Future Mythologies

A Textual Journey with Maxwell Von Bismarck

Sunday, May 02, 2004

1. We Built This City ... Starship
This song is funny because it only gets mentioned when people are referring to how "bad" Starship are. When's the last time anyone's actually listened to it? I have mostly positive memories of this one, my most positive memory being listening to Pulp's amazing pop epic "Disco 2000" in my dorm room and hearing Dixie yell from across the hall, "Are you listening to Starship??!!"

2. Achy Breaky Heart ... Billy Ray Cyrus
Its use in the recent South Park episode was really really grebt and a really really positive influence on our culture. More on that later or by request.

3. Everybody Have Fun Tonight ... Wang Chung
Almost singlehandedly made Vh1's 8 Days of the 80's unwatcheable.

4. Rollin' ... Limp Bizkit
Don't know this one really, although I imagine it's not too bad. Generally so hated that no one can recognize the occasional moments they stumble upon genius (Neptunes remix of n2gether now = godhead)

5. Ice Ice Baby ... Vanilla Ice
Um...it's a classic, ok? That's why people still talk about it, ok?

6. The Heart of Rock & Roll ... Huey Lewis and the News
Don't know it, but other songs by this band are grebt.

7. Don't Worry, Be Happy ... Bobby McFerrin
Oh, it's a parody!! I get it!! That's fine except now it's 1989 and George Bush just got elected and you helped!

8. Party All the Time ... Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy's not a great singer?? Wha?

9. American Life ... Madonna
Never heard it, but sounds about right.

10. Ebony and Ivory ... Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder
11. Invisible ... Clay Aiken
12. Kokomo ... The Beach Boys

Stop it right now. Have you listened to this song?? Maybe after listening to Today and Summer Days and Pet Sounds? Oh, that's right, you write for Maxim, you've never heard that triumverate of sun-dappled isolation brilliance. I can understand if the song wasn't part of your childhood idyll and is perhaps a bit irritating, and maybe it's okay you don't like it, people I respect an awful lot hate this song, and I guess that's ok because the three albums I mentioned before aren't a reputation you want to soil at all, but but but but

when Mike Love finishes his spiel, and I enter the chorus and get to Carl Wilson singing "that's where we want to go" I absolutely fall apart, because it's Carl fucking Wilson and his voice is the SAME ONE that killed you in God Only Knows and it killed you in Good Vibrations and it killed you in Surf's Up and now it's killing me again just the SAME FUCKING WAY it killed me when I was seven years old and its no worse for everything Mike Love and John Stamos pile on it, it's the same beautiful intoxicating thing that could pick up on everything that was going through Brian Wilson's genius songwriting America's Mozart head and put it right through a pure tenor voice.

13. Illegal Alien ... Genesis
There are worse Genesis and there are better Genesis. It's a novelty 80's record, ok? If any analysis needs to be done, it's a political one.

14. From a Distance ... Bette Midler
I don't hate this record, but I have serious issues with it. I can understand that from a distance, there's no war and guns and bombs, but there's also none of the wonderful stuff that those weapons destroy, there's only blue and green and white, which no one gives a shit about. In the words of Hanson, where's the love, motherfuckers?

15. I'll Be There for You ... The Rembrandts
Horrible horrible verse and chorus, which have been plaguing us for ten years now. But the middle 8's not half bad.

16. What's Up? ... 4 Non Blondes

I hated it, then I loved it too. But how did it ever become a pop hit? Maybe we should be marvelling at that.

17. Pumps and a Bump ... Hammer
I don't remember this. Do you? Why?

18. You're the Inspiration ... Chicago
Pity it's not about "If You Leave Me Now" which I have volumes to say about. I have nothing to say about this.

19. Broken Wings ... Mr. Mister
Never heard of it.

20. Dancing on the Ceiling ... Lionel Richie
Don't care.

21. Two Princes ... Spin Doctors
OK, this one's annoying, and it gave way to lots of college stoner rock a la Dave Matthews, who would have happened anyway, but we can still hate Two Princes, even though it's not the worst song one can imagine.

22. Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)
What? Was this something I missed because I didn't have TV for the second half of 2001?

*23. Sunglasses at Night ... Corey Hart
Don't remember this, but lots do apparently.

24. Superman ... Five for Fighting
My friend Ian has an incredibly applicable theory that every song from after 1990 about Superman is among the worst songs ever written, while those from before 1990 are probably fine. Test it out. It's true, but I don't know why.

25. I'll Be Missing You ... Puff Daddy featuring Faith Evans and 112
Yeah, you were dancing to it at your senior prom, though. And it's not like the Police are any sacred thing we have to protect, are they?

26. The End ... The Doors
This is the kind of lie you have to tell to reveal the truth.

27. The Final Countdown ... Europe

28. Your Body Is a Wonderland ... John Mayer
What? This isn't the one on the radio, is it? Because that was a great record.

29. Breakfast at Tiffany's ... Deep Blue Something
This is perhaps the worst record ever made. Annoying and makes several tangentially related things worse just for its presence (the riff it uses, the movies it references, the chords). Ian tells me that the second verse says exactly the same thing as the first verse, which is kind of a no in songwriting, but I can't verify it.

30. Greatest Love of All ... Whitney Houston
Fuck you. I don't need to talk about this one though, because it will probably appear as a cover I perform, which will tell you volumes more than my words ever could.

*31. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm ... Crash Test Dummies
Grebt verse, crappy chorus. Happens all the time.

32. Will 2K ... Will Smith
Yeah but we all knew you were over, so we weren't listening too hard.

33. Barbie Girl ... Aqua
Why this?

34. Longer ... Dan Fogelberg

35. Shiny Happy People ... R.E.M.
This song managed to avoid me for over ten years. I don't know how I never heard it. I couldn't tell you how it sounded now.

36. Make Em Say Uhh! ... Master P featuring Silkk, Fiend, Mia-X and Mystikal
Don't know it. I heard a rumour that Master P's success stems from that he buys thousands of copies of his own records.

37. Rico Suave ... Gerardo
Didn't really hurt me, I have to say.

38. Cotton Eyed Joe ... Rednex
A plague on the radio in 1995 but would perhaps be welcome nowadays simply because of its uniqueness in tackling a form of music that's becoming quite dull.

39. She Bangs ... Ricky Martin
Was this even a hit? I think I would have known.

40. I Wanna Sex You Up ... Color Me Badd
I think a lot of people lost their virginities to this, which makes it ok by me.

41. We Didn't Start the Fire ... Billy Joel
Fuck you again. Another record that deserved tomes. Not only did it reopen the generation gap (so says Dave Marsh, something like 40 when the song came out) but it how many songs can be said to deal with history or even TIME in this way? I'm thinking of Mark E. Smith's early opus "Various Times" but there's probably more reference points. Also check out the Oxen of the Sun chapter of Ulysses. Not the same? Yes, you're right, but this song has a special power. Ask me about it and I'll tell if I'm feeling more lucid.

42. The Sounds of Silence ... Simon & Garfunkel
I've listened to it, but it's never really stuck in my head.

43. Follow Me ... Uncle Kracker

44. I'll Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) ... Meatloaf
A blight.

45. Mesmerize ... Ja Rule featuring Ashanti
I don't know what you're talking about. Maybe 20 bucks would refresh my memory.

46. Hangin' Tough ... New Kids on the Block
But wasn't this just a ripoff of En Vogue's "Free Your Mond" to begin with? It really is amazing how badly this dated even months aftter it came out. That's an achievement, innit?

47. The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You ... Bryan Adams
We all hate him, so let's move on. Oh wait, you didn't realize that we already had? I'm sorry.

48. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da ... The Beatles
Iesus Xrist. The Macca drops a masterpiece and you whine. Listen to the melody. Play it on a piano. It's really an amazing piece of craft that no one else could do. And it's the White Album, so of course the production's going to be a little annoying in some way. That's why there are 30 tracks. So you DON"T HAVE TO LIKE THEM ALL!

49. I'm Too Sexy ... Right Said Fred
What kind of black raincloud are you that you would not like this song?

50. My Heart Will Go On ... Celine Dion
This song was worth it for the way it made pricks from high school well up and cry so you could laugh at them for a few minutes while they threatened to kick your ass if you fucking changed to a different station.


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