The Ten Worst Songs Of The 1970s

After years of listening to the local oldies radio station and the ‘70s music channel on cable TV, this list gradually formed in my head. I know I'm not the first person to make such a list. Do a Google search and see how my list compares.

The Ten Worst Songs Of The 1970s

10. Space Oddity -David Bowie (1972)

An amateurish, inaccurate, dystopian interpretation of America’s space program.

9. Blinded By The Light -Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (1976)

As written by Bruce Springsteen the opening line is “Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night.” But the enunciation is so poor that what everyone heard was “Blinded by the light, wrapped up like a douche, into the roner in the night.” What they were really saying became a hot topic of conversation in 1976. Really. Some who claimed to know said the word was “deuce” but nobody believed them because deuce doesn’t have a “sh” sound in it. In fact the whole song is loaded with mispronounced words. However, upon reading the actual lyrics you’ll discover that they are just as nonsensical as what you think you heard, if that makes any sense.

8. Feelings -Morris Albert (1974)

A song about lost love in about 125 words. What makes it so awful is that the word “feelings” is repeated 19 times. Monotonous.

7. Escape (The Pina Colada Song) -Rupert Holmes (1979)

A man bored with his wife answers a personals ad from a woman looking for some excitement. It turns out to have been written by his wife. When they realize they were both planning to cheat on each other they – get this – laugh about it. They then discuss the fact that neither of them knew they liked the same things, which makes you wonder how they ever got together in the first place.

6. Ben -Michael Jackson (1972)

I actually bought the 45 of this one when I was 12. What was I thinking??? The melody is pleasant enough. It sounds like a love song. But Ben was a rat, the title character of a horror movie. So it’s basically a love song to a killer rat. Charming.

5. I Shot The Sheriff -Eric Clapton (1974)

Though written by Bob Marley, it was Clapton who made this a hit. How it ever caught on is a mystery to me. The unsingable melody sounds like it was composed by a first grader. Supposedly this is a reggae song, which is odd considering the lyrics have a wild west theme.

4. Billy Don’t Be A Hero -Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods (1974)

It’s the story of a young man who goes off to war. His fiancee tells him to play it safe so he can come home in one piece. He ignores her advice and gets killed. The army sends her a letter saying he died a hero and she “threw the letter away.”

3. Seasons In The Sun -Terry Jacks (1973)

The refrain is cheerful and upbeat (“We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun….”) masking the gloomy verses in between, the words of a young man on his deathbed. Music doesn’t get more depressing than this.

2. You’re Having My Baby -Paul Anka (1974)

It was considered sexist in its day and time has not improved on that assessment.

1. Summer (The First Time) -Bobby Goldsboro (1973)

It’s the story of a 17 year-old boy who is seduced by a 31 year-old woman. It’s every teenage male’s fantasy, but to the rest of us it just sounds creepy. Seven piano notes repeated over and over and over don’t help, either.



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