The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

7 January 2003


One of the very first pages on this site, going all the way back to May 1996, was titled Bottom 20 of the Top 40. It was, as you might have guessed, a list of twenty tunes which at the time I thought had been insufficiently reviled.

Now appearing at Solonor's Groovy Grove is a list of Worst Songs, a list far more extensive than mine and which includes some songs I would actually defend if no one was looking (Terry Jacks' take on Jacques Brel's "Seasons in the Sun", which, as English-language versions go, is far better than Rod McKuen's, and it's McKuen's lyric, mostly), some songs I sort of enjoy (Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes"), and some songs I dearly love (almost anything by the Four Seasons, but "Dawn" in particular).

That said, there are two songs that get top dishonors from both of us: Paul Anka's creepy "(You're) Having My Baby" and the Captain and Tennille's chirpy "Muskrat Love". If you own a radio station and these are on your playlist, this is why we're listening to your competition.

("Judy's Turn to Cry"? The nerve.)

Posted at 1:02 AM to Tongue and Groove

A local radio station, the one I listen to the most (CD101.COM) decided it would be fun to do a countdown of the top 2003 most requested songs since the station started some twenty odd years ago (what were they thinking?). They began on Jan 1 of course and they still haven't quite finished. As you can imagine though, those first several days were excruciatingly painful.

Posted by: Marc at 6:15 AM on 7 January 2003

BTW - thanks for nominating me in Michelle's contest!

Posted by: Marc at 6:15 AM on 7 January 2003

How many requests would the 2003rd most requested song have gotten? Even one?

Heck, there are stations that haven't played 2003 songs total in twenty years, I'd bet.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:40 AM on 7 January 2003

I think when you get down to that 2003rd-most-requested level, you're talking about never-requested songs where the record label offered old expired Pall Mall cigarette coupons as the best payola they could justify for that particular tune.

Posted by: Kevin McGehee at 10:12 AM on 7 January 2003

I tend to believe that payola didn't actually start to work with any degree of regularity until it was officially outlawed. In the pre-Alan Freed days, when all manner of incentives got offered to DJs to push a tune, there was no reason to keep track of such things. Today, while "independent promoters" funnel bucks toward increasingly-narrow playlists, the bribers are demanding tangible results from the bribees.

Posted by: CGHill at 10:50 AM on 7 January 2003

From Charles' list: Human League, (Keep Feeling) Fascination.

NO. This is blasphemy. That song is *wonderful!* Phil Oakey's deep, booming voice, the ladies' singing, the powerful synths, the lectronic trumpets...

Posted by: DavidMSC at 9:05 PM on 7 January 2003

Yeah? Must be your copy. Mine sounds like the Shaggs at the wrong speed.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:08 PM on 7 January 2003