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Old 04-05-2020, 11:28 PM
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What's the worst song ever that reached #1?


Just as the thread title suggests, what is the worst song of all time that hit #1 on a Billboard chart or its equivalent in your country?

You're not allowed to say "Macarthur Park," the disco version of which did reach #1 and the original bv Richad Harris was #1 in Canada, but it's too easy a choice.

I'm going with "In the Year 2525," with "We Built This City" a close runnerup.
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Old 04-05-2020, 11:40 PM
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Damn you. I was gonna nominate "in the year 2525"

OK... "Solid as a Rock" was pretty fucking awful and I think it was #1 on some charts for some godawful reason.
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Old 04-05-2020, 11:46 PM
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That's easy: "Disco Duck", with a side of "Ringo" by Lorne Greene.
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Old 04-05-2020, 11:48 PM
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Fly Robin Fly by the German disco group Silver Convention. Reached number 1 in the USA back in 1975. First #1 song for a German group in the USA ever. When my daughter asked why I hated disco so much, I found a YouTube video of this for her to watch. She understood perfectly afterwards.
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Old 04-05-2020, 11:54 PM
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Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks.

Submitted for your approval because apparently I have a deep-seated subconscious hatred for all of you.
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Old 04-06-2020, 12:01 AM
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Meco’s disco version of the Star Wars theme.
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Old 04-06-2020, 12:02 AM
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"Convoy" by C. W. McCall.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqYTX7parRw
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Old 04-06-2020, 12:04 AM
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Meco’s disco version of the Star Wars theme.
I actually love Meco's Star Wars, though the single edit is vastly inferior to the 15-minute version on the LP.

Last edited by Smapti; 04-06-2020 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 04-06-2020, 12:14 AM
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Despacito.

Oh, and "In the Year 2525" rocks.
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Old 04-06-2020, 12:20 AM
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Daniel Powter "Bad Day"
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Old 04-06-2020, 12:25 AM
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Some others.

"Boogie Oogie Oogie" by A Taste of Honey

"Last Kiss" by Pearl Jam

"When I'm With You" by Sheriff
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Old 04-06-2020, 12:26 AM
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"Stars on 45"

I liked it at the time, but I was eleven, that's my excuse
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Old 04-06-2020, 12:28 AM
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Obviously, it's "Don't You Want Me" by the Human League.
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Old 04-06-2020, 12:29 AM
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"Last Kiss" by Pearl Jam
"Last Kiss" was only #1 in Australia and Iceland. On the Hot 100, it peaked at #2.
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Old 04-06-2020, 12:35 AM
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Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks.
This. And if you think that's bad, it gets worse!

Have you ever listened to the flip side of that single? Jebus Cripes.


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Old 04-06-2020, 12:36 AM
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You said "a" Billboard chart, so:
Rock charts: "Something In Your Mouth", Nickelback. Which is even worse than you'd expect from Nickelback singing something called "Something In Your Mouth".
Country charts: Oh God where do you start? Half the songs are basically MAGA hats set to music. The absolute bottom of the barrell is either "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue" by Toby Keith or "Fly Over States" by Jason Aldean. Tough guy posturing by a guy who'd run to Canada the second they brought back the draft, and another by a guy who probably would be bored out of his skull within ten seconds of living in a small town.
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Old 04-06-2020, 01:26 AM
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I have to disagree with the OP. In the Year 2525 is indeed crap, but the lyrics are so dementedly both bizarre and lame at the same time that it gives it a certain surreal appeal. We Built This City is the nadir of the wreckage that Jefferson Airplane became, but at least has Grack Slick.

The #1 hit I loathe the most is Honey, by Bobby Goldsboro, which is such a revolting combination of maudlin, saccharine, and inanity I have to turn it the second I hear it.
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Old 04-06-2020, 01:40 AM
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Ache-y Breaky Heart...Billy Ray Cyrus.
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Old 04-06-2020, 01:47 AM
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Ache-y Breaky Heart...Billy Ray Cyrus.
It only made #4 on the Hot 100. Billy Ray didn't have a #1 until he guested on "Old Town Road" last year.
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Old 04-06-2020, 01:52 AM
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Definitely Honey.

In an odd coincidence I just reread Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs earlier today.
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Old 04-06-2020, 02:04 AM
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There were some awful ones, including at least one Partridge Family offering, but I have to go with "Candyman" by Sammy Davis, Jr.
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Old 04-06-2020, 03:04 AM
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It only made #4 on the Hot 100. Billy Ray didn't have a #1 until he guested on "Old Town Road" last year.
Wow! I'm shocked. I never got so tired of a song as that one.
It makes me throw up in my mouth alittle.
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Old 04-06-2020, 03:08 AM
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Over at Stereogum, they have the tri-weekly The Numbers Ones column where all the #1 Billboard singles since 1958 are reviewed. Right now, the column is up to 1980 and so far, Paul Anka's "You're Having My Baby" from 1974 ranks at the bottom with Donny Osmond's 1972 cover of "Go Away Little Girl" not far behind. Although there have been some other #1 songs that annoy me almost as much, I have to agree with Stereogum's assessment of Anka's failed attempt at being a sensitive male.

I'm not posting a link to the song because I have a sense of basic human decency. Instead, here's Stereogum's review. https://www.stereogum.com/2045758/th...e-number-ones/
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Old 04-06-2020, 03:10 AM
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A lot of these are pretty tame where "Worst Ever" is concerned, I think. Maybe we just have a greater capacity for the truly, cataclysmically dire here in the UK, but In the Year 2525 really isn't that bad.

Especially when you consider There's No-one Quite Like Grandma by St. Winifred's School Choir, Grandad by Clive Dunn, or Mr. Blobby by Mr. Bobby.
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Old 04-06-2020, 03:12 AM
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Duplicate post

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Old 04-06-2020, 03:21 AM
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"The Woody Woodpecker Song" hit number in 1948.
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Old 04-06-2020, 03:22 AM
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A lot of these are pretty tame where "Worst Ever" is concerned, I think. Maybe we just have a greater capacity for the truly, cataclysmically dire here in the UK, but In the Year 2525 really isn't that bad.

Especially when you consider There's No-one Quite Like Grandma by St. Winifred's School Choir, Grandad by Clive Dunn, or Mr. Blobby by Mr. Bobby.
The UK chart, until fairly recently, was 100% based on sales, whereas the Hot 100 was always a hybrid of sales and airplay. (Both charts now include streaming as well.) As a result, it was a lot easier for novelty songs to chart in the UK - perhaps most prominently demonstrated when "Killing in the Name" beat out a Miley Cyrus cover to become the Christmas #1 in 2009.

Last edited by Smapti; 04-06-2020 at 03:23 AM.
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Old 04-06-2020, 04:16 AM
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Shaddap You Face by Joe Dolce, the song that kept Vienna by Ultravox forever a #2.
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Old 04-06-2020, 04:18 AM
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The Carpenters' "Close to You" is really pretty awful. If anyone but Karen Carpenter had sung it, it would have sunk like a rock. It's really her voice that made it to #1, not Burt Bacharach's lyrics.

But just to make sure, I listened to "Honey" again. Well, about 25 seconds of it.

Yup, that's the worst. I have to put "Close to You" at #2. "Close to You" is sort of the Plan 9 from Outer Space of pop songs, which means it does have entertainment value, just unintended. "Honey" is someone telling a story, but singing it. A really boring, stupid story you are looking around, trying to find an excuse to walk away from. "Oops," there's my bus. Yeah, tree. You'll meet someone else. Don't call me, I'll call you."
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Old 04-06-2020, 04:20 AM
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"The Woody Woodpecker Song" hit number in 1948.
The Baby Boomers were in kindergarten. Whaddaya expect?
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Old 04-06-2020, 04:32 AM
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Hal David's lyrics, right?
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Old 04-06-2020, 04:41 AM
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OK... "Solid as a Rock" was pretty fucking awful and I think it was #1 on some charts for some godawful reason.
Quote:
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Shaddap You Face by Joe Dolce, the song that kept Vienna by Ultravox forever a #2.
My two picks are taken.
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Old 04-06-2020, 04:47 AM
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All right, let's get some teamwork together here. I need someone from Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, or Switzerland to get in here and nominate "What's Up" 4 Non Blondes. I'm surprised to see that even though this is an American band, the song actually performed better on international charts than the U.S. one. I guess we Americans just have better taste than the rest of y'all.
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Old 04-06-2020, 05:06 AM
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100% thought this would just be people saying The Macarena over and over again
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Old 04-06-2020, 05:38 AM
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Nobody's mentioned #1 in classical music. I submit Pachelbel's Canon, which is nothing more than a descending major scale. It started charting back in the 70s, and has remained near the top ever since. People actually play it for their weddings.

I have a CD called "Pachelbel's Greatest Hit", singular. It contains various arrangements of that horrid piece. I've never played that CD all the way through.
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Old 04-06-2020, 05:44 AM
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Lou Bega's version of Mambo no. 5 (A little bit of Monica...) got kind of irritating. Wish I could mention something more recent. No, wait, that's why I stopped listening to pop radio, so I'm thankful I can't mention anything more recent.
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:05 AM
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Nobody's mentioned #1 in classical music. I submit Pachelbel's Canon, which is nothing more than a descending major scale. It started charting back in the 70s, and has remained near the top ever since. People actually play it for their weddings.

I have a CD called "Pachelbel's Greatest Hit", singular. It contains various arrangements of that horrid piece. I've never played that CD all the way through.
Funny audio sketch
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:37 AM
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James Blunt's You're Beautiful. There are more vomit-inducing songs around (like All for Love, Nine Million Bicycles, All I Wanna Do), but how this turd rose to No. 1 is beyond me.
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:26 AM
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People in this thread are naming a lot of good or at least decent songs.
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:57 AM
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I wanted to say Muskrat Love, but it never got higher than #4, which is still more than it deserved.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:02 AM
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People in this thread are naming a lot of good or at least decent songs.
Ummmm, for example? I reread the thread and do not see a one.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:11 AM
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Of the songs I know on this list (and granted, I recognize very little from about 2000 forward and about 1963 back) I'm surprised to find things like "Men in Black" (4 weeks at #1), which may not be "the worst" but it was definitely not a good song.

OTOH, "Ice Ice Baby" is definitely total dog shit.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:23 AM
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All right, let's get some teamwork together here. I need someone from Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, or Switzerland to get in here and nominate "What's Up" 4 Non Blondes. I'm surprised to see that even though this is an American band, the song actually performed better on international charts than the U.S. one. I guess we Americans just have better taste than the rest of y'all.
::needle screech:: What? In a category that includes such epicallly craptastic works as "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree" and "We Built This City", you're nominating "What's Up"? A decent rock ballad with great, brassy vocals? 4 Non Blondes is still in my playlist, and I occasionally listen to "What's Up". It's no "The Sound Of Silence", but it's a good song that's nowhere near as soul-destroyingly hideous as some of the others mentioned here.

Sheesh.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:28 AM
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Nobody's mentioned #1 in classical music. I submit Pachelbel's Canon, which is nothing more than a descending major scale. It started charting back in the 70s, and has remained near the top ever since. People actually play it for their weddings.

I have a CD called "Pachelbel's Greatest Hit", singular. It contains various arrangements of that horrid piece. I've never played that CD all the way through.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKellyMap View Post
I was so excited to open this thread and name Pachelbel's Canon, just to link to this!

There have got to be dozens of artists in the same boat, who hate the one hit that everyone demands they play. I know Grace Slick hates We Built This City (and rightly so).

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People in this thread are naming a lot of good or at least decent songs.
You. In the back seat with the dogs, where you can't reach the radio.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:31 AM
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The #1 hit I loathe the most is Honey, by Bobby Goldsboro, which is such a revolting combination of maudlin, saccharine, and inanity I have to turn it the second I hear it.
I have to go with this one.



Rhyming "what the heck" with "hugged my neck"? Really?
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:46 AM
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A lot of good ones here. I'll nominate Okie From Muscogee, by Merle Haggard for a country tune. And Ballad Of The Green Berets, by Barry Sadler for pop charts. "Fighting men, who jump and die" always sounded like a poor career choice.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:49 AM
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That's easy: "Disco Duck", with a side of "Ringo" by Lorne Greene.
I was going to vote "Disco Duck" as well, but, then again, it's pretty clearly trying to be dumb, especially with the band name as "Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots," so if sincerity is part of the equation for "worst," I may have to disqualify it. But, yeah, it's horrible.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:56 AM
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I was going to vote "Disco Duck" as well, but, then again, it's pretty clearly trying to be dumb, especially with the band name as "Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots," so if sincerity is part of the equation for "worst," I may have to disqualify it. But, yeah, it's horrible.
"Disco Duck" is what's called a "novelty song." You might as well nominate "Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer," or "Monster Mash."
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:59 AM
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"Disco Duck" is what's called a "novelty song." You might as well nominate "Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer," or "Monster Mash."
Of course, I know that. the former never made it close to #1, though. The latter, did.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:59 AM
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Sugar Sugar by The Archies spent 4 weeks as #1. Various stories claim that Don Kirshner tried to force it on The Monkees prior to assembling a studio band, leading to demands for more autonomy in their music.
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