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21 songs so crap they were good

My Top 21 songs from the 60s and 70s that I liked at the time that upon later reflection are pretty dreadful. That doesn't mean I can't harbour some fondness for them given they are evocative of a time when music was generally far better than the whiny monotone slop of recent times.

#1. Nena - 99 Luftballons

Nena's contribution to airborne pollution; littering the German countryside with discarded party decorations. This poppy, peppy number made it to number 1 in Oz in the original German. I reckon it was more number 2 material.

#2. Mungo Jerry - In The Summertime

The mutton-chopped, gap-toothed Ray Dorset was the composer, guitarist, blues harp, kazoo player, frontman and singer who assumed the name and persona of Mungo Jerry after 2 band members tried to fire him and who were then both fired instead.

The Bicycle Song and Lady Rose were equally crap enough to qualify as good.

#3. Richard Harris - MacArthur Park

Esoteric, abstruse, cryptic? Fucking annoying, pretentious twaddle? Perhaps. Sung in such a serious tone that conversely makes it hard to take seriously. It has some hard to identify appeal however.

#4. Starland Vocal Band - Afternoon Delight

Those lyrics....surely not. The cheerfulness of the way a bit of post-lunch rumpy pumpy was sung about made this crap song a secret favourite of many of us. Including you.....admit it.

#5. Gilbert O'Sullivan - Alone Again

A parody of self-pity, with whining lyrics and a turgid tune that could drive the maudlin to self harm. This song preceded the emo phenomenon; otherwise it would’ve made a great theme tune for that demographic. Truly crap - but I love it regardless.

#6. Plastique Bertrand - Ca Plane Pour Moi

Effete precursor to Culture Club, no self-respecting straight male would be caught dead listening to this. Very very crap. But catchy.

#7. Dr Hook - Sylvia's Mother

Dr Hook was basically 2 guys - Ray Sawyer and Dennis Locorriere, who came across as a couple of likable larrikins. But Sylvia's Mother was supposed to be a serious song about a real event. If I was Sylvia's mother and I heard this, I'd ship my daughter off somewhere for sure.

This song was kept out of the #1 spot in the UK by Donny Osmond's Puppy Love. WTF does this say about the Pom's taste in music at that time?

Sylvia's Mother is sludge. It's truly awful and I love it!

#8. The 5th Dimension - Up Up And Away

The unrelenting cheerfulness of Up Up And Away is an ideal antidote to Gilbert O'Sullivan's musical suicide note (see #5 - Alone Again) - or vice versa. This upbeat pap could make anyone's day.

#9 Rod Stewart - Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?

Rod Stewart can be forgiven almost anything after the wonderful Every Picture Tells A Story with Maggie May, Mandolin Wind and Reason To Believe. Even the egregious disco dross of Do Ya Think I'm Sexy can be excused, being so far off the crap-o-meter as to be considered good. But only in a piss-take kinda way.

#10. Renée & Renato - Save Your Love

Because it is so outrageously kitsch Save Your Love could raise a smile whenever it came onto the radio. It would otherwise be just preposterous bilge.

#11. Peter Sarstedt - Where Do You Go To My Lovely

The chic chick who’s the subject of this dreadful ditty is waaaay out of my league, though I think this song just shows Peter Sarstedt was a pretentious wanker.

Where Do You Go To My Lovely is replete with hum-along dreadfulness. Sarstedt's Frozen Orange Juice was even worse; so awful that it cannot in any way qualify as good.

#12. The Turtles - Elenore

"Gee, I think you're swell, And you really do me well, You're my pride and joy, etcetera..." Etcetera? WTF? Lyrics just do not get crappier than that. This crap was topped off by the crappy tremulous, trembling tremelo. FFS! This is more than crap - it is complete shite.

So what makes this crap good then? It's good because the Turtles made Elenore to take the mickey out of their previous hit 'Happy Together'. Neither the record company nor the public got the joke and Elenore became a hit in its own right.

#13. LuLu - To Sir With Love

There’s Chick Flicks and there’s Chick Lit – the sappy, romantic bollocks that appeals to females but appalls males. And in the music realm we have Chick-Musick with stuff like To Sir With Love - the sort of syrupy sludge that requires two X chromosomes to appreciate.

If the theme is female students harbouring carnal thoughts about their teachers then the blokes will much prefer The Police’s Don’t Stand So Close To Me. It’s got a reggae beat and more suggestive lyrics (hurr hurr snerk snerk). To Sir With Love is just wretched dreck. But LuLu did have a good voice.

#14. Eric Carmen - All By Myself

The title says all that needs to be said about this song. With ‘All By Myself’ Eric has been exercising his right to privacy (so to speak).

When I was young I never needed anyone And makin' love was just for fun Those days are gone

I think what Eric is saying is that he has outgrown his “hobby”. Thank goodness.

#15. Oliver - Good Morning Starshine

From the musical Hair.

Gliddy glub gloopy Nibby nabby noopy La la la lo lo Sabba sibby sabba Nooby abba nabba Le le lo lo Tooby ooby walla Nooby abba naba

So, you can write song lyrics by simply face-planting into your keyboard? Hang on, this song is from the 60s – it predates the personal computer. But there were plenty of drugs. Pass me a spliff, man.

#16. George McCrae -- Rock Your Baby

As a general rule, the crappier a song is the longer it will stick in your head. I dare you to click on the You Tube link. Go on – I dare you.

#17. The Marmalade - Reflections Of My Life

On a casual listen you may be tempted to think that this song is perfectly fine. Not sophisticated lyrically or musically but catchy and harmless enough. Really? Then play it and listen carefully to the words. may feel an urge to stick your tongue into a live power outlet. This dreadful dirge makes Gilbert O'Sullivan (see #5) sound like an ideal candidate for the job as your new life coach.

So, so crap that it qualifies as good.

#18. Tina Charles - I Love To Love

This crap is just complete and utter feculent barrel scrapings. This rubbish has no redeeming features whatsoever. None.

So why have I included it? I had a dose of codgerliness. Bah!

#19. Minnie Riperton - Loving You

A sappy, saccharine, soppy squeal. I used to like it when this song came onto the car radio because the high-pitched squeaking hid the noise of my slipping fan belt.

#20. Bob Lind - Elusive Butterfly

No words can do this song justice. Soppy flummery. Insufferable twattering. Viscous sludge. Execrable, deplorable treacle. But for some reason, I like it.

#21. Smokie - Living Next Door To Alice

Oh, I don't know why she's leaving, or where she's gonna go

I guess she's got her reasons but I just don't want to know

'cause for twenty four years I've been living next door to Alice

Corny, mawkish slop. The big question is why it took Alice so long to decide to move. Still, it is sorta catchy.


Favourite songs. Nifty Fifty Part 1

Shit List. The worst songs ever

Old Favourites. Funky but forgotten

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