There really isn’t much that makes 1995 different from the previous years. Rap and R&B are still the most popular genres of music, house music was big, and rock was still angst-filled grunge, though the genre will be threatened by the rise of Britpop. Adult contemporary has shifted from the sounds of soft rock to those of R&B in order to keep up with the times. More folk-type music has also started showing a presence on the charts (especially Hootie & The Blowfish). So far, I consider 1995 to be the best year of the 90s so far. There’s so many good songs I liked that year that I ended up having to expand the Best Songs list for that year. In consequence, it was really difficult for me to put the Worst Songs list together because there weren’t that many bad songs and most of the bad songs were just dull. Let’s get this thing started, though, shall we?
Biggie, look. I know you want to put your childhood friends on the game (that seems to be a thing in hip-hop) but this is fucking pitiful. Player’s Anthem by Junior M.A.F.I.A. is a great example of why sometimes, you shouldn’t let your buddies try rap. The production is weak as all hell, it has no punch or grit and isn’t memorable at all. Lyrically, it’s every hip-hop song about having lots of money, fucking bitches, and shooting niggas. Lil’ Ceasar is fucking awful as a rapper, Lil Kim didn’t do anything that sticks out, and Biggie himself is phoning it in throughout the entire song, especially with that atrocious hook.
(Niggaz) Grab your dick if you love hip-hop
(Bitches) Rub your titties if you love Big Poppa
What kind of call-and-response is this? You want dudes to fondle their genitals and women to fondle their breasts to show their love for hip-hop. *frustrated groan* Biggie, you’re better than this.
Seriously? This was a hit in 1995? Glam rock was dead by this point and then this became a hit. I am baffled. Anyways, this is I Live My Life For You by Firehouse and it’s your typical glam rock ballad that wouldn’t sound out of place in the late 80s and early 90s. Acoustic guitar combined with a bombastic stadium sound and a meh guitar solo and lyrics about a woman being a guy’s everything and world that’s been done a million times before and offered nothing new. This song is just a pile of nothing that has no reason to exist as there’s much better songs of its type out there. It sounds like one of those songs that would be on those compilation albums of glam rock ballads that no one wants to remember. It’s success in 1995 is such an oddity because at this time, grunge was the most popular subgenre of rock, the same subgenre that pushed glam rock out of the charts. Who know what happened. Any theories?
Hello again, Bryan Adams. I just can’t seem to escape you now, can’t I? Well, here’s yet another song Adams did for a movie, this time, Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman from the soundtrack to Don Juan DeMarco. Why is it that some of this dude’s worst material is songs made for movies? The instrumentation is watered-down Latin-flavored soft rock with irritating percussion and some decent guitar work. Adams still sounds like a Springsteen wannabe and the writing is meh. I really don’t want to hear advice about love from this dude. You are not some love guru, Bryan Adams, you’re just an overhyped rock artist whose best material was a decade ago.
Guardians Of The Galaxy is one of my favorite movies of all time and like many comic book fans, I consider it to be Marvel’s best work to date. One of the best elements of the film is its soundtrack, consisting of popular songs from the 60s and 70s, including Redbone’s Come And Get Your Love, which was covered by German house group Real McCoy in 1995. Jesus, this is a bad cover. The original funky 70s version has been turned into this watered-down Euro-house crap that’s drenched in 90s cheese and not the good kind. This production is interchangeable to the rest of the house songs released in the 90s. I don’t get the same feeling from this song that I get from the Redbone version, which I will cherish with my life and will continue singing to. This crap should be left behind in the forgotten pits of bad 90s music.
And now we’re talking about Immature… again. This time, with Constantly. This song is your standard, by-the-numbers pop and R&B ballad. I’m not sure what’s worse, this or Never Lie. All I know is that they’re both shit. Constantly’s production sounds like every other R&B track from the decade it was made in. Not terrible, but nothing I haven’t heard before. Writing-wise, it’s another “girl, I’m thinking of you/you’re on my mind” song and it does nothing new with this done-to-death topic. This song is so formulaic that you could have given this to any R&B/pop act around during the decade and you would’ve gotten the same results. These kids are still not good singers, which I don’t blame on them, but whoever’s managing them. For some reason, I feel like this song is a precursor for what’s to come later in the 90s.
How do I describe this song? Hmm…
Yep, that sums it up perfectly. He’s Mine by Mokenstef is an R&B song where a woman is dissing another chick that her dude also slept with. Oh, this will be interesting. The framing of this song makes the female protagonist look like a selfish bully going “nyah, nyah-nyah-nyah, nyah” and teasing the other chick, saying that she can satisfy her man much better than her. Nobody looks good here. The man doesn’t look good because he’s unfaithful, the side chick doesn’t look good because she’s the side chick, and the female protagonist makes herself look conceited. He’s Mine is like the musical version of Love & Hip-Hop and I fucking hate that show. What makes you think I want to hear it in music form?
I don’t give a damn about F.R.I.E.N.D.S. nor have I watched a full episode of it. In spite of its popularity in the 90s and being considered one of the best sitcoms ever, I never gave it a second thought. The one thing I remember about the show that I’m sure most people remember about it (outside of Jennifer Aniston’s hair) is the theme song, I’ll Be There For You by The Rembrandts. This minute-long track was so popular that the label had the band re-record the song to make it into a three-minute long single, which isn’t a good decision because the song blows. The only praise that I’ll give I’ll Be There For You is that the instrumentation is decent. But it only works as a theme song, not a single and you can tell easily by looking at the lyrics. They’re inconsistent and not believable. Basically, someone’s life is in the shitter and the singer is saying that he’ll be there for them. A nice sentiment, but the execution is off.
Your mother warned you there’d be days like these
Didn’t you say this earlier?
So no one told you life was gonna be this way
That’s the first line of this song and you contradicted it later on. Also, this song is catchy. And when I say it’s catchy, I don’t mean that in a positive way. I’ll Be There For You is one of those songs that gets stuck in your head the moment you hear it and it won’t escape unless you bash your head against the nearest hard object. With friends like this, who needs enemies?
Hootie & The Blowfish became popular in 1994 with their debut album Cracked Rear View and scored a bunch of hits a year later. Personally, I don’t hate Hootie & The Blowfish. Their music generates nothing but disinterest from me mostly. But I can tell you that Only Wanna Be With You sucks hard. I don’t have any problems with the instrumentation, which is fine. My main problems with this song, however, comes from two sources; the singing and the lyrics. Darius Rucker is an okay singer, but boy, does this make him not look good. Most of the time, his singing sounds like he just got out of bed from sleeping and was told to record the song. You can tell by the way he sounds like he’s mumbling. Now for the lyrics. It’s your typical love song, but it also stole lyrics from a bunch of Bob Dylan songs. How lazy can you be when you’re ripping off a better songwriter for your song? I get that it’s a tribute to Dylan, but biting his lyrics? That’s inexcusable. You wanna do a Dylan tribute? Fine. Cover one of his songs instead of stealing from them.
Time for me to contradict myself. I once said on Twitter that Cotton Eyed Joe by Rednex is a guilty pleasure for me. But after a couple of listens and looking more closely, I really can’t find any reason to like this song unironically. It takes an old folk song, also called Cotton Eyed Joe, and pairs it with a preset house beat and bluegrass-style fiddle and banjo. Because why not go all the way. I mean, the group is called Rednex, whose whole gimmick is playing up stereotypes of Southern white people. This song is repetitive as fuck and goes on and one for 3 minutes, which feels like an eternity. Cotton Eyed Joe is one of those stupid novelty songs that people make fun of for its stupidity and very few enjoy without any irony.
Before we get to number one, here are some dishonorable mentions.
- Michael Bolton-Can I Touch You… There? (This song wasn’t on either the Year End Hot 100 or the Airplay charts, but it deserves a mention; think of it as #0)
- Nicki French-Total Eclipse Of The Heart
- Soul For Real-Candy Rain
- Martin Page-In The House Of Stone And Light
- Brownstone-If You Love Me
- Sophie B. Hawkins-As I Lay Me Down
- Subway ft 702-This Lil’ Game We Play
- Del Amitri-Roll To Me
- U2-Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
- Stevie B-Dream About You
And finally, the worst song of 1995 IS…….
Yes, this is real, ladies and gentlemen. And it’s as bad as you think it is. I don’t even know what to say about this trainwreck, I think it speaks for itself. Just looking at the title alone is enough to inflict dread on someone. Short Dick Man by 20 Fingers. It’s a song that shames dudes with small dicks. Because the size of the boat is more important than the motion of the ocean. That’s not shallow at all. Listening to this song, it’s like listening to someone actively taunting you like a fifth grader over a house beat that’s dated even by 90s standards. It makes you want to punch the person who thought up this song and had it recorded and released. Plus, the female rapper that they got for this song sucks ass juice. Shit, I can’t even call what she’s doing rapping as she’s just talking in rhythm. Imagine if the genders were reversed and it was a dude rapping on a song called Flat Chest Chick, it’d be just as painful (and I guarantee you, more controversial). 80% of the song is mostly repetition of the phrase “Don’t want no short dick man” and it’s annoying as fuck. I get that some form of repetition is a part of house music, but this is just nauseating. Goddamn, and this was a hit single. That is fucking sad. Congratulations to Short Dick Man for being the worst song of 1995. Maybe it’s not the dude having a small dick, but it’s you having a giant vagina.
So those were the worst songs of 1995. Next month, BACK TO THE 90s continues with the Worst Songs of 1996.
SONGS OF THE WEEK
Big Poppa-Notorious B.I.G.
Black Hole Sun-Soundgarden
Ready Or Not-Fugees