Monday, May 7, 2012

Fifteen (or Sixteen) Songs That Classic Rock Radio Needs to Forget

The appearance of this topic on here may puzzle many of you. "Cheshire Adams is a well-seasoned veteran of the music blogosphere and just about every musical outlet of the Internet. Why is he wasting space on terrestrial radio? That dump's been dead for years!" Well, suffice it to say that even with the mp3 player and all the contemporary conveniences, I still find myself trapped in a car with a closed-minded family member or two every so often. So I once again turn to my blog as an excuse to get this stuff off my chest. And I'm going to try to pick evenly and fairly from classic rock radio's limited range of artists — one from each overplayed artist.

Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

I can hear all the Queen lovers and Wayne's World fans getting up in arms over this choice. The truth is, though it's a fine song on its own, cinematically sewing styles together, it has simply been played and heard far too often. Believe me, back when I was making my own mixtapes on cassette (I think I got up to eight and a half), before I discovered the blogosphere, this was on one of them. Alas, the commercial world has utterly robbed this song of its luster and rendered it a mundane lump of rock in a volcanic wasteland. But I may still listen to Weird Al's Bohemian Polka on occasion.

Foghat - Slow Ride

Oh my holy Zarquon, does this song ever end? It just goes on and on and on. It was only so good to begin with. This song has nothing to hold my interest, despite the ending that gradually speeds up as if approaching orgasm. No orgasm here, though; just another mundane "classic rock" radio song.

Foreigner - Cold as Ice

Foreigner left a few candidates for this list: "Hot Blooded", "Feels Like the First Time", "Jukebox Hero" ... but I think this one beats out the other hits in the forgettability department. "Hot Blooded" at least is cheesy in that Seventies style that never gets old. And I suppose I can grant "Jukebox Hero" its "pomp" value.

Pink Floyd - Time / Money

I couldn't decide between the two overplayed Dark Side of the Moon hits, so I picked them both. Hey, "time is money", right? Ha ha. Certainly overexposure renders them the same mind-numbingness that emanates from a radio tuned to a "classic rock" frequency.

The Who - My Generation

Televised and similar commercials might be in part to blame for this song having gotten stale. Sure, it was a vital cultural touchstone when it came out, but now? As Calvin (Hobbes the tiger's human) pointed out in one strip, the generation that created it is now the establishment. The song has become a symbol of the bland, greed-driven baby-boomer corporate culture that's gripped this country in bondage and pleasured itself all up in it. It's repulsive. (It's possible that Townshend and Daltrey realized this after just a few years; "Meet the new boss / same as the old boss", they sang in the Orwellian "Won't Get Fooled Again" in 1971.)

Bad Company - Can't Get Enough

Another band with plenty of choices — "Feel Like Makin' Love" and "Rock & Roll Fantasy" come to mind. This one, I decided, wins the blandness contest among Bad Company's big splashes in the classic rock cesspool.

Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love

It's just been overplayed. Simple as that.

The Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want

Use the "world's greatest rock & roll band" protest all you want; this thing is a snoozefest. "Sympathy For the Devil" is cuttin' it close as well.

R.E.M - The One I Love

R.E.M. ain't that great a band to begin with; they're kind of drone-y. This song tries so hard to be something; it's, like, almost there.....! But not quite. Drives me nuts.

The Eagles - Hotel California

Another song that could've been fine if stations would've played this song in greater moderation, even though I feel like I've heard certain musical elements of this song in something older. But the stations haven't done so. Also, I won't diss it outright as an official entry here, but "Peaceful, Easy Feeling" is boring.

Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight

All right, boring and overplayed sappy shit!

Stevie Nicks - Edge of Seventeen

Good God, this song just goes on and on and on. Stevie should have stayed with the Mac.

ZZ Top - Tush

Short, mercifully...but still overplayed and boring. Was there some kind of novelty value to this song at one point? 'Cause it's lost now.

Electric Light Orchestra - Don't Bring Me Down

For a non-overplayed take on the main riff here, may I suggest Atomic Rooster's "Can't Take No More"?

....Finally, Journey. I sense some of you have been eagerly awaiting a Journey entry on this list. And I ain't one to disappoint.

Journey - Any Way You Want It

Okay, maybe I do disappoint in that the choice isn't "Don't Stop Believin'", but I ain't quite that "hipster". I pick this song because, in addition to being mundane radio noise with none of the catchiness of DSB, this song also gets regularly whored out in commercials. I make reference to one particular commercial that's using it now in one of the selections in the Facebook roundup that's the post below this one. It's like "Oh my God, not this again! Somebody put a foot-long bullet in my head. So....boring!"

All right, that's all for now. I'm listening to fresher stuff as I type this, so I likely missed a few things that make me change the station. Skynyrd and later-era Aerosmith should probably make an appearance here somewhere. Anyway, have a great day!

EDIT 8-30-12: I'm adding a bonus entry, the suggestion thanks to Brian...

Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Blinded By the Light

This kind of long Springsteen cover is played out. And cutting out the solo doesn't make it much better; it's just kind of there. It could have been all right with lesser airplay, like the Earth Band's other Springsteen cover, "For You". That one has a certain freshness, although I think they chickened out replacing "lick my sores" with "fight my wars".

Okay, bye!

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