Songs you love by artists you hate

Foreigner has to be one of the boringest, most formulaic bands to ever achieve success. They put the “ass” in classic rock. I change the channel the instant one of their songs comes on the radio …

… unless it’s “Urgent,” in which case I turn it up. Thomas Dolby deserves some kind of lifetime achievement award for pairing Junior Walker’s blistering sax solo with that pulsing 80s synth beat. For me it’s one of the best songs of the decade.

What’s your favorite example?

I Want You Back by the Jackson 5. Though Graham Parker did it much better.

I think Taylor Swift is mind numbing drivel, but “Shake It Off” is a nice catchy tune.

I’ll forgive a whole lot for a nice catchy tune.

Rock & Roll Part 2

I read that Dolby played on that song but did he write it or produce it? Was he responsible for “pairing Junior Walker’s blistering sax solo with that pulsing 80s synth beat”?

Oh, I took the “hate” part differently, but I immediately thought of “Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent.

That man and I would not get along in person, to put it very mildly. But man, that guitar solo …

You’re right! Dolby played on it, but Mutt Lange was the producer. I hold him responsible for tons of drivel, but this track has to be a career highlight.

I get it. In the course of starting my record store I’ve come into possession of some of his old albums, and the dude could play.

Too bad he turned out to be such a flaming asshole.

Agree. Thanks, Sing! (the movie).

Similarly, “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt/Gwen Stefani.

I loathe the Black Eyed Peas, but I’ve always really liked their track “Where is the Love?” I think when I first heard it, I assumed that City High had put out a second record.

I once heard Frank Sinatra’s rendition of Old Man River.

Now, I don’t especially loathe (or like) Sinatra… but that oh-so-smooth voice, singing that great lamentation, just curdled my brain. It was just so very, very wrong.

As others have noted, “hate” is a strong word, unless there’s a non-musical reason (someone mentioned Gary Glitter, e.g.)

But if we replace it with “dislike,” for me such acts tend to be pure pop. I don’t generally like pure pop music, but sometimes I’ll come to appreciate the crafty songwriting — a melodic hook, or a surprising chord change (rare, but it happens), or well-engineered sound production or instrument arrangements. I’m a sucker for sentimental, tear-jerker ballads, if they are creatively composed.*

Example : “All Out of Love,” by Air Supply. I’d die of saccharine overload if you forced me to listen to an hour of their music…but I can dig this song, and would happily listen to it occasionally.

*Allow me to once again recommend Ricky Martin’s song “Volverás,” as I do at least once a year on these boards. :slight_smile:

I hate UB40, especially the song they play all the time, “Red Red Wine”. But I love one of their lesser known singles, “Sing Our Own Song”.

I never liked Michael Jackson, but there are some fantastic covers of Billie Jean.

I’m not a fan of Beyonce’s music, but I remember when “Halo” came out I was surprised at how much I liked it. I later learned that Beyonce typically participates in the song-writing process, but did not write “Halo,” so that’s probably why.

Loved 5-person Genesis, but never really cared for 3-person Genesis when they became so poppy. A couple of their songs that hewed back to their progrock roots were really quite good (“Home By the Sea”, “Tonight,Tonight, Tonight”).

I’ll add another of my own: Crosby Stills & Nash’s “Southern Cross.”

I can’t stand CSN’s classic period – the “harmonies” on stuff like “Judy Blue Eyes” just sound shrill and strained to me. (Their stuff as CSNY with Neil Young is another story.) But when they reunited in the 80s, I loved “Southern Cross.” It gently builds and recedes in intensity like waves against a boat’s hull, fitting the lyrics perfectly. And the guys don’t sound like they’re trying to out-shriek each other.

God I hate that song. It might be in my top five hated songs. I gave the one you recommended a try, didn’t do much for me, but it was less hateable.

Sheryl Crow’s “A Change Would Do You Good”

That song was primarily Stills, with just Nash providing harmony. Apparently Crosby was off sulking somewhere and wasn’t a part of the recording sessions. I wonder if the song suffered in live performances when the band was back to full strength.