Worst Songs List

Top 10 List: Worst Songs of 1978

1978 is the year of disco and you can thank one movie for that: Saturday Night Fever. The soundtrack to that movie remains the best selling soundtrack of all time and it made disco even bigger than it previously was. It was also the year of the Bee Gees, who have three songs in the top 10 and they’ve helped write several other songs on the YE chart. We also saw the rise of yacht rock, a subgenre of soft rock that was prevalent in Southern California. Just picture the background music some rich people would listen to while on a yacht sipping wine. And we’re gonna start the list off with a yacht rock song.

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10.

I can definitely picture this song being played at some snobby all-white party. This is Player and their song Baby Come Back. Player is a really silly name for this band as it doesn’t match the kind of music that they make. The instrumentation sounds like every Lite-FM track that you’ve heard. I don’t know it’s trying to be relaxing or sexy but it fails at both and ends up being background music. As for the content, we have a guy who still has feelings for his ex and wants her to come back to him. If you look at the writing, this dude is a complete simp begging for a second chance that he hasn’t earned.

Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
There was something in everything about you

There’s something in everything about you? What does that even mean?

Baby come back, you can blame it all on me
I was wrong, and I just can’t live without you

Dude, this is Drake-level pathetic right here. It’s one thing to admit your flaws, but this is lame. Funny enough, after this, no one wanted Player to come back.

9.

Image result for get off foxy

With disco being as big as it was, not everything from the genre was bound to be good. This brings us to Foxy and their hit Get Off. First off, this instrumentation is a mess. We get some creaking noises, broken guitars, and a crowd going “Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!” in between the verses. None of the singing is that good and it makes the music even worse. Oh, and it’s a sex song, too.

Music may ease and end all discretion
So we can get off
We keep under the sheets with two lovelys
So we can get off

Lookin’ through that dress that drives me crazy and makes me get off
Sensuality excites my mind, it makes get off
If I were you I’d get a good perspective on how to get off
Love me wild and love me crazy, so we can get off

It’s not even subtle about it, either. To think otherwise, you’d have to be really naive. This fails both as a party song and a sex song because the music is garbage and it doesn’t sound fun at all.

8.

Back into the ocean of soft rock, we have Paul Davis with I Go Crazy. It doesn’t make me go crazy, but it does leave me bored and this instrumentation is not helping at all. We hear the same lifeless keys and strings that a lot of boring 70s songs have. Just like with Baby Come Back, the writing is what brings I Go Crazy down. And just like that song, it’s also about a guy who can’t get over his ex and how he goes crazy every time he sees her.

I go crazy
When I look in your eyes I still go crazy

How crazy do you go? Is there something about her eyes that just drives you nuts? Does she put you in a genjustu every time you both make eye contact? Why do I get the feeling that this dude would wind up being in the 11 o’clock news for killing his ex? Seriously, get over it.

7.

You know? I think I figured out the genesis of Lionel Richie’s solo career in the 80s. A lot of his worst songs? They spawned from this song, Three Times A Lady. Out of all of the Commodores’ ballads, this is one of their more schmaltzy ones. There’s the slow boring piano-driven instrumentation that also features strings and acoustic guitars because why not. Lionel Richie is at his most blandest with the Commodores and that will follow him throughout the next decade. Also, the writing is pretty dumb. You’re once, twice, three times a lady. C’mon, bruh. What does that mean? Is she, like, the paragon of all women? Is she who most women aspire to be? Ugh. And Lionel Richie is gonna make a hundred more songs like this when he goes solo. Get this sappy shit out of here.

6.

The title of this song is not giving me good feelings. If I Can’t Have You. This was a song written by the Bee Gees for Yvonne Elliman and it appeared on Saturday Night Fever. Honestly, nothing’s wrong with the instrumentation. If there is criticism that can apply, it sounds like every other disco song out there. But that’s not the worst part of the song. With a title like If I Can’t Have You, you’d expect the song to be disturbingly possessive, but no. It goes to another disturbing direction, one that’s borderline depressing and suicidal, which contradicts the upbeat disco music.

Don’t know why
I’m survivin’ ev’ry lonely day
When there’s got to be no chance for me
My life would end

If I can’t have you
I don’t want nobody baby
If I can’t have you, uh-huh, oh
If I can’t have you
I don’t want nobody baby
If I can’t have you, uh-ho, oh oh oh

Can’t let go and it doesn’t matter how I try
I gave it up
So easily
To you my love
To dreams that never will come true
Am I strong enough to see it through
Go crazy is what I will do

Seriously. Y’all just broke up. It’s not the end of the world. Find a new partner. Easily the worst from the soundtrack.

5.

Image result for kiss you all over exile

Oh, goody. Another song with a suggestive title. And this was the 5th biggest song of 1978. When you have a song called Kiss You All Over, you’d think of a sex song. And it’s exactly that. But where Exile went wrong making this song is in the sound. Listen to this instrumentation. Can you imagine someone fucking to this? A soft rock, borderline pop country track with synthesizers and no sex appeal from any of the performers. The people who would fuck to this would also think Afternoon Delight was a sexy song. This was Exile’s only number one hit on the pop charts, but they saw more success in the 80s as a country act, scoring ten number ones on the country charts. Whatever the case, I hope this song stays far away from me as possible.

4.

And now for another yacht rock song, courtesy of the UK’s Chris Rhea. He didn’t see much success here in the US and his only hit here is really bad. Fool (If You Think It’s Over). The big issue with this song is Chris Rea’s response to someone, more specifically, his sister, when she just experienced her first heartbreak. It doesn’t seem that bad until you get to the chorus.

Fool if you think it’s over
‘Cause you said goodbye
Fool if you think it’s over
I’ll tell you why
New born eyes always cry with pain
At the first look at the mornin’ sun
Fool if you think it’s over
It’s just begun

Okay, look. There’s tough love (especially towards a sibling) and then there’s being a colossal dick. The things you say matter when it comes to comforting someone and could possibly affect their next decisions. Calling them a fool is not going to make their situation matter. Think of this: would you say that to someone who’s severely depressed and was on the verge of suicide? Words matter. Asshole.

3.

So in my Worst of ’82 list, I said that Grease sucked and I think I need to clarify: I don’t think Grease is a good movie, but I do agree with people who say that the songs are the best part. They are incredibly catchy. But there was one song that I actively avoided, Summer Nights sung by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. No kidding, this is the worst song to come out of Grease. I find it obnoxious to listen to. Aside from John Travolta’s inability to sing, there’s also the background singers. I know that John and Olivia’s characters are telling a story to their respective friends about what they did during the summer, but why do the background singers have such annoying voices? And they never shut the fuck up after they show up. Also, the instrumentation sounds horrible. It sounds a bit hokey at first, but the more sounds added to it, the messier it gets and it doesn’t get better with the key change, just worse. The other charting song from Grease, You’re The One That I Want, isn’t exactly a perfect song, …

You’re The One That I Want-John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John

I got CHIIIIIIIILS, they’re multiplying

… but it’s more of a cohesive and catchier song than this.

2.

Ladies and gentlemen, the daughter of Pat Boone, one of the biggest hacks in pop music history. Debby Boone hit it big covering the title song of the 1977 film You Light Up My Life. Just like her father, Debby gives us one of the whitest songs in existence. You look at the lyrics and you assume that it’s another love song as the writer intended. But no. Since her last name is Boone, Debby said that this song, to her, is about God and how God lights up her life. In other words, this is technically a contemporary Christian song. Pardon me.

Image result for brian vomiting gif

Whether this is a love song or a God song, it doesn’t matter because this shit is vanilla and saccharine from the instrumentation to the vocals. It’s audio white noise. I can imagine this being one of Mike Pence’s favorite songs. And this was one of the biggest hits of the year. Honestly, that doesn’t surprise me considering her father was one of the biggest acts in the 50s. Oh, and the writer of You Light Up My Life, Joe Brooks, is a piece of shit who was indicted for 91 counts of rape and sexual assault. This dude makes Harvey Weinstein look innocent by comparison. And before he could be tried, he committed suicide. Like I said, a piece of shit. I wanted to put this shit at number one, but then I came across something much worse. Are you ready for it?

And now, here are some dishonorable mentions

DISHONORABLE MENTIONS

  • Chuck Mangione-Feels So Good
  • Raydio-Jack And Jill
  • Dan Hill-Sometimes When We Touch
  • Rod Stewart-You’re In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)
  • David Gates-Goodbye Girl
  • Anne Murray-You Needed Me
  • Little River Band-Reminiscing
  • Shaun Cassidy-Hey Deanie
  • Bob Welch-Sentimental Lady
  • LeBlanc And Carr-Falling
  • Santa Esmeralda-Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
  • Rita Coolidge-We’re All Alone

And finally, the worst song of 1978 IS………..

drum roll

1.

Most of us are familiar with Randy Newman because of his work as a composer for Disney films. He’s also done a bunch of pop songs as well. Well, here’s one of his best known songs outside of You Got A Friend In Me, Short People. This is going to be painful. The instrumentation sounds like a cheap show tune and Newman isn’t even trying performance-wise. But like most songs on the list, those aren’t the main reasons why it’s here. Short People is written in the perspective of a jackass who says a lot of fucked up things about short people. And that’s about it. Even if Newman was just portraying a character and he doesn’t really mean everything he says in the song, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s cruel and mean-spirited. Even worse is the bridge where the character acknowledges that short people are just regular people, but then he goes back to short people-bashing afterwards. Whatever self-awareness you had has now gone with the wind. If you’re trying to be offensive, go the Eminem route and be at least funny or clever, which this song is neither of. A lot of people hated this song because they thought it was genuine. Even Newman himself dislikes it and he made the damn song. But can you blame them? Imagine if this type of song was written about any minority group out there. The backlash would have been immense and it would be very unlikely that all the people involved in the song’s creation would still have a career. Congratulations to Short People for being the worst song of 1978.

So those were the worst songs of 1978. In two weeks, BACK TO THE 70s continues with the Worst Songs of 1979.

Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 1.06.35 PM

Peace!!

SONG OF THE WEEK

When I Come Around-Green Day

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17 thoughts on “Top 10 List: Worst Songs of 1978

  1. It’s too bad you don’t like “Sentimental Lady” – that Lindsey Buckingham guitar intro is golden, as are his and Christine McVie’s appearances on the chorus.

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  2. Haven’t commented in a while, but we’re finally at the point in the 70’s everyone knows and either loves or hate (depending if you were a rock purist) is here, and it only took until near the end of the decade to get here. I’ve heard Baby Come Back and it’s just another boring pop rock ballad from the time. With the exception of Disco Duck, out of all the disco songs to become hits, Get Off was easily the worst one. And it’s not because it’s about sex, it’s because it’s super annoying. Yeah, it’s a skip it for me. I Go Crazy it’s another generic 70’s ballad, another meh for me. If I Can’t Have You is good musically and vocally, but lyrically is pretty depressing. Not exactly what you want in disco music. Kiss You All Over is another one of those #1 hits I never knew exited. I never heard it on classic radio or anywhere where they play oldies music, and I’m guessing it’s most likely the same reason Afternoon Delight doesn’t get any spins these days either. They’re both lame. Fool If You Think It’s Over misses the point in what it’s going for. A bit of a misfire there. I liked nearly all of the songs from Grease, probably the only real reason why I enjoy the movie (that and I kind of liked Olivia Newton-John in the movie) along with the choreography they did in that movie. But Summer Nights was one of the weakest songs in that movie (alongside the cringy John Travolta Sandy solo number, despite it being good musically). I like the music in the song, but man every time it starts going to the “tell me more” part, I just want these people to shut up, it’s super annoying. Aside from that, I didn’t think John and Olivia singing together wasn’t half bad. But yeah, this song is a skip it. The infamous You Light Up My Life. My problem isn’t that it’s terribly made or sung. My problem with it is that it’s WAY too clean-cut, it’s boring, has no repeat value whatsoever, it gets even more annoying the more you hear it, the lyrics are super cheesy even if it’s supposed to be about God, this is the type of music moms listen to, and I don’t find Debby Boone to be a charismatic performer at all. I can say the same thing about her dad. This is why I find the song to be one of the worst of the 70’s and one of the worst ever. And this is one of the most successful songs of all-time. Jeez, people were this desperate for corny ballads? Agree with some of the dishonorable mentions, although some of them weren’t that bad. I think whether people know it or not, I think everyone can agree that Randy Newman was part of most people’s childhood at one point in their life thanks to his work on Disney and especially Toy Story. You Got A Friend In Me will always have a place in my heart, but his highest charting Hot 100 song will not. To be honest, I’m actually amazed Randy even had a legit music career prior to the Disney stuff and was charting songs in the 70’s. When I heard Short People, I didn’t think much of it, but now that you mentioned what it’s about, yeah that’s very douchey and mean-spirited of a song. Making fun of short people ain’t right at all. Glad to see he regrets making the song and he’s moved on to better things. Overall, another good list. Can’t wait for the conclusion of this 70’s “Worst Of” series.

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  3. Other than the ones I mentioned Saturday, disagreements for me would be You Needed Me, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, and even Hey Deannie. Apart from that, no disagreements to be found.

    Anomalies (that haven’t already been mentioned in the comments section already)

    Worst:

    Nick Gilder – Hot Child In The City
    Walter Egan – Magnet & Steel
    Atlanta Rhythm Section – Imaginary Lover
    Player – This Time I’m In It For Love
    High Inergy – You Can’t Turn Me Off (In The Middle Of Turning Me On)

    Best:

    Paul Simon – Slip Slidin’ Away
    Eddie Money – Baby Hold On

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  4. Baby Come Back- I will admit that the instrumentation is kind of relaxing to me but the lyrics remind me of a lot of those whiny WGWAG songs. Sometimes things just weren’t meant to be with this girl so move on.
    Get Off- really annoying and the production sounds really fake. Hope someone doesn’t play this during a 70s party.
    I Go Crazy- boring
    Three Times A Lady- Easy is probably the best song Lionel Richie has ever made both with the Commodores and as a solo artist especially among his ballads mainly cause there’s an actual groove to it. This song is just a typical ballad snooze fest we expect from Richie. And I also don’t get what that title is supposed to mean.
    If I Can’t Have You- I’m really tired of these melodramatic breakup songs. Most people go through breakups and the heartache from it so stop acting like you can’t live your life anymore. Agree that this is the worst from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
    Kiss You All Over- meh
    Fool (If You Think It’s Over)- meh
    Summer Nights- I actually did really like Grease at one point but agree that the movie itself isn’t good mostly for how unrealistic the plot is and the characters being unlikeable and that the music is easily the best part of the movie but Summer Nights is really annoying. The production is very messy as the song goes along and you can barely hear some of the vocals due to the poor mixing.
    You Light Up My Life- I find it funny that this was the first number one song to hit ten weeks and the longest number one hit of the 70s cause I had never heard of this song til I saw Todd in the Shadows review of it. Like what you said about Olivia Newton-John, Debby Boone is not a bad singer and she does seem like a really sweet person but that alone doesn’t guarantee you a good song especially one that’s as boring and preachy as this. This song is so slow that it feels like it takes forever to get through. People in the 70s really must have been desperate to fall asleep in allowing this snooze fest to become a hit.
    Short People- can’t imagine how a song like this can become a hit in today’s world. I don’t see any comedy from this and think this is what Randy Newman actually thinks about short people. He doesn’t portray any personality that would set him apart from himself and the character. Agree with you on the instrumentation. If only he learned from the bridge about short people being just like he rest of us then maybe it would have saved the song for showing he’s learned not to be so mean-spirited about them.
    I wouldn’t put You Needed Me on my worst list mainly cause of that scene from Family Guy when Stewie sings it so I can hate on it too much.
    Agree with much of your best list. Boogie Oogie Oogie is to me the summation of disco with the instrumentation and lyrics about dancing. For me growing up on Long Island, Billy Joel has been a part of our cultural identity so I’ve always been used to his music. What I especially like about his singing is how he’s able to convey different emotions from toughness to sincerity with Just the Way You Are being a great example of his sincerity. I saw him at Madison Square Garden over two years ago with my family and he puts on a great show and even brought out Jimmy Fallon during the show. But unfortunately he doesn’t play Just the Way You Are that much anymore especially after his first divorce in the 80s since he had written it for his first wife and doesn’t want to remind himself of it. How Deep Is Your Love is one of the most beautiful songs ever. Running on Empty along with the Steely Dan songs Peg and Deacon Blues give me great childhood memories of family car rides to and from our summer house. I saw Jackson Browne in concert two years ago on Long Island and I’m seeing him again with my family soon and he was really good and still has it playing Running in Empty and his other songs. The rest of the songs are just great classics that I still love to listen to and still hear at dances and on 70s and rock stations.

    Since they share the same title and meaning, do you prefer Billy Joel’s Just the Way You Are or Bruno Mars’s Just the Way You Are?

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  5. Thank goodness I’m more familiar with Randy Newman’s songs in Toy Story because Short People is a big disgrace, especially against people with height issues. For me, songs about discriminating people who are different are some of the worst songs I’ve heard of.

    About Grease, I agree with you about Summer Nights 100%, especially the background singers with the female singers sounding like they swallowed too much helium and the male ones being too gruff. I don’t have a problem with most of the other songs from that movie, though. And Lionel Richie’s sappiness would first come shining through in Three Times A Lady, a song that would pave the way for the likes of Truly and Hello.

    I’m satisfied with Take A Chance On Me and Night Fever being on the Best List, with Stayin’ Alive being in the HMs. Queen’s double header of We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions is very anthem-ish and no doubt has people singing along with the two songs. Also, if Give Up The Funk is anything to go by, Flash Light should be equally as awesome.

    Oh, if I may, can I suggest some Random WTF Lyrics for you?
    Life by Des’ree
    That Was Then But This Is Now by ABC
    Whenever, Whenever by Shakira
    He Hit Me, And It Felt Like A Kiss by The Crystals
    Girls by The Beastie Boys
    The Cheeky Song by The Cheeky Girls
    In The Year 2525 by Zager and Evans
    You Get What You Give by The New Radicals
    I Wanna Sex You Up by Color Me Badd
    Flower by Liz Phair

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  6. This was the year my dad graduated high school. 1978 to me is a year filled with lots of great music as disco exploded due to the success of The Bee Gees and Saturday Night Fever. While there are many great songs from this year, I wouldn’t call 78 a really great year for music compared to the last two years since we don’t get the great amount of variety 76 and 77 gave us due to disco’s dominance. I do like the music but I can understand why people got sick of it after a while even if the backlash with the record burnings was ridiculous. And my mom was able to get into the famed Studio 54 nightclub in Manhattan around this time being right in the middle of the disco nightlife and culture at its peak. She always mentions about what a fun experience it was being with her friends and dancing to songs like Stayin Alive.
    What are your opinions on the following songs?
    Grease by Frankie Valli
    Miss You by The Rolling Stones
    With a Little Luck by Wings
    Love is Like Oxygen by Sweet
    Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty
    Last Dance by Donna Summer
    An Everlasting Love by Andy Gibb (I find it a really beautiful song)
    Disco Inferno by The Trammps
    What’s Your Name by Lynyrd Skynyrd
    Sweet Talkin Woman by ELO
    Life’s Been Good by Joe Walsh
    Turn to Stone by ELO

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      1. Also since I didn’t comment on your 1970 list, what do you think of these songs?
        Let it Be by The Beatles
        The Long and Winding Road by the Beatles
        ABC by The Jackson 5
        The Love You Save by The Jackson 5
        No Time by The Guess Who
        Travelin Band by CCR
        Who’ll Stop the Rain by CCR
        Run Through the Jungle by CCR
        Lola by the Kinks
        Come and Get It by Badfinger
        Woodstock by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

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  7. Yeah, back when I went through the 1978 year-end list a few years back, I actually used to like If I Can’t Have You. That’s… changed recently. I don’t like it anymore.

    Thoughts on Last Dance, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, Blue Bayou, Here You Come Again, Emotion (surprised this didn’t make the worst list), and Don’t Look Back?

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