I have learned three things while listening to the radio during my drive from New York to Bonnaroo:
1. The radio is terrible.
2. I can save HOW much money by switching my insurance to Geico?!?
3. The radio is really, really terrible.
But seriously, the radio is REALLY terrible. My rental car doesn’t have an iPod outlet, and I sadly forget to bring my CD binders that I haven’t touched in five years along with me, so for the 13-hour drive, I’m left to rely on the Crazy Ira and the Douches of the FM world. It’s maddening, especially because the same damn songs are played after time after time (including “Time After Time”). There’s something reassuring, I suppose, in 99.5 The River in Albany, New York, playing “In Your Eyes” at the same time as 103.4 The Skunk in Salem, West Virgina, but actually, no, there’s not. As someone who grew up listening to classic rock radio (i.e. songs recorded between the 1960s and 1980s), here are eight songs that should be taken out of the rotation…forever. *toilet flush* *awoogah*
“Crocodile Rock” by Elton John
The “la la la” section has been known to cause insanity in both man and beast. Rock died with “Crocodile Rock.”
Song We’d Rather Hear: “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters”
“The Joker” by Steve Miller Band
Steve Miller Band is drug rock for people who don’t take drugs and hate rock ‘n’ roll, with “The Joker” being the worst offender. It’s inanity comes across as so smug and so self-satisfied that it’s impossible to enjoy. I mean, just take a look at the single’s cover — it’s like the band hired the world’s cheapest Marlon Brando lookalike to sell their REBEL SO COOL MAN image. It didn’t work.
Song We’d Rather Hear: “Fly Like an Eagle” by Seal
“Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2
It’s become cool to hate U2 in recent years, ever since Bono began claiming he takes the world’s biggest sh*ts, but that’s not giving the group nearly enough credit: Boy and October are solid albums, as are Achtung Baby and Zooropa (yes, I’m a Zooropa apologist). Even The Joshua Tree used to be tolerable, until rock radio began playing half of the album’s songs every hour on the hour. “With or Without You” and “Where the Streets Have No Name” can still sound effectively epic, but not “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” Never “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” It yearns too hard for something it never comes close to reaching.
Song We’d Rather Hear: Sunday Bloody Sunday
“Should I Stay or Should I Go” the Clash
“So, what kind of music are you into?”
“Oh, I dunno. I love Springsteen, Neil Young, the Clash.”
“Yeah, the Clash are great. What’s your favorite album?”
“I’m not sure, actually. Which one has “Should I Stay or Should I Go” on it? That song’s SO punk.”
“Uh…it’s not Combat Rock. What are your thoughts on Sandinista!?”
“Never heard of it.”
“*head explodes in anger*”
Song We’d Rather Hear: Anything from The Clash or London Calling or Sandinista!
“Spirits in the Material World” by the Police
“Spirits in the Material World” sounds like a parody of a Police song. Its new age lyrics are nonsensically terrible, and between the lazy melody and dispirited synth, it’s clear Sting phoned this one in in-between yoga sessions. And he was never heard from again. The Dream of the Blue Turtles? Never happened.
Song We’d Rather Hear: “Can’t Stand Losing You”
“Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison
Van Morrison is one of the great lyricist and singers in rock history. Astral Weeks is a masterpiece, and very few artists could master as many genres, from R&B to soul to Irish rock to gospel, as Van the Man has. And yet, the first song mentioned in his obituary will almost certainly be “Brown Eyed Girl.” It’s not a bad song, per se, but it’s not indicative of his career as a whole — it’s a goofy fluke, not a career-defining three minutes of pop goofiness.
Song We’d Rather Hear: “Saint Dominic’s Preview”
“Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
That Neil Young “diss” was embarrassing then, and it’s downright shameful now.
Song We’d Rather Hear: “Tuesday’s Gone”
Everything by the Eagles
All of them. “Hotel California.” “Take It Easy.” “Desperado.” ALL OF THEM.
Song We’d Rather Hear: Something not by the Eagles.