Claire: Welcome to Week 2 of our February love song extravaganza. We’ve done Top 5 Love Songs, had our first ever guest post with Top 5 Alternative Love Songs, and now it’s time for my personal favorite, Top 5 Worst Love Songs (or what not to woo anyone with, ever). Get ready for a few more weeks of love, lust, loss, Lionel Richie, and other musical goodies brought to you by the letter L.
“She’s a Lady” by Tom Jones
An upbeat, misogynistic number by America’s most revered lounge lizard (Wayne Newton, it’s over. You heard it here first.), Tom Jones. This, like much of Jones’ body of work, sounds like it was written for the soundtrack of an early 80s romantic comedy. Here’s the scene: Hot chick in day-glo shoulder pads enters the restaurant in slo-mo (and you know that restaurant has a salad bar and oddly placed palm tree like plants, cause shit is CLASSY). Jaws drop, weirdly tan guy in a suit (read: Tom Jones) who’s watching her enter leans back approvingly and nods (That’ll do, shoulder pads. That’ll do.)
Lets take a look at a couple choice moments from this song:
- “She’s never in the way” and “I can leave her on her own, know that she’s okay alone, and there’s no messin’” : These lines sound like they should be followed with a chorus of “She’s a toddler”
- “And I don’t abuse her!”: He says this twice, guys. Congratulations?
- “Woah woah woah” and “Na na na”: You get ONE. One sound. Get it together, Jones.
“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship
Mannequin is a touching love story about a man who can’t handle relationships with humans so he gets it on with a mannequin and nobody thinks that’s weird. It features Hollywood power players “That-guy-who-did-not-deserve-Molly-Ringwald-in-Pretty-in-Pink” and “That-lady-from-SATC-who-said- ‘Lawrence of My Labia’-and-ruined-both-the-movies-and-Arabia-for -me, forever.” Damnit Kim Cattrell. This is the creepy theme song for their “man meets and marries doll” love story. I first heard it at the “Delocated Variety Hour” show a few weeks ago with Ben Gibbard singing into a voice modulater while watching Jon Glaser go to town on a mannequin. So it was pretty magical.
“Every Breath You Take,” by The Police
A love song that says “Stalking is neat!” and “Sting is gonna getcha!” Come on everyone. Stop playing this at your wedding, stop using it on shows and in movies when characters finally fall in love, just stop it. No. Listen to the lyrics just one time and you’ll know that a song about a heartbroken dude who is watching you sleep and breathe is not romantic. It’s scary as hell…just like Sting.
“I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” by Meatloaf
Full disclosure: Much to my parents’ chagrin, I loved this song when I was a kid. But that was just because the video is awesome and it’s live action Beauty and the Beast and explosions! Explosions! Anyway. Basically, Meatloaf will do anything for love, but he won’t do a bunch of stuff that nobody would want him to do anyway. I swear at one point it quotes graffiti I read on a bathroom wall in high school, (“Some days I just pray to the god of sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll”). And I know Meat Loaf came first, but trust me: Fourteen year old boys with sharpies were writing similar sentiments in bathroom stalls way before the early ‘00s. They were also saying earnest, hormone-addled things like “But I’ll never forgive myself if we don’t go all the way, tonight” since cave-boy first invited cave-girl to come over and make out in his basement. Meatloaf, you’re too old for this. Do all the stuff you said you would do and leave it at that.
“I Want it that Way” by the Backstreet Boys
In 1998, the Backstreet Boys decided that they were so important that they no longer had to use sentence structures or themes or any basic songwriting staples. They weren’t excelling on these points before, and they were making Scrooge McDuck levels of cash, so at a band meeting one day, the awkwardly old one said “Hey guys, lets just say words and dance.” And the non-threatening to girls one said “Why don’t the rest of you have to have ponytails? It’s 1998. This is not a thing anymore” And the one in the hat said “We can just say the words ‘heart’ and ‘you’ a lot so preteen girls get confused and think a) we’re singing to them and b) we’re super deep?” And really Christian guy and Nick Carter agreed, and it was so. Here’s a link to the lyrics. Enjoy.
“Crash Into Me” by Dave Matthews Band
This is one of those songs that falls under straight up creepy, akin to “Every Breath You Take.” It’s masked, however, by a very beautiful and relatively hard to play chord progression and Matthews signature wilting voice. But he’s essentially talking about stalking the girl he’s in love with and admitting to having wet dreams about her! What did you think “come into you / in a boy’s dream” meant? Maybe if he had spelled it “cum” or “skeet” we all wouldn’t have been suckered into thinking this is song is pretty and sexy. I actually like that. The next time a pretty woman asks me to play this song (it’s always the really pretty ones who like this song [often blond]) I’m totally replacing “come” with “skeet” and we’ll see if that changes how she hears the song. Or if she slaps me in the face.
“Baby, I Love Your Way” by Peter Frampton
Oh man, this is a boring song. He talks about different types of light for like 6 verses then follows each up with a very nonsensical chorus. To what way does he refer? The way she does what? Because, Mr. Frampton, the way you’ve done this song is boring, straight down to the chord progression. And Rob Gordon was wrong, even Lisa Bonet couldn’t save this one.
“I Just Called To Say I Love You” by Stevie Wonder
Speaking of High Fidelity, the boys in the shop had it right with this one. No one wants this song…which is basically a calendar. He boldly takes us through each holiday month by month and reminds us, in a precursor to Rebecca Black, that January is followed by February and March is after that. And the worst part? Stevie Wonder is a musical genius and yet this song sounds like it was knocked up in ten minutes on a Casio keyboard with multiple MIDI sounds and a drum machine and a robot voice. Talk about phoning it in, Li’l Stevie.
“Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton
All I want to say about this song is it would far more interesting if he had answered truthfully and said, “No, honey, you look like you’ve gained a bit of weight.”
“Your Kiss is On My List” by Hall and Oates
Oh, Hall and Oates. Does anyone really want to get a love song sung to them b a creepy dude with a 70’s pornstar mustache? Or does this answer that question?