Ten songs that should suck, but don’t

A lot of these songs, if not all of them, are from the 80s which was a truly suck ass decade regardless of what VH1 would have you believe.

In no particular order:

1. My Own Way, Duran Duran. This song should suck a mighty cup of Earl Gray but John Taylor’s driving bass line keeps it funky and out of Suckland. Plus, Simon LeBon’s line, “I saw you at the air race yesterday, April showers get out of my way.” The air race? Huh? Whatever an “air race” is it sounds pretty fucking cool. Also it makes me think of that lady on the Rio album cover.

2. Another One Bites the Dust, Queen. I heard this song for the first time in a long time coming home from work last night. It has this nice little funk rhythm going on in the background while F. Mercury barks out the lyrics. It’s fly, for sure. Hey hey!

3. Snow Days, Trip Shakespeare. Now you’re thinking, “Who the fuck is Trip Shakespeare and why do I give a shit about snow days?” They’re a band from Minnesota. Disbanded now. One of the singers did that song “Closing Time”, who our friend Barbara, thinks is nasty. Anyways, one of the singers is such a nerd that he belts the song out, as a snow day should be announced, “It’s COMING DOWN! When your roads are patrolled by children, there’s NO ORDER TO BE FOUND!”

4. Big Country, Big Country. I don’t remember what I was going to say about this song when I wrote it down but it sure is good. I remember some sci-fi kids in junior high writing a short story around it. Pretty good story too. I think one of the authors is a transsexual now.

5. Rosanna, Toto. Man. This song has everything! It’s what Meatloaf always wanted to do, but couldn’t because he sucks and is too serious to do anything cool. I remember it as the song at the carnival one summer–just blasting over the midway. All the cool carnival types walking around in their jean cut off shorts.

6. Black Cow, Steely Dan. Everything Steely Dan does is awesome but a song about a root beer drink? Should sink right to the bottom of the Suck Sea. What saves it? The razor sharp lyrics cut it away from its suck anchor, “In the corner, of my eye. I saw you at Rudy’s, you were very high. You were high. It was a crying disgrace.” Oh and they’re musical arrangements are tight. Yes. Tight.

7. Islands in the Stream, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. Kenny R. starts this song out, but by the time Dolly comes in on the second verse, Kenny is just left in the proverbial vocal dust, holding his jock.

8. True Colors, Cyndi Lauper. I’m not a big fan of the chorus but the verse is good and makes me feel a little like I might have something precious to give away.

Well. That’s my list. Didn’t make it to ten, but oh well. You get the point. Please feel free to add to it.

11 thoughts on “Ten songs that should suck, but don’t”

  1. “Come On Eileen” is not sucking although others might think so. It still gets a lot of play and I love it.

    “Dixie the Tiny Dog”–hilarious, sang from the first person (dog) point of view. Too cute to suck–although I think this is 90’s.

  2. The whole lyrics–on Cities Sampler in 1994 (I think) – it’s so cute:

    I’m a tiny dog named Dixie
    I have small feet which pitter patter on the Linoleum floor
    You can hear my toenails in the middle of the night.

    My tag says I belong to the Johnsons but they don’t own me they just feed me they just bought me one day

    No one owns me I am Dixie the Tiny dog.

    And in the middle of the day I sit in the sun and I hear young children call me a weiner dog-perhaps thats what I am-the Germanic tern is daschund and I like that

    I’m thin and I’m proud, no one can make fun of me.
    I can slip throught the bars of a prison if I were ever incarcerated but I don’t know what I would do wrong-my body yields no evil inclination.
    I’m a pure weiner dog.
    My name is Dixie and I go dancing cross the floor in the evening of the Johnsons when everyone is sleeping, sometimes I look for a morsel of food but they are so clean, they are almost anal retentive in their cleanliness habit and there is nothing for me. But I don’t despair because I know tomorrow my gaines burger will be there and they will unwrap the plastic from them and feed me this succulent dish and I will eat and oh I’ve watched the German shepherds with their long necks, thier graceful necks dipping into the toilet to drink whenever they want to have a drink of cool water in that well but I must plead, I must beg I must whine for Mr. Johnson to put out my bowl or one of the Johnson boys to refill it after I drink it because I am Dixie the dog and I like water.

    And in the middle of night you can see me dancing a small Fred Astaire tap dance with my little toenails they go click click click against the linoleum and I run down the hall and I slide and the back of me goes in front of me-slowly

    I’m long and I’m thin
    I’m Dixie the tiny dog and I like it.

  3. Ted – A lot of MN bands made it big during the 80’s -Prince, the Jets, Gear Daddies, Husker Du,The Replacements, JayHawks,Lipps Inc, Soul Asylum,the Suburbs -so if 80’s music suck – then big name MN groups suck… Say it is not true… you gotta love that local talent…

  4. I like Trip Shakespeare and Prince. I like some of The Replacements. The rest of those bands, suck.

    It’s possible to be from Minnesota and completely suck. I try to remain unbiased despite the local ties.

  5. I know I’m a week late here but I just have to chime in that the 80s really did suck and that 80s nostalgia thing that’s floating out there in the ether is such total crap. Sure there were a few redeeming events and people but in general it was a terrible decade. I wont rehash that further here.

    Oh and also the Jayhawks dont completely suck. That guys voice can be annoying if you listen too long but the song writing can be pretty good at times.

    Do the Pixies count as an 80s band or a 90s band? I know there are some other bands and songs that should be coming to mind but I can’t think of any this morning. I think of the 80s and Whitney Houston comes rushing back.

  6. Uh huh Kari. I hear that. Dude. Regan. The 80s. Yuck.

    Yeah. The Jayhawks suck pretty badly but I’d consider them more of a 90s band.

    The Pixies. Sigh. I like them and all. They got a couple good tunes, but they can suck eggs badly at times. I like some of the Frank Black and the Catholics albums but I think people list The Pixies as a favorite band just because listing ThePixies as a favorite band gives you some sort of cred.

  7. Of course they can suck badly at times. That is part of their charm. And that is part of what made them so great: they didnt care if they sucked. They were just balls to the wall, mad crazy noisemakers.

    I dont know about the cred thing. For a decade I was the only person I knew who even knew who they were, let alone listened to them regularly. To this day I dont really know anyone else who listens to them as much as me. Funnily enough, most of my musically knowledgable friends dont care for them. Maybe that’s what you mean, they have become one of those bands people list as an influence but dont really bother listening to.

    IMO the best FB&TC album is Black Letter Days, followed by Pistolero. We may differ on that, you have slightly different taste than me. It wouldn’t surprise me if you like Show Me Your Tears more than I do.

    This morning because of this post of yours I was thinking about Journey and that album of theirs that was so big back in the day. The one with Dont Stop Believing on it. I think I have that on cassette somewhere.

    Yeah, you know. Topics never die with me around.

  8. Sometimes when bands suck badly it is because of recording contracts that have gone sour. My favorite FB&TC album is “Dog in the Sand”. I like Black Letter Days but it doesn’t have enough punch.

  9. Suck is pretty subjective here, kind of like taste. I like Pizza you don’t…
    It sure fostered some notable bands in the 90’s. I won’t say great becasue that would be IMO.

    But it is your website… so I’ll defer to the site commissar’s taste as supreme …

    Twenty years from now – I’m sure present day bands will be considered “sucky”.

    Class of ’86 – I was there, hair styles definitely forgettable…

    And Reagan… the best Prez of the 20th Century bar none. But of course that is dependent on your definition of best… and for whom…


    (except for Truman, http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/ht33.html
    Roosevelt, http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/fr32.html
    all great defenders of capitalism)

  10. Well, I will be showing my age here, but I still thrill to “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” by Cher. I love the arrangement. And she really sells it!

    I can always tell when I’m PMS-ing if I hear “Wildfire” by Michael Murphey.

    And, I’m sorry but Ann Murray has a really beautiful alto voice, “A ‘nice bottom,’ as my died used to say.

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