Ugliness is in the eye of the beholder, but here are three of my nominations for the Worst Song of All Time:

Beatles, "Honey Pie." It isn't that I don't like the Beatles - I do. It isn't that I don't like the White Album - it's my favorite Beatles album, primarily because of the huge contrasts from song to song. It isn't that I don't like McCartney silly love songs - some of them are outstanding - for example, "Waterfalls" from McCartney II, which is both syrupy and psychotic ("Stay locked in your room and don't go anywhere 'CAUSE I NEED LOVE"). The problem with this song is that it's just so bad, especially when Paul starts singing along "oh yeah I like that...I like this kind of music." Who cares?

Bee Gees, "I Started a Joke." Again, I like the Bee Gees, both some of their early stuff ("Lonely Days"), and their later disco era stuff ("Staying Alive" is outstanding), and the stuff they did for others ("Islands in the Stream," "Woman in Love"). But what is going on lyrically here? I thought that the world revolved around Ken Minyard, but apparently the world revolves around Barry Gibb. He starts a joke which affects all of the billions of people in the world. Argh.

Depeche Mode, "Pleasure Little Treasure." Yes, I certainly like Depeche Mode and their offshoots - was just listening to Dave Gahan's "Paper Monsters" this morning, as a matter of fact. It seems that the dM song that dM fans most despite is "Condemnation," which I think is brilliant - just because Kraftwerk could never do it doesn't mean that it's a bad song. (Similarly, I like some of Dave's & Knox's sounds, such as "Hold On," that would never be considered "standard" dM.) But what happened with "Pleasure Little Treasure"? It's OK to have electronic blips and guitar strums in the same song (I've placed banjo sounds in several of my songs), but the two sounds have to combine into a pleasant whole, not something that's disjointed from second to second. And what's with the way that the ending peters out?


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