Five Good Songs By Bad Artists

It's inevitable. Sooner or later the talentless hack you love to hate is going to release something that will make you grind your teeth with frustration, not because of it's adherence to the trend of crappyness, but because it's actually quite good, and you hate to admit it. Here are five examples of songs I quite enjoy, but am unlikely to declare so from the rooftops:

5. Golden Touch- Razorlight

This was an example of a song that promised more from a band than what was subsequently delivered. It's catchy, kinda funky, the lyrics aren't bad and one might go so far as to say that it was a somewhat original entry from the school of brit-rock hipsters. As we all know, the band have gone on to prove themselves as talented in no area other that that of wearing a particular type of pants, and lead singer Johnny Borrell has revealed himself as merely one step down from Pete Doherty in smackability levels. Which is pretty damned high.

4. Take On Me- A-Ha

One of the great suck-stories of the 80's, A-Ha produced a pile of crap that fit neatly into that genre of music we'd rather forget. Granted, it was very 'of the time', but you can't just put crap like this down to the fact that it's dated badly. Rubbish is as rubbish does. As happens all too frequently with crappy bands, A-Ha's first song was a humdinger. Add that to one of the most imaginative videos of the early MTV era, and you have a hit on your hands (in fact, A-Ha's second single 'The Sun Always Shines On TV' was a bigger hit, but we won't go there..).

3. Girls, Girls, Girls- Motlely Crue

We can joke, but deep down we all know how awful Motley Crue are. Aside from the fact that every one of them is a morally-reprehensible scumbag, their music was far from great. In fact it was often quite far from bad, it was awful. 'Girls, Girls, Girls' was the song they were born to write. It's lyrics are an opus through their depraved lives, booze, fighting and, yes, girls. Namely strippers. Strippers of the world. They say 'write what you know'- well, for this song the Crue did just that, and somehow ended up with the kind of preposterous romp that they can just about get away with. And, damn, it's kinda cool.

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2. Where Is The Love- The Black Eyed Peas

The Black Eyed Peas are truly godawful. There is little to nothing redeeming about the band, from their dodgy street cred, to their annoying pepsi endosrement, to their crappy faux-hip names ( Come on!). Unfortunately for me, though, I am forced to admit that their first big hit 'Where Is The Love' was a pretty good song. It's really a good example of when pop goes right: the strings sound good, the beat is decent, the lyrics carry a nice, fluffy, positive message... it all comes together and works well. Add to that a damn good hook written and performed by Justin Timberlake (go figure) and you have something that I'll bet a shiny penny The Black Eyed Peas will never accomplish again- a genuinely good song.

1. Toxic- Britney Spears

Britney, bless her, has released some decent* pop songs in her day, but nothing I would want played on my stereo.. until this song came along. Contrary to popular belief the song was not written by Prince, but by Cathy Dennis. One would be forgiven for believing this urban myth though, as I'm sure the ribless one would be quite proud to be associated with such an offering- it is one hell of a pop hit. Check out the amazing synthy violin hook, the badass vocal on the bridge.. the song quite simply kicks ass.

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*Read: not too shit

Several songs just barely didn't make this list, mainly due to the unearthing of more than one worthwhile song by said artist; but for the record, no matter how many good songs I am presented with I will always regard Coldplay and Simon & Garfunkel as crap.

Omissions, Suggestions? I know there's a lot that failed to make the cut (and possibly some that should not be here). Let us know through the comments section.

Click here to catch up on last week's 'Five Bad Songs By Good Artists'.

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January 15, 2008 at 12:23 PM Evil Bob said...

Some points to note
1. You can't blame A-Ha entirely for Crying in the rain seeing as it was originally released by the Everly Brothers.
2. "My Humps" by BEP is so infectious that its practically genius.
3. As is "Slave" by Britters.
4. Good Coldplay songs: Yellow, Trouble, Don't Panic, Shiver, Clocks, Talk, Speed of sound and one or two others.
5. Good Simon and Garfunkel songs: Sounds of silence, Homeward Bound, I am a rock, For Emily wherever I may find her, The 59th Street Bridge song (feelin groovy), Scarborough Fair, Mrs Robinson, The Boxer, Bridge over Troubled Water, Cecilia, America to name but a few,
6. The point of the last point: If I'd known you were such a philistine Rob I never would have let you hang out with me.

January 15, 2008 at 8:11 PM Clockwork Rob said...

Ok Bob, rebuttals (buttal, heh heh):

1. I'm aware that particular track is a cover but it doesn't make any of their other material any less shit.

2. 'My Humps' is a pile of crap.

3. 'Slave' is mediocre. You're being distracted by something, I wonder what..

4. Coldplay are m-o-r crap. Nearly every one of their miserable songs conforms to this description.

5. Simon & Garfunkel have, as far as I can tell, two good songs- Mrs Robinson & America. The fact that you included Scarborough Fair in your defense makes me weep for you.