Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Worst Song Ever Recorded?

So, yesterday I was in Wal-Mart for the first time in months (in fact, the same Wal-Mart I was last in, the last time I was back here in my hometown in Arkansas), when over the loudspeakers they played "I've Got a Brand New Pair of Rollerskates". Which just goes to show that while the good music of the sixties and seventies is always with us, so too are the bad. And among the bad, for the worst of the worst I would cast my vote for "I've Got a Brand New Pair of Rollerskates, You've Got a Brand New Key". There may be worse songs out there (it was, after all, the era of Yoko Ono), but this is the worst I know of that actually got a lot of air time before slinking into well-deseerved obscurity.  It was almost worth hearing it one more time for the pleasure of when it stopped.

--John R.
currently at: The Greek Theatre, Southern Arkansas University

So, I have to say Wal-Mart more than made up for it when I went back the next day, and heard Tears for Fears playing over that same sound system. Then I have to wonder what Smith and Orzabal would think  if they knew their work was one day destined to entertain Wal-Mart shoppers in Magnolia, Arkansas. Just another sign that you do the work and let the legacy take care of itself.


N.E. Brigand said...

Two Tears for Fears songs found new life when they were covered (relatively) recently for film soundtracks. "Mad World" was performed by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules for Donnie Darko (2001) and "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" was redone by Lorde for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013).

Believe it or not, Melanie's "Brand New Key" was a bigger hit in 1972 than either of those Tears for Fears songs were in 1982 or 1985, respectively, although they probably had the more successful careers overall.

John D. Rateliff said...

Speaking of covers of old songs for movie soundtracks, I have to give a shout out for Regina Spektor's beautiful orientallized version of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", which play over the (also beautiful) closing credits to KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS. In fact, I think those closing credits would have made a stunning trailer for the film itself.
As for Tears for Fears, they're a favorite of mine, though one of the few songs they did that I don't like is "Everybody Want to Rule the World". Pity it was their biggest hit and gets played more often than any of their songs that I like much more.