Worst song of the 80s

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Tom_omb

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@rejizzle said:

Now Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime, there's a load of crap. Cynical cash-in with a dumb synth played overtop of lame bells. Frankly, that song makes me dread Christmas every year, because it means I'll have to listen to it again. The song ruins Christmas!

I agree that this is a terrible song, but it is in the "so bad it's good" category for me, along with "Do They Know it's Christmastime". The latter is actually not only a bad song, but is more than a bit offensive. Still catchy, though!

This was one of the first songs I thought of too. It has been on the top of my list for the worst Christmas songs in the past, but I think I have come around and I'm into it now.

I think @49th found it with "Temporary Secretary" by McCartney.

I'm a big Beatles and Paul fan, but a lot of those older artists lost their way in the 80s when they tried to keep up with the times. I like all the goofy songs he wrote with The Beatles that everyone seems to hate too. Opinions on "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and "Obladi Oblada"?

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Shiftygism

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@tom_omb: "Obladi Oblada" is great, though I'm partial to it because I was a Life Goes On fan back in the day.

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billmcneal

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We Built This City is a super awful song

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innacces14

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Rock Me Amadeus by Falco

It carries some of the worst song writing sins; putting the genre in the name of the song or in your lyrics and being the weakest example for the genre, having no restraint with instruments/electronics (a la Wonderful Christmas Time), and having absolutely zero charisma to do spoken lyrics.

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Dave_Tacitus

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Everything listed so far has been an utter classic compared to some of the songs stuck in my head.

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DaShibuya

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@monkeyking1969: I don't understand the "We Built This City" is bad meme. The origins of it seems to be a early 2000's website that is now defunct, and other than that, I quite enjoy the song.

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nutter

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@dashibuya: Being old enough to remember We Built This City getting radio play, it was always pretty atrocious.

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mellotronrules

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'time bomb town' by lindsey buckingham off the back to the future soundtrack.

that song is 100% balls and a perfect distillation of everything i dislike about mr. buckingham and his fleetwood mac.

ps- i'm noticing that someone above said springsteen in the 80s. you gotta be fucking kidding me.

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Hamst3r

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I nominate ABBA - Super Trouper. Puke.

I will not suffer Super Trouper apologists. Blarhbhaghbahb.

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delrueofdetroit

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No, Ben Pack is correct. It is Abracadabra by Steve Miller Band.

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Dave_Tacitus

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BonelessSpirit

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@hamst3r: As a Swede I think I am required by law to say, how dare you sir.

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wollywoo

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I feel like a lot of people are going to hate me for this, but, honestly, most music from the 80's is pretty unlistenable for me. It's so overproduced. For music to be meaningful to me it has to kind of transport me somewhere, or give me a unique feeling. Most hits from the 80's just transport me to... the mall. Or a bad teen comedy.

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nutter

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@wollywoo: If you’re specifically talking about hits...you’re right.

I feel that way about most hits ever, though.

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wollywoo

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@nutter: Yeah, I was mostly thinking of the hits. But I actually like a lot of the hits of the 60's or 70's.

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nutter

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@wollywoo: I’m not a hots guy, but Tom Waits had three fantastic albums in the 80s (swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs, and Frank’s Wild Years).

Bowie’s 80s output is mostly looked down upon (for good reason), but Let’s Dance has its moments (underneath a layer of 1980s trappings) and Scary Monsters is amazing.

Nick Cave also got his solo start in the 80s, releasing a handful of albums including Tender Prey.

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BonelessSpirit

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#67  Edited By BonelessSpirit

You also had Adam & The Ants, X, Talking Heads with Remain in Light, Kate Bush. Lots of good 80s music especially in New Wave and Art Pop/Art Rock.

But yeah a lot of the mainstream radio friendly Synthpop was kinda shit.

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wollywoo

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#69  Edited By wollywoo

I mean, there was definitely good stuff in the 80's. (Paul Simon's Graceland is one of my all-time favorites.) I think it's just that there's a certain definitive 80's sound that I'm not a big fan of. In particular, I personally don't like that huge, dumb drum sound. But YMMV.

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wardcleaver

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@hamst3r: As a Swede I think I am required by law to say, how dare you sir.

It's okay. Robyn makes up for any of ABBA's offences.

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JasonR86

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I bet the actual worst song is one that none of us have heard. But, for me, the two that stand out are Ebony and Ivory and the Me So Horny song. I like Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, but that song is just dopey and the title always made me feel uncomfortable. And the Me So Horny song just sucks.

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MonkeyKing1969

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@nutter said:

@dashibuya: Being old enough to remember We Built This City getting radio play, it was always pretty atrocious.

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billmcneal

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I'm too Sexy by Right Said Fred

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Shiftygism

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billmcneal

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Girls just wanna have fun by Cyndi Lauper

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cikame

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After hearing this on the work radio today, i submit it for discussion.

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Dweep

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"Running Up that Hill" by Kate Bush.

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youeightit

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#78  Edited By youeightit

Whatever the rap song is on the Van Halen 5150 album.

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spacejames985

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Bill Jeans - Michael Jackson, lol haha jk

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JPPT1974

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Watched MTV as a kid from 13-years old frequently until getting cable TV taken away for a couple of years due to that. And now just really love the oldies but goodies stuff. Grew up in the 1980's but possibly Jefferson Starship's "We Built This City"

Can't think of others there! But that is the worst!

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Onemanarmyy

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#81  Edited By Onemanarmyy

I'm still trying to figure out why people dislike We Built This City so much. Like to me it sounds at least adequate. Everything from 'Marconi plays the mamba' feels like a solid build up towards a chorus that isn't the most original but does it's job well. It's catchy, distinct, sticks with you, easy to sing along to, and it does that thing where the song gets somewhat quiet before it explodes into the chorus to make it hit harder. Ben said on the bombcast that he doesn't like that it's a rocksong that doesn't rock, but i feel like that's a viable choice to make. The Beach Boys don't always rock. The Beatles don't always rock. The Killers don't always rock. Radiohead doesn't always rock. Sometimes a catchy song is just meant to be a catchy song. No one is writing lyrics like 'knee deep in the hoopla' with the idea that it makes them look like tough motherfuckers.

Does it have anything to do with the Jefferson Airplane relation that makes people resent this song? Is it the mentions to rock & roll? (music about music is lame?). Is it the easiest answer because Rolling stone had it as nr 1 and that's the first google result you encounter for worst song of the 80's? Are it lyrics like `Knee deep in the hoopla, sinking in your fight and 'Marconi plays the mamba, listen to the radio` ? Is it the inclusion of synths in a rock song? Is it the feeling that they're singing like they ARE the face of rock & roll, when the audience disagrees heavily with that? Is it the repetition in the lyrics? Especially at the end of the song it layers these vocals on top that endlessly chant 'we built this city', but that only lasts for like 30 seconds and i feel like people probably hear that part the least often so it's probably not the main source of the hate against it.

I can certainly see some annoyances with the song, but when i'm listening to it at least i feel like it's a adequate song that has a solid build up + hook with a bunch of musicians behind it that know how to make music. When i listen to Milli Vanilli - Girl I'm Gonna Miss You , i immediatly notice that it's a bad performance of a bad song based around a bargain bin instrumental rejected by soap opera's of the day. The vocals are weak throughout, but It sounds particularly awful when the vocals of the guy & lady blend together.

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Zleunamme

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#82  Edited By Zleunamme

Toss up between Do they know it's Christmas? by Band Aid and You got it (The Right stuff) by The New Kids on the Block.

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nutter

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@zleunamme: I mentioned Hands Across America and We are the World earlier. I think any 80’s song with 40 singers all performing some mass-consumable garbage should be at the top of the list of shit 80s songs.

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Shiftygism

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@zleunamme: The Right Stuff is a god damned masterpiece next to Hangin' Tough.

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nutter

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@shiftygism: This is like arguing over the subtle differences between eating two breeds of dog’s shit.

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Shindig

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Chris Waddle and Glenn Hoddle - Diamond Lights. England had a very odd fixation with giving top players an attempt at a singing career. We finally stopped caring this century. Andy Cole was probably the last one through the door.

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Onemanarmyy

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@shindig: lol, the synths & drums are so loud they push Chris & Glenn to the background :D That's a pretty bad song indeed!

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HIMSteveO

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I disagree with the Starship hate - We Built This City is good, dumb fun in a stupid, cheesy way. I genuinely find these two to be truly awful:

Toni Basil - Mickey

Joan Jett - I Love Rock N Roll

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effache

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Sister Christian is the worst song of all time.

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iainfarrell

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Couldn’t find an up to date list on Spotify so I’ve made one

https://open.spotify.com/user/alicedfarrell/playlist/5Asp5vMQXTvl8FR64tzvdG?si=0g_0i7ieTTeFRpFediemRA

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SethMode

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#91  Edited By SethMode

Boy reading this thread has been a real roller coaster ride and some of these suggestions, particularly George Harrison's Got My Mind Set On You, may force me to take an extra blood pressure pill today.

I'm kind of surprised there isn't more Billy Joel either. I'm a huge fan of Joel, but boy the 80's had some REAL stinkers, and that doesn't even include the "history song" from Storm Front that shall not be named.

Personally, I think it has to be Lady in Red. And of course there is garbage none of us ever heard that is the ACTUAL worst, but where is the fun in that?

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Shiftygism

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I'm working on an Apple Music version for anyone who is interested: https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/giant-bombs-worst-songs-of-the-80s/pl.u-0Vp1zsPpj79 currently looking for a good screencap of the final list from the newest podcast

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takayamasama

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I'm going to defend Mr. Roboto until I die, but holy shit the ranking video was amazing.
We Built This City is neither rock nor roll but it is all trash.
Like A Virgin should be higher, ughhh that song is horrendous.

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Alias

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#95  Edited By Alias
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hippie_genocide

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It's sung by Freddie Mercury though, so it can only be so bad...

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Pinefresh

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Bad to the Bone has zero redeemable qualities. Holy shit it sucks. George Thorogood is the patron saint of pathetic dipshit uncles everywhere.

Also I did some independent research of my own and listened to that Spotify playlist and found that every song on there is listenable for one reason or another... apart from Don't Worry be Happy. I think that's the worst song on the list to be honest.

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redwing42

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Pretty disappointed my e-mail didn't make it in, especially with all the duplicates. "All She Wants to Do is Dance" was a solid top 10 contender.

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Captain_Insano

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I don't know how they dismissed "She blinded me with Science" so easily, but that is part of the scientific ranking process I suppose