Ten Huge Hits I Hate

Whatever our own individual tastes in music, everyone dislikes or viscerally hates certain music for our own particular – or peculiar – reasons. When songs or artists we despise are immensely popular, it can sometimes be isolating; others may think or even say out loud “are you serious?!” when discovering we hate a song or artist they love. As an example, I love Coldplay and most of their music output, but know some people who just don’t care for them or even hate their music. While I can understand some not finding Coldplay their ‘cup of tea,’ I cannot for the life of me understand how someone could ‘hate’ their music. But at the end of the day, how each of us hears music and makes a determination as to whether we like it or not is really quite subjective.

That being said, there are a number of songs that I hate, and many of them were massive hits, which makes them all the more loathsome to me. In thinking about why I hate those songs, it mostly comes down to the fact that they sound very displeasing to my ears. Some of my most hated songs are downright painful to listen to. I usually try to keep an open mind about music, and realize I’m judging it through my own biases and idiosyncracies, but I like what I like, and dislike what I dislike, just like all my kind readers. Though it was a major challenge, given the number of hit songs I find repulsive, I’ve chosen ten that were #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Interestingly, many are from the 1970s, an otherwise incredible decade for music.

1.  YOU’RE HAVING MY BABY – Paul Anka (1974)
Quite possibly one of most insipid songs ever recorded, this stinker from Paul Anka is so bad it’s – well, bad! The music is the worst kind of boring milquetoast that was popular in the early to mid 1970s, and the lyrics would be laughable if they weren’t so bizarre. Among other things, they touch on the fact his woman could have chosen to abort her unborn baby, but didn’t. The dumbest line is “You’re having my baby. What a lovely way of saying how much you love me.” Anka started out in the late 1950s with a string of really good pop hits, but he hit bottom with this one. Nevertheless, it was one of his biggest hits, spending 3 weeks at #1 and offering proof that, sometimes, majority should not rule.

2. CONVOY – C.W. McCall (1976)
Oh man, how I hate this song! Hated it the first time I heard it back in 1976, and I hate it to this day. It was recorded at the height of CB radio popularity. The insipid chorus is so unbelievably bad that it sounds like a parody. If you’ve never heard it, take a listen and you’ll see what I mean. Ugh!

3. ONE BAD APPLE – The Osmonds (1971)
One of the biggest regrets of my life was the time I said to my younger sister while watching the Osmond Brothers perform on the Andy Williams show as a dumb kid: “They’re good, and should record some songs.” What the fuck was I thinking?! They did record some songs – lots of them – and they all stank! “One Bad Apple” was the biggest and worst of them all. This performance of the song is especially painful to watch and listen to, especially Donny Osmond’s horrific screeching and their embarrassing dance moves. They were a pathetic white-bread version of the infinitely more talented Jackson 5.

4. RING MY BELL – Anita Ward (1979)
I was a big fan of disco in the late 70s, but I always loathed “Ring My Bell.” Though it has a catchy beat, Anita Ward’s awful baby-like falsetto vocals were like nails on a chalkboard for me. And that annoying “boo” sound that continues unabated throughout the song drove me nearly to madness.

5. THE NIGHT CHICAGO DIED – Paper Lace (1974)
How can a song be this awful? Everything about “The Night Chicago Died” is terrible: lyrics, melody, music, and vocals. The ending chorus “Na na na Na na na Na na na na na” is positively sickening. This piece of crap immediately preceded “You’re Having My Baby” at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1974. What a shitty month for music that was! Thankfully, Eric Clapton’s “I Shot the Sheriff” shot those two turds from the top spot!

6. LOW – Flo Rida featuring T. Pain (2008)
Just a really stupid song with stupid lyrics and a prominent stupid clap machine setting the boring, mind-numbing beat. What makes it particularly hateful for me is that it was the #1 song of 2008. What the hell?

7. JOY TO THE WORLD – Three Dog Night (1971)
Three Dog Night was one of my favorite bands of the late 60s and early 70s, and I loved many of their songs, especially “One,” the gorgeous “Easy to Be Hard,” “Eli’s Coming” and “Mama Told Me Not to Come.” But I despise “Joy to the World,” which was far and away their biggest hit. I realize it’s one of those songs that nearly everybody LOVES, probably because it’s just so darn catchy, but it annoys the living shit out of me. If I never hear it again for the rest of my life, it would be a very good thing.

8. DARK HORSE – Katy Perry featuring Juicy J (2014)
I like Katy Perry well enough, and really do like a few of her hits, including “Teenage Dream,” “Firework,” “Wide Awake” and “Roar.” But oh how I hate “Dark Horse.” The lyrics are ridiculous, and Juicy J’s parts of the track are terrible, serving only to inject some street cred like some other white pop artists have done by adding a rap element to their songs (see Maroon 5 and Taylor Swift). But what really sets me off about this song is Juicy J’s line: “She’ll eat your heart out like Jeffrey Dahmer.” That is so offensive and tacky, especially to relatives of Dahmer’s victims. Few seemed to mind, though, as it spent four weeks at #1. The YouTube video, which I’ll admit is visually stunning, has been streamed nearly 2 billion times!

9. Anything from Milli Vanilli (1989)
Beginning in the summer of 1989, two German guys named Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus, who went by the artistic name Milli Vanilli, had a string of forgettable #1 hits: “Baby Don’t Forget My Number,” “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You” and “Blame it on the Rain.” I didn’t care for any of them, and was honestly perplexed as to why they were so popular. Needless to say, I felt vindicated when it was later revealed that Morvan and Pilatus had not sung any of the songs, and were stripped of their Grammy award.

10. AMERICAN PIE – Don McLean (1972)
“American Pie” was one of the most popular songs of the 1970s, so as with all big hits, it was played to death on the radio. To make matters worse, it was so damned long, clocking in at over 8 1/2 minutes, and seemed to go on forever. I liked it OK at first, but after a few months of non-stop airplay (back in the day when hearing songs on the radio was our main form of listening to music besides playing them on our stereos), I came to loathe it. As soon as I’d hear “Long, long time ago…” my finger pressed the station selection button on the car radio quicker than a pitcher’s fastball. If I were the DJ of my own radio station, “American Pie” – along with all the other songs on this list – would not be allowed in the building.

Dishonorable Mentions:

Imma Be – Black-Eyed Peas
Fergalicious – Fergie
Bills, Bills, Bills – Destiny’s Child
Bad Blood – Neil Sedaka & Elton John
Go Away Little Girl – Donnie Osmond
The Streak – Ray Stevens (yet another dreadful song from 1974)
I Am Woman – Helen Reddy
Crank That (Soulja Boy) – Soulja Boy Tell’em
I’m Real – Jennifer Lopez featuring Ja Rule
Bad & Boujee – Migos featuring Lil Uzi Vert

Top 50 Songs of 2010

In 2010, a wide range of established rock artists, including Eminem, Train, John Mayer, Lifehouse, Weezer, Muse, Cage the Elephant, Phoenix, Three Days Grace, and Alice in Chains produced great songs. New artist Ke$ha had one of the biggest hits of the year with “Tik Tok,” her irresistibly fun “let’s get drunk and party” song. Lady Gaga was back in full force with her album “Fame Monster,” a collection of songs that dealt with the dark side of fame and doomed relationships, including the brilliant “Bad Romance,” easily her best song. And jazz-pop singer Michael Buble’s “Haven’t Met You Yet” was a guilty pleasure and a delightful throwback to the 60s. The Script, The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, Mike Posner, Neon Trees, and American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert all scored their first major hits. Another newcomer was the incredibly talented Bruno Mars, whose collaborations with R&B/hip-hop artists Travie McCoy and B.o.B. gave us a taste of some great music to come from him.

My pick for best song of 2010 is Country pop band Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” an achingly beautiful song of loneliness and longing.

1. NEED YOU NOW – Lady Antebellum

2. HEY, SOUL SISTER – Train
3. TIK TOK – Ke$ha
4. BREAKEVEN – The Script
5. BAD ROMANCE – Lady Gaga
6. RESISTANCE – Muse
7. HEARTBREAK WARFARE – John Mayer
8. HAVEN’T MET YOU YET – Michael Buble
9. ALL THE RIGHT MOVES – OneRepublic
10. LAY ME DOWN – The Dirty Heads featuring Rome Ramirez
11. TIGHTEN UP – The Black Keys
12. TEENAGE DREAM – Katy Perry
13. HALF OF MY HEART – John Mayer featuring Taylor Swift
14. COOLER THAN ME – Mike Posner
15. TELEPHONE – Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce
16. LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE – Eminem featuring Rihanna
17. 1901 – Phoenix
18. ANIMAL – Neon Trees
19. SECRETS – OneRepublic
20. BREAK YOUR HEART – Taio Cruz featuring Ludacris
21. UPRISING – Muse
22. MISERY – Maroon 5
23. (IF YOU’RE WONDERING IF I WANT YOU TO) I WANT YOU TO – Weezer
24. NOT AFRAID – Eminem
25. KINGS AND QUEENS – 30 Seconds to Mars
26. BACK AGAINST THE WALL – Cage the Elephant
27. BREAK – Three Days Grace
28. YOUR DECISION – Alice in Chains
29. LISZTOMANIA – Phoenix
30. LIFE AFTER YOU – Daughtry
31. IF YOU ONLY KNEW – Shinedown
32. IN ONE EAR – Cage the Elephant
33. WHATAYA WANT FROM ME – Adam Lambert
34. DYNAMITE – Taio Cruz
35. DJ GOT US FALLIN’ IN LOVE – Usher featuring Pitbull
36. NOTHIN’ ON YOU – B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars
37. JUST A DREAM – Nelly
38. SAVIOR – Rise Against
39. ALEJANDRO – Lady Gaga
40. BULLETPROOF – La Roux
41. SOMEDAY – Rob Thomas
42. IMPOSSIBLE – Anberlin
43. HALFWAY GONE – Lifehouse
44. UNDO IT – Carrie Underwood
45. LITTLE LION MAN – Mumford & Sons
46. YOUR LOVE IS MY DRUG – Ke$ha
47. YOUNG FOREVER – Jay-Z featuring Mr. Hudson
48. IMPOSSIBLE – Shontelle
49. MY BEST THEORY – Jimmy Eat World
50. BILLIONAIRE – Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars

Top 50 Songs of 2011

2011 saw the release of two incredible albums by two of my favorite artists, Adele’s epic masterpiece “21” and Foster the People’s debut album “Torches.” The best song of the year is without doubt “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele’s triumphant song of betrayal, heartbreak and ultimate survival. Foster the People have three songs in my top 10, beginning with “Pumped Up Kicks,” with it’s dark message sharply contrasting with a peppy upbeat melody.

Here are my Top 50 favorite songs of 2011:

1. ROLLING IN THE DEEP – Adele

2. MOVES LIKE JAGGER – Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera
3. PUMPED UP KICKS – Foster the People
4. STEREO HEARTS – Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam Levine
5. READY TO GO – Panic! At the Disco
6. HOUDINI – Foster the People
7. RAISE YOUR GLASS – P!nk
8. HELENA BEAT – Foster the People
9. SOMEONE LIKE YOU – Adele
10. FIREWORK – Katy Perry
11. PERFECT – P!nk
12. EVERY TEARDROP IS A WATERFALL – Coldplay
13. ADOLESCENTS – Incubus
14. PARTY ROCK ANTHEM – LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock
15. CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT – Foster the People
16. HOWLIN’ FOR YOU – The Black Keys
17. GOOD LIFE – OneRepublic
18. SHAKE ME DOWN – Cage the Elephant
19. MONEYGRABBER – Fitz & the Tantrums
20. ONLY GIRL IN THE WORLD – Rihanna
21. JUST THE WAY YOU ARE – Bruno Mars
22. JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH – The Black-Eyed Peas
23. FOR THE FIRST TIME – The Script
24. BORN THIS WAY – Lady Gaga
25. MY BODY – Young the Giant
26. THE LAZY SONG – Bruno Mars
27. GIVE ME EVERYTHING – Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afro jack & Nayer
28. GRENADE – Bruno Mars
29. WHAT’S MY NAME? – Rihanna featuring Drake
30. TONIGHT, TONIGHT – Hot Chelle Rae
31. THE CAVE – Mumford & Sons
32. KEEP YOUR HEAD UP – Andy Grammer
33. WALK – Foo Fighters
34. WAITING FOR THE END – Linkin Park
35. RHYTHM OF LOVE – Plain White T’s
36. DON’T YOU WANNA STAY – Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson
37. DON’T GOTTA WORK IT OUT – Fitz & the Tantrums
38. THE ADVENTURES OF RAIN DANCE MAGGIE – Red Hot Chili Peppers
39. DOG DAYS ARE OVER – Florence + the Machine
40. THE SOUND OF WINTER – Bush
41. THE EDGE OF GLORY – Lady Gaga
42. YOU AND I – Lady Gaga
43. LAST FRIDAY NIGHT (T.G.I.F.) – Katy Perry
44. UNDISCLOSED DESIRES – Muse
45. YOU ARE A TOURIST – Death Cab for Cutie
46. IF I DIE YOUNG – The Band Perry
47. NOTHING – The Script
48. WITHOUT YOU – David Guetta featuring Usher
49. JUST A KISS – Lady Antebellum
50. NEVER GONNA LEAVE THIS BED – Maroon 5

Top 50 Songs of 2012

2012 was an exciting year for music, with more great songs from Adele, The Black Keys, Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson, P!nk and Coldplay. A number of new artists, including fun., Ed Sheeran and Walk the Moon emerged on the music scene with songs that became instant classics. Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” was a huge crossover hit, and ended up being the #1 Song of the Year on Billboard’s Hot 100, Rock, Adult Pop and Alternative Charts. It also was awarded a Grammy for Record of the Year, and is my favorite song of 2012. Here are my 50 favorite songs of 2012.

1. SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW – Gotye featuring Kimbra

2. TONGUE TIED – Grouplove
3. WE ARE YOUNG – fun. Featuring Janelle Monae
4. LONELY BOY – The Black Keys
5. SET FIRE TO THE RAIN – Adele
6. SOME NIGHTS – fun.
7. ONE MORE NIGHT – Maroon 5
8. STRONGER (WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU) – Kelly Clarkson
9. PARADISE – Coldplay
10. BLOW ME (ONE LAST KISS) – P!nk
11. CALL ME MAYBE – Carly Rae Jepsen
12. BURN IT DOWN – Linkin Park
13. COUGH SYRUP – Young the Giant
14. PAYPHONE – Maroon 5
15. THE A TEAM – Ed Sheeran
16. PRINCESS OF CHINA – Coldplay featuring Rihanna
17. WE FOUND LOVE – Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna
18. GLAD YOU CAME – The Wanted
19. DON’T STOP (COLOR ON THE WALLS) – Foster the People
20. HOME – Phillip Phillips
21. EVERYBODY TALKS – Neon Trees
22. GOLD ON THE CEILING – The Black Keys
23. TAKE A WALK – Passion Pit
24. RUMOUR HAS IT – Adele
25. LIGHTS – Ellie Goulding
26. WIDE AWAKE – Katy Perry
27. IT WILL RAIN – Bruno Mars
28. MIDNIGHT CITY – M83
29. TITANIUM – David Guetta featuring Sia
30. GOOD FEELING – Flo Rida
31. ANNA SUN – Walk the Moon
32. GIVE YOUR HEART A BREAK – Demi Lovato
33. WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL – One Direction
34. TOO CLOSE – Alex Clare
35. DRIVE BY – Train
36. LITTLE BLACK SUBMARINES – The Black Keys
37. RUNAWAYS – The Killers
38. THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY – Katy Perry
39. LET ME LOVE YOU – Ne-Yo
40. HALL OF FAME – The Script featuring will.i.am
41. THESE DAYS – Foo Fighters
42. FINE BY ME – Andy Grammer
43. I WON’T GIVE UP – Jason Mraz
44. WILD ONES – Flo Rida featuring Sia
45. CHARLIE BROWN – Coldplay
46. HOLD ON – Alabama Shakes
47. NOT OVER YOU – Gavin DeGraw
48. NOT YOUR FAULT – Awolnation
49. DAYS GO BY – The Offspring
50. MR. KNOW IT ALL – Kelly Clarkson

Top 50 Songs of 2013

A number of talented alternative, indie rock and hip hop bands and artists emerged on the music scene in 2013, including Lorde, The Neighbourhood, Capital Cities, Bastille, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Lana Del Rey. Other established artists such as P!nk, OneRepublic, Bruno Mars, Muse, Fitz & the Tantrums, Rihanna and Fall Out Boy also produced some memorable songs. My pick for the best song of 2013 is “Sweater Weather,” the achingly beautiful song of young love and lust by The Neighbourhood.

1. SWEATER WEATHER – The Neighbourhood

2. CAN’T HOLD US – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton
3. SAFE AND SOUND – Capital Cities
4. RADIOACTIVE – Imagine Dragons
5. OUT OF MY LEAGUE – Fitz & the Tantrums
6. LOCKED OUT OF HEAVEN – Bruno Mars
7. JUST GIVE ME A REASON – P!nk featuring Nate Ruess
8. COUNTING STARS – OneRepublic
9. BLURRED LINES – Robin Thicke + Pharrell + T.I.
10. MADNESS – Muse
11. THRIFT SHOP – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz
12. ROYALS – Lorde
13. DON’T YOU WORRY CHILD – Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin
14. HO HEY – The Lumineers
15. WAKE ME UP! – Avicii
16. STAY – Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko
17. GET LUCKY -Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams
18. LITTLE TALKS – Of Monsters and Men
19. IT’S TIME – Imagine Dragons
20. ELEPHANT – Tame Impala
21. CARRY ON – fun.
22. WHEN I WAS YOUR MAN – Bruno Mars
23. WAYS TO GO – Grouplove
24. POMPEII – Bastille
25. I WILL WAIT – Mumford & Sons
26. SUMMERTIME SADNESS – Lana Del Rey
27. CATCH MY BREATH – Kelly Clarkson
28. MY SONGS KNOW WHAT YOU DID IN THE DARK – Fall Out Boy
29. DAYLIGHT – Maroon 5
30. MIRRORS – Justin Timberlake
31. DEMONS – Imagine Dragons
32. TROJANS – Atlas Genius
33. ROAR – Katy Perry
34. MISS JACKSON – Panic! At the Disco
35. TREASURE – Bruno Mars
36. CLARITY – Zedd featuring Foxes
37. HOLD ON, WE’RE GOING HOME – Drake
38. THE MONSTER – Rihanna + Eminem
39. TAKE BACK THE NIGHT – Justin Timberlake
40. HARLEM – New Politics
41. SAIL – AWOLNATION
42. LEADER OF THE BROKEN HEARTS – Papa Roach
43. I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE – Taylor Swift
44. LOVE SOMEBODY – Maroon 5
45. A LIGHT THAT NEVER COMES – Linkin Park
46. SAME LOVE – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert
47. BRAVE – Sara Bareilles
48. SWEET NOTHING – Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch
49. DIAMONDS – Rihanna
50. TRY – P!nk