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8 Worst Bands of All Time

The Beatles

An honest and complete list would have to include at least three of my former bands. But it won’t. Because audio clips would make you all sad. And never to return this site. Some of you may still never return. But at least you were not repelled by anything that I did. Here is a list of my (totally subjective) worst bands of all time.

In descending order of auditory terrorism:

8. Gloria Gaynor

Gloria Gaynor

She belongs on this list for writing the single worst song that will ever be written. I am moving on as I cannot be rational about this.

7. My Chemical Charlotte Fall-Out

my chemical romance

At least post-modern pop punk acts like Blink-182 and The Offspring were able to poke fun at themselves to detract from some of their forgetful music. There is no greater sin than being bad at what you do and then demand to be taken seriously. And also getting richer than me while doing it.

6. U2

U2 - band

What made U2 so goddamn world-changing was the raw, unproduced power of War or the intimacy and total fucking togetherness of Rattle and Hum. That album came from and belonged to us all. Anyone over the age of 30 cannot have escaped their youth without having part of it shaped by the good U2. So how is it that a band that recorded this heroic piece was able to ‘evolve’ into the people who are responsible for this abortion? In the end, I guess their greatest crime was not going pulling a Skynyrd in, say, 1989.

5. Right Said Fred

Right-Said-Fred

In Britain, they are actually remembered for two songs from the early 90s: One is the ubiquitous anthem that all North Americans not-so-fondly remember; the other was a popular song that was released just in time to, regrettably, blast in my face as I played with my first real, live vagina. Listening to this song today makes me wonder if there is a German word that describes the deep shame that one feels by being sexually aroused by something that is designed to, well, not. At all.

4. Tori Amos

tori amos piano

Undoubtedly talented and beautiful. She even had a song that a man could also enjoy. But she just came across as, um, you know, so very, um, batshit crazy. Like she would jab a spear right through your knuckles if you dared change the channel while she was watching her stories …

3. The Beatles

The_Beatles_history

I have been playing guitar for over 15 years yet I do not know how to play a single Beatles song. But I do know how to play the theme song to Magnum PI. Go ahead. Click on it. It is awesome. I am also working on this. But nothing from the Beatles.

2. Phish

phish band

As a musician, I should respect jam bands a lot more than I do. But then again, I am the guy who gets aroused by Right Said Fred songs.

1. Cake

cake-band

OK, so they covered the Song that Shall Not Be Named from No 8. And poorly at that. And they continue to release ‘music’ that sounds exactly like that cover. But slightly different. But not really. Their ‘music’ is just a guy talking while another guy plays an unrelated guitar riff. There is also a drummer but he may or may not be an infant child. The guy who is talking is saying stupid things that no one cares about. But with a tone that makes you think that he thinks that he is better than you. But he isn’t, obviously. Because I am in a band with a singer. And he isn’t.

I hope he starts dating Tori Amos. And soon.



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13 Comments

  1. Shannon March 21, 2012 at 8:24 am -

    3. The Beatles: I beg to differ. You certainly know (or at least used to know) “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. I can prove it! (but as suggested the audio clip might make you all sad/repelled therefore you’ll just have to trust me). There is also the distinct possibility that you were unaware that The Beatles were the actual artist when you played the song !?!

    • Joe Issid March 21, 2012 at 8:30 am -

      You are right. I thought it was a solo George Harrison piece. So, I stand corrected. I USED to know how to play a Beatles song at one time in my 20s…

  2. Robert March 21, 2012 at 8:25 am -

    Joe,

    I don’t completely agree with all, especially The Beatles BUT you did forget to mention one of the WORST songs ever made:

    • Joe Issid March 21, 2012 at 8:31 am -

      This is not the worst song ever recorded. Turn on your iPod and choose any song in your playlist. Now THAT is the worst song ever recorded :)

      • Robert March 21, 2012 at 8:37 am -

        WHAT! LOL

        Snoop is amazing!

  3. richard March 21, 2012 at 10:08 am -

    I cannot abide with the Beatles on that list. Personally I think U2 should be at No1, they have been creating pig swill for decades now which is compounded by Bono’s self righteous posturing. If I were to put anyone else on the list, how about Shakira from my adopted homeland? With any luck I am your entire readership from Colombia and so I won’t get scalped for dissing a national icon, but the whole mass marketing, poor music, warbling really gets my back up. And not for inclusion on the list but for an honourable mention due to some of the weakest lyrics of all time; Bryan Adams from Summer of ’69, “Me and some guys from school
    Had a band and we tried real hard”. I just cannot stand that line.

    • Joe Issid March 21, 2012 at 10:18 am -

      I thought there would be far more Beatles backlash. You are the first (so far). Shakira, while considered for this list, does have obvious talent (although only some of it is pleasing to me). Also, she is easily the most famous living person with any form of Lebanese heritage. So that is worth something. To me, at least…

      • richard March 21, 2012 at 10:59 am -

        Yes, I guess you can give her that, but you have to understand the incredible juggernaut of gossip and tabloid fodder that she and her distant family represent here. Kind of like a Lebanese/Colombian Beckham saga, and this for me is insufferable.

  4. The Wizard of Wej March 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm -

    Here is your eagerly anticipated backlash – the Beatles WORST song (if such a thing exists) is better than ANY music you have ever loved. They were really THAT good. Visionaries. Trailblazers. Masters. I am ashamed for you. Did the 14 minutes of rock music theory classes you attended at Mahogany Rush academy teach you nothing?
    If you seek penance, go erase your playlist and replace it with ANY three songs from the White Album. Then listen to them with a penitent heart and an open ear. I expect your sincere apology to be published thereafter post-haste.

    Incidentally, the fact that Starship failed to make the list is equally unforgivable. Their inclusion is warranted by sheer virtue of the fact that they so criminally devolved from the pioneering psychedelic rock act Jefferson Airplane into the garbage-pop ensemble responsible for such flatulence as “We Built This City”. That one tune is quite possibly the worst song ever imprinted on tape, from both a musical and lyrical perspective. I am a worse person for having listened to it even once.

    Jefferson Airplane / Jefferson Starship / Starship’s fall from grace (no Grace Slick pun intended) was so precipitous that it cannot be adequately explained. At least they had the decency to change their name twice to augur in each incremental plunge toward the proverbial abyss, thus preserving some of the sanctity of their former glory days. My two cents…and then some.

    • Joe Issid March 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm -

      Here is something that I had posted earlier on FB but am now too lazy to paraphrase, which (more or less) responds to your first thought:

      Our tastes in music are very much rooted in our sense of nostalgia and context. We very often associate good and bad feelings with the music that surrounded those moments. And that skews our objectivity. This is what makes music so powerful. This is especially true for a band like the Beatles (and if you are over, say, 30 this is categorical). Seeing that I grew up in a country that very heavily censored music and popular culture, I was introduced to the great bands of the West (Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin etc) at a slightly older age (in my late teens/early 20s). This very much prevented me from having strong emotional ties to the music and allowed me to evaluate these bands quite objectively – almost academically. So for me to say that the Beatles are awful means that I don’t like their music despite a deliberate effort to try and like them…
      …when I listen to the Beatles, I often feel like I am listening to a jingle, like I am being sold a stick of gum. And that doesn’t float my boat. Now, we can get caught up in an anthropological discussion on modern music and how the Beatles defined it, and that would be great. But I just don’t want to listen to them while we do it.

      Also, I am glad you were able to get that Starship thought off your chest :)

      • The Wizard of Wej March 21, 2012 at 10:43 pm -

        You make a salient point. I would argue in your favour that music is appreciated or rejected ENTIRELY on emotional perception.

        However, to address your specific critique, there is no one, defining “Beatle-esque” sound. Rather, they evolved so rapidly (beginning in earnest in 1967 with Sgt. Pepper) that they defy categorization. The sappy, bubblegum-like sound (i.e. Hard Day’s Night, She Loves You…etc…) you are accustomed to and that you wholesale associate with the Beatles was tantamount to them stretching their legs before embarking on a long hike. While I personally like all Beatles music, I can appreciate that someone might not hear “genius” in listening to “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

        That is precisely why I urge you to listen to the White Album (the pinnacle of their artistry) before dismissing their music. It harbours very little resemblance (aside from voices, obviously) to the mid-60′s, “beach blanket bingo” sound you so abhor. After that, if you haven’t proverbially “smashed the vinyl” in discophobic glee, you will find more previously unbeknownst to you Beatles magic lurking on the Abbey Road album…and maybe even the haunting majesty of Revolver. Try it… you may just like it.

        BTW, your overall justification rang true with me when I realized that I feel similarly about the Rolling Stones (aside from about 5 good songs) as you do about the Beatles. The one difference is that I have sampled nearly their entire catalogue of music making my judgement a bit more informed. Please excuse the dick-ishness but there was no other way to make my point.
        Peace and Love :)

  5. Survivor March 22, 2012 at 9:29 am -

    Fuck the Beatles. How does Gaynor’s inspiring, seminal work get such short thrift from you? How dare you? I want “I will Survive” to play on a loop at my wake one day. Relish the irony.

  6. DDR March 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm -

    I know the Cake entry was a jab at me. Monotone Cake wins over my tonedeaf ears daily.

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