Go away. Please.
We all have songs that grate on our sonic sensibilities due to the rate at which they appear on the radio, on television, or in other cultural contexts. Listed below are the 10 tunes whose permanent disappearance would not cause me to shed a tear, and which I might applaud if they were erased from human memory.
Of course, if these songs indeed abruptly evaporated and mysteriously vanished, I wouldn't be able to remember them anyhow, but that is just idle semantics.
The potential status of an overplayed song, of course, is in part a function of the amount of time since it was recorded. There are plenty of songs recorded in the last year or two that get heavy airplay but which will soon fall to obscurity. In this post I am thinking of songs that have annoyed people for at least a decade, and preferably tunes that have tormented listeners for a lifetime.
Feel free to sing the praises of any song I unfairly placed on this list, or add your own least favorite songs that gain much more airplay than they deserve.
1. "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," Steam. I never much cared for this song when it was only an AM radio staple, but now that it has entered the playlist of every PA system in sporting venues, this song needs to die. Soon.
2. "Build Me Up Buttercup," The Foundations. This is another AM radio special that has been resurrected, only this time for movie soundtracks and American Idol singers. Unfortunately, its popularity seems to live on, and I suspect that I will continue to be aurally assaulted by its unnaturally cheery melody for the foreseeable future.
3. "We Are The Champions / We Will Rock You," Queen. Stadium and arena operators feed us a steady diet of this Queen twofer, and it has also found its way into innumerable films. Too bad, because there are many other Queen songs worthy of immortality than this ho-hum pair.
4. "Mony Mony," Tommy James & The Shondells and Billy Idol. This song was pretty forgettable in its first go-around in 1968, but Billy Idol's annoying 1987 remake kills it for me. That, plus I wager that "Mony Mony" has been played at every wedding I've attended since 1980.
5. "Rock and Roll Part 2," Gary Glitter. Yet another stadium-and-arena musical cliché, but we should also wish a rapid death for the song because Gary Glitter is a flaming pedophile, and every time someone plays the song Glitter makes more royalties. No nickels for pedos, I say.
6. "Who Let The Dogs Out," The Baha Men. I thought that this one was dying, but I still hear it at sporting events, and Mitt Romney breathed new life into it during the 2008 primary by trying to look hip to some puzzled African American voters in Jacksonville.
7. "Bad to the Bone," George Thorogood and the Destroyers. Thorogood went downhill after his first two mildly listenable albums, but this ho-hum song somehow finds its way into more television shows, films, and video games than any other rock song I can recall.
8. "Back in Black," AC/DC. I admit that I never much cared for the musical stylings of Angus Young & Co., but this song is overplayed to the point at which it no longer seems like music. More like painful static or something, or at best like a bad case of vaginal dryness. So I am told, at least, possessing as I do a different set of reproductive organs.
9. "Radar Love," Golden Earring. One small caveat - you will likely only hear this song on a classic rock or oldies station, but the frequency of play in these two formats more than compensates for its infrequent appearance elsewhere. However, if pressed I will admit that I would rather listen to this song than Golden Earring's other idiotic hit, "When the Bullet Hits the Bone."
10. "Old Time Rock and Roll," Bob Seger. I recognized this as a piece of cheap sycophancy back in 1978 when Seger phoned this one in, but its place in musical banality was assured with the infamous underwear scene by Tom Cruise in Risky Business. This is another overplayed source of irritation at weddings, and now we also get to hear it every commercial for Guitar Hero on Tour: Decades and Guitar Hero World Tour. Blecch!