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Horrible / Music Other

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  • The late Daniel Smith is widely regarded as an impressive composer, a good musician, and a great writer where music theory is concerned. As an improv bassoonist, not so much. He got laughed out of every orchestra he'd auditioned for thanks to poor rhythm and articulation, his inability to find the right notes or tune his instrument properly, and his poor improvisation. His ratings on are consistent 1- or 2-star ratings, most of which have only been slightly boosted by fake reviews. What's tragic is that he seemed to be quite a knowledgeable composer and teacher, but he was just not a very good instrumentalist. Take a listen for yourself.

Music Magazines and Books

  • "Greatest Songs of the Pop-Rock-Alternative-Garage Era" and its subsequent worst list, which could be described as AOL Magazine's list (see below for more details) if it was rewritten by a person who had a great disdain for North American music. To give you a start - the lists often praise UK-based singers while bashing nearly any artist from North America or nearby (Bob Seger and Tom Petty especially). Meanwhile, the greatest list includes 125 songs by The Beatles (they aren't even listed, so they could literally be any Beatles songs, even their more polarizing ones) and 33 songs by The Cure (also not listed), which appears to be a dire case of Padding. In addition, there's also the author's blatantly incorrect claims (during one part, he claims The Cure and Depeche Mode's music are banned from North American rock radio, even though they both receive plenty of airplay on the alt-rock stations), which all adds to the suspicion that the writer really hates North American music (despite the fact the site claims to be from northeastern Pennsylvania). The worst part may very well be the fat jokes the author makes about the girls of Heart while bashing their music, or the fact that they compare American broadcasters to Nazis for playing American music (calling it brainwashing to play John Mellencamp over Joy Division).
  • The Encyclopedia of Indie Rock is an insult to anyone who has ever written an archive based on artists. It's filled with grammatical errors, awkward wording, and so many glaringly-obvious factual errors that it makes you wonder if the book is a Stealth Parody of music encyclopedias. These many errors include:
    • Confusing which members of At the Drive-In formed the bands Sparta and The Mars Volta.
    • Including entries on James Blunt and Flyleaf, who aren't considered indie rock artists at all (the book's introduction tries - and fails - to convince readers that these artists are indie rock).
    • A passing mention that an associate of the band Camper Van Beethoven had recorded an acoustic version of "Pink Floyd's classic "Stairway to Heaven". Misattribution aside, it appears that the book somehow managed to conflate Camper Van Beethoven's "Stairway To Heavan (Sic)" - an instrumental that's completely unrelated to the Led Zeppelin song of almost the same name - with their cover of Pink Floyd's "Interstellar Overdrive".
      • In the same entry, there is a reference to a Camper Van Beethoven song called "Tusk" which "might be an allusion to the Fleetwood Mac album of the same name". The song he's referring to was actually Camper Van Beethoven's cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk".
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    • Claiming that J Mascis left Dinosaur Jr.. in 1988 (Lou Barlow was the member of the band to leave, and he was fired by Mascis, who by 1994 was in fact the only original member remaining in the band until the original lineup reunited in 2005).
    • While the mention that Dischord Records was founded in 1970 (ten years before it actually was) could be attributed as a typo, listing Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea as being released in 2003 rather than 1998 has no excuse.
    • Chris Funk of The Decemberists appeared on The Colbert Report, "hosted by Stephen Colbert, star of the NBC dramedy The Office (US)". Wrong "Steve". At one point they were on The Daily Show at the same time which, without fact-checking, might have been the problem.
    • In the Sonic Youth entry, it's mentioned that Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore divorced in the early 2000s (when the book was published Gordon and Moore had been married for over 20 years; the indie rock couple that divorced in the early 2000s was Robert Schneider and Hilarie Sidney of The Apples in Stereo).
    • The sentence "The Nine Inch Nails won a Grammy for their cover of Johnny Cash's classic song 'Hurt'". Their version of "Hurt" was the original version, Cash's version was the cover. This misconception is surprisingly common due to the mainstream popularity of Cash's version and the fact that Cash began his career much earlier than NIN. Additionally, Nine Inch Nails never even received a Grammy for the song, they were only nominated for it.
  • The now-taken-down AOL Radio's "100 Worst Songs Ever" list by classic rock fan Matthew Wilkening (who went on to become the founder and editor-in-chief for the website Ultimate Classic Rock, which has a much better reputation than this list does), which can be found archived here. The list seems to have been sloppily made with a single, lousy purpose in mind - to show the creator's obsessive hatred of pop music - and is filled with Padding, as if he wrote it as the "30 Worst Songs Ever" but was contractually obligated to list 100, and as such pulled the other 60+ entries out of his ass. Each song's passage is completely uninformative and non-descriptive as to why the song is terrible (e.g. the whole piece on "This Is Why I'm Hot" by MIMS is "First off, he repeats 'This is why I'm hot' too much. Second, he repeats 'This is why I'm hot' too much."), and the author sometimes completely lets his preferences for classic rock musicians and hatred for pop music slide through in certain passages. It doesn't help that the list is loaded with songs that are very questionable, such as novelty songs he takes too seriously (such as "Disco Duck" and "Cotton Eye Joe"), songs the author misunderstands (he completely misinterprets the story in "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Ole Oak Tree" - it's about a prisoner returning home, not a soldier), several #1 hit songs (such as the theme tune to Friends), and finally, the song at the top of the list is DJ Pauly D's "(It's Time to) Beat Dat Beat", indicating how rushed the list is. The author also tries to (and completely fails at) cracking jokes in the paragraphs, with the worst one being a tastelessly sexist Take That! at Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman".
  • Blender magazine's "Run for Your Life! It's the 50 Worst Songs Ever" list (which was made in conjunction with a rather obscure VH1 special known as The 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs...Ever). It can be described as the AOL Radio "100 Worst Songs Ever" list, but if it was conceptualized and voted on by elitist indie music fans with a rabid hatred of pop music. The magazine's editor, Craig Marks, (who went on to co-write the book I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution, which has a far less divisive status than this list does, and has since gone on to be music editor for the Los Angeles Times) all but admitted outright in interviews that he was using a Bias Steamroller to help the magazine's (mainly young adult) readership frame songs from genres they didn't like. It doesn't help that the choice of songs are very questionable (such as pop songs like "Barbie Girl" by Aqua, glam metal songs such as "The Final Countdown" by Europe, celebrity music career attempts like Eddie Murphy's "Party All the Time", several #1 hit songs such as "I'll Be There For You" (the theme tune to Friends) and Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney's "Ebony and Ivory", and easy listening tracks such as "My Heart Will Go On" by Céline Dion), while also letting him and the voters' preferences for alternative and indie music and dislike for popular music obviously show in the choice of songs, and also making elitist remarks against the songs and "evil corporate music" in the entry descriptionsnote , in addition to also completely failing at explaining exactly why they're bad in said entry descriptions at the same time. Not only are some pretty well-known and well-liked songs listed there (like "Cotton Eye Joe" by Rednexnote , the aforementioned "My Heart Will Go On" and "The Final Countdown", and "Kokomo" by The Beach Boys), but many songs that actually are horrible, mainly obscure songs with poor production and such, were disqualified thanks to the incredibly nonsensical rule that the songs on the list had to be popular hits at some point (which, again, proves Marks' Bias Steamroller), and ironically one of the rules was "go easy on novelty songs", even though at least one of the songs listed ("Cotton Eye Joe") is a novelty song. It's also responsible for fueling the tired declaration of "We Built This City" by Starship (which is considered more So Okay, It's Average than horrible) of being "the worst song ever made", even if there are far more legitimate reasons other than "they said so!" to hate the song.note 

Music Videos

  • The stars of Miami Vice both bombed horribly when they attempted solo music careers, and their music videos were no exception:
    • While the quality of Don Johnson's "Heartbeat" is debatable, the music video is just terrible. It was originally part of an hour-long HBO special. Focusing on a cameraman (Johnson) who goes to South America to document civil warfare, the special still doesn't make much sense, as each segment of the special was backed by a song from Johnson's album. Taken by itself, "Heartbeat" is a confusing mess of random images and scenes, along with Johnson painfully overacting every lyric. There's a reason why this special has never been released on video, and "Heartbeat" is the trigger point. When MTV did a "worst videos ever" special ("25 Lame") in 1999, this was the video that "topped" the list.
    • "Just the Way I Planned It" by Philip Michael Thomas premiered on the VHS release of his seminal film Death Drug, and by all accounts, it's still hard to decide which one's worse. "Just the Way I Planned It" featured an inexplicable concept (PMT stands on top of a pyramid and dances like a robot while getting groped by backup dancers), cheap special effects (even for the '80s), and lyrics that didn't match the video in any way, shape, or form. It should be noted that Thomas' CD (of the same name) was released at the zenith of Vice's popularity, and it still flopped.
  • On a musical level, Jenna Rose's "O.M.G" is considered to be a huge step up from "My Jeans". The video, however, is utterly reprehensible, given that she was only 12 when she filmed it. As soon as you see the opening credit of "Jenna Rose as the Teen Boom-Boom Doll", you know exactly what you're in for - three lengthy, unsettling minutes of an adolescent girl being portrayed as a sex symbol. Combine with this the apathetic acting (the lip-sync hardly tries to be convincing, and the backup dancers appear at points to really not want to be there) and a lighting technician who has no idea what he's doing, and you get a complete disaster of a music video. In a video she put out seven years later, Jenna Rose herself found the "O.M.G." video absolutely disgusting and shameful, which is why she deleted it from her channel, and condemned the producers for manipulating her into a fetishized role as a child, including lying to her about the context for her tight angel costume (she believed she would be edited to look like she's flying). She couldn't even get through more than thirty seconds of the video.
  • The utterly contemptible video for Alison Gold's "Shush Up" attempts to portray her as a sexualized criminal who is put to death in the electric chair. This would all be well and good if it wasn't for the fact that Alison was 12 when this video was made, which makes its attempts to portray her as being Ms. Fanservice whilst dancing in a Stripperific costume with an assortment of similarly scantily-clad females completely disgusting. Alison's music and videos had always attracted negative attention, but this made even fans of "Chinese Food" cringe. The backlash was swift and brutal and resulted in the official video being taken down from Alison's YouTube channel after only a few days. It was so bad that it may have killed her career before it even began, as she has not released anything since. It also killed the career of Patrice Wilson, the mastermind behind Ark Music Factory and much of its acts, who awkwardly defended the video and called it "art". After the backlash towards "Shush Up", with the lone exceptions of Rebecca Black and Wilson himself (who released a new single in 2015 which only gained attention for its utterly bizarre music video and a just as bizarre Alternate Reality Game), none of Ark/PMW Live's acts have released anything or done anything noteworthy ever since.
  • Billy Squier's "Rock Me Tonite" video was the machine gun that shot down his stardom. The video showed Squier doing some... not very masculine dance moves in rather feminine clothing, some of which include stripteases on his bed and getting dressed in a pink tank top. The video, directed by Kenny Ortega, may have been considered So Bad, It's Good if it were made today... but back in 1984, many TV stations refused to air it, and he lost a huge portion of his fanbase because of the video, making the song his last-ever "hit" (and even that part's questionable, as it was dropped from several radio stations not long after). It frequently appears in "Worst Music Videos Ever" lists, and Squier himself refuses to even talk about it.
  • While most will agree that Rush's song "Time Stand Still" is one of their best songs, the video has next to no supporters because of how awful it is. The video shows the band and guest singer Aimee Mann flying around in mid-air through some studio and over some lazy chroma-keyed backgrounds, with next to no effort put into making it look at least mildly effective (which, considering the video's director Zbigniew Rybczyński was a researcher in this technique, makes this incredibly ironic). The video hasn't shown up on any of their DVD releases and the band remains unusually quiet about it, and the video continues to top "worst music videos ever" lists today.
  • Eddie Murphy's "Whatzupwitu", featuring an appearance by Michael Jackson, made its way to the #3 position on MTV's "25 Lame" list. Jackson had not yet been tainted by his career-destroying scandal when this arrived in mid-1993, and Murphy had already managed a pop hit with "Party All the Time" in The '80s, yet this still wasn't a hit, and the music video's to blame. The video's been compared to David Bowie and Mick Jagger's notorious "Dancing in the Street" video due to its copious amounts of Homoerotic Subtext, but while that one at worst was So Bad, It's Good, this just pairs a bland song with lazy greenscreen visuals. Todd in the Shadows took a quick look at it in his "One Hit Wonderland" video about Murphy's recording career, and thought that it might be a reason why both performers had such a rough go of it in The '90s. The Music Video Show also looks at the music video here, saying that it's the strangest thing Michael Jackson has ever been involved with.


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