Top 10 Soul-Destroying No. 1 Hits

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800px-Maroon_5,_2011.jpg
Wikipedia Commons
Do you have the moves that Jagger used on Bowie?
I don't like these songs. I feel it's ridiculous that hundreds of thousands of people actually paid out money and drove them to the top of the Billboard charts. While they might not necessarily be the absolute worst examples of the lowest common denominator's purchasing power, they quickly came to mind as times when a large group of people decided to reward inauthenticity and inanity or indulged in the lowest of lows.

I'd say "it's fine if you don't agree with me, you can't force me to listen to them," but I am being forced to listen these songs. They're in commercials, they're playing as I'm stuck in line at CVS, they're pitch-shifted to come out of the Chipmunks' mouths.

My only recourse is to grow angry at their general acceptance, resent the smugness with which they are revered, and complain about them here.

10. Will Smith, "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"
In and of itself, this is harmless. Its racial-empowerment themes are actually quite noble. But the implications of this sitting atop the charts for three weeks and earning a Grammy just as the dream of '90s was dying and reality television was stretching the proverbial "15 minutes" into eternity? They were devastating.

Smith, the Wikipedia jpeg of "triple threat," proved that to truly dominate you must conquer television, music and film (sigh, it used to be the stage). Multicamera small-screen stars were brushed aside for nude survivors and spoiled heiresses, but the quest for superstardom remained.

Now we can have Paris Hilton, Kevin Federline and Kim Kardashian in our playlist. It goes to show that the bigger and brighter your star burns, the hotter and steamier the turds you can force people down people's throats while they have actual shit-eating grins.


9. Plain White T's, "Hey There Delilah"
On the surface there's not really much offensive going on here. In fact, you might even call it the little song that could, lifting a middling pop-punk outfit from the ranks of semi-obscurity and consecrating "Delilah" as an "indie" anthem.

And that's the problem. Just like the following entry, this is song is an imposter from every angle. There are so many hardworking indie bands happy just to make one addition to the pantheon of meaningful music, but here's this choad promising to secure the future with his guitar.

The truth behind the song belies its false authenticity: "Delilah" was merely an acquaintance whom the singer was trying to bone.


8. Avril Lavigne, "Complicated"
Sixteen weeks. Two Grammy nominations.This song is basically that $5,000 Burberry "punk" vest. It's a song about a boy pretending to be somebody he's not sung by a girl pretending to be somebody she's not.

Now we have frat daddies in slip-on Vans, and preteen girls are walking around believing Taylor Swift is Kathleen Hanna.


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12 comments
HTownChowDown
HTownChowDown

Articles like this tell me that hipsters should really stick to their typewriters. While I don't disagree with many of the choices, the whoa-we're-just-way-too-hip-for-this-mainstream-crap vibe of the writing was more grating than any of the songs on the list.  And it's been done way too many times.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

"There are so many hardworking indie bands happy just to make one addition to the pantheon of meaningful music, but here's this choad promising to secure the future with his guitar."

As opposed to what? Dying in an ally with a vein full of bad smack? And you don't name one single "hardworking indie band," because...oh, right, no one has heard of them but you and the bass-player's girlfriend. Which, btw, is why Santana chose Rob Thomas, and the tool from Nickleback, and that whinny chick who looks like Michelle Branch. See all the indie cred--40 years of performing, almost as many labels, and countless "festival" concerts--don't sell albums or secure your golden years.

Now, "It's an HVAC technician repeatedly bumping a dental hygienist's pool cue, believing that's an effective flirting strategy. It's Marlboro Lights. It's got a hold of me. It's America, fuck yeah!" is not simply classist and elitest.  Worse than all that it's not funny. 

Without the funny this reads as written by a bitter coverband member who's gotten "the get a real job" speech from the significant other.

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

"3. Gavin DeGraw "I Don't Want To Be" - This is why no one likes white people." That line is pure genius. 

Greg O'Brien
Greg O'Brien

Although, there is at least one positive - Ticklesack, I mean Nickelback never made it to #1 (only in Canada). Although Billboard named them "Band of the Decade," which is nauseating....

JIB78
JIB78

Macarena was No. 1 over twelve weeks.  It led to years of idiots dancing like...poorly organized idiots.  That song was on everywhere and I believe it is Spanish for "soul destroyer".  No one gets PTSD-like symptoms hearing Will Smith, but put on Macarena and watch the reactions.

dermgerm
dermgerm

@HTownChowDown you said this way nicer than I was going to so I'm going to piggy back on your comment. Maybe the list is bad, maybe it's not. But one thing is sure: the writing is pretentious and rude. HP blogger, as nicely as possible, shut your trap.

JohnSeabornGray
JohnSeabornGray

@MadMac"See all the indie cred--40 years of performing, almost as many labels, and countless "festival" concerts--don't sell albums or secure your golden years."

I think the point is that what's best for the pocketbook isn't always what's best for the song. Making music is about more than making money.

Also, plenty of people have heard of indie bands. They talk about it on the internet all the time.


I thought this article was funny as hell.

dermgerm
dermgerm

@JefWithOneF uh, I don't know if I'd go that far...

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Thanks for explaining it to me, @JohnSeabornGray. I think the point is apples-and-oranges moot. And I STILL think the article reads diaper-rash pretentious and Unfunny.

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

@dermgerm I do. I'm still laughing about it. I resposted it on Facebook and it led to an all phonetic rewriting of the lyrics that made me laugh so hard I couldn't breathe. Good on you, April!

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