March 02, 2004


Marcello's forensic dissection of Kenny Everett's World's Worst Record Album Ever and his own list of the twenty worst singles ever. Pleased to see that the loathsome Stone Roses make Marcello's worst ever list. And 'Imagine.' And Deacon Blue. And Robbie, of course, though I'd probably vote for 'Angels' above 'Let Me Entertain You.' Can't concur on Duran Duran, though I have to confess that 'Is There Something I Should Know?' wasn't one of their best moments. And you think 'Mysterious Girl' is bad? Not half as excruciating as 'Flava', I can assure you. I can only echo Mr Carmody: 'Peter fucking Andre, though. And Chris fucking Moyles. Fuck every one of you (including the grinning, complacent apologists on ILM).'

Fascinating little parlour game, of course, but not one I can participate in too confidently; my memory for poor records is too short-term. Perhaps thankfully, I manage to freeze them out of mind until I hear them again. That bloody DJ Caspar single has got a good shout at the moment, however.

And surely 'Sledgehammer' would have to be in there somewhere....

And something by U2, naturally, although how does one choose from such an embarrassment of riches? It would have to be with the video for maximum impact, since the sight of Bono's smug histrionics reduces all sensitive sentient creatures to a state of rabid insensate rage.... What was worse, the wholesome muscular christian earnest Bono or the 'ironic' PoMo version? Who cares.

'Dancing in the Moonlight.' No explanation or justification required, surely.

'There She Goes', The Las, whose ghastly, cheery, cheeky, scally bonhomie never fails to put me in a pyschotic fury and black cosmic despair.

George Michael/ Wham! More or less anything. Wham! were culture criminals ushering in the termination of glam and the rise of the boy band. A tough call as to whether the Wham atrocities or the ponderously unlistenable, self-regarding solo singles were worse really.

Shooting fish in a barrel, but --- pass me the rifle --- Kylie Minogue, 'Some Kind of Bliss', a record that actually makes me feel embarrassed to even contemplate --- the desperate, flailing begging for credibility --- it's painful to remember, isn't it?

Big Sound Authority, since Marcello mentioned them a while ago. Younger readers should note that BSA were perhaps the worst and most heinous example of Eighties' earnest, big-hearted Soulfulness. There is no lower or more despicable form of culture.

Speaking of which: the Style Council. Anything and everything.

Mariah Carey. Can't remember the name of it, that awful single, you know, the one with the the video where she wore hot pants and was on a motor-racing track. So tuneless and uncatchy and arythmic it was almost avant-garde. Stupefyingly bad.

Big Audio Dynamite. Can't remember the name of their singles either. But they were all dreadful: that stodgy, clunky anschluss between rock and 'funk'. Puhleeze.

And since we're in this neck of woods - The Clash, 'Should I Stay or Should I Go.' Horrible.

The Streets.

Nah, not really, just joking about that last one.

I'd opt for The Darkness, but they're just too mediocre really, aren't they? (That new single is awfully reminiscent of Big Country in parts, donchathink?)

And if we're going for most mediocre record ever, Beyonce's 'Me, Myself and I' must have a strong shout.

Posted by mark at March 2, 2004 11:14 PM | TrackBack

Not sure if I grasp your antipathy for the Stone Roses. Granted, they had "reactionary" sonix compared against Mondays, and I suppose you read them into a 4-piece Brit pop tradition running from the Beatles to the Jam to Oasis. But I've always liked their lyrics, particularly on the debut album, and see them as part of the larger Manchester movement. Nor do I agree with you about the La's song . . . . I also disagree with you about Wham. On the white soul boy issue, I'd slot Wham next to Hall & Oates and Culture Club as pretty damn good. High sugar content. It's the other white soul boys, the likes of Style Council and Peter Gabriel, that I object to . . . . Nor can I say in all honesty that I dislike U2. I wouldn't want to be fan of U2, they may represent such inpalatable and contradictory viewpoints as pomo irony and irish catholic moral crusading in turns, but do I actually dislike (most of) the music? No, at the end of the day, I think they've got a good ear for a tune.

Posted by: dominic at March 4, 2004 02:51 AM

The Roses seem to me NOT to belong to the essentially MODERNIST thrust of the wider Manchester movement. They - or the applause for them - legitimated the retroism that would ultimately lead to the grim spectacle of Britpop. I wouldn't tar the Jam with their brush - they were much more interesting than the fey Roses.

The La's song I loathe so passionately I can barely bear to type anything about it. Suffice it to say it is the acme of everything I hold contemptible in pop.

As for Wham!, it won't surprise you to learn that I'm not too fond of white boy soul; I like Hall and Oates in spite of the fact they fit into this category of dubious merit. Culture Club were largely shit, 'Do You Really Want to Hurt Me' apart. Gabriel and the Style Council we obviously agree on.

U2, like the Las, fill me with spite and rage. I DO dislike the music, I find it pompous and empty. And Bono's voice is something truly blood-curdling.

What's happened to your blog btw Dom?

Posted by: mark k-punk at March 4, 2004 07:09 PM

I actually only blogged for a couple weeks last September. Need to get internet access at home. My practice is to check out the usual blogs at work or in the library at school, and, on occasion, comment. But to actually do my own blog, I'd need to do it late at night from home. All of which is probably a rationalization for laziness . . . . As for U2, I don't like what they "represent." But that's a different question from passionately disliking the songs, which is not to say that image and song should be separated analytically. We experience the image and the music together, not separately. And much of the point in taking an interest in pop music is the hatred it inspires for certain pop acts. The politics.

Posted by: dominic at March 5, 2004 12:13 AM

Also, I spoke to a guy from Manchester from last night. He was playing really dismal & depressing classic house tracks. Dismal but spiritual. I rarely, if ever, have seen this apsect of classic house remarked upon. But the music is dismal, in the best kind of way. Music for depressed folks, who yet retain an inner perseverance . . . . Anyway, he said that Manhattan is London, Brooklyn is Manchester, and Queens is Liverpool. And that Manchester lost its edge with the closing of Factory Records, but that now Manchester is on the upswing in the same way as Brooklyn

Posted by: dominic at March 5, 2004 12:28 AM

U2 are, I agree, beneath contempt, though it's interesting in an academic way that somehow, after years of being pop/rock superstars hiding behind pompous "messages" and "reinventions" and ludicrous posturing, not to mention their reliance on slatherings of guitar effects, they actually learned how to write simple four-chord pop songs: they had their career somewhat backwards, as people say about Radiohead.

I can't agree with you about Wham/George Michael though. I've always regarded George as an idiot savant of the three-minute pop song -- though I agree that his recent output is utterly negligible. He suffers from that most deadening of afflictions, a Desire To Be Taken Seriously.

Posted by: john at March 5, 2004 04:21 AM

U2's original USP, and their sole contribution to pop = setting your delay pedal to a period of 1.5 beats, thus accidentally introducing a hint of syncopation into leaden pub rock. That's it. And nowadays they don't even do that.

Posted by: undercurrent at March 5, 2004 05:08 PM