Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Songs So Bad They’re Great

The other day this scene from “Animal House” popped into my head.

That guy playing guitar? Stephen Bishop, who had a hit with the awful “On and On” in 1977.

I couldn’t even finish watching the video, so you’re welcome to do the same. These lyrics …

So he takes a ladder
Steals the stars from the sky
Puts on Sinatra and starts to cry

As an old friend used to say, “gag me with a pitchfork!”

But every so often it’s fun to look into the past and remember the worst parts of pop culture, things that are so bad they’re great.

This one’s on my list, plus “Seasons in the Sun” which somehow became the #1 song on the legendary WLS Big 89 countdown for 1974 — and I was already sick of it that very night while listening to the countdown, so nearly 50 years later you can imagine what I think of it now. 

Others that come to mind:

  • “Muskrat Love”  — the whole song is a joke, apparently, but it’s hard to tell sometimes
  • “Heartbeat, It's a Love Beat” — The DeFranco Family was “Canada’s answer to the Jackson Five, the Osmonds, and the Partridge Family” and that pretty much says it all
  • “One Bad Apple” — it’s truly painful to listen to little Donny Osmond trying to sing like Michael Jackson, please just make it stop you’re hurting my ears
  • “The Night Chicago Died” — gets special mention for referring to the “east side of Chicago” which of course is in Lake Michigan

So many others of course but I don’t want to torture you any further, this is quite enough for now. More later.

Feel free to email me the “so bad it’s great” songs that you remember best, and I’ll add them here. 

Here’s the full list of WLS Big 89 Countdowns year by year, for reference.