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See Where You Rank in Virginia

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    50
    CÉLINE DION
    “My Heart Will Go On” 1998

    And on and on and on…

    Lop off all but the first 20 seconds of this monster ballad, and it still merits a slot on this list for the unconscionable crime of adding pan-flute solos to the pop lexicon. But it doesn’t stop there: With a voice full of ornamental quivers and trembles, Canadian dynamo Céline Dion pushes arena-size schmaltz into the red, first cutting her syllables preciously short, then strangling each one out. Never has a song about all-consuming love sounded so trivial and been so inescapable — it powered the Titanic soundtrack to a year-topping 10 million copies sold, and made millions more pray that an iceberg would somehow hit Dion.

    Worst Moment The third chorus, where she goes from soft to eye-bleedingly loud.

    49
    RIGHT SAID FRED
    “I’m Too Sexy” 1992

    The answer to Spinal Tap’s question “What’s wrong with being sexy?”

    Right Said Fred were horrible, bald novelty Brits whose one claim to fame was a song that announced that they were “too sexy” for most things, from “New York” to “my cat.” Alas, singer Richard Fairbrass resembled Midnight Oil’s Peter Garrett, and was therefore “too sexy” for precisely nothing. The song spawned a welter of grating catchphrases starting with “I’m too sexy” repeated endlessly by annoying people: “I’m too sexy for my tractor,” etc. Disturbingly, the Freds, as nobody calls them, are still going.

    Worst Moment The so-called chorus, in which, instead of mumbling, Fairbrass tries to sing. Stop it. Stop it now!

    48
    THE BEATLES
    “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” 1968

    You can practically hear them gritting their teeth

    The Beatles proved conclusively that there were two things they could not do: play reggae and feign enjoyment. “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” was a ska track recorded at a point during the White Album sessions when the Beatles would happily have beaten one another to death if only they had had some clubs on hand. As a result, this sounds less like reggae than the desperately chirpy songs Cockneys used to sing to keep their spirits up while the Luftwaffe rained death on them during the Blitz.

    Worst Moment The woefully unconvincing laughter in the final line: “If you want some fun — heh-heh-heh-heh! — take ob-la-di-bla-da!”

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    47
    BRYAN ADAMS
    “The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You” 1996

    It’s Great-Uncle Disgusting — from Canada!

    When Adams chose to do sexy after 15 years of chaste, aw-shucks rockin’, even his fans were stunned — as if they’d just seen a stag film starring Richie Cunningham. “I don’t look good in no Armani suits,” he leered in the song’s only believable moment, before suggesting he’d rather “wear” the song’s female protagonist over a blues riff like someone explaining ZZ Top to an accountant. This wasn’t the creepiest track off his album 18 Til I Die; that accolade goes to a song called “(I Wanna Be) Your Underwear.”

    Worst Moment “…There’s only one thing that fits me like it should.” Ick.

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    46
    NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
    “Hangin’ Tough” 1989

    Boy-band blueprint!

    It sucked the Swing out of New Jack, bleached the Blues out of Rhythm &amp;, and featured white boys calling themselves “funky” despite some very unfunky denim vests. This Boston quintet triggered a hormonal rush among 13-year-old girls and intense confusion among their boyfriends, and paved the way for megaselling boy bands who ran low on talent and high on dumb hats. This 1988 hit was all crossed arms and scowls, but the tuff-guy routine didn’t gel: These nancy boys make the Sharks and Jets look like G-Unit.

    Worst Moment The boys warn: “Don’t cross our path or you’re gonna get stomped!” Scary!

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    45
    JA RULE FEAT. ASHANTI
    “Mesmerize” 2002

    The most hated man in hip-hop — for good reason!

    Many rappers sing poorly, but none as irritatingly as Jeffrey Atkins. In 2001, he went from a raise-da-roof club grunter who treated women like car doors to a tone-deaf warbler who swore he worshiped them — and cried in his videos to prove it. On this 2002 duet with the reliably transparent Ashanti, he can’t contain his horny side, repeating a cracked-voiced mantra about “Your lips/Your smile/Your hips/Those thighs” and admitting his “fetish for &amp;$#%ing you with your skirt on.” Gains points for honesty; loses many more for coming off like an ogling doofus.

    Worst Moment The two-note chorus, which is a laundry list of female body parts.

    44
    MEAT LOAF
    “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” 1993

    Bitch-titted balladeer seeks dictionary

    Forget that this song comes from Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell and that pop albums can’t really have sequels. Forget that it’s 12 minutes — and crammed with pianos, choirs and every over-the-top adornment that producer Jim Steinman could get his hands on, it feels twice that length. No, this epic chunk of histrionics’ worst offense is that it doesn’t make any sense. You wouldn’t do what, exactly? It’s OK for rock songs to be dumb. But not stupid.

    Worst Moment Shamelessly aping “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” the boy-girl duet kicks in at around the nine-minute mark.

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    43
    UNCLE KRACKER
    “Follow Me” 2000

    Sleaze-rap DJ goes solo, blows like Hootie

    Breaking out on his own, the leading light of Kid Rock’s “Detroit playas” reneges on his boss’s promise to “cause chaos” and “rock like Amadeus.” He does, however, cause nausea and rock like Muzak with his nobody-saw-it-coming lite-FM stylings, hummin’, strummin’ and practically promisin’ to tuck you in at night. The unexpected bonus? It gives hope to everyone awaiting the Terminator X collection of Air Supply covers.

    Worst Moment Knowing every rhyme before it happens — the first time you hear the song.

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    42
    SIMON &amp; GARFUNKEL
    “The Sounds of Silence” 1965

    If Frasier Crane were a song, he would sound like this

    From the terrible opening line, in which darkness is addressed as “my old friend,” the lyrics of “The Sounds of Silence” sound like a vicious parody of a pompous and pretentious mid-’60s folk singer. But it’s no joke: While a rock band twangs aimlessly in the middle distance, Simon &amp; Garfunkel thunder away in voices that suggest they’re scowling and wagging their fingers as they sing. The overall experience is like being lectured on the meaning of life by a jumped-up freshman.

    Worst Moment “Hear my words that I might teach you”: Officially the most self-important line in rock history!

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    41
    BILLY JOEL
    “We Didn’t Start the Fire” 1989

    Can you fit a cultural history of the twentieth century into four minutes? Uh, no

    Despite its bombastic production, “We Didn’t Start the Fire” resembles a term paper scribbled the night before it’s due. As the song progresses, Joel audibly realizes he can’t cram it all in: The ’70s get four bellowed words amid the widdly-woo guitars and meet-thy-maker drums. The chorus denies responsibility for any events mentioned, clearing up the common misconception that Billy Joel developed the H-bomb.

    Worst Moment “China’s under martial law, rock &amp; roller cola wars!”: No way does conflating Tiananmen Square with Michael Jackson selling Pepsi trivialize a massacre.

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    40
    COLOR ME BADD
    “I Wanna Sex You Up” 1991

    Small-penis alert!

    These Oklahoma R&amp;B smoothies looked like rejects from a Benetton ad and sounded like flunkies from the Keith Sweat School of Horny Jamz. This is one long string of fake falsetto moans — there’s more heat in an Herbal Essences commercial — and the imagery ranges from perplexing (“We can do it till we both wake up”) to downright unpleasant (“Makin’ love until we drown”). Not recommended for the bedroom, unless your bedroom also features leopard-print picture frames, mirrored ceilings and a five-gallon tub of Astroglide from Costco.

    Worst Moment Toward the end, la-la-la’s creep in under whispered phrases like “Lay back and enjoy the ride.”

    39
    RICKY MARTIN
    “She Bangs” 2000

    La vida proves not to be so loca after all

    The arrangers of Ricky Martin’s follow-up to “La Vida Loca” worked with the fevered desperation of men who had been driven to the desert and made to dig their own graves at gunpoint: first with the hooting 180-piece horn section, then the percussion played by a crateful of ADD-afflicted chimpanzees, and — finally, in a last-ditch effort at the fade — a male chorus as numerous and frenzied as the Red Army Choir let loose in a Cuban whorehouse. The ingredients of its epic predecessor are all here — but it’s all wrong, and worse still, unintentionally hilarious.

    Worst Moment “She looks like a flower but she stings like a bee/Like every girl in his-to-ry!”

    38
    REDNEX
    “Cotton Eye Joe” 1995

    Just what the world needed: a Swedish techno-bluegrass crossover

    Novelty European techno is not a genre noted for its multitude of artistic high points, but “Cotton Eye Joe” may well be its nadir. A Country &amp; Western record made by people who evidently hate C&amp;W music with every fiber of their being, it layers a thumping beat with every hillbilly cliché known to man — twanging Jew’s harp, people shouting “yee-haw!”, bluegrass banjo, horses neighing — and then tops it off with a vocalist singing in what may be the most risible American accent ever committed to tape.

    Worst Moment Rednex have spent more weeks at number 1 in Germany than any other artist of the last 25 years.

    37
    GERARDO
    “Rico Suave” 1991

    He was Vanilla Ice for the Telemundo set

    Long before Ricky Martin lived la vida loca, another fleet-footed, sexually ambiguous Latino star crossed over to pop-chart glory by turning an otherwise forgettable dance-pop tune into a ubiquitous and dreaded catchphrase. In the verses, this Don Juan in a bandanna boasted about his insatiable libido over a cheesy Casiotone beat, but it’s the chorus that really sticks in our cabeza: Reeeeeeeco. Suuaaaaaave. No es bueno.

    Worst Moment Nothing brings a dance floor to a screeching halt like the line “I’m used to good ol’-fashioned homestyle Spanish cooking/If I try that, I’ll be puking.”

    36
    MASTER P FEAT. SILKK, FIEND, MIA-X AND MYSTIKAL
    “Make Em Say Uhh!” 1998

    Cristal meets constipation!

    A lot of ideas occur to people in the shower, but the hook for this Dirty South smash sounds as though someone thought it up on the toilet during a strenuous bowel movement: Master P and a small army of cronies groan “Unnngghhh” no fewer than 25 (!) times here. Rapping, P mumbles, falls behind an already wooden beat and is generally trounced by the phenomenally speedy Mystikal, who tries to pump some crunk back into the sinking ship with an eleventh-hour guest verse.

    Worst Moment Each hook, which sounds like the “before” section of an Ex-Lax ad.

    35
    R.E.M.
    “Shiny Happy People” 1991

    What were they thinking?

    It’s difficult to imagine the circumstances that led R.E.M. — intelligent, literate, subtle even when rocking out — to record this. Not only is “Shiny Happy People” an annoying song, but you also get the distinct sense that it’s going out of its way to annoy you. What other explanation is there for its riff — which sounds like a cellphone ring tone chosen by a sociopath — or its lyrics, which resemble something you would force children to learn as a punishment, or the backing vocals of B-52 Kate Pierson, which defy rational description?

    Worst Moment “Throw your love around, take it into town, put it in the ground, where the flowers grow.”

    34
    DAN FOGELBERG
    “Longer” 1979

    Dear Mr. Fogelberg: Why not consider a stage name?

    Having trouble placing this song? Imagine you’re in a dentist’s chair with a 10-inch steel drill about to bore into your molars when this Muzak classic pipes in through the office speakers. The singer sounds like he could be your patchouli-scented sixth-grade history teacher, whispering politely about being in love with you longer than there have been fish in the ocean, higher than any bird ever flew. Then the violins kick in. Then you pray for the sweet, sweet relief of the drill.

    Worst Moment Any musician who uses the phrase forest primeval with a straight face must be stopped.

    33
    AQUA
    “Barbie Girl” 1997

    Scandi-wegian pedo-pop alert! Erk!

    Brilliant idea: Take a child’s toy, turn it into a twisted sexual fantasy (“Kiss me here, touch me there”), set it to teeth-rotting synth-pop like a robot pony kicking children to death and hawk it like Happy Meals to the under-13s. Perhaps the gambit sounded acceptable in helium-huffing singer Lene Nystrøm’s native Norwegian, but in English it’s just plain wrong. Barbie manufacturer Mattel sued, but that didn’t stop “Barbie Girl” from casting a blight on 1997. One question sprang to mind if you were unlucky enough to catch the video: Weren’t they a little old to be doing this?

    Worst Moment “Rapper” René Dif’s basso profundo “Come on, Barbie, let’s go party.”

    32
    WILL SMITH
    “Will 2K” 1999

    On New Year’s Eve, the Fresh Prince drops the ball

    In 1999, the incoming millennium sent most rappers into doomsday mode, but not Will Smith. He was writing a celebration jam so wildly dorky it makes your local bar mitzvah DJ look like a member of the Strokes. Having jumped from ’hood to Hollywood, Smith can’t make the return trip: His overearnest, G-rated rhymes about fun bob along to an unlikely “Rock the Casbah” sample — you can practically see Joe Strummer wondering if he came to the right party and inching toward the exit.

    Worst Moment In the running for the Worst Pun Ever award, Smith raps, “The new millennium — excuse me, Will-ennium.”

    31
    CRASH TEST DUMMIES
    “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” 1994

    The worst hum in music ever

    You know that jerk at your office who can burp the alphabet? That’s the way Brad Roberts sings. On this 1994 single, his voice is a ludicrously bassy croak as he narrates supposed “slice-of-life” stories that land with a dull thud: A car hits one kid and turns his hair white; another’s covered in birthmarks; the last has genuflecting, churchgoing parents. Sure, white hair’s weird and evangelicals are weirder, but why are you telling us this? Moreover, why do you insist on humming the chorus? You sound like E.T. crossed with Barry White, dude!

    Worst Moment Any time Roberts sings a vowel.

    30
    WHITNEY HOUSTON
    “Greatest Love Of All” 1986

    “Sexual chocolate!”

    Immortalized by Eddie Murphy’s lascivious funk band in Coming to America, this heartrending über-ballad is still best known as Whitney Houston’s career zenith, before the marriage and the drugs took hold. Backed by a piano and what may or may not be a high-school symphony, Whit is at her proto-Mariah overexuding best, belting out platitudes about the joys of loving oneself above all others. Truly an anthem for the ’80s.

    Worst Moment Picture a whacked-out Whitney and Bobby staggering through Israel in his-n’-hers prayer robes, then listen to the climactic line, “They can’t take away my dignity.”

    29
    DEEP BLUE SOMETHING
    “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” 1995

    So bland, you can actually forget you’re listening to music while it’s playing

    Less a song than an experiment to see how mundane college rock can become before it ceases to exist altogether. Texas’s Deep Blue Something matched frantic acoustic guitars to a perky melody and a lyric that re-creates the experience of being cornered at a party by a stranger who insists on telling you his romantic problems in excruciating detail: “So I said.…She said.…And I said.…”

    Worst Moment Has there ever been a more boring line in a song than “And as I recall, I think we both kinda liked it?”

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    28
    JOHN MAYER
    “Your Body is a Wonderland” 2001

    Get this man a cold shower

    “Ohhh,” the women of the world sigh, “why can’t I just find a nice guy — you know, someone who’ll compare my breasts to a theme park?” Yearn no more, ladies! Drool never sounded as sweet as it does on this slow-stirred ode to daytime sex — but even from the otherwise charming Mayer, it’s still drool. What’s more, sunny acoustic guitars belie some creepy undertones: When Mayer rasps “Discover me discovering you” and “I’ll use my hands,” it sounds as though he’s sitting in a dark room, playing pocket pool to a camera he planted in the women’s lavatory.

    Worst Moment Mayer describes the “deep sea of blankets” on his bed. Ewww!


    27
    EUROPE
    “The Final Countdown” 1987

    The worst thing to come from both the band and the continent itself

    Eschewing such traditional hair-metal concerns as girl-chasing and “steel horse”–riding, this Rocky 4 theme from the poodle-permed Swedes found frontman Joey Tempest announcing that he was off to Venus, “ ’cause maybe they’ve seen us!” — proof that English lyrics are best written by people with a working knowledge of the language. Tempest’s nonsensical caterwauling was backed by music that somehow managed to be fascist in its bombast yet also coma-inducingly dull.

    Worst Moment The synth trills remind us that before they were a crappy metal band, Europe were a crappy prog-rock band.


    26
    THE DOORS
    “The End” 1967

    The most pretentious rock star’s most pretentious song

    Bombastic? Lugubrious? Sounds like it was recorded in a large metal shipping container and mixed by drunks? It must be a Doors song! Painful in so many ways, “The End,” for starters, has none. (OK, it’s 11 minutes and 45 seconds long.) Over anemic jazz noodling, Jim Morrison intones lyrics that would make the kid wearing the pentagram T-shirt in the back row of homeroom blush with shame. For example: “Father…I want to kill you/Mother…I want to unh-grblgrauauauauaugh!”

    Worst Moment According to online lyrics guides, that last vocal eruption actually contains the words that constitute the most appropriate response to the song: &amp;$#% you.

    25
    PUFF DADDY FEAT. FAITH EVANS AND 112
    “I’ll Be Missing You” 1997
    …and your platinum-selling albums. Sob!

    A little over three months after the tragic shooting of his best friend, the Notorious B.I.G., a distraught Puffy Combs channeled his grief into “I’ll Be Missing You,” a nauseating brew of gloopy sentimentality and strategic-marketing mawkishness. Opportunistic? Perhaps. But how very therapeutic it must have been for Puffy to have this memorial to his departed chum spend 11 weeks at number 1.

    Worst Moment The mumbling insincerity of the spoken-word intro: “I saw your son today.…He looked just like you.”


    24
    FIVE FOR FIGHTING
    “Superman” 2000

    Musical kryptonite

    In the chaotic days following 9/11, people were grasping at whatever they could find for comfort. But perhaps nothing shows how out of sorts America was than the ascendance of this turgid ballad by once-and-future-unknown John Ondrasik as this grieving nation’s unofficial anthem. Maybe it was the sensitive-guy lyrics (“Even heroes have the right to bleed”) delivered over Billy Joel–lite piano noodling that soothed America’s frazzled nerves. But if this man is allowed to continue recording, then surely the terrorists have won.

    Worst Moment Those falsetto notes in the chorus are enough to bring Osama bin Laden and Lex Luthor to their knees.


    23
    COREY HART
    “Sunglasses At Night” 1984

    If you look up one-hit wonder in the dictionary, this is what you’ll find

    Over a keyboard riff that sounds more than a little like that of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” the brooding Quebecois Hart mugged worse than Derek Zoolander as he extolled the virtues of going incognito. With its lack of anything resembling a human being playing an instrument, this is disposable synth-pop at its most bubblegum.

    Worst Moment The chorus, in which Hart warns, “Don’t switch a blade on the guy in shades, oh, no,” was an attempt at tough-guy posing, but it made him sound like the musical equivalent of Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club. That is, not very tough at all.

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    TOBY KEITH
    “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” 2002

    Oklahoma redneck runs for office on Hate ticket

    Outraged by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Toby Keith enlisted in the Air Force — no, sorry, he wrote a fight anthem so vengeful, it makes “The Star-Spangled Banner” sound like “Give Peace a Chance.” Though right-wing radio hosts and politicians called him a hero, Keith (who hadn’t had a hit in years) moaned, “It sucks ass that I have to defend myself for being patriotic.” Wrong. You have to defend yourself for celebrating violence and bloodlust.

    Worst Moment“We’ll put a boot in your ass; it’s the American way,” Keith sings, mistaking revenge for ideals of liberty.

    21
    SPIN DOCTORS
    “Two Princes” 1992

    This is what happens when jam bands go pop

    It’s obviously unfair to dislike a song because of the appearance of the band that recorded it. Yet the very sound of “Two Princes” evokes the way the Spin Doctors looked. With its riff repeated long past endurance, dopey lyrics and abominable vocal scatting, it could only have been the work of scrabbly beared, questionably hatted, red-eyed stoners staggering out of the rehearsal room convinced they have discovered the missing link between grunge, the Grateful Dead and Jamiroquai — blissfully unaware that no one in his right mind was looking for that in the first place.

    Worst Moment “Dit-dit-dit! Dit-dit-dit-a-dobba-dobba-dobba dobba!”

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    LIONEL RICHIE
    “Dancing On The Ceiling” 1986

    The world’s least convincing party song

    Sounding suspiciously as if it was written in order to fit a video treatment rather than the other way around, this dispiritingly unfunky celebration appears literally to be about dancing on a ceiling — “People starting to climb the walls.…The only thing we want to do tonight is go round and round and turn upside down.” Even more troubling is the thought that in the ’80s, this rancidly thin stew of AOR dynamics and curiously Rick Wakeman–ish keyboards was Motown’s idea of a hot party record.

    Worst Moment The fake party ambience, clearly the work of bored studio employees forced to whoop and cheer.

    19
    MR. MISTER
    “Broken Wings” 1985

    The thoroughly nasty sound of yuppie angst

    “Broken Wings” is primarily annoying not for its anodyne mid-’80s production, nor for its lyrics, which make its central protagonist sound like someone you would seek a restraining order against (“You’re half of the flesh, and blood makes me whole,” he sings, reaching for the duct tape and the nail gun). It’s primarily annoying because it’s a four-minute intro with no song attached. When the booming drums finally kick in, they announce the arrival not of a fantastic chorus or an epic finale, but the greatest anticlimax in pop, featuring what can only be described as a synth bass solo.

    Worst Moment The synth bass solo.

    18
    CHICAGO
    “You’re the Inspiration” 1984

    And you thought the Cubs were the biggest losers in this town? Wrong!

    It’s hard to believe, but at one point Chicago were a fairly well-respected rock band. Then Peter Cetera joined, and they jettisoned any remaining street cred in favor of soft-rock ballads your grandmother would deem harmless. In this, their most egregious offense, Cetera’s gratingly affected and overmodulated vocals float over 1984 standard-issue electric piano, and a nation of greasy, awkward seventh graders slow-danced for the very first time.

    Worst Moment That power-rock drum fill before the second verse, apparently designed to mollify hatas who thought the band had lost its edge.

    17
    HAMMER
    “Pumps and a Bump” 1994

    Next stop: bankruptcy court!

    It takes a special kind of awful to destroy a career. This song is that kind of awful. Four years after winning our hearts with his Rick James samples, deft footwork and baggy pants, Hammer (né MC Hammer) took an ill-advised stab at gangsta rap. Over third-rate Dre beats and high-pitched synth samples, the former Saturday-morning cartoon star freestyled about his love of women with gigantic asses. Soon after it nosedived off the charts, Hammer gave up chubby-chasing and devoted his life to Jesus.

    Worst Moment The line “You wiggity-wiggity wack if you ain’t got biggity back” must have been found on Sir Mix-a-Lot’s cutting-room floor.

    16
    4 NON BLONDES
    “What’s Up?” 1993


    To grunge what “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” was to the Woodstock Generation Whenever a new genre comes along, one thing is guaranteed: Sooner or later someone will reduce its values to platitudes, then set them to music so trite you could use it to sell soft drinks. “What’s Up?” stapled grunge angst to the AOR that grunge was supposed to stamp out, then added the remarkable vocals of Linda Perry, a woman so tormented by what she referred to as her “lahf” — which she had apparently spent trying to climb that “heeyuhl of howp” — that she had invented her own accent.

    Worst Moment The first chorus, in which Perry unleashes the one thing ’90s rock had lacked to that point: yodeling.

    15
    THE REMBRANDTS
    “I’ll Be There For You” 1995

    With friends like these…

    Like a support group crammed into a pop ditty, this theme song–turned–radio hit is crushingly sunny, cheaply “empathetic” and unsparingly upbeat. The Beatles-adoring duo harmonize about romantic travails, dead-end jobs and the overwhelming power of — you guessed it — friendship. The only way it could be more irritating is if they repeated “Turn that frown upside down” for three minutes and 10 seconds. It is a powerfully appropriate theme, as it’s impossible to hear a note and not think of Rachel’s haircut, Chandler’s grin, Ross’s whimper.

    Worst Moment Four handclaps punctuate the song’s first line, all mimed peppiness and overprescribed Prozac.

    14
    BETTE MIDLER
    “From a Distance” 1990

    Satanic ballad depicts the Lord as neglectful oaf

    Ignoring an entire century of existentialism and science that declared God dead, bawdy bathhouse babe Bette Midler keeps a straight face throughout liberal homilies, stiff rhymes and more sound F/X than a Mel Gibson movie. Sure, war and famine suck, but Midler assures us that “God is watching us, from a distance.” In other words, the Almighty is some kind of heavenly grandfather, loving and caring, but too doddering and distracted to really get involved. Thanks, God!

    Worst Moment The drum machine. If God exists, He probably hates drum machines.

    13
    GENESIS
    “Illegal Alien” 1983

    Did nobody ever suggest that this song might be considered a teensy bit…offensive?

    The ’80s was the decade when rock superstars like Genesis discovered their social conscience. What better way to draw attention to the plight of illegal Hispanic immigrant workers than by adopting a Speedy Gonzales accent and singing a jaunty AOR track depicting Mexicans as freeloading degenerates? Perhaps fearing that the song’s subtle ethnic humor might be missed by some listeners, Phil Collins sported a Zapata mustache and a sombrero in the video.

    Worst Moment The middle eight, featuring hilariously accented shouting of the arriba! and eh, greeengo! variety.

    12
    THE BEACH BOYS
    “Kokomo” 1988

    They might as well have just pissed in Brian’s sandbox

    The Boys’ Cocktail soundtrack single was their first number 1 since “Good Vibrations” 18 years earlier. But chart position is all the songs have in common. “Good Vibrations” is a glorious slice of Brian Wilson–penned pop perfection; “Kokomo” is a gloopy mess of faux-Carribean musical stylings cowritten by Mike Love. It’s all anodyne harmonizing and forced rhymes (“To Martinique, that Montserrat mystique!”) that would have driven Brian totally nuts had he not been totally nuts already.

    Worst Moment The most diabolical rhyme is saved for, um, first: “Aruba, Jamaica, ooh, I wanna take ya!”

    11
    CLAY AIKEN
    “Invisible” 2003

    Bad haircut. Worse song!

    It’s not just the schmaltzy play for loser pity (“If I was invisible — wait, I already am”). It’s not just the ridiculously purple lyrics. And it’s not just the thought of Aiken’s eternally asymmetrical porcupine ’do quivering as he soars into a high note. It’s the whole hey-girl-I-want-to-watch-you-while-you-think-you’re-alone-in-your-bedroom thing that transforms this song from a merely mediocre ballad to a disturbing voyeur fantasy, filling your head with images of Aiken downloading porn and thinking bad things about that girl from homeroom. What lurks in the hearts of lonely geeks? Clay Aiken knows, and it’s not pretty.

    Worst Moment “I wish you could touch me with the colors of your life.”

    10
    PAUL McCARTNEY AND STEVIE WONDER
    “Ebony and Ivory” 1982

    Racial-harmony dreck

    See, it’s a metaphor: “Side by side on my piano/Keyboard/Oh, Lord/Why don’t we?” McCartney and Wonder want the races to get along as peacefully as the white and black keys on a piano — which seems unlikely, since the white keys didn’t enslave the black keys for hundreds of years. The anguished idealism inspired a Saturday Night Live duet between Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo: “I am dark and you are light/You are blind as a bat and I have sight.”

    Worst Moment The repeated chorus at the end — where the song gets even chirpier.

    9
    MADONNA
    “American Life” 2003

    Desperately seeking…contemporary relevance

    On which Madonna updates the “Material Girl”–era satire of commercialism and spiritual emptiness — but this time, she does it with what is hands-down the most embarrassing rap ever recorded. Nervous and choppy, she makes Debbie Harry sound as smooth as Jay-Z. The only thing worse than shouting “soy latte”? Rhyming it with “double shot-ay.” The rhymes don’t kick in for a full three minutes, but the song — propelled by a constipated digital beat and some bungled musings on celebrity culture — stinks the whole way through.

    Worst Moment After rapping, Madonna sings, “Nothing is what it seeeems” in a manner drained of all profundity.

    8
    EDDIE MURPHY
    “Party All the Time” 1985

    Beverly Hills Cop commits felony pop

    Now, it might seem like a cruel satire: Leather-suited comedian teams up with Jheri-curled Superfreak to craft hit record. But no — in 1985, Eddie Murphy and Rick James really did get to number 2 with this catatonic checklist of funk clichés: the witlessly parping synthesizers, electro-totalitarian drums that are practically ready to invade Poland on their own, production mimicking karaoke night in an abandoned pet-food factory and…falsetto singing!

    Worst Moment James oozes, “She-likes-to-paaarty — all — the — tiiiime,” leaving us in no doubt about what kind of “party” he has in mind. Relax, ladies: He was on crack.

    7
    BOBBY McFERRIN
    “Don’t Worry Be Happy” 1988

    Oh, great — a bumper sticker set to music

    Just as there are few things more depressing than being told to cheer up, it’s difficult to think of a song more likely to plunge you into suicidal despondency than this. The finger-clicking rhythm, the Sesame Street backing and McFerrin’s various accents — all different, all patronizing — are an object lesson in trying too hard. The lyrics are appalling, too: If your landlord is indeed threatening you with legal action, you should not under any circumstances follow McFerrin’s advice, which seems to involve chuckling at him and saying “Look at me, I’m ’appy” in a comical Jamaican voice.

    Worst Moment The whole wretched thing.

    6
    HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS
    “The Heart Of Rock &amp; Roll” 1984

    A celebration of rock music …by a band seemingly intent on destroying it

    Less a song than a craven attempt to curry favor from drunken arena crowds trained to roar on cue when they hear their city’s name mentioned. Coming off more like one of your dad’s golf buddies than a rock star, Lewis rattles off a list of American cities in a monotone so bland that subbing in “Bakersfield” for “San Antone” would drive the fans wild, and hopefully distract them from the fact that the bar band–caliber music suuuuucked.

    Worst Moment The second verse, when that cheeky Huey almost uses the word ass. Ah, 1984 — such a simple time.

    5
    VANILLA ICE
    “Ice Ice Baby” 1990

    When hip-hop stopped being the “black CNN”

    Making fellow early-’90s pop-rap pioneer MC Hammer look cutting-edge by comparison, the chart-topping “Ice Ice Baby” was mindless white rap for mindless white people, set to the plodding bass line from Queen’s “Under Pressure” for easy move-busting. Lyrically, the Iceman recounts a trip to Palm Beach, where he is forced to reach for his “nine” by some moody dope fiends. It later emerged that this nice suburban boy fabricated his tough past and would probably soil himself at the sight of a real gun.

    Worst Moment “To the extreme I rock a mic like a vandal/Light up the stage and wax a chump like a candle.” None of this was remotely true.

    <table align="left"><tr><td class="standard"> </td><td></td></tr></table>4
    LIMPBIZKIT
    “Rollin’” 2000

    In which nü-metal veers from disaffected rage to “Will this do?”

    Sounding like a middle-aged man trying to fight his way out of his son’s frat party using only random words of youth slang and an unconvincingly gruff tone of voice, Fred Durst dictates a light aerobic workout (“Hands up, now hands down.…Breathe in, now breathe out”) against a background of histrionic metal noise. The song is meaningless and embarrassing in equal measure.

    Worst Moment Being addressed as both “partner” and “baby” in Durst’s drawling intro, shortly before being told, bafflingly, “You know what time it is.”

    3
    WANG CHUNG
    “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” 1986

    If this song was a party, you’d lock yourself in the bathroom and cry

    Initially called Huang Chung, but in no way Chinese, London-based funk tools Wang Chung changed their name to make it easier for whitey to pronounce, thus patronizing Asia and Europe in one stroke. Musically one of history’s least convivial party songs, “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” was both lyrically preposterous (“On the edge of oblivion/All the world is Babylon”) and sung by Jack Hues as though he would turn to sulphur at the very thought of “fun.”

    Worst Moment That chorus: “Everybody have fun tonight/Everybody Wang Chung tonight.”

    2
    BILLY RAY CYRUS
    “Achy Breaky Heart” 1992

    At least the haircut never caught on. Oh, wait…

    Country, but not as we know it. Written by Vietnam vet Don “Pickle Puss” Von Tress in the style of a brain-dead “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Achy Breaky Heart” represented every prejudice non-believers have about country: It was trite, it was inane, it was big in trailer parks and it was thoroughly enjoyed by the obese. Strangely, it was covered by Bruce Springsteen, with slightly less irony than you might imagine; still, this does not make it good.

    Worst Moment An instrumental break that single-handedly rejuvenated the line-dancing fad.

    1
    STARSHIP
    “We Built This City” 1985

    The truly horrible sound of a band taking the corporate dollar while sneering at those who take the corporate dollar

    The lyrics of “We Built This City” appear to restate the importance of the band once known as Jefferson Airplane within San Francisco’s ’60s rock scene. Not so, says former leader Grace Slick, who by 1985 had handed her band to singer Mickey Thomas and a shadowy team of outside songwriters.

    “Everybody thought we were talking about San Francisco. We weren’t,” Slick says. “It was written by an Englishman, Bernie Taupin, about Los Angeles in the early ’70s. Nobody was telling the truth!”

    Certainly not Starship, who spend the song carrying on as if they invented rock &amp; roll rebellion, while churning out music that encapsulates all that was wrong with rock in the ’80s: Sexless and corporate, it sounds less like a song than something built in a lab by a team of record-company executives.

    The result was so awful that years afterward, it seems to bring on a personality disorder in the woman who sang it. “This is not me,” Slick remarks when reminded of the 1985 chart-topper. “Now you’re an actor. It’s the same as Meryl Streep playing Joan of Arc.”

    Worst Moment “Who cares, they’re always changing corporation names,” sneers Slick — whose band had changed its name three times.
    Add Camstock to Rail
  2. haha some of these are pretty damn funny.
     
    Add PRIVATEPILE to Rail
  3. I fully expected to see &quot;Margaritaville&quot; on this list. Such dissapointaments.
    Add cruizr to Rail
  4. where the hell is the Macarena?!?!?!?!?!?!
    Add BamaBlonde to Rail
  5. cosign

    and who let the dogs out?
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  6. This has got to be the worst &quot;worst music&quot; list in existence.

    No Nickleback, no Puddle of Mudd, no Pearl Jam-wanna-bes, no Finger 11, no Blink 182, no Avril Lavigne, no Kanye West, no Snoop Dogg, no P-Diddy(or whoever he wants to be this week), no disco, no polka, no gregorian chants, no William Shatner. I guess they are geniuses compared to bands like the Beatles and the Doors.
    Add dbcoyotes23 to Rail
  7. Sunglasses at Night is a bad ass song.
    Add JPitt09 to Rail
  8. blender is actually one of the worst magazines to ever put lists out. this list is dumb and everyone involved in making it is dumb.

    they just put bands that people like and try to find shitty ass songs or even semi good songs to put in the list to make controversy and people mad just to get people to talk about them.

    ftr. i am in no way offended by this list or anything. just hate best and worst lists.

    i guess they left off &quot;mmmbop&quot; because they figure that hansen fans are too young to even read.
    Add franktank to Rail
  9. Sound of the Silence makes a &quot;Blender&quot; worst list?

    Complete blasphemy

    If I had a printed version of this POS list I would throw it into my blender
    Add FLB-PUNKER to Rail
  10. What a joke list...it looks like they pick random bands and try find a random song and bash it, except for the obvious of course.

    Their reasons are also horrible. If they woulda given legitmate reasons, then ok. but there reasoning goes something like this &quot;I dont like the opening, its lyrics are bad, its too dark too, it must be one of the worst songs ever.&quot;

    The Door's &quot;End&quot; one of the top 50 worst songs ever???????? come on. Just cause its dark doesn't make it bad, how did these people get their jobs.
    Add chknpotpie to Rail
  11. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgU_m3SuYPE

    Ozone - Dragostea Din Tei

    aka numa numa
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  12. The only good song Puff Daddy ever made is on their worst songs list?
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  13. I have (and enjoy) numbers 28, 29, and 31 on that list
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  14. this list sucks
    Add RonKarkovice to Rail
  15. 22 is just ridiculous, i like the song. i guess blender thinks that when america gets attacked, we should just do nothing and not retaliate. also, saying that a celebrity should have joined the military, not written a song about it is just stupid. that happened once in our generation and is unlikely to happen again. coincidentally that man died four years ago today in Afghanistan.

    also, blink-182 is sfgood and has no place on a worst songs list. they need to get back together ASAP.
    Add OSUBucks42 to Rail
  16. Im Too Sexy is a great song
    Add TMLMS13 to Rail
  17. That's not a terrible list, however there are some songs left out. Most of those songs are pretty awful and would agree.

    10 of them though I'll admit to owning the albums, and I don't know how &quot;Broken Wings&quot;, &quot;Sunglasses At Night&quot;, and &quot;The Final Countdown&quot; makes the list. Those are essential 80's tracks IMO.
    Add OlDirtyDawson to Rail