Do you have favorite bands where you love most of their material but one of their songs is an automatic skip? It’s easy to pick bad songs from your favorite bands, for us think The Beatles “Revolution # 9” or R.E.M’s “The Wrong Child”, but what about the hits that annoy you? So we asked ourselves: what song from our favorite band could we do without? We also bring back our musical expert Treacherous Friend to help us out. Check out his blog here: https://treacherousfriends.blog/.
Of course, I love all the bands on my list but these songs I just can’t listen to. They are all overplayed even today. Each one has a various reason for my distaste and I do wish I liked them but it doesn’t work that way.
- “With or Without You”, U2. I love U2 but I am in a vast minority that hates The Joshua Tree and this song may be my least favorite track.
- “Roxanne”, The Police. It’s an overrated song that is much better in parody form or when Eddie Murphy belts it out in 48 Hours.
- “California Girls”, The Beach Boys. I am not going to lie, a lot of the early Beach Boys tracks are similar but “California Girls” is the worst of the bunch. David Lee Roth almost saves it.
- “You Might Think”, The Cars. Having this video be a groundbreaker meant playing the song into the ground. It barely beat out “Shake it Up”.
- “Jeremy”, Pearl Jam. Another video casualty and it’s too schmaltzy deep for me. Another one that is easily parodied.
- “Silly Love Songs”, Paul McCartney. The Beatles and McCartney are in my pantheon but I have to agree with John Lennon this song lacks substance and it’s grating.
- “People are People”, Depeche Mode. This was my first exposure to Depeche Mode and so I just hated them. Fortunately, later in life, I realized they are good, this song is not.
- “Friday I’m in Love”, The Cure. The Cure are not usually a happy sounding band and this song does not fit and it’s annoying.
- “Walk like an Egyptian”, The Bangles. Too much whistling and my friends ruined it for me by singing “walk with an erection…”.
- “Love Shack”, The B-52’s. Another song that almost ruined a band for me. You know what’s as big as a whale? My hate for this song.
MG: I’d agree with quite a few of these. I never understood your not-love for The Joshua Tree, but I’ll admit to skipping “With Or Without You” sometimes. Weddings almost singularly ruined “Love Shack” for me, although I’m happy to dance to it over “Old Time Rock & Roll”. Good call on “Roxanne”, and I will also touch on a Police staple on my list, even though they are one of my top 5 bands. I still love “You Might Think”, but considered “Shake It Up” for my list.
TF: I only agree with you on a few of these. “Friday I’m In Love” would have made my list if it didn’t make yours. I also name a Depeche Mode song – one even worse than “People Are People.” And I’ve never been a Pearl Jam fan, so I’m on board with “Jeremy.” I actually like the rest of these cuts though. Might not seek them out, but I wouldn’t skip over them, either.
I’m a firm believer that some songs are just too good – in that they are so catchy and reach such a mass-audience, that I quickly start to despise them. I guess a lot of it is overplay fatigue, but sometimes it’s more than that. It’s really hard to quantify – but I think we all know what I’m talking about. Then again, sometimes you just get a bad connotation with a tune and you can’t shake the connection. Here are some that come to mind.
- “Billie Jean”, Michael Jackson. This was his breakout tune that launched the Thriller album. Just one that never thrilled me. I like Chris Cornell’s cover though.
- “Stand”, R.E.M. Can’t stand ya.
- “Lightning Crashes“, Live. It bugs me that if I hear Live played on the radio, THIS is the only song they ever play.
- “One”, U2. I know Bono named his charity after this song, but this ONE doesn’t work for me.
- “Right Now”, Van Hagar. This was used as some corporate mantra bullshit at a financial company I worked for. I never loved the tune, but I definitely hate it now.
- “Mr. Jones”, Counting Crows. Oddly, I love their acoustic version of this song. When stripped of the overcooked jauntiness, the song takes on its intended meaning.
- “What Would You Say?”, Dave Matthews Band. I’d say that it’s a good thing “Ants Marching” came along, or I would never have bought all those DMB CDs and concert tickets.
- “Every Breath You Take”, The Police. Great song, just not for me. (Although I did love the use of it in Stranger Things season 2).
- “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, Guns N’ Roses. Appetite For Destruction is a great album, but Axl just screeches way too much for me on this one.
- “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, Wham. Like eating a king-size bag of Skittles, a whole bag of cotton candy and a Big Gulp of Coke in one sitting.
DJ: I don’t fully agree with your list. I love “One” by U2 and “Mr. Jones” still holds up for me. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” is so infectious that it still gets me singing along. The rest of your list I do agree on and “Right Now” is the worst. Not sure what Van Halen was thinking ($$$$$$) but they rented this out to “Everyone“!
TF: I’ve never been a big Counting Crows, Dave Matthews, or Live fan, but I don’t dislike any of the other songs on this list. I’m with DJ that “Wake Me Up…” is an upbeat ’80s classic on par with “Walking On Sunshine.” And I know it’s a generally unpopular opinion, but I still love “Stand” by R.E.M.
MG: Absolutely despise “Walking on Sunshine”, by the way….
Thanks for the invite. This is a hard list for me – really struggling to come up with a list of ten songs I dislike by bands that I otherwise dig, especially hits. I mean, it’s easy to say, “Sister” by Prince, but only the hardcore Prince fans know this one, so it barely counts. I’ll give it a shot anyway.
- “Piano Man”, Billy Joel. I actually put $10 in the jar at a piano bar once to get the performer to stop playing this. Not bad, necessarily, but way overplayed.
- “Alison”, Elvis Costello. It’s like the one song that everyone knows by him. Again, relentlessly overplayed.
- “Blasphemous Rumours”, Depeche Mode. Not a big US hit, but one of the worst songs Martin Gore ever wrote
- “Fire Lake“, Bob Seger. The missus loves Bob Seger and I can usually tolerate him, but this song makes me want to stab something. The poor man’s Bruce Springsteen
- “I’m On Fire”, Bruce Springsteen. I generally dig The Boss, but this attempt at seduction comes off as sleazy and cheap.
- “Rehab”, Amy Winehouse. I love her body of work, but this one got a bit overexposed for my taste. And if there was anyone who needed to go to rehab…
- “The Man Who Sold The World“, David Bowie. While I still prefer this version, Nirvana’s cover has forever tainted the song for me.
- “Run For Your Life”, The Beatles. Not a hit, perhaps, but everyone knows The Beatles. Very creepy tune. Coincidentally, Lennon’s least favorite Beatles tune, too.
- “Amish Paradise”, “Weird” Al Yankovic. I’m a huge fan of his nonsensical parodies, but this effort was lazy and unfunny
- “Shiny Happy People“, R.E.M. It’s just plain awful.
DJ: Who knows “Run For Your Life”, I barely remember it? These mostly make sense, pretty much anything Bob Segar makes my ears bleed but I actually like “Blasphemous Rumours”. “Piano Man” would be okay too if it wasn’t 25 minutes long. If I had to pick Billy Joel it may be “Uptown Girl” or “My Life”.
MG: Good call on “Piano Man”. Even back when I was a big Joel fan I couldn’t stomach it. I once enjoyed “Shiny Happy People”, but I do tend to avoid it now. Seger is not getting any love in this blog post. What is “Fire Lake” – was that a hit? Big time disagree on “Amish Paradise” as that always puts a smile on my face. I found it to be one of his cleverer tunes, especially tying it into the uptick in interest in the Amish at the time, due to the popularity of the film Witness.