If 1990 is just an extension of the 80s, then 1991 is what I consider to be a transition year because that’s all it is, a transition from the 80s to the 90s. At this point, a lot of the 80s trends were being pushed out for newer ones. With the arrival of a little Seattle band called Nirvana, grunge music makes its impact on the mainstream and was the final nail in the coffin for glam rock, which was basically doing ballads at this point. A lot more hip-hop and house music started showing up on the charts and their influences are even more obvious on other songs. The reign of adult contemporary/soft rock continued from previous years and it’s gotten so bad that even contemporary Christan music showed up on the charts. Yeah, 1991 is a weird year. Before I start the list, I wanna state that I’m fully aware of Todd In The Shadows’ Top Ten Worst Hit Songs Of 1991 video. If any choices from his list makes this one, then it’s just a pure coincidence. Now that we got that out the way, let’s get started.
Well, we’re off to a good start. Here we have a famous case of a one-hit wonder. Gerardo is basically the 90s version of Pitbull. In Rico Suave, this douche is rapping (in English and Spanish) about his sexcapades and how all the women want him. Right. This guy has the sex appeal of a dead, decomposing rat and it’s hard to take him seriously with that voice. He sounds like the stereotype of a stereotypical Hispanic person. Speedy Gonzalez is more authentic than this guy. The beat actually isn’t that bad, though it only feeds more into the Hispanic stereotype. It’s a shame it’s wasted on this dick-measuring jerk-fest.
Like I said, I don’t hate contemporary Christian music. This type of music has a good message, but I’m not a fan of the execution. Take, for example, Place In This World. It’s about… wait. why am I telling you this? Just look at the damn title to see what the song is about. Anyways, while the message of this song is okay, I can’t say the same about the production. This crap contains a lot of things I hate about shitty soft rock. The electric piano combined with the strings, guitar work, and percussion just makes an ugly, off-putting sound that makes me cringe just listening to it. Michael W. Smith sings like he has to take a dump, but he has to finish recording this song first and it’s made more plausible by his belting that sounds more like he’s having a hard time holding it in. People that don’t like CCM can probably point to this song for a reason why.
Madonna has always been a risk taker, but this is one risk she shouldn’t have made. Justify My Love is what I personally like to describe as bad porno music. This is the type of music you hear in a porn video. The beat is boring and constantly repeats itself. Madonna is barely singing in this as much as she’s just talking, which is also as boring as the beat. She mainly talks about all of the sexual things she likes to do and it’s just uninteresting. I always find myself wanting to fall asleep everytime I hear this. I’m not gonna comment on the video because there is really nothing to talk about. It looks like porn setup and in spite of the controversy it sparked, it’s pretty tame compared to some of today’s videos. Madonna is capable of better and the fact that she wastes her talents on crap like this is disappointing. Justify My Love doesn’t justify its existence.
This is further proof that white people shouldn’t do reggae music. They just don’t know what they’re doing. The Way You Do The Things You Do is UB40’s cover of the Temptations song of the same title and it’s a piss-poor cover. The original song from the Temptations is soulful, upbeat and fun to snap your fingers to. UB40’s bastardized version is soulless, slow, and not fun to listen to. It all starts with the production, faux-reggae with the buzzing synth bass and drum machines. And then there’s the lead singer. Ali Campbell always sounds like he’s whining and crying when he sings, like someone stole his lunch money. That makes it harder for me to take this cover seriously when he sings it. It’s a contrast to the original song, which is well-done. Won’t be the last time we see white people appropriate black music to disastrous results.
We meet again, Michael fucking Bolton. I had a feeling that I was gonna talk about you again and I feel this won’t be the last time, either. So, yeah. Time, Love, and Tenderness. Another awful Michael Bolton song. What’s there really to say? It’s not as awful as How Am I Supposed To Live Without You, but it’s still bad. The production is a chaotic mess, with dull, multi-layered instrumentation all around. The lyrics and writing are all cliched and Bolton is still singing like he’s in extreme pain. I swear, everytime he sings, it sounds like he’s dying from butt cancer. I was originally gonna have this tied with his cover of Love Is A Wonderful Thing, but there’s only so much Bolton that I could take.
You know? For the many jokes we throw at Vanilla Ice, we sometimes forget how big he was in the early 90s. Contrary to popular belief, he wasn’t a one-hit wonder. He has another song in the Top 10, which is Play That Funky Music, and this song is even worse than Ice Ice Baby. This song sodomizes Wild Cherry’s Play That Funky Music worse than what Anaconda did to Baby Got Back. The beat took one of the most iconic basslines in popular music and made it inaudible just so we can hear more of Ice’s rhymes, which still sucks donkey balls. He still can’t ride a beat and his lines are so corny that Fozzie from The Muppets is laughing at him. The awesome funkiness of the original song is stripped away and replaced with… this. Do NOT play that funky music, white boy. You never had it in the first place.
Like I said in the past, it’s always disappointing when a good artist makes a bad record because you expect that from bad artists. That’s why it hurts me to put R.E.M. on this list. What the hell were these guys thinking while making Shiny Happy People? The production is disgustingly whimsical, like a poorly done animated movie trying to copy Disney. The lyrics are some sugarcoated, hippy-dippy, kindergarten, sit around the campfire to hold hands and sing Kumbaya bullshit. Some people defend this song and say that the lyrics are supposed to be ironic. But nothing in the song indicates any irony, no matter if you look at it surface-level or dig deep into it. It’s still crap and the fact that it came from R.E.M., of all people, breaks my heart. Todd, how you missed this one, I’ll never know.
…….. What the hell did I just listen to? No, seriously. What is this? And this was a number one hit, too? HOW?! I can’t imagine any individual who hears this sludge and decides, “yes, I want to keep hearing this again.” Just….. okay, let me get to analysis. I would talk about the lyrics, but it’s a cliched break-up song where Timmy T misses his ex. There’s really nothing there for me to talk about. This song’s biggest problem is the asthetics. The production is adult contemporary cheese that contains a preset drum machine loop, 4-chord progression piano riff, high-pitched synths, and the ugliest bassline in pop music history. Timmy T also put a LOT of reverb in his voice. Only an amateur would put such heavy reverb onto their vocals. Who thought this would sound appealing to the ears? I’m truly baffled by this song’s existence. What other spawn from Hell could be unleashed onto this planet?
Well, it wouldn’t be a worst songs list without mentioning Bryan Adams (insert joke about the Canadian government apologizing for his existence). Throughout his career, Adams had only one good song, which was Summer Of ’69. Everything else he released range from meh to crap, and oh, boy, (Everything I Do) I Do It For You is the supreme ruler of crap. Not only was this a number one hit on every Billboard chart around the world, but it’s also the number one song of 1991 according to Billboard’s Year End Hot 100. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You is the textbook definition of shitty soft rock. It’s boring and it drags like a dog wiping its ass on a carpet. The instrumentation is watered-down and lightweight just like a lot of soft rock. Lyrically, Adams is spewing out empty promises. Everything he does is for this one woman? What a fucking load. He’s setting unrealistic expectations of love, which isn’t helped by the writing. I’m not buying this for a second and it’s not like he’s selling this sentiment well, especially with his fake Springsteen singing where he sounds like he’s trying to do a softer version of Christian Bale’s Batman voice. Because this song showed up on a lot of worst songs lists, some of you expected this to be number one on my list. But here’s something you should know: I like to play with expectations. Sometimes, I’ll pick the obvious choice and sometimes, I won’t. By this point, a lot of you already know my number one pick and you’d be right.
And now, here are some dishonorable mentions.
- Paula Abdul-Rush Rush
- Surface-The First Time
- Stevie B-Because I Love You (The Postman Song)
- Amy Grant-Every Heartbeat
- Natural Selection-Do Anything
- Whitney Houston-I’m Your Baby Tonight
- Divinyls-I Touch Myself
- Another Bad Creation-Iesha
- Styx-Show Me The Way
- Will To Power-I’m Not In Love
And finally, the worst song of 1991 IS……..
Yep. We’re talking about this song again after last week’s Target Practice. Don’t pretend you didn’t see this one coming. So, yeah. From A Distance. While Bette Milder didn’t write this song, she chose to cover it, so she’s not completely out the water. Her performance was meh and the production is typical contemporary Christian music. But what I hate the most about this song that puts it above One More Try and (Everything I Do) I Do It For You in terms of shittiness is its premise. Basically, God is an ignorant asshole with selective sight as he sees nothing but peace, love, and all of that crap while ignoring death, war, crime, poverty, etcetera etcetera. To Julie Gold (the person who wrote this), how DARE you? How dare you suggest that God is this incompetent? A divine entity who created everything is just turning a blind eye to all of the crap that’s going on the world. That is just offensive on so many levels. This has to be the work of Satan. Congratulations to From A Distance for being the number one worst song of 1991.
Because you’re the Devil?
So those were the ten Worst Songs of 1991. Holy fuck, was that year bad. Next month, the Worst Songs of 1992.
SONGS OF THE WEEK
Billie Jean-Michael Jackson
Just A Girl-No Doubt