure what that means.

To try and redeem this list:

(4) Home Again - by Hootie and the Blowfish

I know, the band is terrible, the album was painful, and the singer sounds like he gargles retard juice. The point is, this song is beautiful. It touches on all the great requirements of a real, unpowered, ballad. 3/4 time. Key of D, though capoed up to E. A guitar solo that builds counter melody through the second verse and explodes in clean toned awesomeness. To indulge music trivia a little, imagine a 3/4 slowed down bluegrass shuffle going IV , V , I , IV , vi, IV , V , V7sus4. I'm crying a little just thinking about that progression. And in the second half of the verse where they drop the Em, it's like the sky is crying along. The literal sky, not the song that's probably eligible for this list. Let's all go home again, indeed. Find where we have been. Time is never understood. In fact, I want to get a letter from you that will say: "Dear Casey, I'm sorry for the Whitesnake, could you stop to see me, :-)"

By the way, this band is notorious, at least locally, as in with me, for throwing a genius song onto a lackluster album. These guys are a big reason I picked up guitar and played only songs from before 1972.

Casey, I will give you credit for picking a terrible band. As for that song, I'm pretty sure it is still performed by Darius Rucker and his voice drives me bat-shit crazy. Plus, David Coverdale from Whitesnake would totally take down Darius "Hootie" Rucker if there were ever locked in a steel cage. Also, I'm pretty sure your "Roman Numeral Lock" was accidentally depressed a few minutes ago. Now, if you will excuse me *ahem*: I've made up my mind, and I ain't wasting no more time, cause here I go again....

(3) More Than Words - Extreme

Man does this song bring back memories. This song came out when a string of the so-called Monster Ballads were on the radio, but this song always stood out to me. Great acoustic guitar play. Harmonies in the vocals. And the entire slow, sweet song boiled down to a guy trying to get a girl to sleep with him. I played this song for many ladies back in high school - not a single one fell for it. I don't blame the song though, and I am more inclined to think I struck out because I thought snapping a girls bra strap was a legitimate dating "move." Once again, here is a great song by a band that went on to absolutely nothing else. Nada. Zip. Zero.

GSR, I have to agree with you on this one. The song is timeless. The band is 1990. And, no, all my time mastering this song out of Acoustic Guitar eXtreme Monthly did not help me get laid. That is until I learned the secret formula. Fuck the guitar, buy a motorcycle.

(2) Fishin' In the Dark - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Once again, how did this band make this song? With the exception of their appearance in the terrible movie Paint Your Wagon Red, I have never heard them play a single song I like. I hate shitty country music bullshit, but this song makes me feel like selling all my belongin's and living on a raft. The intro to this song, with its stuttering acoustic guitar playing a simple walk and the plainative vocals are a sure fire way to get me singing in a bar, provided enough liquor has been sacrificed to the gods of inhibition. I love the melodies. Growing up in a confusing, snake-handling cult-like religion in the backwoods of Colorado, I have an abiding soft spot for country accents and their harmonizing. This song could almost be sang under a tent with all day singing and dinner on the ground and not be out of place.

Plus, rivers garner totemic status with me. And women lying on their backs in moonlight with all the holiness of hydrological mysterious morphology going by in the eddies of black water gets my geology bone tingling.

-I'll chime in on this one to say that I grew up on the music of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, so they hold a special place in my heart. A little known fact about the NGDB is that they were the first U.S. band to be granted a world tour in the Soviet Union during the 1970s. In fact, many Cold War scholars believe that the friction between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. was ultimately diffused by a combination of the NGDB visit, and the movie Rocky IV. If you have never seen Rocky IV, let me just say that at the end of the movie Rocky delivers the final blow to the Cold War (which ended shortly after the movie release).

-Do you have any evidence to support this? I hate to raise the bullshit flag, but the wind is blowing and the brown tide is in. I think you made all of that up. I applaud you for adding another aspect to the aesthetic of this site--complete fabrication. For complete fabrication involving Rocky, I raise the chant of ovation!

-And for #1, we the management have decided to leave that wide open. Since this blog was designed with the hope of getting some audience support and participation we are asking you to contribute your #1 song to the list of "Best Songs by Really Bad Bands Ever!" (Ed. note - you will be required to use an exclamation point) The management will analyze and vote on the entries, and later this week we will add the best entry to our current list of 5.

GSR thinks this blog is about audience support. I think it is about being right. Try and add something for us to agree on by Saturday.

Best Songs by Bad Bands in comments.


Airam said...

Alannah Myles - Lover of Mine (1989)

When this song came out I was 11 years old. I still remember watching it over and over again on Much Music ... I even taped it so I could watch it over and over again. I had never been in love at this time (because well .. I was 11 afterall) but for some reason this song just got me right here (pointing to heart). I felt her pain in the song and thought ... wow that must be really shitty to feel like that. So yeah ... that's my song.

Casey said...

I appreciate the entry, which I'll have to look for, but without an exclamation point, you may not be eligible for No. 1. I'll consult with GSR on this instance, but from here on out, there will be no quarter.

Momentary Academic said...

Always by Atlantic Star!

The worst sappy-ass wedding song to be played at most marriages between the late 80s and early 90s.

"Girl you are to me/
All that a woman should be
And I dedicate my love to you

I cringe. I puke.

Lord Chimmy said...

Cum on Feel the Noize!...the only song you'll ever remember by Quiet Riot.

I mean, you only remember the lyrics:

So cum on feel the noize
Girls rock your boys
We'll get wild, wild, wild
We'll get wild, wild, wild
So cum on feel the noize
Girls rock your boys
We'll get wild, wild, wild...

But, so what?! That song got everyone rawkin' back in the day.

Interesting you'd have this post today. I recently started doing this comedic routine with a friend...we answer the phone in a shitty 80s rocks band style. I can't do it justice in a blog comment, but imagine how a lead singer from an 80's rock band might answer the phone....

Grad School Reject said...

M.A. - "You are like the sun, chasing all of the rain away." You gotta love a love song filled with similes and analogies.

Chimmy - Excellent pick. I now wish I had your phone number so I could call at boring periods of my job.

ChickyBabe said...

The first thing that came to mind:

Devo - Whip It

what I've been doing all week at work...

Grad School Reject said...

CB - Another excellent choice! The image of that video will never leave my brain.

And um...where exactly do you work? :P

Megarita said...

COming from people who are familiar with the Fox and Hounds and its jukebox, I'm embarassed by the absence of "Sister Christian" on this list. It is the only song that has ever created a fist-pumping singalong in a public place.

Motorin' . . .

Megarita said...

I'm also embarrassed by spelling, apparently. Mea Culpa. I had one hand in the air and was headbanging. To Night Ranger. You know how it goes.

JordanBaker said...

Having been one of the 5 fools in the entire world who bought the full CD instead of the single, I'd like to put in a vote for OMD's "How Bizarre."

Jill said...

First of all, boys, thanks for making me laugh. Secondly, my comments:

5) The sheet music to "Here I Go Again" was published in some piano magazine I used to have a subscription to. I might still be able to play it. (I'll experiment with that later.)

4.) "Home Again"? Huh? I'm familiar with a lot of the Hootie and I think I have no idea what the hell song you're talking about. Oh, I agree with GSR. Casey, I think you had your Roman numeral lock depressed. (Priceless. Fucking priceless. I am very proud of you, GSR. Very very proud.)

3.) Extreme. They now do the cruise ship circuit, FYI. Recently seen upon the world's largest cruise ship. Um, okay, enough of that. I hate this song. When I was 15 I had this boyfriend who was a total mama's boy, but I didn't realize it at the time. And he used to tell me if I really loved him... oh, and no, he wasn't talking about sex. Possibly the only 16 year old guy on the planet who really meant "You don't show me you care". Go tell it to your mama, boy.

2.) Casey: Steinbeck? Who the hell is Steinbeck?

1.) I'm going to have to think about this.

Jason said...

Guns 'N Roses - Paradise City.

I admit to liking the band when I was in high school, but I was hormonal and zitty, so I had an excuse. I mean, they couldn't even spell the word 'and'. Almost as annoying as 'Boyz 2 Men'. WTF? The word they were looking for begins with a 'T' and ends with an 'O'.


Music makes me so emotional.

Casey said...

So far, I think I'm leaning towards Paradise City. Bombastic songs about a place where the girls are fat and they got big titties, well, even if they removed that particular lyric in production, the roots of the song are sound.

A close second would be Cum On Feel the Noize tied with Motorin'.

Lover of Mine is up there, along with Always.

How Bizarre deserves its own category.

heather said...

how is it that blame it on the rain by whoever the hell actually sang it hasn't made this list yet. admit it, you know you liked it. (i still do and dare any of you to say anything about it!)

Grad School Reject said...

Megarita - My wife will back you on the Sister Christian choice. She had me download it for her a couple of Valentine's Days ago to put on a "mix" CD.

JB - I forgot about How Bizarre. Damn I hated that song about a month into its airplay.

Jill - Glad you liked the "Roman Numeral Lock" comment :) Now keep thinking on your nomination.

Jason - Not sure if I can fully support your choice since I actually (stops to muster up courage - take shot of whiskey)liked the band. I know - shameful.

heather - Oh no you didn't just reference Mili-Vanili. Awesome.

fringes said...

I love heather.

heather said...

the thing that realy pissed me off about the whole fiasco is that i liked quite a few of their songs. what a shame for the guys who did all the real singing. just shows what total a$$holes the music industry's producers etc can be. i mean, honestly, how many of the boy bands would have been that big without all of the slick packaging? and songwriter/singers like jewel who ooze talent are stuck with minimal promotion, support and compensation from the companies they work for.

sorry about the ranting tangent. must be it's time to bring out the heavy bag again. lol

heather said...

*i love you too fringes ;-)*

ChickyBabe said...

I knew that was coming! The question, I mean... :P

I work in a dungeon. Mwahaha....

Grad School Reject said...

Fringes - We all love Heather.

Heather - I love the image of you working over the heavy bag.

Heather - We all love Fringes.

CB - I knew that already. I meant WHICH dungeon.

heather said...

what makes you think i work it over? it's only heavy cause it's where i put a note about things that piss me off. after a while all those notes soaked with tears of frustration add up. lol (just messing with your head gsr)

ChickyBabe said...

You'd have to wear a blindfold first!

Airam said...

I just thought of another song (Ok not really I just happened to hear it on the radio)!!

No Rain by Blind Melon

Huh??? huh???

Grad School Reject said...

heather - please don't hurt me... ;)

CB - I only wear blindfolds if they are made of silk. Also, I would need a safe-word.

Airam - Good one! That song was huge for me, and it would get stuck in my head for days.

heather said...

blind melon! lol i still remember the first time i saw the video. i don't know if it was a plus or a minus that i had been drinking but i remember standing in front of the tv with what my sister describes as my 'what the holy f**k is this s**t' look. i ~still~ don't get either the band's name or the song. i like the song but the video kinda wrecked it for me.

ChickyBabe said...

I have a safe word for you: 'semi-column'.

Jenni said...

I love this.

You forgot "Black Betty" by Ram Jam.

Grad School Reject said...

CB - "semi-column"? Interesting word - I am unfamiliar with the term. Is it aussie? Or is it best if I don't ask? ;)

Jenni - You've stumped me. I don't know that song. I will now do some "googling" to get some answers.