10 Really Awful Pop Records
Inspired by Channel 4's recent poll of awful pop records, I decided to come up with ten of my own that really should have featured in the chart, but didn't. Bah! to pre-selection, I say. These are in no order but they're crapola, and that's what matters.
Don't see something awful here? Contact me and nominate some more crapola!
1 - It's Horrible Being In Love When You're 8½ - Claire and Friends
So it wasn't enough that St. Winifred's School Choir released the damn awful "Grandma"? No, well it seemed that a few years after that abomination, some of the school had another hit with this awful childhood exploitation of being in love before the age of nine. Cue screechy vocals, naff guitar playing and worst of all the sins possible, they would appear on Top of the Pops with gaps in their teeth, the sort of school spanner that you always had. Eeek. Scary. Run away very quickly from this one. Especially if you're the Claire in question. Not exactly a claim of fame that you'd like to be proud of, I think.
2 - Come On You Reds - Manchester United Squad with Status Quo
Hey! What a great marketing idea! Let's get the Quo's "Burning Bridges", change the lyrics a bit to feature the names of the then current Manchester United squad, get the players in to sing the chorus, and then basically improve the vocals artificially, market it to all the fans in Singapore and London, and bingo! Number one pop hit on your hands. And scarily, it came true. Now you can accuse me of bias if you like, but some of City's "records" were just as bad. I'm including this here because the Quo had to resort to this to try and revive their flagging career and cynically used United as a marketing tool for their own ends. The lyrics themselves are cringeworthy enough without even using the names of the players as part of the verse, that smacked of, well, contempt. Most fans know whom the players are without having it sung to them, you know!
3 - Unchained Melody - Gareth Gates
He came second in the first UK Pop Idol. He suffers from a stammer and has managed to cope with it well. And he can sing given the right song, I suppose. But could someone give him something better to do than to ruin one of the old classic pop singles, starting the song at the wrong point and then making the song just sound cheesy, with hardly any feeling or emotion compared to the original, and indeed to totally make it into a teeniebopper number. Enough already! It's just so awful I can't believe over one million people went out and purchased this. That's a lot of bad taste to go round, believe me. In fact this almost made it to the top ten worst covers I selected some time ago.
4 - The Right Stuff - New Kids on the Block
Urgh! The days when boy bands were imported from the USA before Take That came along and made it even worse for UK music fans. The days when five supposedly squeaky clean USA teenagers started to make little girls scream for them amid supposed "Beatlemania" type scenes (yeah right) and a slickly produced, sickly tasting pop single. It just smacked of "hey look at us, we're made of the right stuff, baby" and all that effort that was 80s pop compressed into three minutes of utter cheesy crapola. And you could tell they'd made it into the US mainstream when Weird Al Yankovic parodied the song as "The White Stuff" on his album "Off The Deep End". Now that is funny, whereas NKOTB were bobbins and this completely justified it big time.
5 - How Can We Be Lovers? - Michael Bolton
Seen the film Office Space? One of the characters is called Michael Bolton, and he says about his name: "Well there was nothing wrong with it until that no talent ass clown became famous and started winning Grammies" and he is so right. I could have nominated many songs of his, but I think this one stuck out because of the graininess of his voice and how much it sucked in terms of musicality. It was bad. So bad, in fact I can remember a friend and I trying to impersonate the bit where he goes for it in the chorus, and seeing who could do it without laughing their heads off. Cue grainy voice, utterly rubbish power ballad with Americanised emotional strings being pulled at every corner, and cue many females fancying him. Why? His haircut was a Kevin Keeganesque perm, for crying out loud!
6 - Whispering Grass - Don Estelle and Windsor Davies
Cheese alert! Yes, it was time for TV stars to make their single debuts in the 1970s. Not content with Clive Dunn's atrocious "Grandad" which made the Channel 4 list, but there was also this supposed "gem" from two of the cast of It Aint Half Hot Here Mum, Don Estelle and Windsor Davies. It's a pretty cheesy single even by this chart, and the lines that go sort of "don't tell the trees, they don't need to know" cement its place. What made it worse was that it was clearly a vehicle for an album of songs off the TV programme. And what's even weirder? Don Estelle is still singing and even has his own website as well so people can buy his records! How bizarre and insane that is. And talking of bizarre...
7 - How Bizarre - OMC
How bizarre this actually charted in the first place. Some New Zealand popsters came up with an exceedingly annoying single that once it got hold of you, never left the brain. Cue acoustic guitar intro, spoken word vocals that really sound out of key as well as out of place, and then some girlie trying to rescue the song's credibility with an attempt at singing the main chorus bit. Oh, and it committed the sin of having a really bad use of a harmonica thrown in. And if that wasn't enough, there was a whole album of similar songs to contend with. Oh joy. Not.
8 - Two Become One - Spice Girls
Christmas Number Ones were like three at once for the Spicies (sadly) and this slushy cheesefest of romance and lurve just made me want to throw up back in 1996. It's like eating all the chocolates you hate from the tin of Quality Street at once and trying to digest just how pitiful this is. Cue Victoria Adams (as then was) attempting to sing and tonight was the night when two became one - hating her from that moment onward. Not just that, but it was a slushfest of lyrics that made it sound like they wanted to make love to you, baby. (Well only Emma Bunton might qualify in some people's eyes). It was just the wrong sort of song to be Christmas Number one - the one the isolated single people from couples even more so. Not good.
9 - I Eat Cannibals - Toto Ceolo
Get some session singers. Get some scantily clad people on Top of the Pops miming. Get the controversy going by insisting you supposedly eat cannibal (which technically would make them one anyway). And then make a repetitive record where the chorus is done about nine times plus in the song and make it painful to the ears. And you're only abnout half way there to describing how terrible this is. Cue lyrics: "I eat cannibals, feels incredible, your love is an animal to me". Erm, yeah. That made sense didn't it? Not. It's really awful. How the hell did this get top ten back in 1983? It defies belief, it really does.
10 - Hold Me Now - Johnny Logan
He won Eurovision for the second time in 1987 with this pile of bobbins. Not much more to say, really, except it's a totally sick inducing love song that makes you reach for the remote in record time saying "get that s***e off the telly". Here's some lyrics from the chorus: "Though we're apart, we'll always be together, Forever in love, what do you say when words are not enough?" You say "this is crap!" of course. It just made me throw up buckets when it came out and even having to read the lyrics in the name of research for this page was enough to make me make a quick visit to the toilet. Yes, it's that bad.