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Worst New Wave Song

Worst New Wave Song
July 08, 2007 02:24PM
My nomination goes to "Teenage Enema Nurses in Bondage" by Killer Pussy, which is playing on Radioio80s right now.

Although "Harley David (Son of a Bitch)" by the Bollock Brothers is playing now, which would give that song a definite run for its money. I'd be willing to nominate the Bollock Bros as the Worst New Wave Artist overall. Did they do anything worth listening to?



Post Edited (07-08-07 13:11)
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 08, 2007 05:24PM
anything by Bananarama or Duran Duran
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 08, 2007 07:10PM
Bananarama's first album was really good, and their second album was okay. Duran Duran's first album was okay and their second was really good. But both groups definitely took a huge nosedive after album #2. SEVEN AND THE RAGGED TIGER is one of the most unlistenable albums of all time.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 08, 2007 07:57PM
It depends on the definition of "new wave"--i.e., whether you're using the original, late-70s concept (that I believe Ira would adhere to, though I won't speak for him) or the more popular usage of it as '80s synth rock cheese with bad haircuts. If it's the latter, then I vote for

Baltimora's "Tarzan Boy":
[www.youtube.com]

Haircut 100 should be in the running as well:
[www.youtube.com]

*I realize these are thematically linked by the guy in the Tarzan outfit swingng on a rope (and displaying his package in a really disturbing way) in the Haircut 100. That is not intentional.

The Tubes' "Sushi Girl" would also make my short list.

(I was a teenager in the '80s and graduated h.s. in '87, so I absorbed a lot of junk of this ilk. One band that I liked more from this era than I care to admit was the Blow Monkeys, whom Ira absolutely lays into in the TP entry. I still find them pretty darn good--almost as good as the Style Council [for whatever that's worth] and consistently better than Culture Club.)



Post Edited (07-08-07 19:48)
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 09, 2007 02:02AM
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 09, 2007 05:56AM
I liked The Blow Monkeys. Still have the cassette somewhere.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 09, 2007 07:32AM
D-Day - "Too Young to Date"
Flying Lizards - "Money"
Tonio K. - "The Funky Western Civilization"
The Nails - "88 Lines about 44 Women"
The Waitresses - "I Know What Boys Like" (it must be something other than nasal singing)
Soft Cell - "Sex Dwarf"
Jim Carroll - "People Who Died"
Captain Sensible - "Wot"
Anything by Altered Images (boys don't like squeaky-voiced singing either)
Anything by Haysi Fantayzee (musical brain-rot at its worst)
Total Coelo - "I Eat Cannibals"

And my choice for the last scraping from the bottom of the barrel:

Toni Basil - "Mickey"

Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 09, 2007 01:04PM
that looks like a good playlist to me, time to update the ipod!
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 09, 2007 01:21PM
The exact opposite of this topic - RadioIO80s is playing "Absolute Beginners" by the Jam right now, and good Lord, it makes my heart feel good to hear it.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 09, 2007 03:20PM
You're a TP reader, Delvin?! I agree w/madisdadi, that's a list of classics! (except for the last few, agree about "Mickey"). I'd say anything by Missing Persons.

But I also like "Harley David (Son of a Bitch)" - I'm a big Serge Gainsbourg fan and that's a cover of one of his tunes. Admittedly, the song doesn't sound so vulgar if, like me, you don't speak much French.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 09, 2007 10:10PM
I gotta take Delvin's back on "People Who Died" - I've always found that one to be one of the most annoying songs ever.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 10, 2007 12:51PM
The original configuration of GOLDEN AGE OF WIRELESS definitely belongs on the out of print travesties list. Not only were "Urges" and "Leipzig" yanked and a cruddy remake of "Radio Silence" substituted for the great original, but the sequencing was completely reshuffled, so that the album no longer led off with the great one-two punch of "Europa and the Pirate Twins" and "Flying North." Plus, a great album was saddled with an annoying single that didn't fit with the tone of the original album. (Although "One of Our Submarines" was a good addition.)

Dolby is someone who definitely would have been better off never having a hit. Without one, he would be remembered as an excellent songwriter who humanized synth-pop as well as anyone other than OMD. With his hit, he became an 80s one-hit-wonder more remembered as a joke than for his great first (original version) album and a partially great second one.

Speaking of OMD, "If You Leave" saddled their legacy with more baggage than they deserved, also. Before it, they were seen as important musicians who managed to make experimental music accessible; after it, just another bit of John Hughes soundtrack trivia to most people.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 10, 2007 02:24PM
Same could have been said of Simple Minds as OMD, Breno.

In fact, I'd say moreso with Simple Minds. In OMD's case, at least one song on Crush ("Secret") presaged the sound and vibe of "If You Leave".

In Simple Minds' case, the difference from Sparkle in the Rain (one of my 80s faves) to New Gold Dream (I really WANTED to like it) was even more dramatic. Bridging the gap is the perfectly likable "Don't You Forget About Me."

Thanks for the Dolby comments. I couldn't agree more that Science hurt his legacy. I'll now have to seek out the songs omitted from later pressings of Wireless.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 10, 2007 02:48PM
I agree with Simple Minds, but New Gold Dream came before Sparkle in the Rain. Did you mean Once Upon a Time? That's the album where Jimmy Iovine got ahold of them and turned them into a bland, bloated mainstream band.

Although I have to say, I heard "Alive and Kicking" the other day and it didn't sound as bad as I remembered it did. But I'm sure that's the same nostalgia factor kicking in for college that makes me feel affection for Supertramp's Breakfast in America now - I loathed it in high school, but like hearing songs from it now every so often cuz it reminds me of high school.

And I guess my comment on Dolby being "better off" all depends on perspective. From a music geek perspective, how his legacy is perceived is very important. From the perspective of his bank account, I'm sure Dolby himself is quite happy with how "Science" affected his career.



Post Edited (07-10-07 11:55)
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 10, 2007 03:04PM
I saw Dolby play a cafe at SXSW this past March. He seemed quite happy to play "Science," and the audience - which ranged from grizzled old-timers to middle-schoolers - also dug it.

As far as his bank account goes, he's made more money from the software he developed that's in something like 80% of all cell phones than he ever did playing music, hit single or no. That said, "Science" at least got him into the public eye and probably gave him the initial financial freedom to shift from music to the risky area of software development.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 10, 2007 03:23PM
Yes, the radio station here played Submarines and Science from the EP back then, so I ran out and got the EP. When I finally heard the version or Science from Wireless, it was so bad, I thought the radio station (this was one in NJ) had mucked around with it. I really liked that EP back then. I remember that same (the DC one) station played some 'old' Dolby which I have never heard since - wonder if that the two omitted songs?

For worst new wave song - Kajagoogoo "Too Shy"
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 10, 2007 03:37PM
That's true - I keep forgetting that the album version of "Science" is an edited version, and that the one on the EP was superior.

Amazing how they managed across the board to make every single aspect of the re-release of WIRELESS inferior to the original.

Except the cover - I always preferred the old pulp magazine-looking cover of the reissue to the kind of bland photo on the original US album.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 10, 2007 03:23PM
Yep. Meant Once Upon a Time. Brain is working in low gear, as New Gold Dream is a fine album (though I think they really filled its promise on Sparkle). Once Upon a Time is not without its moments, but "bland" and "bloated" aptly describe the bulk of it.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 11, 2007 09:17AM
IIRC, TP's archived review of Once Upon A Time is spot on. Certainly the record I hate the most. (Teenage sense of betrayal and high treason. Don't ask.)

Worst song, although it may be a stretch to call this "new wave", is the same band's lovely melding of Love Song, Dance To The Music, and Sun City, from the 1987 double live set. Lots of things go wrong in that one.

Other hearty stabs at bad include:

Duran's Wild Boys, Culture Club's The War Song, and a handful of post-'83 Human League tracks, although I actually quite like The Lebanon, if I just treat the lyric like Liz Fraseresque word paintings.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 09, 2007 06:43PM
Delvin wrote:

> D-Day - "Too Young to Date"
> Flying Lizards - "Money"
> Tonio K. - "The Funky Western Civilization"
> The Nails - "88 Lines about 44 Women"
> The Waitresses - "I Know What Boys Like" (it must be something
> other than nasal singing)
> Soft Cell - "Sex Dwarf"
> Jim Carroll - "People Who Died"
> Captain Sensible - "Wot"
> Anything by Altered Images (boys don't like squeaky-voiced
> singing either)
> Anything by Haysi Fantayzee (musical brain-rot at its worst)
> Total Coelo - "I Eat Cannibals"
>


was supposed to be worst new wave songs, not best...

i love most of those and i dig the blow monkey's scene, too!
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 09, 2007 07:17PM
Never could stand "She Blinded Me With Science". I think I dislike it even more with the passage of time because it won't go away. It's a song that people think of when they think New Wave.

Funny thing is I like almost everything else on Thomas Dolby's first couple albums. I'd be happy to hear "Europa and the Pirate Twins", "Screen Kiss" or "One of Our Submarines" instead, to name just three, on the local 80s weekend.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 10, 2007 04:08AM
elektrics - some lovin' tonight
she's got bette davis eyes

i like banarama's aie mawanah

some may think medium medium is bad new wave - but i like it
[www.youtube.com]
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 10, 2007 06:08AM
Yep, I'm a loyal TP devotee. But, as Steve once asserted, I'm also the class nerd, so it's all good. I'm glad I could stir people up here just a bit.

The songs on my list may be classics to some, but they're incredibly annoying to me. And I think you'd have to search pretty hard to find a more irritating song than "Mickey" in any genre.

I agree with ratboy, up to a point. I don't hate "She Blinded Me with Science." But I do think it's kind of sad that the song remains the one most associated with Mr. Dolby. That usually happens with hit singles, of course, but any song on his first two albums (and his Blinded by Science EP) is better than that one, IMO.

I remember being really disappointed when The Golden Age of Wireless was re-issued, with "Leipzig" and "Urges" replaced by "She Blinded Me with Science" and "One of Our Submarines." Two marvelous songs, sacrificed for a hit single ... and one that was already available on an EP, at that. It made me glad to see "Leipzig" and "Urges" included on his Retrospectacle CD.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 10, 2007 11:44AM
Hey Delvin, I gotta say that I came a bit late to Dolby because of my feelings about Science. I didn't know Submarines was a substitute from the original recording (I know the TP review says this, but my brain is like a sieve). Doesn't seem like it would be too much to ask in the CD age to put the missing songs back on the CD, like the Church did with the CD release of Of Skins and Hearts.

I have heard (was that on this BB?) the version of Radio Silence on Wireless, which I like quite a lot, is not the original but an inferior version. Any opinions?

BTW, I part ways with you on "People Who Died", but I'm right there regarding everything I've heard from Tonio K (which admittedly is not a ton).

Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 10, 2007 04:32PM
I bought the original Golden Age of Wireless and the Blinded by Science EP. So when Wireless was reissued, I saw no reason to buy it. I wasn't aware that the version of "Radio Silence" was different (let alone worse) on the reissue.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 10, 2007 04:50PM
I didn't know, either, until I found the CD in a bargain bin a couple of years ago. Then I basically shrieked in horror when I heard the atmospheric original turned into the worst kind of syncopated new wave pap.

I eventually managed to track down a digital copy of the original version, and have since been able to burn myself a copy of the album in its original order with "One of our Submarines" tacked on at the end.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 11, 2007 05:55PM
So bad it's good: Lawn Chairs by Our Daughter's Wedding
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 12, 2007 03:11PM
Oh, c'mon people: There have to be at least 3 more points to add to this Thomas Dolby exegesis. . .
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 12, 2007 03:19PM
Yeah, how come nobody mentioned the noise-reduction technology he pioneered as a mere child?
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 12, 2007 04:32PM
And that opening to "Budapest By Blimp" is suspiciously similar to the Dolby-produced "Desire As" by Prefab Sprout. Yes... I am reaching.

Dolby ain't no Avril Lavigne and the Sprouts ain't no Rubinoos.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 12, 2007 05:08PM
do Starship count when they wore their new wavey clothes?
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 12, 2007 06:33PM
Madisdadi, just what is and is not New Wave can be pretty hard to pin down. if non-New Wavers who adopted bits and pieces of the style count, there's a whole world of Phil Collins and nuggets like Mr. Roboto that come into play. Maybe rightfully so. And I'm not even quite sure what the cutoff date would be. The song "Two of Hearts" by Stacy Q if memory serves is one of my most hated ever. It's sort of in a post-Madonna New Wavish synth-pop vein. But it was very late (1986?) to be lumped in with New Wave.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 12, 2007 06:00PM
The main thing I learned from all of this is that I don't know *shit* about Thomas Dolby. I thought I knew a little, but I was wrong. It was very humbling.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 12, 2007 07:06PM
Wazmo Nariz - "Telephone"
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 12, 2007 11:18PM
Ooh, Wazmo Nariz!

Oh, man... I'd nominate another Wazmo Nariz tune- "Checking Out the Checkout Girl" for worst new wave song. Some may question the New Wave-yness of these guys, but I've never cared for Translator's "Everywhere That I'm Not". Also, I hated "Eighties", by Killing Joke from the first moment I heard it.

I've been giving this topic some thought, and I have no idea what qualifies as New Wave. Probably something from '78-'85, usually with some amount of irony and/or pretension involved?

I've always thought the first 3 or 4 Peter Gabriel solo efforts sounded more "new wave" than most Talking Heads.

Then again, when I was 16, I found the live Simple Minds medley (and album) to be positively sublime.

At one point in the mid- to late-eighties, a friend of mine (who I ended up marrying many years later) was going to see Depeche Mode, with OMD opening. I thought this utterly ridiculous, as anyone with an ounce of sense would realize Depeche Mode should be opening for OMD.

BTW, to further impugn my credibility, I l-o-o-o-ve "AEIOU Sometimes Y".
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 12, 2007 11:29PM
i like a, e, and i
o and u are okay
but fock y
he has no business with the others

new wave is:
short hair instead of long
rebelling against fossil rock instead of rebelling against establishment
bright colors and straight-leg jeans
youth
synthesizers at least as important as guitars
guitars not necessarily required
sweet defined sounds instead of fuzzy, distorted
get to the hook; no drum solos
fey is okay
guys must be able to sing falsetto
metro; gender lines cans be blurred
overdo everything; there is no over the top
no: acoustic
yes: videos
safer than punk rock
engages females equally (by either having female bandmembers or pin-up male members as opposed to 70s standards)



Post Edited (07-12-07 21:54)
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 13, 2007 12:59AM

>
> new wave is:
> short hair instead of long
>

new wave mullet:
long, short, long.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 13, 2007 09:01PM
> I've been giving this topic some thought, and I have no idea
> what qualifies as New Wave. Probably something from '78-'85,
> usually with some amount of irony and/or pretension involved?

Weren't you a TP reader? Browse the covers archive, and you'll learn when the New Wave was officially declared dead.
Re: Worst New Wave Song
July 14, 2007 12:04AM
Considering (name genre here) has officially died some (number more than 10 but less than 1437) times since (a year in the 20th century), I think I'll stick with around 1985.

Thanks from the guy who's listening to a Goo Goo Dolls song ("Eyes Wide Open") on Pandora wondering "did I somehow miss something Westerbergian?" before feeling like a complete idiot upon the realization it's actually the damn Goo Goo Dolls. I got your music genome right here, Pandora... Ah, but then Pandora vindicates itself with The Hellacopters.
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