The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

21 April 2004

That 70s crap

Humanity's "most pointless decade," says Andrea Harris, was the 1970s, and this pointlessness is reflected, to painful effect, in its popular music:

[O]ther decades had crap songs too, but I won't post them here, because the crappiness of crap songs in the Seventies was a special kind of crappiness, that transcended (or something, perhaps whatever is the opposite of "transcended") the crappiness of, say, "Shiny Shiny" by Haysi Fantayzee or "Come On Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners, I'm not sure why. Bad songs in the Seventies had that special je ne sais quoi that no one has been able to reproduce.

I have been known to defend "Seasons in the Sun," even the inappropriately-bouncy Terry Jacks reading — I mean, this is Jacques Brel, despite a set of horribly Rod McKuen-esque English lyrics by, well, Rod McKuen, that mostly miss the point — but then, I am considered a few degrees off plumb.

My own list of Really Bad Songs is here. By probably no coincidence, of the twenty selections therein, fifteen date from the Seventies.

Posted at 8:05 AM to Tongue and Groove


TrackBack: 2:19 AM, 24 April 2004
» Educating Mike On The Virtues Of Music from Insults Unpunished
Mike has a great discussion of music going on over at his site. He doesn't like the 80s and doesn't even seem to like the 70s *shudder*. Here's my contribution:Mike, And to think I just listened to those Hillbilly Hellcats......[read more]

I actually loved "Come On Eileen."

Music is so relative. What is crap to one is the decade's memory come alive to another.

Posted by: Vickie at 11:33 AM on 21 April 2004

I think you can find someone to defend just about every terrible record ever made — very often, me — but a few songs seem to be consensus picks for Worst of the Worst.

And our preferences do shift over the years: a lot of stuff I used to like, I don't ever want to hear again.

Posted by: CGHill at 11:47 AM on 21 April 2004

I think that, with time, the memories mellow. Maybe. I dunno. I've become somewhat of a 70's Schlock Music aficionado -- I think it's hilarious and at the same time, nostalgic. Ahhh yes, a simpler time. When picking up hitchikers and having sex with them in your Chevy Van was not exactly life-threatening. Or something.

But -- Built This City by Jefferson Starship is one of the songs I think I'll NEVER be able to abide.

Posted by: Emma at 4:24 PM on 21 April 2004

Well...Come On Eileen came out in the 80's...around 85 or 86 I believe. The 70's can't be blamed for that one (but I like that song).

I love 70's music, I am not ashamed to admit it!
I just love music period. The time a song comes out is irrelevant.

I have stated before that I believe I am so fond of the 70's and its music is because it takes me back to a good time...prior to being a teenager when puberty & its worries took over. Going to my grandmother's on the weekend, riding my bicycle outside until dark...ah, those were the days!

Posted by: Christy at 9:36 PM on 21 April 2004

By this logic, I should be obsessed with 1961.

Oh, wait. I am. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 9:44 PM on 21 April 2004

Re Built This City: When those lowdown hijackers in Sacramento bought the Kansas City Kings and moved them to The Land of Whatever the Heck Sacramento Has, somebody did a song parody that went "We built this city on basketball."

As hilarious as it was nonsensical, but it sure put the original song in its place.

Posted by: McGehee at 7:41 AM on 22 April 2004

Erm, that would be "somebody in Sacramento." I rather doubt folks in KCMO were making song parodies about losing the Kings. I'm not sure many people there even noticed the departure...

Posted by: McGehee at 7:42 AM on 22 April 2004

Playing corporation games, were they?

Posted by: CGHill at 8:04 AM on 22 April 2004

To the best of my knowledge the Kings' home court in Sacramento is still called ARCO Arena, suggesting that they're not always changing corporation names.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:48 AM on 23 April 2004

And just to be fair, I tracked down a copy of "Shiny Shiny" by Haysi Fantayzee last night.

It was indeed wretched.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:30 AM on 24 April 2004