I have never quite understood the utter hatred some people have for this song:
Yeah, it’s dumb, and it’s a long way from the Sixties/Seventies greatness that was Jefferson Airplane/Starship. But Worst Song Ever? Not even:
Blender magazine may have erred in 2004 by labeling it the “worst rock and roll song of all time,” at least in any universe in which John Lennon released “Imagine.” Their dissection of it as corporatized synth pop masquerading as social commentary is mostly accurate, of course. And they are quite correct in saying that its lyrics are silly rhyming couplets masquerading as profound insight (although the person who has never felt “knee-deep in the hoopla” has never attended a committee meeting).
But the same things can be said about some of the best rock and roll songs of all time, too (Substitute “most favorite” and “least favorite” for “best” and “worst,” if you prefer). If I had to pinpoint what I think is the reason “City” is so lousy, it’s because it takes itself and its genre so seriously. Rock and roll didn’t build San Francisco — and you could make a good case that the popular culture of the ’60s represented by Starship when it was still Jefferson Airplane didn’t build much of anything.
They were, after all, the Ship of Fools.
And in the three years since Vevo provided the video to YouTube, 96 percent of the thumbs are quite definitely up.