Occasionally a post at Flavorpill touches a nerve with readers, and our feature a couple of weeks back about classic rock songs that we never want to hear again was clearly one such post. We received a deluge of comments, and we have to admit to being a little surprised that very few of them were of the “quit hating h8rs”/”get off my lawn” variety — most of them were suggesting more fuel for the bonfire. We’ve sifted through the comments and picked out the best (or worst, depending on your point of view) nominations for more songs that need to be expunged from FM radio playlists — so, gentle readers, here’s the best of your very own suggestions as to classic rock songs you never want to hear again.
Jimi Hendrix — “All Along the Watchtower”
Reader Nicholas Gibson hit the nail squarely on the head with his comment about this song, and AOR radio in general. “All great songs, but relentlessly pushed when far better tunes from each respective artist/band are left in obscurity… [this] is the great failure of the ‘classic rock’ format’s formula.” Indeed. There’s nothing wrong with “All Along the Watchtower” or “Stairway to Heaven” (of which more shortly), but seriously, even the relatively non-prolific Hendrix had a load of songs that simply never get played, whereas this has been jackhammered into our ears for far, far too long.
Lynyrd Skynyrd — “Free Bird”
Of course, some songs are both a) overplayed and b) terrible. We saved our opprobrium for “Sweet Home Alabama,” but there’s little doubt as to which Skynyrd song our readers loathe. We can only agree — if we never hear all nine overblown minutes of “Free Bird” again, it’ll be way too soon. And also, if you’re one of those people who yells out “Free Bird!” at shows, just stop.
Journey — “Don’t Stop Believin'”
There’s an entire narrative deeply ingrained in American culture about the virtues of faith and perseverance, and how dreams can come true etc etc, if only you just believe. Of course, a good bit of this is complete and utter shite — the road to success is largely paved by your background and your connections and how much you can bend the rules of the game in your favor, and if the occasional outsider manages to kick down the doors of privilege, it’s only to keep the rest of us hoping, isn’t it? Anyway, the only thing worse than deeply patronizing rhetoric about how an oligarchy is really a meritocracy is having that rhetoric hurled at you in the form of odious early-’80s poodle metal. Don’t stop believin’? Hey Journey? Fuck off.
Led Zeppelin — “Stairway to Heaven”
This one almost seemed too obvious to include, but there’s no denying it’s perhaps the single most overplayed song in radio history. And again, it’s not like Led Zeppelin didn’t record any other good songs, y’know?
Boston — “More Than a Feeling”
True story: for years we thought the chorus to this was “Woman of feeling,” which obviously made no sense at all. And yet still made more sense than this song, generally.
Eric Clapton — “Wonderful Tonight”
After years of requiring artificial sweeteners to carry warning labels about their potential to act as carcinogens, the EPA apparently decided in 2010 that saccharine was not in fact hazardous to human health after all. The EPA has clearly not heard “Wonderful Tonight.”
Thin Lizzy — “The Boys Are Back in Town”
We have nothing against Thin Lizzy per se, but this knuckle-dragging anthem (Drinking! Fighting! Laughing when girls get upset when you won’t leave them alone!) would be tedious even if you didn’t hear it at every single dive bar with a functioning jukebox.
Kool and the Gang — “Celebration”
The soundtrack to at least one ill-advised boss-secretary necking session/strategic vomit/disastrous drunken shouting match at every single office party ever. Celebrate good times!
Billy Joel — “We Didn’t Start the Fire”
A couple of readers called for the head of Billy Joel generally, but we’ll defend “Piano Man” to the hilt, notwithstanding the fact that it’s clearly been played to death. This desperately undergraduate stream-of-consciousness rant about nothing in particular, however… Well, charity can only go so far.
Bob Seger — “Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll”
“Call me a relic/ Call me what you will/ Say I’m old-fashioned/ Say I’m over the hill.” OK, Bob! But only because you said it first!