For your Friday, I present to you, 10 Hilariously Bad Songs (to me):
Rush's "The Spirit of Radio"
Geddy Lee has one of the voices that, when goes high, just makes me laugh. This could list could be filled with Rush songs, but this one has an hilarious opening guitar riff, a reggae-ish breakdown, and the lyrics, right before the guitar solo, are a silly homage to "The Sounds of Silence": "For the words of the prophets are written on the studio wall - concert hall - and echoes with the sound of salesmen. Of salesmen!"
Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?"
What else need be said about this song? Rod Stewart sings it. It's called "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" It was the late 70s when, apparently, anything went.
MC Hammer's "Pray"
Full disclosure: as a 10 year old, I loved MC Hammer. I thought he was top of the pops. I once remarked to my younger sister, "Whenever I feel down and out, I listen to 'Pray' and feel better."
Meat Loaf's "I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)"
Hilarious opening piano line a la Bruce Springsteen at his most dramatic! Squealing guitars! Powerhouse drums! And then, and then, Meat Loaf's ridiculous vibrato. This really is a bad Boss song. Oh, Meat Loaf, you may not do "that" for love, but what won't you do for money (see: Celebrity Apprentice)? Also, why is this song so incredibly long?
The Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive"
Like Geddy Lee from Rush, Barry Gibb's falsetto is a thing of sheer awesome comedy. And the swagger of the rhythm section in this song is really great too. My listening experience of this song is forever linked to John Travolta shaking his ass. (Sidenote: Saturday Night Fever is a really, really good movie, despite this song.)
Huey Lewis & The News's "A Couple Days Off"
There is nothing not funny about this song. It's like Dire Straits meets Buster Poindexter. When Huey sings, "Yeah eeeee yeah!" I bleed laughter.
Cheap Trick's "I Want You (To Want Me)"
Most people are familiar with the live version of this song, as it's the only one radio stations play, but the studio recording of this song is the one that's particularly hilariously bad. The singer, for whatever reason, decided it was best to sing like a dead fish on a beach until the chorus, where his faux-scruff makes him sound more like a petulant child than a singer with grit. Then there's the end of the song, the fade out, which is pretty funny too.
REO Speedwagon's "Keep On Lovin' You"
My high school band played a "Star Search" contest in a downtown Bloomington hotel. It was our high point: we werer sixteen and pretty naive, but even then I knew it was a joke, a scam, ridiculous. One of the other bands playing there was AKA and the drummer was the drummer (one of myriad, I suppose) from REO Speedwagon. I haven't respected REO since. Oh...this song. It's stupid.
Boston's "Cool The Engines"
Ahem, full disclosure, again: I loved Boston. Loved Boston. I still like their first record. But, let's face it, Third Stage makes a mockery of what was once a great band. And "Cool The Engines" is the centerpiece. Why wasn't this song in Top Gun? Screw Kenny Loggins. (Also: why is that Bradley Delp can sing super-duper high and it doesn't make me laugh, but I split my sides every time Geddy Lee does?)
Barry Manilow's "Avenue C"
Why would you do this to Count Basie, Barry? Why???