What is the most hilariously bad song ever to have received any amount of commercial success? It doesn’t count if the song is funny on purpose (unless it fails in that aim and is funny despite it), really bad but not funny, or if it never made the charts anywhere.
I already posted this one in the earworm thread after I found it while looking up another song, but I fail to comprehend how Japanese Boy by Aneka, a squawking Scottish woman wearing the world’s worst wig, ever hit #1 on the British Pop charts (even in 1981). The video, however, is not only hilariously gaudy, but the comments also show that you can find a fan for anything. I also gather that it was featured on GTA: Vice City (you have to love their sense of humor sometimes).
And another submission: what do you get when you combine one Indian-Egyptian female singer, a black American rapper, generic German dance music, and really bad costume design? There Is a Star by Pharao (sic). It’s mainly funny (as opposed to just being bad) because of the hilarious contrast between the rapper and the rest of the song; it’s almost like they dubbed him in (and don’t forget the lyrics they have him singing!).
“Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani. There’s the title, first of all - nobody’s sure what it’s supposed to mean - but what makes it great is the stupid, stupid lyrics in which a woman in her mid-30s tries to act tough by pretending to be a high school student. That combination still cracks me up.
Oh, I definitely have a submission for most melodramatic song (and especially video) ever: All the Things She Said by t.A.T.u., the Russian duo who lied-by-omission about being lesbians for three years. They managed to garner the most hilariously negative allmusic review I’ve ever seen, too. I think the song is alright, though. :o
Well, in terms of bizarre concept, wretched production and horrendously, hilariously bad execution it’s tough to beat Nervous Norvus’ 1956 hit song “Transfusion” (about the perils of reckless driving):
Tooling down the hightway doing 79
I’m a twin pipe papa and I’m feelin fine
Hey man dig that was that a red stop sign
I’m just a solid mess of contusions
Never, never, never gonna speed again
Slip the blood to me, Bud
Several more verses follow, each with its own car crash sound effects and hipster line about getting blood, concluding with
Make that type O, huh
More unbelievably, that was not Nervous Norvus’ only hit (He had “Ape Call” and “Dig”, another hipster chronicle)*.
*Before his brief time at the pinnacle of recording success, he worked as a truck driver.
“There Goes My Baby” by the Drifters wouldn’t make most Bad Song lists, but deserves to.
I have an old two-record set covering Atlantic Records’ early years which includes this song. One of the heads of the record label comments in the liner notes how appalled he was when he first heard the demo, with a bloated string section seemingly working against the vocalists and guitar/saxophone accompanists, resulting in a cacophonous mess (which it is). He got talked into releasing it anyway, and it was a huge hit (got to #2 on the pop charts) and started a new trend in the use of strings on R&B recordings.