Over the past week, WYEP solicited listeners to vote for the Worst Song Ever and listeners chose the 1974 hit "(You're) Having My Baby" by Paul Anka and Odia Coates to top the list. Despite being a #1 hit on the pop charts, the song has always had its detractors.
Following closely behind Anka was the 2005 rock hit “Photograph” by Nickelback, proving that songs that repel listeners are not limited to any one era or genre. The complete list of finalists is below.
All music is subjective, of course, and just about any song of note will attract a mix of admirers and haters. Some surprising songs were nominated by listeners to be included for consideration in the Worst Song Ever voting, including widely-acclaimed songs such as John Lennon’s “Imagine,” “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell’s “Coyote,” and “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel.
After analyzing all of the songs nominated by listeners, the year with more nominees than any other was 1976. That year produced three finalists: "Disco Duck" by Rick Dees, Starland Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight," and "Silly Love Song" by Paul McCartney & Wings. It also featured other contenders like "Muskrat Love" by The Captain & Tennille and Elton John & Kiki Dee's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart."
The next biggest years with song nominations were 1983 (Styx, "Mr. Roboto"; Def Leppard, "Rock Of Ages"; Jackson Browne, "Lawyers in Love") and 1999 (Lou Bega, "Mambo No. 5"; Sugar Ray, "Someday"; Pearl Jam, "Last Kiss"), which illustrates that there appears to be a focal point of shame for each era of music.
And now on with the worst of the worst....
#20 - Chicago, "You're the Inspiration" (1984)
#19 - Paul McCartney & Wings, "Silly Love Songs" (1976)
#19 - REO Speedwagon, "Keep On Loving You" (1980)
#17 - Richard Harris, "MacArthur Park" (1968)
#16 - Cher, "Believe" (1998)
#16 - Styx, "Mr. Roboto" (1983)
#15 - 4 Non Blondes, "What's Up?" (1992)
#13 - Chumbawamba, "Tubthumping" (1997)
#12 - Starland Vocal Band, "Afternoon Delight" (1976)
#11 - Jimmy Buffett, "Cheeseburger in Paradise" (1978)
#10 - Phil Collins, "Sussudio" (1985)
#9 - The Beach Boys, "Kokomo" (1988)
#8 - Lou Bega, "Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of...)" (1999)
#7 - Debby Boone, "You Light Up My Life" (1977)
#6 - Starship, "We Built This City" (1985)
#5 - Billy Ray Cyrus, "Achy Break Heart" (1992)
#4 - Rick Dees, "Disco Duck" (1976)
#3 - Rebecca Black, "Friday" (2011)
#2 - Nickelback, "Photograph" (2005)
Below are the 5 key tracks that you need to know from Elliot Smith.
Elliott Smith was an indie folk and rock musician. There was a recent reiussue of his record Either/or to commemorate it's 20th anniversary. Elliott Smith passed away in 2003.
Song: "I Figured You Out"
- Album: Either/Or reissue
- Year: 2017
- Comment: recorded in 1995 and just released for the first time on 20th Anniversary of Either/Or release
Song: "Baby Britain"
- Album: XO
- Year: 1998
- Comment: Well constructed Beatlesque pop song
Song: "Miss Misery"
- Album: Sound Track to Good Will Hunting
- Year: 1997
- Comment: From closing credits of 'Good Will Hunting'
Song: "Son Of Sam"
- Album: Figure 8
- Year: 2000
- Comment: The song was not about the real life "Son of Sam"
Song: "Walt #2 (X/O)"
- Album: XO
- Year: 1998
- Comment: This was the first single from his fourth studio album
Catch Key Tracks every weekday during the Midday Mix at 1 PM on 91.3 WYEP.
Friday mornings on WYEP, Chef Bill Fuller (Corporate Chef for big Burrito) joins Cindy Howes at 7:30am for Pairings! Bill & Cindy challenge each other to pair up your favorite music with matching menus. Let’s see what they came up with this week. Listen to the audio:
Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of our most trusted music aficionados joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Justin Jacobs!
In case you missed it, here's what Justin played (commentary by JJ):
Alex G, "Proud" - We all know Pittsburgh's got some incredible music, but boy-o is Philly killing it! Alex G is a former Temple University student who's been quietly releasing beautifully noisy lo-fi indie rock for the past few years. But after he released Beach Music last year, then got drafted to work on Frank Ocean's Blonde, his profile rose quickly. This new tune is from his upcoming album Rocket, a gorgeous collection of country-folk he recorded, amazingly, on his laptop.
Eric Slick, "You Are Not Your Mind" - Philly strikes again! This song is the new single from the drummer of Dr. Dog, one of that city's finest rock bands. It's a decidedly dreamy tune from his debut solo album Palisades. The record isn't as quirky and clever as Dr. Dog, but Slick's solo music is almost meditative in it's melodic simplicity. If you're a true Pennsylvanian, you're going to love it.