Ah, the love song. When it's done right, it can stir emotions, set the mood and sometimes even move mountains! However when it's done wrong it can cause grinding of teeth, hysterical screams and even vile body functions. It is those teeth grinders that are the focus of today's musical journey into the worst love songs and what makes them bad.
20. Chevy Van- Sammy Johns- (No relation, at least none I'd be willing to admit) How this ever became a staple of AM radio is a mystery to me, as Sammy croons of his conquest of hitch hiker chick in the back of his love den on wheels. Lyrics like, "like a princess I can see her lying there, moonlight playing off her hair," are enough to bring up this morning's breakfast.
19. If- Bread- Tough choice to narrow it down to one song from the Bread discography, but the clincher was the lyric "if the world should stop revolving spinning slowly down to die." Is this supposed to be a love song or a sign of the end times?!
18. Longer- Dan Fogelberg- God rest his soul, but what the heck was old Dan thinking when he came up with the line, "deeper than any forest primeval, I am in love with you." Can you see it now, battling lyricist block, struggling to come up with something really, really deep, he comes up with a forest primeval! Yes! That's the ticket!
17. Babe and Lady- Styx- Not to pile on too many singer songwriters, here proof that even rock bands can crank out really awful love songs, in fact a double dose from Styx. These songs are so lame they actually start to blend together! "Babe I'm leaving I must be on my wayjust touch me and my troubles abade." Huh? Abade? When did Tommy Shaw become a knight of the round table?
16. Muskrat Love- Captain and Tennille- While it seems that the guys have cornered the worst love song market, and The Captain, is likely responsible for this god awful abomination, I can only wonder what the heck Toni Tennille was thinking when she agreed to sing about Muskrat Susie and Muskrat Sam over the Captain's piano tinkling!
15. Honey- Bobby Goldsboro- This song was almost single-handedly brought about the renaissance of the tearjerker. This could have been prime fodder for a Weird Al Yankovic renderingI can hear it now, "and Honey I miss youand I'm looking for the razor blades"
14. Let Her In- John Travolta- Before he hit it big on the Saturday Night Fever dance floor, Travolta was one of Mr. Kotter's Sweathogs who became a double threat with juicy slab of schlock.
13. Don't Give Up On Us- David Soul- Speaking of double threat, the blonde half of TV's Starsky and Hutch cop show, earned a place on the charts with his quavering vocal on this steaming piece of dung. While it would have been wise, he didn't stop here and continued to crank out records, not sure if his fame ever reached Hasselhoff-ian proportions in Europe.
12. Making Love Out Of Nothing At All- Air Supply- There was just something not quite right about this sappy Australian duos string of syrupy ballads. Maybe it was the odd combination of the tall, Nordic-looking blonde guy teamed with the short due with the bad white-guy Afro that seemed more than a little skivey.
11. Close to You- The Carpenters- Speaking of skivey combinations, sorry but there was just something not quite right about the brother/sister combo of Richard and Karen Carpenter. It's tough to get past those longing looks over Karen drum kit, while belting out, "just like me...they long to be close to you."
10. Annie's Song- John Denver- Here's a hint for any aspiring balladeers, if you want to pen an ode to your significant other, go for it, but don't ever release it as a single! I can guarantee that some day a line like "let me drown in your laughterlet me die in your arms," will come back to haunt you. Write I, record it, burn her a copy and keep it to yourself!
9. Just Remember I Love You- Firefall- What the heck was it about the mid-1970s and a string of interchangeable duos and groups that cranked out pabulum puke that found it's way up the charts?
8. I'd Really Love To See You Tonight- England Dan and John Ford Coley- See Firefall at number 8.
7. You're the Inspiration- Chicago- This was a band that cranked out a string of great songs with driving rhythms and great horns, then Peter Cetera moved out front and things went off the rails. Somewhere the late Terry Kath is rolling over.
6. Rosanna- Toto- Studio aces turned hit makers, Toto went off the celebrity deep end with this ode to a day, morning, afternoon and night with actress Rosanna Arquette.
5. I Just Called To Say I Love You- Stevie Wonder- While this one was on the Women In Red movie soundtrack, every time I hear it I think of Jack Black's music snob store clerk character from the movie High Fidelity, berating the Dad who wanted to buy the single for his daughter! What was Stevie thinking?
4. Faithfully- Journey- This dreadful dreck seemed to spawn an entire generation of bad, hair band, power ballads and now there is an entire generation of married couples who have to look back on really bad records that were their wedding songs! It's no wonder the divorce rates are so high!
3. Lovin' You- Minnie Ripperton- Ms. Ripperton pre-dated the five-octave diva Mariah Carey by a generation with this down right painful eardrum buster. Hard to believe she earned high praise for this caterwauling.
2. Afternoon Delight- Starland Vocal Band- What could possibly be worse than this two couple quartet belting out four part harmony on an ode to afternoon nookie? Because this was such a huge radio hit, your Dad adding his vocal prowess to the sing-a-long! Ewww!
1. Lady in Red- Chris DeBurgh- as a former wedding DJ, if I had one more leisure suit wearing, stud wannabe request this blathering piece of crap so he could make moves on the maid of honor, I don't know who I would have shot first, him or me! Absolutely the definition of DREADFUL!