10 Rock Classics Sung by Downright Awful Musicians
The cliché is: “Even a broken clock is right twice a day.” And to stretch the metaphor to its utmost limits – even crappy bands and musicians hit pay dirt. DaRK PaRTY has collected a list of 10 major league great tunes sung by downright awful bands. Feel free to add your own addition to the list in our comments section.
“Don’t BringMe Down” – Electric Light Orchestra
Forget the gag inducing lyrics because it is like a hack missing half his brain wrote them. How else to explain: “You’re looking good just like a snake in the grass/ One of these days you’re going break your glass”? What the hell does that even mean? Yet, “Don’t Bring Me Down” is a thumping rock classic by a terrible “symphonic rock” band from 1970s England. Try not to like it – we dare you (see video above).
“Sundown” – Gordon Lightfoot
No one really likes Gordon Meredith Lightfoot – because he’s friggin’ Canadian “rocker.” But “Sundown” is a funk-induced bluesy rock number that simply cranks. Lyrics like: “I can see her looking fast in her faded jeans/ She’s a hard loving woman, got me feeling mean” sound like they are being narrated by a private detective in some gin-soaked barroom in Florida.
“Mr. Jones” – Counting Crows
Yeah, yeah, the Counting Crows makes me sick, too. Only a terrible band would list “Mike & The Mechanics” as an influence. It’s fun now to pretend that “Mr. Jones” is a crappy song, because of its mega-popularity. But it isn’t. Just like “Cat’s in the Cradle,” the sappy weeper by Harry Chapin, “Mr. Jones” can make a grown man weep.
“Naked” – Goo Goo Dolls
Goo Goo Dolls are from Buffalo – very close to Canada. But that doesn’t explain why they are one of the wimpiest bands in existence. Have you seen what they wear? Christ All Mighty. But listen to the guitars in “Naked.” This is a rock song.
“Flirtin’ With Disaster” – Molly Hatchet
Molly Hatchet wanted to be the next Lynyrd Skynyrd. They failed. Miserably. But among the dozens and dozens of mediocre southern fried rock, Molly Hatchet gave us “Flirtin’ With Disaster.” How can you not like lyrics like: “I’m out of money/ I’m out of hope/ It looks like self destruction”? Makes us want to drink Kentucky bourbon and get a speeding ticket.
“Lunatic Fringe” – Red Rider
Cough! Canadian! cough! Is there a theme here? Red Rider was bad. They never had a song in the Top 40. Yet somehow they managed to release 10 albums. Who is responsible for this? They must have heard “Lunatic Fringe” and thought – Wow! But “Lunatic Fringe” – good as it is – is not Red Rider. Crappy music is Red Rider.
“It’s Been Awhile” – Staind
Wait a minute. Crappy music is also Staind (a band that can’t even spell). But they are from Springfield, Massachusetts, so I’ve got to give them a break. Hey, the Basketball Hall of Fame is in Springfield, too. “It’s Been Awhile” rocks. Truly. It rocks and thumbs up for using the words “fucked up” in the lyrics.
“More Human Than Human” – White Zombie
White Zombiewas a “noise” rock band. And they lived up to the genre because White Zombie made a lot of goddamn noise (Rob Zombie, in his solo career, however, rocks). “More Human Than Human” is a tribute to the movie “Blade Runner.” It sears your eyeballs out. Great stuff. And Rob Zombie is from Haverhill, Massachusetts and we were born in the same year 10 days apart. Yo, Rob!
“No Rain” – Blind Melon
Can you say overrated? If you look up “overrated” on wikipedia you’ll find a picture of the Dallas Cowboys, but underneath that you’ll find mention of Blind Melon. “No Rain” is about a sensitive poet who searches for love even though in might be insane. But the rifts make you want to air guitar.
“Someday” – Nickelback
There’s no need to shout. I know Nickelback sucks. Why wouldn’t they? They’re from Canada. The whole concept of easy listening grunge is… well, let’s put it this way. Can Soundgarden please beat the snot out of them? That said “Someday” really breaks the mold and delivers a driving rock anthem (see video below).
“Things Can Only Get Better” – Howard Jones
He of the spiky hair. If you were alive in the 80s, then you will still not understand how the hell Howard Jones became a huge pop star. This is an artist who began his career playing synthesizer behind a mime. Yet the song “Things Can Only Get Better” is fun. It’s just a joy to listen to – and you’ll find yourself singing along. You’ll hate yourself afterwards, but you’ll do it anyway.