The Top 10 Greatest Songs By Bad Artists

October 23, 2008

You don’t necessarily have to have talent to get famous these days. In fact, stars of the stage and screen have been tricking us (Tom Cruise, we're lookin' at you) for a long long while. Music is no different. Even untalented artists have gotten lucky enough to take part in some pretty awesome projects. Being at the right place at the right time seems to have more to do with a person’s success than their actual skills an artist.

10. "These Boots Are Made for Walkin" by Nancy Sinatra

Nancy didn’t have the greatest voice on the planet, but she did have the right attitude/sex appeal to get the job done on tracks like “Bang Bang” and Lee Hazlewood’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin.” So why is she on the list? It’s because she was a legacy in the music industry and is extremely overrated as a singer. Period.

First off, Nancy didn’t write any of her own hits and she was more of a sex symbol than anything else. The production of her ‘60s hits are unbelievable, but I would assume her daddy had a little something to do with that.

I'm also convinced that these songs would have done well no matter who sang on them. People would eat anything up if it came out of a hot blonde chick. If Nancy wanted to be pop star today we would totally tear her down for being a little rich girl trying to ride into the music biz on her famous family's coattails.

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9. "Are You Gonna Go My Way" by Lenny Kravitz

It pains me to write this, but when this song originally came out back in 1993 I was kinda into it. With all the grunge stuff at its peak, it was nice to see some throwback ‘60s rock on MTV. Even if he was a complete Jimi Hendrix rip-off, Lenny seemed like he had some actual talent.

Of course I was wrong, but who knew this dude would go on to sell his sex appeal to desperate housewives around the globe? It’s funny how a little fame can make you do things you never thought possible.

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8. "My Prerogative" by Bobby Brown

I still don’t understand how Bobby’s Don't Be Cruel was the best-selling album of 1989. I guess it is pretty impressive for a guy who can’t sing very well.

I do love me some B. Brown, but all of his songs were completely fueled by the production. Even though the dude could bust out some dope New Jack Swing dance moves and drive the ladies wild, it didn’t hide the fact that he wasn’t and never would be a true soul/R&B singer/musician. I can’t deny that his bad boy attitude was unique for the time, but that sh*t can only get you so far. Whitney Houston apparently has a taste for that sorta thing.

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7. "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger

If anybody out there is thinking that Night Ranger had some other good songs like “Don't Tell Me You Love Me” and “(You Can Still) Rock In America” you really need to chickity-check yo self before you wreck yo self.

Musically, Night Ranger did have some serious talent. "Sister Christian" is proof of that, even if there are some seriously cheesy aspects to the song. It’s just a damn shame they chose to use the rest of their musical skills to make diluted power rock bullsh*t. This band totally played a part in helping legitimate arena rock (Queen and Cheap Trick) transform into horrible hair metal. We all know how that ended.

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6. "Cry Me a River" by Justin Timberlake

I’m probably going to get a lot of sh*t for this choice, but I really don’t care. In my opinion, “Cry Me a River” is one of the few JT songs that isn’t a complete rip off of Prince or Michael Jackson.

First off, "Cry Me A River" is a darn good pop song. It actually attempts to push pop music forward, unlike a slew of other songs that try to mimic classic icons of the genre. Timberlake does have a few other songs that have some fresh producing tricks and non-Michael Jackson-like choruses, but they all pretty much blow.

The people that insist that this man has talent are just sad individuals who are hankering for a true pop star. It took a white boy 20 years to copy what Michael did back in '83. Boo freakin' hoo.

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5. "Working for the Weekend" by Loverboy

This band easily has one of the dorkiest lead singers of all time. Either way, in 1981, they were able to squeeze out an epic power pop masterwork. Well, sort of.

The cheese factor of this song is quite high, but it tends to get the ladies a movin’ on the dance floor. I also have a soft spot in my heart for this tune due to the classic SNL Chippendales skit with Chris Farley and Swayze.

This also has to be one of the best karaoke songs on the planet...

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4. "In Da Club" by 50 Cent

I’m really hoping that 50 Cent will go down as the most overrated MC of all-time. Back in ’03, people made it seem like this guy was going to be the next great lyrical genius. Turned out he was just a good businessman willing to sell his clichéd hip-hop story for any price at the drop of a hat.

I love it how the "In Da Club" video shows Curtis being put together like hip-hop’s Six Million Dollar Man. Unfortunately, Dre and Eminem created a fake, watered-down version of Tupac that seemed dangerous, but was just an actor knee-deep in "The Method."

50 was cool for about three seconds and "In Da Club" was the beginning of the end in my opinion. This was as good as it got. It’s just a dope Dre beat mixed with a semi-hungry Fiddy trying to take over the rap game. It’s an undeniable hip hop classic. I can’t believe I just typed that. Apparently Vitamin Water makes you think stupid nonsense.

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3. "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor

This band is so cheesy it’s unbelievable. Lucky for them the Italian Stallion needed some serious power chords to fuel him for his rematch with the unstoppable Clubber Lang.

 

2. "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield

Don’t hate, you know you love this song.

I really gotta give it up to Ricky on this one, even though this dude was and still is a total cheese ball, he kinda brought the heat with his 1981 power pop classic “Jessie’s Girl.” He even rips a nasty lil’ guitar solo (3:14) all by his lonesome. Not bad for a soap opera actor. It’s a shame he went on to ditch his rock n’ roll roots and go the synth-pop route.

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1. "Rapper’s Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang

I am very aware that this 1979 track "started it all." It's well understood that Wonder Mike, Master Gee and Big Bank Hank threw down some of the most influential party raps off all time, but everything this legendary group did after “Rapper’s” pretty much blew the big one. “Eighth Wonder?” “Showdown?” Pretty lamez. “Apache” might be the only decent track after “Delight” and that’s sayin’ a whole hell of a lot.

My other big problem with this song is the fact that most of the lyrics on the track were stolen and then used as if they were original. Big Bank Hank of Sugarhill once managed Cold Crush Brothers legend Grandmaster Caz (Casanova Fly) and used almost all of Caz’s rhymes for his classic verse. One example: "I'm the C-A-S-A-N-O-V-A and the rest is F-L-Y". Caz was the Grandmaster with the three MCs, not Hank. There are only three MCs in Sugarhill to begin with! Idiot.

Tell 'em, Caz...

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Honorable Mentions:

"Ice Ice Baby" - Vanilla Ice

"Gangsta's Paradise" - Coolio

"Walking With A Ghost" by Teagan & Sara

"Funkytown" - Lipps Inc.

"I’m Alright" - Kenny Loggins

"Cruel Summer" – Bananarama

"Take On Me" - a-ha

"Umbrella" - Rihanna

"Beat My Guest" – Adam Ant

"I Wanna Sex You Up" - Color Me Badd

"Caribbean Queen" – Billy Ocean

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