For the last two years I have, with the help of Phoenix FM listeners and staff, run a poll and found what we believe to be the worst song from the 70s (J.J. Barrie – No Charge) and then from the 80s (Anita Dobson – Anyone Can Fall In Love), so it’s only right that this year we should look at what is the the worst song from the 90s.
For the last month I have been receiving nominations and suggestions of songs and here is the final list of 20 songs for this years poll and trust me, this could be the hardest year to date! We have many artists from all around the world this time so, unlike last year, it may not be a UK winner. The result will be announced at the beginning of December during my show and the final poll will be put on here.
- RULES – What I need you to do is look at the 20 songs below (there are links for a small 30 sec sound clip, just click the artist and song title then click again on the next screen and it should play) and then tell me the worst two. Can you please nominate your worst song first then the second worst. You can do this by replying at the foot of this page, you can add me to Facebook (Gary Casserley) or email in firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are the 20 songs and I dare you to listen to all the clips!
- Rotterdam Termination Source – Poing Right lets tell you how this song came about, as one of the producers got out of bed one morning,a spring in his mattress made a noise, he heard this and thought I know, if I put a drum beat to that I could make a record and low and behold Poing was born (allegedly). It eventually reached No.27 in The UK charts back in 1992 and I have never met anyone yet who bought the song! As you may tell from the groups name, they come from Holland. I bet their country is so proud of them.
- Doop – Doop Back in 1994 this song was a huge hit in the UK reaching No. 1 in the charts (As many of this list did!). Based around the Charlston dance from back in the 1920s, the same piece of music just being looped for three minutes. Just to add a bit extra to the song, someone sings the word “Doop” over and over again. The band decided to call themselves Doop in honor of the masterpiece that they had created and check this out…….they also come from Holland (The dutch obviously making a strong challange to win this poll).
- Teletubbies – Teletubbies Say Eh-Oh Tinky Winky, Dipsy, La La & Po. The Teletubbies are the first UK act in this poll and they were supposed to be the ultimate childrens programme, something small children could relate too. What on earth were they thinking?? Four rather large…..”things”, one of which carried a handbag!! With antenna’s stuck on their heads, TV screens for stomachs and hardly spoke a word of English apart from each others names. Just to add insult to injury, Simon Cowell decided in 1997 it would be a great idea to get these four…..”things” to release a single and guess what, yep, the Great British public bought it. In fact we bought 317,000 copies in its first week. It stayed in the charts for 29 weeks, (2 weeks at No. 1) selling a grand total of 1.3 million copies in the UK alone!!! and this is a frightening statistic, as of November 2012 this was the 83rd biggest selling single in UK chart History……………….REALLY????????
- Bombalurina – Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Polka Dot Bikini I have to say that UK childrens TV has a lot to answer for. In 1990 we had programmes like “Wacaday” with presenter Timmy Mallett. Although very irritating, the kids liked him. But in August 1990 Timmy Mallett plunged to new depths. He was vocalist (and I type that with tongue in cheek) for Bombalurina, and they decided to cover this classic Bryan Hyland track. The song was given the worst 90s treatment possible with “Ah Yeah’s” heard throughout amongst other things. I dare say Mr Mallett had to have his voice auto tuned as well! Itsy Bitsy went to No. 1 on the UK charts and stayed there for three weeks which in fairness, was a much better performance than Bryan Hylands as he only reached No. 8 with the song back in 1960.
- Steps – 5,6,7,8 Now for the third Uk act in a row. This was the debut single for Steps back in 1997 (I’m beginning to dislike this year, first Teletubbies and now Steps) and thus I blame this song for inflicting years of Steps upon us. A Line dancing song which proved extremely popular with people who struggle to count from 1 to 4 as they could sing along to the chorus of “5,6,7,8”. It is the only single by Steps to fail to make it into the top 10 in the UK charts, peaking at a rather poor No. 14. This song also has the strange fact that although it sold over 300,000 copies, it was the biggest selling single of the 90s NOT to make the top 10 of the charts.
- Aqua – Barbie Girl Who would have thought that a song about some kids toys would do so well. Aqua (from Denmark) decided to write this song about the doll Barbie and her boyfriend Ken and it became a massive world wide hit selling just over 8 million copies (upto nov 2012) 1.79 million in the UK alone!! It spent three weeks at the top of the chart back in 1997 (Now i really dislike 1997!!) which then prompted the makers of the Barbie doll to then take a lawsuit out against the band. Now this is a song that divides people BIG STYLE. In one poll it was voted as 4th best No. 1 ever, and yet it appears in many worst song ever polls too. This was the first of three No. 1 singles in the UK for Aqua and without a doubt, the most annoying.
- Right Said Fred – I’m Too Sexy Well what can i say about this one. Three blokes affectionately known as Right Said Fred released I’m Too Sexy back in July 1991 and it spent 6 weeks stuck at the No. 2 position (no jokes about number 2’s please!!) The song is basically about a model who believes he is just about too sexy for anything. Now in fairness, when this song came out it was very popular however it soon started to get on peoples nerves and as thus, is now regarded as one of the worst songs from the 90’s. (Before anyone asks…..NO its not my theme tune OK!) One impressive fact for you though……it won an Ivor Novello award for the most played song !!!
- Los Del Rio – Macarena Oh dear God what have we here. Its the no less than the Spanish entry for this poll. It was recorded in 1992 and it took four years, and some English lyrics to be written and a dance routine (which to this day i still cant fathom how to do), before it became a hit in the UK. Its one of those songs where within the first five seconds of hearing it, everyone knows what it is. Although nominated by numerous people for this poll, the song is still danced to at parties to this day (I have witnessed this myself). It did reach No. 2 in The UK charts back in 1996.
- Billy Ray Cyrus – Achy Breaky Heart Here we have the American entry for the worst song and its a strong contender. Not only did Billy Ray Cyrus give us Achy Breaky Heart but he is still inflicting torture on us to this day with his daughter Miley Cyrus. Anyway, back to the song. Billy released this country song back in 1992 and due to the video, the line dance craze really took off. The song was originally written for a band called the Oak Ridge Boys but they turned it down due to its title. Achy Breaky Heart reached No. 3 on the UK charts for Billy Ray and is still his biggest hit to date. Oh and BE WARNED, if you listen to the sound clip, you will be singing it over and over again.
- Lou Bega – Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of. Ladies & Gentleman we present to you the German entry for this poll (Yes Lou Bega is German!!) Mambo No. 5 was originally an instrumental track by Perez Prado written back in 1949. Bega took the song to No. 1 in the UK charts back in 1999 after some lyrics were written to go with it. The worrying question is, if this is Mambo No. 5 What happened to Mambo’s 4 , 3 , 2 & 1 and are they any better? Lets just pray he doesn’t write Mambo No. 6!
- Mr Blobby – Mr Blobby Now, kids loved Mr Blobby. He started life on an evening tv programme called Noel’s House Party (So i suppose we have to say he is from the UK) as part of the “Gotcha” feature, and then made regular appearances on the show. Mr Blobby the single was released in December 1993 and went to No. 1 for one week before being knocked from the spot by Take That (Hurrah I hear you cry BUT wait!) It then went back to the No. 1 position on Christmas day 1993 for a further two weeks. The song won a poll in 2002 for being the worst ever Christmas No. 1. If you have never heard it before (your lucky), Mr Blobby can only say his name and nothing else (and there was me slating the Teletubbies for that) and so had to be joined by some children singing all about this lovely pink ……thing, with yellow spots (please, no comments about my description ok). Now i’m sure you cant resist listening to the clip!
- Celine Dion – My Heart Will Go On Celine Dion……now where do I start with this one? Ok lets look at her stats, she has sold over 200 million albums world wide, she won the 1988 Eurovision song contest for Switzerland (which is quite a feat actually as she is from Canada), she has won various awards including 5 grammy’s and has had 2, million selling No. 1 singles in the UK charts. Pretty impressive I hear you say.So why is she in this poll? Its because of the film Titanic and in particular, its theme tune “My Heart Will Go On”. At the end of the film the boat sinks with the band still playing, oh how we wished the band jumped off and Celine was on the ship still warbling this song as it went down the two and half miles to the bottom of the ocean. Even actress Kate Winslett has said when she hears the song “It makes me want to throw up”, and she plays one of the main rolls in the film!! Now believe it or not this song has some impressive background. It is Celine Dion’s biggest selling song, it was the WORLD’S best selling song in 1998 and is one of the biggest selling songs in the history of music. In the UK it spent two weeks at No. 1 selling just over 1.48 million copies.
- Babybird – You’re Gorgeous I have to confess I have a personal dislike of this record. Nothing personal against Baby bird, they are from the UK, just the song. Lets look at the lyrics, “Remember that tank top you bought me”. Right, first off how many songs can you name that mention a “Tank Top”? Second, who would be impressed if their girlfriend bought them a tank top? Third, would you write a song telling everyone that you even own a tank top? Finally, Who wears tank tops these days??Then it goes on about being filmed on a car bonnet with his knees hitched up and pulling his legs apart and he gets paid £20 for doing it!! The song is pure filth and out of touch with modern fashion trends and on that basis it deserves to be in this poll, Rant over! Released in 1996 it somehow (And dont ask me how) managed to get to No. 3 in the UK charts.
- Westlife – I Have A Dream In December 1979 this song went to No. 2 in the UK charts for Abba and we can accept that. What we cant accept was Westlife’s version that became Christmas No. 1 in 1999. Just think, in years to come people will be looking in time capsules for the end of the millennium and they will find a Westlife CD single…..OMG!! This remake is dire, lets be honest. It was released as a double A-side (if you can say that about CD’s) with another cover version, this time Terry Jack’s – Seasons In The Sun. Westlife tried to jazz up the old Abba song but maybe its me but I think a female Swedish accent sound’s better singing it rather than some Irish guys.
- Cliff Richard – The Millenium Prayer Oh now here we are entering a different level of quality. Sir Cliff Richard no less. Surely he cant do no wrong? OH YES HE CAN. Just listen to this if you dare. Now its not easy for me to defend anything about this record apart from the fact it was never meant to be released as a single. Sir Cliff (Legend) was signed to EMI records, one of the largest and most established labels, even they refused to put the song out. It went out as a charity single on an independent label. Its basically the words from the Lords Prayer set to the music of Auld Lang Syne (but they just dont quite go together). This was in fact No .1 in the charts for two weeks in 1999 before being knocked of the top spot by Westlife’s – I Have A Dream (Do we celebrate that or not?). Now for some facts… it was Sir Cliff’s 14th Uk No. 1 single, his 112th hit overall and his third highest selling single of his career (WHAT!) and just to rub salt in the wound, it won an Ivor Novello award for the biggest selling single of 1999. (I thought 1997 was bad but 1999 is certainly churning out some rubbish songs)
- Eiffel 65 – Blue (Da Ba Dee) Here we have the Italian entry for this years worst song poll. Another No. 1 from 1999!! (What a way to end the millennium, makes you proud to be British) Now some may say its not that bad a song, why is it in this poll, so lets look at the song more closely. The song is a bout a man (nothing wrong with that) who lives in a “blue world” (bit strange) and that he is blue “inside and outside” (I wonder if he takes medication for that). Most of the items he owns are blue too, his house is blue and so is his car (O.C.D. springs to mind now). So now to the irritating bit, the Chorus. “I’m blue” (brace yourselves) followed by numerous repetitions of the words “da ba dee, da ba di” over and over again. Its almost as if they were fed up writing and couldnt think of a chorus, I can see them now “OK so we have Im blue, now what? Ummmmm hmmmm da ba dee, yeah, now lets do ummmmm I know, da ba di. Cool, then what? Errrrr oh stuff it, just keep repeating that”. Thats why it deserves to be in this poll.
- Gazza & Lindisfarne – Fog On The Tyne Footballers really should stick to football. Lindisfarne (from Newcastle upon Tyne) wrote the song in 1971 but although released as a single, it was never a hit. Now jump forward 19 years to 1990. Geordie boy Gazza (Paul Gascoigne if you didnt know) agreed to “sing” (I use that term very loosely) a reworked version of Fog On The Tyne and renamed it Fog On The Tyne (Revisited) along with Lindisfarne. Gazza was in his prime at the time and the song went to No. 2 in the UK charts (dont ask me how). So does it deserve to be in this poll? Well, we have so far had songs about tank tops and with meaningless words like da ba dee, but Gazza bought a whole new meaning to naff lyrics. This is the first line he sings “Sittin’ in a sleazy snack-bar stuffin sickly sausage rolls” I rest my case.
- Mr Oizo – Flat Beat So far we have had entries from Holland, Uk, Denmark, Spain, America, Germany, Canada, Ireland, Italy and here is the final foreign entry for this poll……The French. Mr Oizo (or Quentin Dupieux as he is known) went to No. 1 in (oh i might have guessed) 1999 with this song. It was used in a Levi jeans ad with the aid of a yellow hand puppet called “Flat Eric”. In the video for Flat Beat, Flat Eric can be seen “headbanging” along to the bass line. This spent three weeks at No. 1 in 1999 and is one of 25 instrumentals to top the UK singles charts, therefore I have no lyrics to whinge about. What I can whinge about though is the annoying tune and bass line that is just repeated for over three minutes (God help us if there is a 10 minute version!). Im sure the only reason this went to the top of the charts was so people could watch Flat Eric’s headbanging on the video!
- Robson Green & Jerome Flynn – Unchained Melody Robson & Jerome rose to fame in the mid 90s when appearing on the TV programme “Soldier Soldier”. During an episode they were seen singing Unchained Melody and for days after, the TV company were bombarded with people asking how they could get hold of the song. I have no grudge with either Robosn Greene or Jerome Flynn, my grudge is once again with Mr SIMON COWELL who decided to get them to release the song!! Unchained Melody stayed at No. 1 for 7 weeks in 1995 and was the biggest selling song of the year, selling 1.86 million copies (and no doubt put more pennies in Mr Cowell’s pocket’s). Les Baxter, Jimmy Young and Al Hibler all had hits with the song in 1955 but the most well known version is the Righteous Brothers who went to No. 14 in 1965 and then to No. 1 in 1990 after it was used in the film Ghost. All I will say is this, listen to the Righteous Brothers sing this song and then listen to Robson & Jerome and you will understand why they are in this poll.
- Vengaboys – Boom Boom Boom Boom Last (and possibly least!) its the final entry this year. We started off with a Dutch artist and we end with one, The Vengaboys. Now, some facts: they were not formed by, have ever featured or have anything to do with the Arsenal football manager. Boom Boom Boom Boom was released in(Oh what a surprise) 1999 and spent a whole week at No. 1. They had another No. 1 in 1999 with “We’re going to Ibiza”. (I think we can safely say 1999 has to be the worst year for music EVER). In 2001 furniture company DFS used this song on their TV adverts and say that sales went up 10 percent (can only be that people thought if we hurry up and buy something, they will stop running the advert). This is Europop at its finest and an annoying song that, if your not careful, will stick in your mind for seconds!!
So there you go, 20 of the worst songs from the 90’s. Remember vote for two songs, the worst song first and the second worst song, second. Thanks for taking part and the result will be announced the second week of December during my Getting You Home show.