Thursday, October 11, 2007

Top-Five Worst Songs of the 1980s

True, by Spandau Ballet
Over-emoted, over-produced, and just plain overwrought, this slick piece of pop also features one of the yuckiest videos of the 1980s. I don’t know why over-gelled hair, a business suit, and lipstick look so good on Annie Lenox and so creepy on this band. They just do.

The Greatest Love of All, by Whitney Houston
Really? The greatest? How come it didn’t inspire a better song?

Endless Love, by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
My father used to call this “Mindless Love,” and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do), By Christopher Cross
Any song that romanticizes New York City in the 1980s is automatically suspect. Play this alongside literally any cut from Lou Reed’s “New York,” and it’s obvious that someone is not being emotionally honest.

Hello, by Lionel Richie
(It’s fair to conclude I’m not a Lionel Richie fan.) I think Split Enz said it best: “I don’t want to say I love you/That would give away too much.” (Message to My Girl.) All the above 80s ballads, but especially this last one, could have used a lesson in subtlety from our oddly-dressed down-under friends.

I mention this because I heard all of these songs (well, not the Spit Enz one) in Hangzhou. The Chinese definitely like their light, treacly vocal music, but there is no escaping it here. Light pop is not just for elevators anymore. It’s also in train stations, in taxicabs, in restaurants, and coming out of every car and shop window in the city. It would seem that on top of all its other claims to fame, Hangzhou is also the city where the 80s came to die.


Ur_Next_Ex said...

"Hello" and "Endles Love" were indeed, absolutely unforgivably terrible songs, but with the other three you are waaay off base. Those were GREAT!

Nicole said...

I'm willing to concede that Whitney Houston is an incredibly talented singer, and that "Arthur's Theme" may have its charms. But we're just going to have to agree to disagree on Spandau Ballet! Too slick for me.

Do you have a best/worst 80s list?