Sage: On August 4th, 1958, Billboard first charted America's music using its iconic "Hot 100" list.
(Cut to: A music video while the song to it plays in the background*)
(*Editor's note: I don't recognize all of the music videos or music used, so if anyone can help fill in these gaps whenever possible, I would appreciate it immensely.)
Sage (VO): Now, through the years, how a song's popularity is measured has evolved, what with the advent of digital downloads and streaming music online. But this list has always been the measuring stick of a song's commercial success.
Sage Now, 55 years later, I'm counting down the top 20 best and worst to have ever hit number one on Billboard's Hot 100.
(Cut to: The video for "London Calling" by The Clash and then the video to "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-A-Lot)
Sage (VO): Of course, a song's importance to music can't be strictly measured by chart success. Many of the most iconic pieces of music never even cracked the top ten. But, at the end of the day, these were the songs that had the zeitgeist, the overall production, or just the plain luck to be the most listened to song in America.
Sage: I'm not gonna present my list as any kind of definitive statement of a song's quality, since I'm just a guy with his opinions. Same as the next. But, don't think for one moment that I make my choices lightly.
(Cut To: The music video for "Who can it be Now?" by Men at Work as Bennett throws the numbers and stats onscreen, with an addendum at the bottom saying "As of 8/11/13")
Sage (VO): After going through 1,027 songs, over 66 hours of music, I managed to whittle down my twenty best and worst. So if you feel like I'm forgetting a song or I don't know what I'm talking about, feel free to set aside an entire sleepless weekend to prove me wrong.
Sage: I mean, if you got the time. (Pause). Like I did. (Pause). Top 20 worst!
(Cut To: The music video for "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection" by Nelson)
Sage (VO): Now, you might be thinking the "Worst of" list was the hardest one to form, since there's been a lot of popular crap that has plagued the airwaves. I certainly don't need to remind you all of that, but personally speaking, when I was doing the research for this, I found that the majority of the songs really didn't elicit a response from me.
Sage: I rated songs on a scale of one to five, with five being "I honestly and really love this song and I will always remember it." And one being "If I ever hear this goddamn song again, it'll be too soon." And, by far, the vast majority of these songs elicited a two. Which is basically on the bad side of "meh."
(Cut to: A black and white performance from the 50s?")
Sage (VO): And that's basically because the majority of the songs on here are just "meh" material. Boiler plate tunes that played to the shifting general tastes in music at the time. Especially the fucking 50s and early 60s, which was a barren wasteland of samey sounding Do-Wop.
Sage: Despite this, there was no shortage of horrible songs that garnered unwanted popularity over the years. Well, no use putting it off any longer. It's time for...
(Cut to: The music video to "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice, which serves as the interlude to the worst of list.)
Sage (VO): The Top 20 Worst Number One hit Songs.
#20[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 20
Sage: Now, I may have name dropped the 50s during my intro, but it wasn't like that was the only decade that pushed out crap en masse. Just different crap.
(Cut to: "Do That To Me One More Time" by The Captain and Tennille followed by a clip if Led Zeppelin)
Sage (VO): What Do-Wop and early R&B were to the 50s, schmaltzy light rock was to the 70s. If you were like me and you thought that the 70s were the heyday of classic rock and funk, well, you'd be right. But that's looking at a fraction of the American soundscape. Led Zeppelin may have been the biggest band in the world in 1975, but you know who was topping the charts?
(Cut To: The video to the song in question)
Minnie: Lovin you
Is easy cause you're beautiful.
(Cut to: Sage pulling at his face in disbelief.)
Sage: What the hell was wrong with our parents?
Sage (VO): I don't think this song needs any kind of introduction, but I'm surprised how little hate it gets. Beyond the fact that it's the epitome of mealy mouthed, wretch inducing, saccharine drivel, it also features the single most annoying vocal performance in pop history.
Sage: How many jokes have been made at Minnie Ripperton's dog whistle voice over the years? (Face turns serious) Not enough.
(Footage of Minnie doing the "Do, do" thing (Which I won't transcribe for convenience's sake), before she lets out an off key falsetto scream that immediately interjects to the clip from Total Recall of Cohagen decompressing from Mar's lack of atmosphere.)
Sage (VO): I know it seems like a moot point considering how the song sounds, but the lyrics are just as horrible.
Minnie: No one else
Can make me feel
The colors that you bring
Sage: "No one else makes me feel, the colors that you bring." What the fuck is that even supposed to mean?!
Sage (VO): And it's bad enough to have "la las" and "do dos" in place of actual lyrics. But to use both back to back? Minnie might as well be singing, "Lovey, Lovey, love love. Lovey, love love, lovey, love."
(The footage of the "Chorus" in question starts again before she goes into another scream, this time cutting to the famous scene of Michael Ironside's head explosion from Scanners.)
Sage: I'm sorry, I just, I-I just can't get over that air raid siren of a voice she has. It's like a whirring dentist's drill right in your brain.
Minnie: And every time that we
(Supposedly seductive hissing)
Ooooh, I'm more in love with you.
(A horrible crackling noise is heard off screen as Sage goes wide eyed before looking at his crotch.)
Sage: (Nodding his head throughout) Yep. That was my last boner. And you killed it Minnie. I hope you're proud of yourself!
Sage (VO): In a song as obnoxiously cute as this, provoking images of Minnie's O-face may not have been the best move. Hell, look at her album cover for Christ's sake!
(The album cover to her Album, "Perfect Angel is shown)
Sage (VO): She looks like she doesn't even know what sex is! Honestly, the only thing keeping this song from being higher on the list is the fact that it's hysterically bad. But that kind of charm can only last so long.
Sage: Loving you may be easy because your beautiful, but hating this song is dead simple because it's awful.
(A third clip of the do-do's followed by the ear piercing scream is shown once more, this time cutting to the clip from Raiders of the Lost Ark of Belloq's head exploding.)
#19[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 19
(Cut to: Chicago performing “25 or 6 to 4” live during the early 1970s)
Sage: Now must of you know of my fellow coworker Todd's distaste for the band named after the second city. But, from where I stand uh, Chicago's alright by me.
Sage (VO): I mean, I don't own a single song of theirs and I probably won't any time soon, but I really don't get the amount of hate they get. Some are liable to point to their later, AM soft rock years as the reason, but to me, they're no different than any other contemporaneous soft rock band. Maybe it's because at one time, they were a cool jam rock band that wasted their talents by selling out in the 80s. Well, that may be the case however, I don't think that deserves our scorn, so much as our disinterest.
Sage: Now Peter Cetera on the other hand... yeah that guy sucks out loud.
(Cut to: The video of the entry.)
Glory of Love
Peter: Tonight, is very clear
As we're both lying here.
(Cut to: Todd in his usual set up, understandably pissed off at the placement.)
Todd: Are you kidding me!? Only number 19?!
Sage: Oh, Todd, hey (Waves at him). Should've figured that you'd find a way to get into this video.
Todd: The hell is wrong with you?! This should be at least, in the top ten, not just barely making the list at all!!
Sage: Alright, Todd, I know you hate this guy with a fiery passion, but I really don't get the anger here. I'm not saying this song is good; I'm saying this song sucks.
Todd: That's not good enough!
Sage: (Sighs) You know what? Fine. You obviously want this more than me, so, tell you what. If I let you have the floor and let you speak your mind about Peter Cetera and "Glory of Love", will you let me continue?
Todd: Gladly. (Clears his throat)
Todd (VO): First off, since this is Peter Cetera's first solo hit, this made possible all his other solo hits, so, really, "Glory of Love" didn't just give us one bad song. it gave us an entire career of bad songs. You could call it every Peter Cetera song rolled up into one, and if you actually did that, it would sound exactly like "Glory of Love", because every Peter Cetera song is exactly the fucking same! It's just this same, nauseatingly wretched sound, its just the same, soulless, smarmy, noxious screeching whine that made a biblical plague on music.
Peter: I am the man
Who will fight
For your honor.
Todd: "I am a man who will fight for your honor?" Bullshit!
Todd (VO): You and your doofy perm and that stupid look on your face. Glory? What glory? Does this sound like glory to you? You could've named this song (Cut to a stock photo of a crying kid) "Glory of peeing your pants in Kindergarten", and it still wouldn't evoke enough glory for this situation!
Todd: You're not a man who would fight for honor! You're not a man who would fight, period! You're probably not even a man!! Cause I've never heard a human being that sounded like a goddamn auto tuned whale song!
Todd (VO): You know that this was the theme song to Karate Kid II? Like, this is your movie theme? Really?! You remember what the fight theme to the first one was? "You're the best around."
(Cut to the final battle of the first Karate Kid movie with said song playing in the background.)
Joe Esposito: You're the best
Nothing's gonna ever keep you down!!
Todd (VO): One of the greatest 80s montage tunes in history. And, and what do they choose to follow with? Peter- goddamn-Cetera!!
Todd: You know what? I blame Peter Cetera for why that movie was so boring! If that's your fight theme, no wonder Macchio couldn't even do the crane kick right anymore! "Do right no can defense" my ass!
Sage: Well, Todd. You're not wrong.
Sage: (Beat) It's still my number 19.
(Todd then grunts in anger and frustration, as he basically says "Fuck it" and storms off)
#18[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 18
(Cut to: The music video for Milli Vanilli's "Blame it on the rain".)
Milli Vanilli: Blame it on the rain.
Sage (VO): Yes, no "worst of" music list is complete without mentioning the biggest scam in American pop music. The most shocking thing about the whole Milli Vanilli debacle wasn't that they lip-synched all their songs, or that no one caught onto the fact that they sang in perfect American accents, yet talked like they just stepped out of a bad Hans and Frans sketch.
(Cut to: An interview with the two lead singers talking in heavy Germanic accents.)
Rob Pilatus: I feel great about it, everyday. I stand up, take a shower. I look outside on my balcony. And the view of Los Angeles and I thank God that, yeah, that we did it, you know?
Sage: No, the most shocking thing about Milli Vanilli? Is that their only American album went six times platinum. (The music in the background stops as Sage pauses). It dropped THREE number one hits. (Pause) You wish I was kidding.
Sage (VO): I could put all three hits on the list just for being outright lies, but this is supposed to be a list of quality, or lack thereof. And morality shouldn't figure too much into it. Luckily for me then that all three singles are outright garbage.
Sage: Choosing only one of the three was itself a challenge but, at the end of the day, one made its case.
(Cut to: the video)
Baby Don't Forget my Number
Sage: Oh God, where do I even begin? (Pondering.) Well, I suppose the dorky outfits.
Sage (VO): I know this really doesn't have anything to do with the song proper, but what the fuck are they wearing? Lycra bike shorts and sports jackets?
Sage: Business up top. High school track meet on bottom.
Sage (VO): Perhaps their disjointed wardrobe is supposed to reflect the nature of the song because it, too, is a complete mess.
Milli Vanilli: So when you're in doubt and needing someone
Baby call the line
Call me anytime. (Baby)
I'll be there for you.
Sage: If anyone tells you that they miss the 80s, point them to this song and ask them if they still do.
Sage (VO): You've got to love the fact that the rap break down sounds less like a declaration of affection and more like a goddamn Chili's commercial. Besides the fact that "Baby Don't Forget My Number" is horribly dated, it also manages to cram every pet peeve of mine regarding songwriting into one chorus.
Sage: Stuttering lines.
Milli Vanilli: Ba-ba-ba-ba, ba-ba-ba-ba-baby
Sage: Forced rhyming
Milli Vanilli: Don't forget my number.
Love is stronger than thunder.
Sage: And repetition.
Milli Vanilli: Ba-ba-ba-ba, ba-ba-ba-ba-baby
Don't forget my number
Sage: That thunder line still mystifies me. "Love is stronger than thunder." I don't see Zeus hurling out bolts of love from on high.
Sage (VO): Even though this song isn't on the list just because these two weren't the ones singing it, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a factor. Milli Vanilli were solely created for the image of hocking repackaged, flavorless pop to the masses. They're the purest example of the manufacturing of music and songwriting by committee. I don't hate this song because it's lame and horribly dated, I hate this song because it represents everything that was wrong with music, both of the time and today.
Sage: I like to think that everyone who bought this album chucked it out of the car window when they found out these two were lip-synching. (Pause.) That was, until I read the YouTube comments.
(Cut to: A screen capture of a comment left on a Milli Vanilli video on YouTube. The person's username and avatar blurred out for identity protection, as the comment shows a long defense with no punctuation and capitalization whatsoever.)
Sage (VO): (Reading the comment in a deadpan voice and pronouncing the abbreviations by the individual letters instead of what the word is supposed to mean.)
hey i love them they made great songs idk why ppl hated them after the scandal ppl do way worse things now in the music industry and get away with it rick ross for example the biggest hoax in hip hop but anyway i think they were set up
(Cut back to: Sage looking absolutely confounded over what he just read before it shows the famous clip from the Futurama episode "A Clockwork Origin".)
Professor Farnsworth: I don't want to live on this planet anymore.
#17[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 17
(Cut to: The music video for One Direction's "Best Song Ever".)
1D: And we dance all night
To the best song ever.
Sage: Hey! Remember when boy bands were dead? (Beat) Those were good times.
Sage (VO): As a kid who grew up in the heyday of boy bands, it was unavoidable that a few of their ear worms would get caught in my head. If I ever had to listen to "Bye, Bye, Bye" again, there will be blood. I'm not going to blindly say that everyone of these groups sucked, but there's no denying the genre's average. And let's face it, when you hear one group's pandering and insincere love song, you've heard them all.
Sage: But do you know what's worse than a boy band singing the exact same love song over and over? A boy band singing about how tough they are.
New Kids on the Block
New Kids: Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.
Sage: PAH! (Breaks down laughing.) They're tough! Woo! That's a good one!
Sage (VO): New Kids on the Block trying to sell their street cred and how tough they are. I would have killed to be a fly on the wall during the writing of this one.
(Cut to: A boardroom skitch done by the Bad Call group*)
(Editor's note: I don't know the names of the actors involved, so if anyone could edit them in, I would appreciate it.)
Boss: Alright you big swinging marketing dicks, we've got five little douchebag kids who've never seen the rough side of sandpaper, let alone life. How do we sell them as badasses? Horse teeth hotness, go!
Female Executive: Have them sing about how rough they are.
New Kids: We're tough.
Boss: Direct approach, I like it. But we need a chorus, what are we doing for the chorus? Young Mr. Miyagi, go!
Male Executive: Have them moan over this song like they're passing a kidney stone, over and over again.
New Kids: Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.
Female Executive: Are you crazy, man? There's no way our audience can put up with that.
Male Executive: Have you seen our audience? Prime cuts of jail bait. They cry at the mere sight of these guys. We could have them sing the alphabet and these girls would eat it up.
Boss: My God, you're right! Okay, let's get those five little fucktards in the booth and bang this one out. Somebody write me a check and suck, my, dick!!
(Both execs raise their hands rather enthusiastically)
Boss: (Pointing to the male executive) You first.
(The Male exec silently says "yes!" under his breath.)
Sage (VO): "Hangin' Tough" is not entirely the New Kids' fault, since no one could've sold this song and make it sound intimidating. But, they are certainly not helping at all. This song is Scrappy Doo personified.
(Cut to: a clip of one of the Scooby Doo shows showing Scrappy with his fists raised at a monster.)
Scrappy: Put 'em up, you test tube creepy!
Sage (VO): New Kids on the Block are so lame here, it's actually kind of sad. I wanna laugh at how they completely fail at selling themselves as tough, but all I can think of is how delusional these guys had to be.
Sage: The only way this song can be any worse is if the cast of Glee covered it.
(The show's promotional poster is then shown like a bad omen.)
Sage (VO): Don't, you, dare.
#16[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 16
(Cut to: A performance by the Beatles)
The Beatles: Oh, yeah, I
Tell you something.
I'll think you'll understand.
Sage: It's funny to me how the individual members of the most iconic band in rock history each went on to have at least one Number One hit in their solo careers.
Sage (VO): Paul McCartney could say that he had the most successful solo career, along with his own band Wings, but most of his hits were just mushy pap that were more dull than anything else.
Sage: Still, don't get me wrong. Wings sucked.
Sage (VO): John Lennon went off into a different direction than Paul, but still could rightfully claim to a successful solo outing and had his fair share of chart success. Hell, even Ringo Starr had a Number One hit, believe it or not.
Sage: That leaves us with the quiet one, George. Who probably was the best musician of the group, but couldn't write lyrics worth a damn.
(Cut to: A montage of photos of a young George Harrison)
Sage (VO): When I was forming this list, I thought about putting, "My Sweet Lord" on here. An inane bit of religious fluff that starts with wanting to see Lord and ends with wanting to see Lord.
George: I really want to see you
Really want to feel you here.
Really want to see you lord
But it takes so long, my lord.
Sage: Also, I'd be remised to not mention the plagiarism case indicting George Harrison of copying The Chiffon's "He's so Fine.
(Cut to: The album cover for The Chiffons "One Fine Day.)
The Chiffons: He's so fine
Wish he were mine
Sage: Personally speaking, I think the entire 60s could sue itself for plagiarism. But, steering the conversation back on course, "Got My Mind Set on You" is godawful.
(Cut to: The music video)
Got My Mind Set on You
George: I've got my mind
Set on you
Got my mind
Set on you
But it's gonna take money.
Sage: I don't think I'm breaking any new ground by declaring this song sucks. There's been thesis papers about how much this song sucks.
Sage (VO): And really, the reason why this song is awful is evident in the first 15 seconds. It's just that one line pounded into your skull over and over and over again. Like some kind of medieval torture device. It's not even bad in an interesting way, it's just tiring.
Sage: So, instead of retreading what the thousands before me have already said, I'll tell you something that you probably didn't know. This song is a cover.
(Cut to: the album cover for the original by James Ray as that plays)
James: I've got my mind
Set on you.
I've got my mind.
Set on you.
Sage: And you know what? The original ain't half bad.
Sage (VO): So, what's the difference between the two versions? Well, one, George Harrison's voice can't hold a candle to the presence that James Ray has here.
Sage: Secondly, and this is the most important one here, George Harrison cut out lyrics.
James: Everywhere I go you know
Bad luck follows me.
Everytime I fall in love
You know I'm left in misery.
Sage: So, basically, George Harrison turned a song about a lovelorn loser who won't let his romantic failures put him down into this.
George: I got my mind
Set on you.
I got my mind
Set on you
Sage: Had I known this was a cover back when I made my "Worst of Covers" list, this would've easily made the cut. Count yourself lucky, Miss Baez.
Sage (VO): The only good thing to come out of this dreadfully misguided song is the video itself.
(It then plays the clip of some admittedly impressive dancing by someone who is obviously not George Harrison in any capacity.)
Sage: I love the fact that the video doesn't even attempt to try to hide the fact that that isn't George Harrison. And plus, how could I not make this reference?
(It then shows the clip of the stuffed animal heads on the wall lip-synching to the song with hilariously dated CGI before cutting to the clip from Evil Dead 2 of Ash dancing around with the stop motion room as he goes completely insane, all while the song is still playing in the background.)
Sage: (giggling) Wow. I cannot think of a more dissonant mix of video and sound. (Pause) Well...
(It then cuts to a montage of old footage of Hitler giving political speeches, all while "Movin on Up" from the Jefferson's plays in the background to the footage. It is both shockingly wrong and gut bustlingly funny at the same time.)
Sage: Hey, there's a reason why they call it "Godwin's LAW."
#15[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 15
Sage: As many of you have noticed, the presence of Rock on the pop charts has seen a steady decline. Now, a lot of people might point to one year as to when the decline started, but I can point to the exact day: Veteran's Day, 2000. The week that Creed had a Number One hit.
(Cut to: The video in question.)
With Arms Wide Open.
Scott Stapp: Well I just heard
The news today.
Sage: I weep for our nation's servicemen and women. (Beat) And for music in general.
Sage (VO): I was thoroughly disgusted with myself for having put this song so low on this list because Creed is one of my most hated bands of all time. Creed is my Nickelback.
Sage: Hell, I'd sooner come to Nickelback's defense before I dare lift a finger for Creed!
Sage (VO): And just like Chad Kroeger, Scott Stapp could demolish entire houses by his grating voice alone.
(Cut to: More of the video, eventually showing edited in text saying "I love how Scott seems more annoyed than scared at the falling death rocks from the sky".)
Scott: We created life
With arms wide open
Out there in the sunlight.
Sage: Only Scott Stapp could take what's supposed to be a soaring chorus, and turn it into a death moan.
Sage (VO): Stapp always sounded to me like he was working a turd that's halfway to hitting the bowl, but it just won't budge.
Sage: (Imitating Scott's "singing" to the tune of the song in question)
I probably should
Have brought a book.
To keep my mind
Off this dump I took.
Sage (VO): Really, everything else about "With Arms Wide Open" is classic Creed. Hack lyrics, uninspired guitar work and more of that holier than thou preening bullshit.
Scott: That he can take this life
And hold it by the hand
And he can greet the world
With arms wide open.
Sage: This song was written when Scott Stapp found out that he was going to be a dad. Which means his now 13 year old son is probably copping a teenage attitude over this.
Sage (VO): (In his standard whiny teenager voice) God, Dad, you wrote this lame song about me?! Why couldn't Rob Thomas be my dad?!
Sage: The only reason why this song isn't in the top 10 and, believe me, I had a time trying to keep it out of there is because I know that Creed can do so, much, worse!!
(Cut to: the video for "Higher")
Scott: Can you take
(And the video for "My Sacrifice.")
Scott: When you are with me
Sage: Still, this is an awful goddamn song regardless of how many turds the band Creed managed to shit out. We just happened to pick the turd with the least amount of corn in it to make popular.
#14[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 14
Sage: And speaking of corn!
Everything is Beautiful
Ray: Everything is beautiful
In it's own way.
Sage: Can you guess that this was recorded in 1970? Did I even have to ask?
Sage (VO): What we have here is one of the more baffling entries on this list. Really? "Everything is Beautiful" for two whole weeks was the Number One song in America?
Sage: You mean to tell me that America lost its mind for two whole weeks and wanted to hear Sunday school horseshit on the radio?
Ray: And under God's heaven
The world's gonna find a way.
Sage: Yeah, the message is fine and everything and, yeah, it came at a time when America was going through some major turbulence. But, here's the thing. This song may be the most disingenuous plea for tolerance in history.
Sage (VO): The man behind this song is Ray Stevens, a part time Red Green lookalike and hack country comedy musician that was more at home writing songs about releasing squirrels into church as a boy.
(Cut To: The music video for Ray Stevens, "The Mississippi Squirrel Revival". Yeah, that's actually the title of the song.)
Ray: I was sittin way back
In the very last pew
Shown' him to my good buddy Hugh
When that squirrel got loose
And went totally berserk
Sage: So it's a departure from the usual. So what, right? I mean, I'm not above letting a clown be serious. If he wants to write a pro-tolerance song with all the plum of a church social, that's fine by me. But, if you're gonna do that, live by your own words.
Sage (VO): Ray Stevens may have sung about keeping an open mind and not judging a person by appearance.
Ray: We shouldn't care
About the length of his hair.
Or the color of his skin.
Sage: But you wouldn't know that by listening to some of his other songs, like "Ahab the Arab."
(Cut to: The video of the song in question)
Ray: His voice would cut through the still, night desert air.
And he'd say.
(It then shows the part of the video were Stevens is dressed up in stereotypical Arabic clothing, riding a fake camel, and singing a bunch of incoherent babbling meant to represent Arabic. I am not making that up.)
Ray: Which is Arabic for
Sage: Or, quite possibly his most offensive song to date, "God save Arizona."
(Cut to: The video to that song in question.)
Ray: And years later, in 2010
Is a target once again.
Sage: Look, I'm not calling Ray Stevens a racist, but I am calling him a hypocrite if you sing one song that we shouldn't judge people by their appearance.
Ray: Or appoint four cronies to the DOJ
From the ACLU
And just let Arizona do
What you refuse to do.
Sage: But then sing a song about letting a state continue a policy of racial profiling. That's being a hypocrite!
Sage (VO): The fact that this is a mealy mouthed, dickless song is almost secondary at this point. And if it weren't for Ray Stevens revealing what kind of a misinformed idiot he is, I doubt this song would've made this list at all. But he did, and so it is.
Honourable Mentions #1[edit | edit source]
Sage: Before we hit our first commercial break, I think we should cover some songs that just missed the "Honor" of being on this list. Starting with.
(Static transistion to the first mention.)
Chuck: When I was
A wee little boy
My Grandmother bought
Me a cute little toy
Sage: You know what's sad about this song? This is Chuck Berry's only Number One hit.
Sage (VO): Yes, one of the most important influences and figures in Rock 'n Roll history, the man who invented what it means to be a rock guitarist, has only one Number One hit. And it's a cringe-worthy little ditty that's basically a nursery rhyme about his dick.
Chuck: But when the choir would stand and sing
I'd sit there and play with my
Sage (VO): As horrible as this song is, there's really not enough here to warrant enough hate to put this on the list proper. Even if it is a sophomoric, non-joke of a song.
Sage : Oh! and before I forget. Eh, blah blah blah, putting a camera in a woman's bathroom, blah blah blah, my Ding-A-Ling joke. Next!
(Static transition to the next entry)
I Just Called to Say I Love You
Stevie: I just called
I love you
Sage: "I just called to say I love you." Well, I just called to say that this song sucks.
Sage (VO): Really, I could go on about how this song is nothing but a chintzy, tired out love song that doesn't even deserve to be mentioned in the same breath, as some of Stevie Wonder's truly great love songs.
Sage: But, I think Barry from High Fidelity put it best.
(Cut to: A clip of Barry (Played by Jack Black) from High Fidelity talking to a customer at his store)
Barry: Well, its sentimental, tacky crap. That's why not. I mean, do we look like the kind of store that sells "I Just Called to Say I Love You?" Go to the mall.
Sage: Go to the mall indeed. Next!
(Final static transition to the next entry.)
Female Singer: Mmm, that you only meant well
Well, of course you did.
Mmm, watcha say
Jason: Jason DeRulo
Sage: The only reason why this song isn't on the list is because its just too new. Lord help me, I wanted to put it on the list but, it just didn't feel right to lump it in with some of the more "historically significant" bad songs on this list.
Sage (VO): Time's a funny thing, and it can change the perspective of a song like nothing else. See "Everything is Beautiful" for proof positive of that. Who knows? Maybe this horribly sampled, overproduced and soulless song may gain some new insight as the years go by.
Sage: (Unamused) But I doubt it.
#13[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 13
Sage: I swear, I did not put my numbers 13 and 14 together just so I could make a political statement. Alright? It's just how the list wound up.
(Cut to: The video for the next entry)
Ballad of the Green Berets
SSGT Barry Sadler
Barry: Fighting soldiers
From the sky
Who jump and die.
Sage: (Holds up the Scout's honor sign.) Honor Bright.
Sage (VO): Yes, a military ballad sung by an actual Green Beret Medic named Barry Sadler jumped onto the charts in 1966. Which is good timing, because one year later, this song wouldn't crack the charts considering the political climate.
Sage: It's good timing may be the only thing "good" about it. Because otherwise, the song sucks.
Barry: One hundred men
Will test today
But only three
Win the Green Beret
Sage (VO): America was going through many changes and apparently went from the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Simon and Garfunkel.
Sage: To a guy with a guitar singing a schmaltzy campfire song that sounds right at home at a Boy Scout Jamboree.
Sage (VO): The song doesn't change, from the first stanza to the last, it's a sludgy buildup to the mother of all non-climaxes. Even if you were so inclined to believe that our nation's Green Berets deserve to have a pop ballad hit in their honor, don't they deserve one better than this?
Sage: Actually, if I can have an aside here. Barry Sadler himself is ten times more interesting than the song he wrote.
Sage (VO): A child of professional gamblers, enlisted in the military at 17, did combat duty in Vietnam, and was so grateful to have survived an infection from being stabbed in the leg with a punji stick, that he gave away his rights to "Ballad of the Green Berets." Though admittedly, before it became a hit. Barry must have been kicking himself for that move, probably with the same leg that was saved. When his recording career didn't catch fire, he turned to novel writing and started the still ongoing series of war novels, the Casca series.
Sage: Tragically, and ironically, Barry Sadler was killed in 1989 from a gunshot wound to the head. I say ironically, because in 1978, Barry Sadler was convicted of shooting a fellow songwriter in the head. (Beat) And served only 21 days in jail. (Beat) The universe is a dick like that.
Sage (VO): If only "Ballad of the Green Berets" shared the same kind of interesting exploits. Then it might've been worth more than just placing 13 here. But, as it is, its a dated piece of wide-eyed patriotism that sadly has a place in pop history.
#12[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 12
Sage: How very appropriate that number 12 here on the list begins with the exact phrase you should say when you first hear it.
(Cut to: The video)
Background singers: OH SHIT!!!
Fergie: Are you ready for this?
(Quick cut to Bennett looking utterly pissed.)
Background singers: OH SHIT!!!
Fergie: How come every time you come around
My London London Bridge wanna go down
Like London London London wanna go down
Like London London Lon...
(Cut back to Bennett with the same look on his face as he cuts the music off.)
Sage: And there you have it. That is why "London Bridge" by Fergie is number 12 on my "Worst Number One Hits" list. I can't put it any more succinctly than that.
(Cut To: A live performance of the song in question.)
Sage (VO): I mean, sure, I could talk about how every single thing about this song is annoyance personified. And that Fergie's presence on this record is everything her detractors point to as to how and why she's wasting her talent.
Sage: I know that Fergie is a better singer than this, so why does she sound like a whiny brat?
Fergie: And I'm like get up out my face. (Oh Snap!*) (*Due to being live and televised, these are the lyrics instead.)
'Fore I turn around and spray your (the "Ass" is cut out) with my mace! (Oh snap!)
Sage (VO): And sure, I could talk about how the song sounds like a complete discord of horribly sampled instruments. Or about how Fergie's obnoxious attitude and melody infests every nook and cranny.
Fergie: It's like every time I get up on the dude
Paparazzi put my business in the news
Sage: I could talk about all of that. But, it just simply wouldn't convey my exact hatred for this song, like the look I give whenever I hear it.
(Bennett resumes the pissed off expression from before)
Sage (VO): True this is a beast of a song, one that should be slayed, mounted, and bronzed as a dire warning for all would be audio torture to heed. But at the very least, this isn't the worst example of female pop stars trying way too fucking hard.
Sage: For that, join me at number 11.
#11[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 11
(Cut to: The video for "You and Me" by Lifehouse)
Jason Wade: What day is it?
And in my mind
Sage: 2005. The year that almost destroyed music as we know it.
Sage (VO): It's not just that this year had more crap than any other year, prior or since. It's also that its crap was the most relentlessly popular. I meant it when I said that Gorillaz saved pop music in 2005, because otherwise, we would've been stuck with (cut to: the album cover for American Idiot) Green Day!
Sage: 2005 is the worst year in pop music history, and I will hear no argument against that fact. This was the year that gave us Nickelback's "Photograph".
(Cut to: The video for that song)
Chad Kroeger: Look at this photograph
Sage: The Black-Eyed Peas "My Humps."
(Cut to: That video)
Will.I.Am: Milky, milky cocoa,
Mix your milk with my cocoa puff,
Sage: Simple Plan's "How could this happen to me?"
(Cut to: That video, with the caption "Yes, I know it's called "Untitled")
Pierre Bouvier: How could this happen to me?!
I've made my mistakes!
Sage: And yes. Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl."
(Cut to: the final video to be inflicted on the viewer, which is also the entry in question)
Gwen: A few times I've been around that track
So it's not just gonna happen like that
'Cause I ain't no hollaback girl
I ain't no hollaback girl
Sage: (Rubbing his eyes in pain.) Gwen, why do you keep doing this to me?
Sage (VO): I don't think I'm breaking anyone's hearts by saying that this song is the music equivalent of dirt tracks in your brand new pair of Fruit of the Looms. But I believe some people out there may underestimate my intense hatred for this song.
Sage: Let me make it very clear. I hate this song with every fiber of my being. I hate this song in a way that no other song can ever achieve, and that has less to do with the quality of the song, and more to do with when it came out.
Sage (VO): Guess who was a bright eyed, bushy tailed sophomore in High School when this shit came out? And guess who was trapped in his High School quad, while they piped in this shit every fucking Friday on repeat?!
Sage: That's right! (Gives the "Two thumbs" gesture). This fucking guy!!
Sage (VO): I got so sick of this song that I still can't look at bananas.
Gwen: Let me hear you say this shit is bananas
(This shit is bananas)
Sage: Yes, yes Gwen, we all know that this shit is indeed bananas. We all know that you can swear. Good for you!
Sage (VO): Personal history with this song aside, this is a fucking atrocious excuse for a song. One that doesn't even pretend to make sense. Gwen hears about girls talking shit about her, and they're apparently cheerleaders. And she's calling them out to fight and-
Sage: Okay, I've been meaning to ask this for about, like, eight years now, and I still haven't gotten a straight answer. (Beat) What the fuck is a "hollaback girl?"
Gwen: So I'm gonna fight, gonna give it my all
Gonna make you fall, gonna sock it to you
That's right I'm the last one standing, another one bites the dust
Sage (VO): Even if it did make sense, it still wouldn't fix this song. That maddening, repetitive chorus. That obnoxious, in your face attitude that does Gwen NO favors. I lost all hope for Stefani right around the time of "Hey Baby!" and that might've been the best thing about that song.
Sage: If Gwen jumped ship from No Doubt after "Return of Saturn" and launched this as her solo career immediately afterwards, I think I would've gone insane!
Sage: But you know what the worst thing about this is? It's not even really a part of the song itself.
Sage: It's that fucking beginning!
(Cut to: the beginning of the video that shows Gwen with a camera.)
Gwen: Okay, now get in real close.
(The background dancers do a group pose)
Gwen: Aww! Super Kawaii!
(The picture is snapped after the cringe factor has set in.)
Sage: (Rubbing his eyes again.) Gwen, its sad when teenagers speak in Weeaboo. So how do you think it makes you look at 35?!
(Cut to: A rather disturbing picture of a middle aged Japanese man in a black leotard, knee high white socks and white cat ears, with another man his age wearing a maid outfit off to the right and a body pillow hung up on the door in the background, all while the Psycho theme plays over it. It's....Terrifying, to say the very least.)
Sage: (Nodding his head after showing the nightmare fuel onscreen.) Yeah. Kind of like that.
#10[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 10
Sage: A good number of you are probably noticing that their aren't a lot of (finger quotes) "Oldies" on this list. And, well, that's simply because most of the songs released back then were too dull to be hateful.
(Cut to: An old music video)
Sage (VO): If you thought for one moment that music sounds too cookie-cutter nowadays, try listening to pop music in the 50s. When I was going through the near endless catalog of Number One hits during this time, I could barely tell where one song ended and another began.
Sage: It should surprise no one that pop music always had a disposable nature to it. Even back in the "swell" days.
Sage (VO): Really, go ask your parents or grandparents if they remember names like (Album covers for) Tommy Edwards or Mark Dinning. If they answer with anything other than, "Who the fuck are they?!" They're probably lying.
Sage: So what does a song have to do to get noticed when it's swimming in an ocean of blandness? Well, annoy the piss out of people sure is a start!
(Cut to: The live performance for the entry)
Big Girls Don't Cry
The Four Seasons
T4S: Big girls don't cry
Big girls don't cry
Sage: I know the Four Seasons are a cornerstone of early 60s music, and I know that they have a rightful place in pop music history. But, goddamn, Frankie Valli's voice has always made me want to strangle kittens!
Frankie: Big girls
Sage: It's like he's channeling Ms. Piggy whenever she karate chops Kermit.
(Cut to: A clip from one of the Muppet movies showing, well, exactly what Bennett described.)
Sage (VO): Really, Frankie Valli is the sole reason why "Big Girls Don't Cry" is on this list. Let alone the fact that, at its heart, it's a by the numbers, early R&B hit. Frankie's presence on this song drives it way past being uninspired and manufactured and straight hard into ear poison.
Sage: It's like Frankie Valli is punishing the listener every time he hits that shrill note. Like he knows that one of the listeners out there was the jerk that keyed his car two weeks ago.
T4S: Big girls don't cry
Sage (VO): I really don't have much to say about this song apart from Frankie Valli's death shrieks, but I honestly don't think I need to. Yes, his singing is so bad that it single handedly pole vaulted this song into the tenth spot through sheer voice of annoyance. Oh, the Four Seasons had many other Number One hits and so did Frankie Valli's solo career for that matter. And I could've easily put any one of those somewhere down the list by virtue of the fact that Frankie Valli is opening his face hole to release sonic terrors into our reality! But nothing they ever released that hit Number One could match the sheer sandpaper on the eardrums that is, "Big Girls Don't Cry."
Sage: And Lord have mercy for that!
T4S: Big girls don't cry
(The song ends with the audience applauding, a caption edited in saying "Why are you applauding?! Storm the stage!!")
#9[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 9
Sage: You know what was a good group back in the 70s? The Jackson Five.
(Cut to: A live performance of the Jackson Five singing "ABC")
J5: A B C
Easy as 1 2 3
Sage (VO): I mean, I'm not really a fan of theirs and I didn't grow up listening to them, so I don't have fond memories of them. But I know quality pop music when I hear it and theirs was the most effectively simple kind of pop music there is.
Sage: I mean, there's a reason why the song goes "Easy as 1 2 3."
Sage (VO): Still, when you have the genuine article pumping out hit after hit, it's only a matter of time before the wannabes horn in on the action and churn out their copycat singles.
Sage: Enter the Osmonds.
(Cut to: The video)
One Bad Apple
The Osmonds: You need love
But you're afraid that if you give in
Will come along
And sock it to you again
Sage: Comparing the Jackson Five to The Osmonds is like comparing artisan chocolate to a Kinder Egg. Neither might be all that nourishing, but at least one doesn't make you retch after intake.
Sage (VO): So what is the story of "One Bad Apple?" Well apparently, the five Osmond kids spy a love-bitten girl and want to assure her that despite her past, there's a chance that she can find "twue love."
The Osmonds: One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch girl
(Bennett immediately starts retching and gagging from the overly sugary nature of the song)
Sage (VO): Besides the fact that this song is nauseating in its saccharine bullshit, it's not even melodically structured right.
Sage: Listen as the Osmonds try and force every single word of that tired out phrase into this pathetic chorus.
The Osmonds: One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch girl
Sage (VO): But really, that's the least of the song's problems. Michael Jackson may be the exception that proves the rule, but I always found child singers to be insufferable. Especially Donny Osmond.
Sage: I find it ironic that this kid would one day grow up to sing "I'll Make a Man Out of You."
(Cut to: the musical number in question from Mulan.)
Shang/Donny: Mr. I'll
Make a man
Out of you
Sage: Bitch, you couldn't even make a man out of yourself!
Sage (VO): However, the main reason why this song sucks so hard is the fact that "One Bad Apple" is so obviously attempting to rip off the Jackson 5. And fails miserably.
Sage: I'm not going to chastise a song just for ripping off someone. A lot of great songs came from bands and musicians doing just that. I mean, how do you think Punk got popular?
Sage (VO): But when you don't even hide the fact that you're taking cues from someone else's book, like "One Bad Apple" does, or rip it off BADLY, like "One Bad Apple" does, it just makes you wonder why you aren't listening to the genuine article.
The Osmonds: One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch girl
I don't care what they say
I don't care what you heard now!
Sage: Actually Donny, apples contain a lot of ethylene. It's a growth hormone that ripens fruit. When an apple is bruised and the outer skin is damaged, it releases a lot of ethylene gas, which can overclock the ripeness of the surrounding apples. So yes, one bad apple does spoil the whole bunch. (Beat) You fucking idiot.
#8[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 8
(Cut to: the music video for Michael Jackson's "Bad")
Sage: I have a complicated relationship with the King of Pop.
Sage (VO): No, I couldn't tell you where I was when I heard that MJ died. Nor could I tell you where I was when he was first accused of child molestation. Or the second time for that matter.
Sage: But I can tell you the first Michael Jackson joke that actually got me to laugh. "On a scale of one to ten, how old do you think Michael Jackson's next boyfriend is?"
Sage (VO): I grew up in the early 90s, which meant my image of MJ wasn't so much him singing Thriller, as it was being fodder for every hack sketch on SNL. Even today when I listen to his music, I don't really connect with it, save for some songs here and there.
Sage: Kind of like how nobody thinks of OJ Simpson as a football player anymore, Michael Jackson could never be the King of Pop for me. He could only be a media circus clown. Also, he sang the only song that makes my skin crawl.
(Cut to: The live performance of the song with Sheryl Crow)
I Just Can't Stop Loving You
Michael Jackson (with Siedah Garett)
MJ and Sheryl Crow: I just can't stop loving you
I just can't stop loving you
Sage: Yeah, I put Michael Jackson on the "Worst of" list. (Beat) No, I'm not trolling.
Sage (VO): Trying to articulate why I find "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" unbearable is really hard to do. Because by all outward appearances, it's just a sappy boring song.
Sage: The sentiment has been done to death. The arrangement is dull and Michael Jackson's voice has never sounded worse.
Sage (VO): MJ was at his best when he was belting, when he was throwing every ounce of his prepubescent boy frame into his singing.
(Cut to: The music video for "Thriller")
MJ: You know it's thriller
You're fighting for your life inside a
Sage: (Pointing at the camera) That is awesome.
(Back to the live performance)
MJ and Crow: And if I stop
Then tell me just what
Will I do?
Sage: (Pointing at the camera again) That is lame.
Sage (VO): Still, none of that really makes the song so cringeworthy for me.
Sage: No, if you want to know what true nightmare fuel sounds like, we're gonna have to rewind this song all the way back to the beginning.
(Cut to: The beginning of performance which shows Michael encased in shadows on stage as he monologues for a long time. All the while, being intercut with Bennett squirming and fidgeting in his chair as he becomes more uncomfortable by the second)
MJ: I just want to lay next to you for awhile
You look so beautiful tonight.
Your eyes are so lovely
Your mouth is so sweet
A lot of people misunderstand me
That's because they don't know me at all.
I just want to touch you
And hold you
I need you
God, I need you
Sage: (Still visibly creeped out) I'm 23 years old. And I still feel like I need an adult.
Sage (VO): Even if Michael was never accused of molesting children, even if he stayed looking like he did in 1982, there is no way that opening could've sounded alright with his voice saying it. Hell, it'd be creepy enough if he had a lower register in his voice. But with that whispering falsetto of his, it really does sound like your about to get better acquainted with...Little Michael.
Sage: Did no one take Michael aside and say, "Hey MJ? Uh, listen, I know you're the King of Pop and everything and, uh, far be it from me to tell you what to do, but the beginning of your new song sounds like you're talking to a girl that you're keeping in your dungeon basement. (Beat) Can we cut that part out?"
Sage (VO): I know it's only the beginning, but you try and tell me that that doesn't taint the rest of the song! I never thought that only a 30 second bridge would be enough to irrevocably damage a song. But that was before MJ told me that he wanted to touch-
(Cut back to Bennett, who resumes cringing at the thought, unable to properly complete the sentence)
Sage (VO): However, even with all of the ups and downs, at the very least we can still enjoy "Thriller." And "Do the Bartman"
(Cut to: The music video for "Do The Bartman")
Singers: Move your body if you've got the notion
Bart Simpson: Whoa! I'm feeling the groove now, baby!
Singers: Front to back in a rock-like motion.
Sage: Seriously. (Extends his hand out in "What even is this?" motion) The fuck?
#7[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 7
Sage: It's at this point in the list that I think a lot of you can define what makes a bad song for me. Sure, obnoxious can get my piss boiling, but, nothing makes me hate a song faster like limp-dicked Soft Rock.
(Cut to: The video for the next entry)
Lionel: I sometimes see you pass outside my door.
Sage: (groans and rolls his eyes.)
Sage (VO): Yep, I'm putting Lionel Richie on the list because every single bad song list requires at least one of his turd ballads by law.
Sage: I'm not the kind of guy who likes to hate on popular things to hate just for the hell of it, as my more than ambivalent attitude towards Nickelback more than proves. But count me among the haters for Lionel Richie.
Sage (VO): I hate his songwriting, I hate his personality free voice, I hate his stupid jheri curl hair and mustache combo. But most of all, I hate this fucking song!
Sage: Talking about "Hello" in public is like saying the name "Voldemort" in Hogwarts. You're just met with a lot of awkward gazes and people stepping over themselves to try and change the subject.
Lionel: And I want to tell you so much
I love you
Sage (VO): But what is it about "Hello" that puts it up there in the pantheon of Soft Rock garbage specifically? Well, for starters, the narrator of the song is a creepy awkward guy that makes REALLY unsettling comments about the target of his affection.
Lionel: Cause I wonder where you are
And I wonder what you do
Are you somewhere feeling lonely
Or is someone loving you?
Sage: Apparently this guy doesn't even know if she's single or not, and yet has decided he loves her. That's stalker shit right there! (Pauses and begins to think it over) Actually. Actually. No. N-n-no, that is WORSE than being a stalker. Because a stalker would at least know if she was taken or not!
Sage (VO): The more you examine the lyrics of the song, the more you feel that this guy really is just a hopeless secret admirer. Maybe this song could have worked if it were about the desperation and loneliness this guy was feeling, or hell, play it ironically like in "Everything She Does is Magic."
(Cut to: The video for "Everything She Does is Magic" by The Police)
Sting: I resolve to call her up
A thousand times a day
And ask her if she'll marry me
In some old fashioned way.
Sage: But nope! He's just hopelessly smitten and doesn't know what to say to the girl he's never even talked to before. (Opens his mouth and mimes a barf)
Sage (VO): Still, even if the song knew how to play its cards right, that wouldn't save it from being bland, dreary, and every other synonym in the book for lame.
Honourable Mentions #2[edit | edit source]
Sage: We're about to hit our final commercial break here, but before we do, let's have one last look at some dishonorable mentions.
(Static transition to the first one)
The Beach Boys
Oh I wanna take ya.
Come on, pretty mama
Sage (VO): Another song that people love to hate and they're not entirely wrong for hating it.
Sage: As for me? Well, I can see why people have a stink for it. I mean, its tacky as all hell, it hasn't aged well, but.
Sage (VO): I don't know, I can't muster up the kind of hate for it some people think it deserves. I find it more harmless than anything and that's certainly no reason to hate it.
Sage: So the Beach Boys took a page from Jimmy Buffet's book, so what? Next.
(Static transition to the next mention)
Rick Dees and his band of Idiots
Band: Disco, disco duck.
Disco, disco duck.
Sage: I don't really hate this song so much as I'm just confused by it. Like, really? This was a Number One hit?
Sage (VO): Hell, even "Convoy" made more sense, because at least that was hitching itself to the trucker craze of the 70s. "Disco Duck" on the other hand was just an annoying little ditty that didn't even know where or what the joke was.
Sage: Not enough reason for me to put it on the list. But, plenty reason for me to keep hating 70s pop. Next!
(Final static transition to the final mention)
Horse with No Name
America: I've been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
Sage (VO): Now THIS was the hardest song to keep off the list. Eventually, I let its alright composition and general harmlessness win out. But, I can't let this video go by without saying that "A Horse With No Name" may have the stupidest lyrics I can remember hearing.
America: There were plants
and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
Sage: "Things" eh? How descriptive. And what kind of rings are in a desert?
America: The heat was hot
and the ground was dry
But the air was full of sound.
Sage: Uh, guys. You do know what redundancy is right?
America: In the desert
You can't remember your name
Cause there ain't no one that can give you no pain.
Sage: Wait, if there's no one in the desert to give you no pain, then does that mean that there is someone in the desert to give you pain? Double negatives you fucks!
Sage (VO): And while I'm at it, how many acoustic guitarists do you need? All of them!?
Sage: Where's John Blutarsky when you need him?
(Cut to: The clip from Animal House that shows John Belushi's character Bluto, prying an acoustic guitar out of a guy's hand and smashing it to pieces on the walls of the staircase before handing it back to him.)
#6[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 6
Sage: One thing I am very mindful of when making list videos is that I am balancing between being truthful to myself and to my audience and trying to not be predictable. So, please keep that in mind. As my Number 6 is the most obvious choice of this entire video.
(Cut to: The video)
(Everything I do) I Do it for You
Sage: Canada, your apology was not enough.
Sage (VO): More than any other song on this list, "Everything I Do" is the shining example of the idea that just because something is popular, doesn't mean its good. Not only was this song a Number One hit in 1991, it was THE Number One song of 1991. Hell, this song still holds the record for longest amount of time spent at Number One on the U.K charts, at 16 consecutive weeks!
Sage: All of these accolades, all of this success. For a song that is so bereft of happiness and joy, it might as well be a funeral dirge.
Bryan: Everything I do
I do it for you.
Sage (VO): The worst part about this song, other than Bryan Adams' sandpaper voice scraping your eardrums, is that it tries desperately to have a soaring, uplifting melody. But it somehow makes the song sound even drearier then before.
Bryan: There's no love
Like your love
And no other
Could give more love
Sage: You can just feel the waves of insincerity wafting from Bryan Adams' voice.
Sage (VO): Part of the reason why this is such an unbelievable love song is that it portrays this unrealistic and immature view of what love is. Bryan keeps singing about how much he loves this girl and what he would do for her.
Bryan: Yeah I would fight for you
I'd lie for you
Walk the wire for you
Yeah I'd die for you!
Sage: Yeah, I know that's supposed to sound romantic and everything, but to me, he's just coming off like this douche.
(Cut to: Some random YouTube video of a shirtless guy who looks a lot like Miles Teller, holding a camera two feet in front of his face.)
Random Douche: I love you more than there are grains of sand. On every beach. Of every planet. Of every galaxy of the universe.
(Cut To: A live performance of Stevie Wonder)
Sage (VO): Now, there are many ways to write a love song, and really, no one way is better than the other. You can take the poetic and smooth route like Stevie Wonder's "Golden Lady", a song that I dare anyone to hear and not immediately find their significant other and go to town.
Stevie: See the heaven in your eyes is not so far.
I'm not afraid to try and go it.
(Cut to: the music video for Bennett's next mention.)
Sage (VO): Or you can take the sincere and earnest route like Gotye's "Save Me." A dismantling song that would sound desperate if it weren't made achingly clear that he not only means what he sings, but is grateful for her.
Gotye: And you saved me.
Yeah, you saved me.
Yeah, you saved me.
Sage: Highly effective love songs, the both of them. But as Peter Cetera and Bryan Adams proved, not the most profitable.
Sage (VO): Just sing about promises that you will never have to keep and empty gestures that mean nothing in today's age. Then rack in the mad middle-aged housewife dollars. Rinse. Repeat.
Sage: To be honest, I think I hate the concept for "(Everything I Do) I Do it For You" more than the song itself. If this is what the majority thinks that love should sound like, no wonder the divorce rate is so high.
Sage (VO): Still, semantics aside, this is a wretched song, one that sounded the doom for what would be the utter wasteland of Early 90s Soft Rock.
Sage: Remember every unbearable, cheesy soft rock song you heard from your parent's radio when you were a kid? Yeah. Ya got this douche to thank! I think you two have plenty to talk about.
Bryan: I do it for you.
#5 [edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 5
Sage: And here we have the first in what I like to call the "This bullshit hit Number One?!", category.
(Cut to: The video)
Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley.
Will To Power
Suzi Carr: But don't
Cause your love.
(Bennett looks at the camera, utterly confused, before it shows another clip from "High Fidelity" with John Cusack's character, Rob Gordon, standing outside a nightclub.)
Rob: Is that Peter fucking Frampton?
Sage: Um, no Rob. That's Will to Power, a Miami group that took its name from a Nietzsche manuscript. (Beat) For some reason.
Sage (VO): Every once in a while, the charts belch out a hit that just mystifies everyone involved. And such was the case of "Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley."
Sage: Oh, did I not mention this was a medley?
Bob Rosenberg: Cause I'm as free as a bird now.
And this bird will never change.
And this bird will never change.
Sage: Ha! Wow! That's just. Wow!
Sage (VO): Not only did they drag both songs into the miasma of late 80s synth schmaltz, but they had the fucking balls to put both of them together. Really, what does sewing these songs ass to ass do for the number as a whole?
Suzy: I love your way!
Bob: If I leave here tomorrow.
Sage: Hell, they're not even good covers by themselves, and putting them together as slap dash as this just smacks of laziness.
Sage (VO): I guess if I stretch my brain, I can understand the appeal of an even softer version of "Baby, I Love Your Way." But I don't know anyone in their right mind would want a soft rock cover of "Free Bird." Just mentioning that makes me shudder.
Sage: Though there are worse offenders of iconic rock songs.
(Cut to: A live concert of Miley Cyrus singing Nirvana's "Smells like Teen Spirit." An idea so confounding and shudder inducing that Bennett later adds a caption saying "Yes, I assure you this is real.")
Miley: With the light's out
It's less dangerous
Here we are now
Sage (VO): Still, I will admit my jealousy of producer Bob Rosenberg's mustache and Boromir hair combo. He almost looks like a Nicolas Cage character that we never got to see. And while I'm being complimentary, Suzy Carr (The one who can actually sing) doesn't do a half bad job.
Sage: Out of curiosity, I looked up what both of them are doing today. And it turns out not much.
Sage (VO): Well, I assume not much because finding information on these two is more difficult than a Number One hit group should be. Last I heard, Bob Rosenberg is still keeping the band alive with revolving members. But the last album they released was in 2005.
Sage: And as far as Suzy Carr goes, well, the less I say the better.
(Cut to: A cut together montage of random clips of Suzy Carr in modern days that includes stuttering clips and repeats that makes it come across as a low quality YouTube Poop more than anything else.)
Sage: (Cringing from the bizarre video beforehand) Yeah...
#4[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 4
(Cut to: the next video)
Chris: Let me talk to you
Tell you how it is
Thinking when I saw that body
Gotta get shawty
Sage: Again, you've got 2005 to blame.
Sage (VO): Considering where he is right now, it's almost surreal to think that Chris Brown's career started almost ten years ago when he was 16. And yet, even at the very earliest of his career, Chris Brown was nothing but a mugging chucklehead, stretching his very few talents as far as they can and skirting by on the inexplicable goodwill of his fans.
Sage: That he was a woman beating cockstain would have to come later of course, but that incident only stoked the coals, as far as I was concerned.
Sage (VO): True story, when I was going through every Number One hit and I came across this song, I initially didn't know what it was. And then I played it and the memories came rushing back.
Chris: If he ain't
Let me know
Let me see if you can
Girl indeed I can
Sage: For the longest time, I didn't know what this song was called. All I knew was that I hated every single second of it. But, now that I know that the beast has a name, it's time for some critical karma.
Sage (VO): Everything about this song seems specifically designed and engineered to piss me off. That patently awful Scott Storch beat. Chris Brown's simpering and whiny voice. That grinding and seemingly endless song progression and of course.
Sage: The most weak sauce rap breakdown in pop history!
Jules Santa: Make it drop honey
Make it pop honey
To the clock for me
Don't stop doing that
And shawty know I mean what I say so she won't stop doing that.
Sage: Yeah, this guy's name is Jules Santana. And his name is taking up precious brain space that I can be using for a more worthwhile endeavor. Like remembering how to finish my- (Notices he's staring at the camera and pauses for a while to come up with an alibi) Sausages!
Sage (VO): This may be going on a tangent here, but I always thought that Chris Brown was the world's warm up for Justin Bieber. And I rest my case with the "Run It!" video. Which seems to be having a love affair with Chris's insufferable sneering face.
Chris: Is ya man
On the floor?
If he ain't
Let me know
Sage: (Literally an inch away from the camera and doing it this in a whiny voice to the tune of the song) Nyah Nyah Nyah! Nyah Nyah Nyah! Nyah Nyah Nyah! (Going back to normal) Oh God, I gotta stop there! (Leans back and covers his face with his hands) (Muffled) Holy shit. Jesus. (Back to normal) Even when I'm mocking him, it makes me feel like I'm a braying douchebag!
Sage (VO): I guess there is a comfort, the kind that only continuity can bring, in knowing Chris Brown was always an asshole. The sun always rises in the east. The Astros will never win the series. Chris Brown is a human shaped turd.
Sage: Things you can set your watch to.
#3[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 3
Sage: Going back to Todd here, when I was watching his "Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2004" list, I was invariably waiting for him to eviscerate what would wind up being my number 3. That he didn't put it on the list at all still confounds me to this day.
(Cut to: The video)
Ciara: You may look at me and think that I'm
Just a young girl.
But I'm not
Just a young girl.
This is what I'm looking for.
Sage: (Confused) Why, Todd?
(Cut back to Todd in his usual set up.)
Todd: Because it's not that bad?
Sage (VO): You're trying to tell me that this horribly sampled, wince inducing train wreck is "Not that bad?!"
Todd: (Beat) Yeah.
Sage: (Beat before pointing off screen) Get the fuck off my show.
Sage (VO): What was it about "Goodies" that got so many people to crank that shit up? Was it Ciara's whimpering, barely there voice?
Ciara: Just because you drive a Benz
I'm not going home with you.
You won't get no nookie or the cookies
I'm no rookie.
Sage: Was it that inane chorus that just seemed to go on and on ad infinitum?
Ciara: I bet you want the goodies.
Bet you thought about it.
Got you all hot and bothered.
Mad cause I talk around it.
Sage: Or was it that dentist drill sound sample that would never. Fucking! STOP!!!
Petey Pablo: You still won't have a pinup in a fabulous room
On her back pickin' out baskets of fruit.
(I love you boo)
Yeah freaky Petey love you too.
You know how I do..
Sage: But let it be said that I am one to find the silver lining in all things. Yes, this song is all kinds of terrible, but there is one part of the video that I always go back to.
(Cut to: The part of the video with an arrow pointing to one of the random dancers.)
Sage (VO): This guy. Right here. What is his deal? What does he do? Why is he looking at Ciara like he's staring at a plate of ribs? Is it racist for me to think he's staring at a plate of ribs? I'd make that face if I were staring at ribs. Who doesn't like ribs?
Sage: It's these deep, pondering thoughts that keep me up at night. (Pause) Otherwise this song is a shitpile, though.
#2[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 2
Sage: Now what makes a song popular? A catchy chorus. A beat so you can sing along. Working with Timbaland. Well, those are all fine answers. But what makes a song THE most popular?
(Cut to: the video)
Timmy: It's been a long time since you left me
I didn't mean to make you cry.
Sage: (Giving the look that goes along with the response) Really?
Sage (VO): This ugly sounding, completely hack, by the book, charisma free sludge hit Number One? Really?
Sage: Apparently, all you had to do in the early 90s to top the charts was completely suck.
Sage (VO): I'm going to go out on a limb and say most of you have never even heard of this song before. And are probably wondering who the hell this guy is.
Sage: Well, let me be the one to introduce you to Timothy Torres. Better known by his stage name, Timmy T (Snickers).
Sage (VO): As far as I know, the guy had only two albums released, the last one being in 1992. And, last I heard, he was co-hosting radio in San Diego around 2006.
Sage: But enough about the man. What about his music?
Timmy: It's been a long time since I've kissed you
It always used to feel so good
(Bennett is asleep at his chair and snoring rather loudly.)
Sage (VO): (still snoring before jarring awake, grunting and groaning as he does.) Oh, sorry folks. But this song has just nothing going for it. Poor Timmy here picked the absolute worst pre-set beat on his Casio possible and paired it with an awful Dubstep sounding bass line.
Timmy: One more try
I didn't know how much
I loved you
One more try
Let me put my
Arms around you
Sage (VO): Not to mention that this song and its premise has been done to death, and not only did Timmy T NOT bring anything new to the table, he doesn't even bother trying and sings nothing buy trite clichés.
Sage: It's like he's singing lines he read out of a Hallmark card. No, no wait I-I take that back. Because Hallmark would try harder than this!
Sage (VO): During the 90s, Billboard's charts weren't very indicative of the popularity of a given song, since the industry began phasing out singles in favor of radio play. It wasn't until the late 90s that Billboard began factoring in airplay into their Hot 100 charts.
Sage: Which more than explains Timmy T here. He got to hit Number One because of a fluke in the system!
Sage (VO): "Don't Speak" may have been the most popular song of the decade, but it's "One More Try" that gets to hit Number One! Now I fucking know what Johnny meant when he said...
(Cut To: A clip from "The Room")
Johnny: I'm fed up with this world!
Sage: I promised myself that I would never. EVER. Make "Room" references! See what this song has reduced me too?! Still. There is, One. Worse. Song. Than this. (Breathes in) LET'S DO THIS!!
#1[edit | edit source]
Sage (VO): Number 1.
Sage: Looking back on my list, I am surprised with myself with how it came out. I mean, before this list took shape, I was dead set sure that "Hollaback Girl" would be in the Top Five. But that's the thing about making a list, what you expect is often not the case. Still, I knew that there was only ONE choice. For the worst song to ever hit Number One.
(Cut to: The video for the final entry)
D4L: That Laffy Taffy
That Laffy Taffy
Sage: The existence of this song is nothing short of baffling. It's like, a compendium of everything awful about music at the time.
Sage (VO): An insultingly simple beat. A rapper whose flow makes him sound like he's crying.
D4L: Girls call me Jolly Rancher
Cause I stay so hard
You can suck me for a long time
Oh my God!
Sage: And stupid, awful lyrics that never stretch beyond sex and candy metaphors.
D4L: Girl shake that Laffy Taffy
That Laffy Taffy
Shake that Laffy Taffy
That Laffy Taffy
Sage: Is Laffy Taffy supposed to be a woman's butt? (Pause) How?
Sage (VO): All of that, coated with a chorus that never seems to end. It just goes on. And on. And ON!
Sage: Take a wild guess when this song was released. (Pause) If you said anything other than 2005, you're just trying to mock me.
Sage (VO): Sure, "Laffy Taffy" is everything I said it was and even more, but the main reason why it's my Number One is because it's the only song that has the complete package. There is absolutely nothing redeemable in the way the song sounds, how it was written, how it's performed, and yet, was still popular enough to hit Number One!
Sage: By the way I measure bad songs, this makes it a front runner for the worst song ever recorded! It belongs in the pantheon of terrible music. Along with the likes of "Mesmerize."
(Cut To: The video for that song)
Ja Rule: Your hips
Ashanti: I love it when you thug me baby
Ja Rule: And I can't
Sage: "American Life."
(Cut to: The video for that song)
Madonna: I do yoga and Pilates
And the room is full of hotties
And I'm checking out the bodies
Cause you know I'm satisfied.
Sage: Or anything by Limp Bizkit!
(Cut to: The video for Limp Bizkit's cover of The Who's "Behind Blue Eyes." Oh, how I wish I was making that up)
Fred Durst: No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
Sage: Oh, if only that had hit Number One!
(Back to the original video)
Sage (VO): Congratulations D4L! Your song "Laffy Taffy" may be the worst song in Hip Hop history. And definitely one of the worst songs I've ever heard! I'm sure you're proud of yourselves.
Sage: But our countdown isn't over yet. So stay tuned for part two of our double feature, as we count down the Top 20 Best songs, to have ever hit Number One. Till next time.
(The final frame of the video is shown)
Todd in the Shadows
Bad Call TV
Seriously. I've been researching and writing these videos since February. I am so sick of "Laffy Taffy" right now.