Around December every year, music critics put out their lists of best albums of the year. Considering much of what we liked this year were singles, live recordings, and the new Baroness, we are presenting to you, the readership of TLF, our favorite music that is probably not quality, but we still love – and not ironically.
Below are the first four songs in our TLF has bad taste series proving both that we don’t know how to do a year in review — and own our bad taste.
You’ve Got the Touch – Stan Bush (1986) & Dirk Diggler (1997)
This song has the unique distinction of being used in crucial scenes in two very different films: Transformers: The Animated Movie in 1986 and Boogie Nights in 1997. This song is corny to be sure, the kind of squealy guitar-driven anthem that 80’s films are now derided for, but the original version is delivered with such passion and sincerity it’s hard not to love it. It makes me feel better about myself at least, it pumps me up when I’m at the gym, going shopping, drinking a beer, doing a PowerPoint presentation. The Boogie Nights version sung by Mark “Marky Mark” Wahlberg (badly), was used cleverly by Paul Thomas Anderson in more of a “guy hitting rock bottom” context, making it no less awesome, but for a different, darker reason. – KDC
Down Boys – Warrant (1989)
Once again I come out of the hair metal closet. Music snobs love to hate on the hair metal bands of the late 80’s and early 90’s, because of the cheese factor, even though bands like Warrant, Skid Row and the like spanked the grunge set, when it comes to performance and overall star quality. Warrant especially gets a bad rep because of Cherry Pie, which honestly, is an awful song, not just because of its sexist video. Even though I pledge allegiance to the (mostly) heavier side of metal, I cannot deny the awesomeness of Down Boys. I will seek it out on Rdio, I will blast it with no shame. The song is tough but melodic, catchy and dripping with ‘tude. The hook is undeniable, the chorus made for a boozy sing-along. Jani Lane went to his grave trying to run from the spectre of Cherry Pie, but I’ll always remember Warrant for this song, one of the best that hair metal had to offer. – KDC
Fantasy (Remix) — Mariah Carey (1995)
We listened to Mariah through her early “no; absolutely not — my mom is an opera singer; my dad is Latino; yes, I’m mixed” era, but had stopped being fans by the time she got too close to ice cream. However, Mariah had her best worst song in her from Glitter. Put together Puffy, ODB from WuTang rapping a simile comparing babies and pacifiers to his relationship with Miss M, the world’s longest sample of the Tom Tom Club’s Genius of Love, and you have music history. This song is so wrong, it’s right. We haven’t yet seen this remix at karaoke, but when we do, there will be ownage. This is also the only song on our list that “real” critics have tried to justify their love of and also led to one of our all-time favorite New York Times corrections. -RL
Volume Up –4Minute (2012)
I like k-pop unashamedly. However, no matter how bubblegum-tastic kpop can be, sometimes it just goes too far. This song puts together almost everything I generally hate about music — saxophone (I normally turn off any song with sax), 4/4 time, in a major key, screeching Dio-like female singing, pointless rising crescendo, an abrupt ending … but somehow it just works as a complete ridiculous whole and I just can’t help but like it. Perhaps this is a long-delayed reaction to how I don’t super-hate the worst song ever created on purpose. -RL
I was going to comment about grunge and hair metal and ’80s pop, but “Volume Up” just blew my mind up. It sounds like something out of a nightmare I might have had as a child in the nineties, complete with a horde of beautiful and threatening women. Holy crow. Bless you for introducing me to this.
Awesome. that video was the ace in the hole for that particular post.