Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fifteen or Sixteen Songs That Classic Rock Radio Needs to Forget (2014 edition)

In May of 2012, I posted this. Well, my tastes evolve ever slowly, and maybe the national classic rock selection also very subtly evolves, so I'm revisiting the list. Especially now that I've moved house to a completely new metro and have been running many errands with a short enough commute that it takes as long to boot my music player as it does to actually get there, I'm getting a fair dose of "One oh five nine, The Rock" and an excessively self-deprecating channel called "Jack eff em" (which looks like "Jack off 'em", when I write it that way), which seem to be the best in driving music that Nashville has to offer, in addition to a limited-selection oldies channel that brands itself rather inaccurately as "hippie radio". I have no idea what I'm going to put in the other three channel slots in the car; they're still set to central-Illinois frequencies. Urbana has better radio than "Music City". How is this possible? Nashville's native "country" music ain't even real country music these days; it's corporate vapid pop with a twang.

Anyway, here's my updated list of "classic rock" songs that I don't need to hear again. Some of the entries, especially the first few, remain unchanged from the 2012 list. Yay for copy-pasting! But, once again, I am trying to pick evenly from the master playlist — only one song per prominently featured artist.

{Oh, and as a side note, when did everyone start censoring Who (the fuck) Are You? They never did that in the old days, although they still totally excised the third verse on occasion. And hearing Gerry Rafferty sped up at that high pitch sends me into the fetal position, which is just a little awkward in a car. I despise unwarranted edits for a sanitized, corporate agenda. If those companies ran art museums, the paintings would have their bottom thirds chopped off and maybe some middle bits ripped out. Can you envision Mona Lisa with a jagged white strip where her smile should be? RESPECT THE MUSIC, PEOPLE! Man, I'm so glad when I get to drive a longer distance and can plug in my player. Totally worth the gasoline. *pant pant* Okay, here we go.}

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.

Elton John - Rocket Man

I don't know; I just feel like I've heard this song a few times too many. You'd think I'd dig it more with its space theme. It might have something to do with Sir Elton having a lot of kind of slow songs with the same uninteresting piano sound. You know what EJ song I'd like to hear on radio? "Teacher, I Need You", off Don't Shoot Me. Can you imagine anyone trying to release a song like that today? (Maybe some stations play Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" in that lyrical vein. Say, I don't have any VH on this list. Oh well.)

Blondie - One Way or Another

Commercials picked a song that was never that great to begin with and pile-drove it deep into the soggy earth. I'm giving this song the (pink) slip.

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.

Aerosmith - Come Together

We already have the Beatles doing this song. We already have a solid selection of Aerosmith tunes. This thing is just redundant.

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.

Cheap Trick - I Want You to Want Me (live at Budokan)

I've just never liked it.

The Eagles - Take it to the Limit

Much too slow for a classic rock playlist. They made a valiant effort in making the 6/8 time signature acceptable in pop music, though.

Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight

Slow AND sappy! Piss off.

Stevie Nicks - Edge of Seventeen

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

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 yet, although I think they chickened out replacing "lick my sores" with "fight my wars".

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

In addition to being mundane radio noise with all of "Don't Stop Believin'"'s chord progression and none of its catchiness, this song also gets regularly whored out in commercials. The dominant newspaper in middle Illinois was using it in their ads right before I moved here, just after some TV commercial or other featured two guys having a phone conversation consisting of the refrain lyrics. And then, of course, they play a snippet of the actual song, just for those few of us that may not have been exposed to it so much that they're permanently damaged from the radiation. Just — ENOUGH! I'll tell you the way I want (and therefore need) it: the fuck away from me! Begone, and never dampen my minor errand runs again!

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