10 Worst Songs of the 1970s

The 1970s were a great decade for albums. Acts like David Bowie, Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, and Led Zeppelin released a swathe of great records. Amongst all the great music, however, plenty of abominable songs also made it onto the airwaves.

I only lived through the last few months of the 1970s – the songs I’ve chosen were still in rotation decades later. Reviled songs like ‘Muskrat Love’, ‘Disco Duck!’, ‘Feelings’, ‘You’re Having My Baby’, and everything by The Osmonds were mercifully out of favour by the time I was an avid music listener.

Here are ten 1970s songs that make me shudder whenever they’re played. They’re mostly about alcohol or misguided romance.

10 Worst Songs of the 1970s

#10 Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett

Imagine James Taylor straitjacketed into a talent-sapping Hawaiian shirt, exiled to a Florida beach, and franchising his songs into businesses. That’s my impression of Mississipi-born Jimmy Buffett, also known for other artistically questionable songs like ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ and ‘Why Don’t We Get Drunk [and Screw]’. “Living on sponge cake” is a great opening line – but any mystique that ‘Margaritaville’ generates is killed by the line “looking for my lost shaker of salt”.

#9 Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton established himself as a legendary guitarist over the first few years of his career. The Bluesbreakers, The Yardbirds, Cream, and Derek and the Dominoes all recorded great material, featuring Clapton’s searing blues guitar. In 1971 Clapton recorded a searing rocker, ‘Layla’, about his infatuation for George Harrison’s wife Patti Boyd. By 1977, Boyd was Clapton’s partner, and all he could muster was an insipid song about watching her dress.

#8 Escape (the Piña Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes

‘Escape’ only just sneaked onto this list – it was the final US #1 single of the 1970s. It feels horribly dated – like the song equivalent of fondue sets and key parties. Story songs with a twist lose their impact after their first play. It could have been even worse – Rupert Holmes’ original lyric was “If you like Humphrey Bogart”. Holmes later told Songfacts: “I have a feeling that if I saved an entire orphanage from a fire and carried the last child out on my shoulders, as I stood there charred and smoking, they’d say, “Aren’t you the guy who wrote ‘The Piña Colada Song?'”

#7 Eagle Rock by Daddy Cool

This Australian hit mixes good-timey 1950s rock ‘n’ roll with a bluesy riff, and it’s too joyful to make for convincing blues rock. It constantly refers to doing the ‘Eagle Rock’, but never explains what the ‘Eagle Rock’ actually is. A little research reveals that the 1913 song ‘Ballin’ the Jack’ succeeded in explaining the ‘Eagle Rock’ – “Stretch your lovin’ arms straight out in space/Then you do the Eagle. Walk-a with-a style and grace.”

#6 In The Summertime by Mungo Jerry

The lead singer of Mungo Jerry, Ray Dorset, wrote ‘In The Summertime’ in ten minutes. It’s another 1950s throwback, blending skiffle and Caribbean sounds into a nauseating #1 UK hit. The reference to having a drink then a drive hasn’t aged well, while the line “If her daddy’s rich, take her out for a meal/If her daddy’s poor, just do what you feel” is just plain wrong.

#5 Annie’s Song by John Denver

In an oddly specific estimate, John Denver reckons he wrote ‘Annie’s Song’ in about ten-and-a-half minutes on a ski lift. Denver wrote some nice tunes – especially ‘Rocky Mountain High’ and ‘Sunshine On My Shoulders’ – but ‘Annie’s Song’ crosses the line into saccharine. The first five notes are lifted from Tchaivkosky’s fifth symphony and it’s a well-written tune, but it drowns under its strings. The misheard version – “you fill out my census” – would have made for a more interesting song.

#4 You Don’t Bring Me Flowers by Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand

‘You Don’t Bring Me Flowers’ started as an innocuous ballad on Diamond’s 1977 album I’m Glad You’re Here With Me Tonight. But after Barbra Streisand recorded her own version, an enterprising radio DJ mixed the two songs together. This led the two singers to record an official duet and created an adult-contemporary behemoth. Streisand and Diamond were both of Jewish heritage and grew up in Brooklyn; rough contemporaries from Diamond’s time in Queens College (on a fencing scholarship) included Paul Simon, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, and Neil Sedaka, all of Jewish heritage.

#3 Afternoon Delight by The Starland Vocal Band

I know that dissing this song risks offending Ron Burgundy, who stated in the movie Anchorman “if you don’t think this is the best song ever…..I will fight you.” But it works in Anchorman because it’s a dated piece of kitsch that’s ripe for parody. Starland Vocal Band never had another substantial hit, but group mastermind Bill Danoff had a hand in a couple of other significant 1970s songs – John Denver’s ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’ and Emmylou Harris’ ‘Boulder to Birmingham’ (conversely, one of my favourite songs of the decade).

#2 Sharing the Night Together by Dr. Hook

I despise every single song I’ve heard by Dr. Hook – ‘Cover of the Rolling Stone’, ‘Walk Right In’, and ‘Sylvia’s Mother’ are all execrable. 1978’s ‘Sharing The Night Together’ is their career nadir, not helped by a gormless vocal performance from Mr Dennis Locorriere. It turns something beautiful into something icky – I’m surprised an abstinence campaign hasn’t employed it.

#1 Sometimes When We Touch by Dan Hill

This sensitive singer-songwriter record by Canada’s Dan Hill is soft-rock hell. The more high-pitched his voice gets, the more inane his romantic gestures become. “I want to hold you… til we both break down and cry” doesn’t seem like a great #couplesgoal. The song was utilised wisely in a 1996 comedy sketch where Canadian Armed Forces deployed it to defeat terrorists.

Did I miss your least favourite 1970s song?

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Graham Fyfe is probably the only music blogger to appreciate Neil Diamond and Ariana Grande. Aphoristic Album Reviews features reviews and blog posts across a growing spectrum of popular music.


  1. I didn’t know what to expect. I was afraid I was gonna see a lot of songs that I like but most of these are truly among the worst. The two exceptions for me are In the Summertime, which I think is delightful, and You Don’t Bring me Flowers, which I think is a good song and also a good record. I don’t like Margaritaville but maybe not bad enough to be on this list. The only one I don’t know is Daddy Cool. And I don’t think I want to know.

  2. LOL!!
    All great. Especially no 10 which Buffet fans will hate for being there.
    How do you pick out only 10?
    Joni and Neil and the Band are from Canada but so is Dan Hill. So we take the good with the bad.
    I think you forgot every Christopher Cross song BTW

    • Christopher Cross released his debut album on 20 December 1979, and didn’t release any singles until 1980. I actually like him – it’s shmaltzy yacht-rock, but he’s got a lovely voice and good guitar chops.

  3. Pina Colada is kind of borderline too. Sometimes I think it’s awful but sometimes I catch myself singing along to it and having a good time doing it. So I don’t know about that one.

    • I really liked it the first time I heard it. But I think story songs are tricky because the next time you hear them there’s no element of surprise. It’s all very shrill too – his voice, the music….

  4. If you sing along to pina colada it’s fine. Just tell people it’s a guilty pleasure. It’s a thing.
    Actually just make a playlist of GP songs.
    I have one with a bunch of REO Speedwagon and Bangles and Belinda Carlisle songs. And Rick Springfield

    • That mostly sounds 1980s too. Growing up in the 1990s, I used to think that the 1980s sounded really dated and awful, but now a lot of popular music has swung around to sounding like the 1980s and they don’t sound as bad.

      • Definitely – play these songs side by side.
        One is from the last year or two, and the other is from the 1980s.
        The strokes – “Bad Decisions”
        Modern English – “Melt With You”
        The 1975 – “it’s not living if it’s not with you”
        Belinda Carlisle “Heaven is a place on earth”
        The same song exactly!
        And there’s many more ….

  5. I don’t get the hate by you and Hans for “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”. A bit sappy, yes, but it speaks to how love’s ardor often fades in relationships. But I wholeheartedly agree about “Margaritaville”.

  6. We are overdue for some Dan Hill bashing, a favorite pastime over at Music Enthusiast blog. I once went over to the YouTube site for “Sometimes When We Touch” and commented on what an egregious piece of crap it is. Other commenters were appalled. They genuinely liked it! And this was both men and women. My wife loathes it. One guy said I had “no soul” and some woman said she was “sorry that I had never fallen in love.” So, follow *that* logic. I told them that not only had I been in love more than once but that there were better love songs that weren’t so freaking pathetic, for example, “Your Song,” or “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
    As to the rest, I kinda like some of these. Whenever we go to the beach – which can’t come soon enough this year – we go to lunch at some outdoor place that has a guy playing guitar. I always request “Margaritaville.” More because they are likely to play that than, say, “Free Bird.”
    Songs you overlooked – “You’re Having My Baby” – Paul Anka; “You Light Up My Life,” – Debby Boone; “Seasons in the Sun,” – Terry Jacks. And of course, any and every disco song.

    • Sometimes When We Touch sounds like a love song written by someone who’s never actually talked to a woman. My wife would be creeped out if I sincerely used any of those lines on her. All of those songs you individually mentioned were out of rotation by the time I started listening to the radio, although I am very familiar with Nana Mouskouri’s cover of ‘Seasons in the Sun’. It’s a very maudlin song.

      • “Sometimes when we touch the honesty’s too much” doesn’t even make any SENSE. As to the other tunes I’m sure you can find any of those classics online. Be sure not to listen on a full stomach.

  7. I forgot to mention my least-favorite songs of the 70s:
    “You’re Having My Baby – Paul Anka
    “Convoy” – C.W. McCall
    “One Bad Apple” – The Osmonds
    “The Night Chicago Died” – Paper Lace
    “Joy to the World” – Three Dog Night

  8. Sometimes When We Touch – ok record
    Wonderful Tonight – great record
    You Don’t Bring Me Flowers – great record
    Annie’s Song – great record
    In The Summertime – great, great, great, great, great record
    Escape – easy target
    “If her daddy’s rich, take her out for a meal, if her daddy’s poor, just do what you feel…”. Sounds like sound advice to me.
    After that you could maybe make it good in a lay-by….

      • I don’t tend to like picking “worst songs” lists – all that negativity gets me down, man.
        So, I’ll give you ten great disco songs instead –
        Lady Marmalade – Labelle
        Car Wash – Rose Royce
        Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel – Tavares
        Sound Your Funky Horn – KC & The Sunshine Band
        That’s The Way I Like It – KC & The Sunshine Band
        Ain’t Nobody – Rufus & Chaka Khan
        Don’t Leave Me This Way – Thelma Houston
        Love Train – The O’ Jays
        Disco Stomp – Hamilton Bohannon
        I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango) – Grace Jones

        • Cool – I don’t know all of those, but ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ is great, such an amazing vocal. I have a 1960s Thelma Houston album, because I got obsessed with tracking down Jimmy Webb compositions.

          • Well you got most of the best disco. “Don’t leave me this way” would be on billboard if it came out today in current tech/marketing machines, maybe with a new age twist.
            I would add Gloria Gaynor and also Donna Summer’s “MacArthur Park”. A re-make but she’s at her best there.

  9. That is a very nice list. The real question is “what are the ten worst songs that others really liked?” There are 100s of really horrible songs that, thankfully, neither of us can recall. If I ever hear the open notes of Seasons of the Sun by Terry Jacks it’s time to change the station. I also passionately dislike these:
    Paul Anca’s You’re Having my Baby (yech).
    Debbie Boone’s You Light up my Life.
    Tony Orlando and Dawn – Tie a Yellow Ribbon and Knock Three Times.
    Three Dog Night – Joy to the World. I like many of their songs. I get embarrassed just being in the room when this is playing!
    When Eric “God” Clapton gets schmaltzy I want to throw up. It’s not just that the songs are horrible, it’s the memory of what he once was.
    I have to admit that I like singing along to In the Summertime.

    • Most of those were gone from playlists before I started listening, although ‘Joy to the World’ is certainly a contender. Clapton’s much better as a sideman IMO – seems like he’s just not a super interesting person, and doesn’t have much to write about.

    • Right. Three Dog Night was the greatest singles band of the 70s and I love every one of their other hits but NOT Joy to the World. It’s their worst because it was their biggest hit so it kind of gave them a bad name they didn’t deserve.

  10. A very interesting list, some of those songs I can tolerate like Mungo Jerry and others I totally agree with you on like You Don’t Bring Me Flowers. There are a couple of songs which I am embarrassed to say that I liked back in the 70s but I was a naive teenager back then and I’m sticking to that excuse. One you left out was “Muskrat Love” by the Captain and Tenille and most disco tunes.

    • With disco I like Chic and Donna Summer. I think the worst examples are when acts like Elton John (Victim to Love) try to jump on the bandwagon. I think coming from afterwards, you can pick the music you like from either side, rather than having to pick between disco and rock.

  11. I agree with you on most of those- even the couple i disagree on are mediocre at best. I am glad you had the Eric Clapton song on their- today I was listening to Derek and The Dominoes- and was thinking how lame Clapton became in the late 70’s. Must to fall asleep to.

    • Slowhand was in the Rolling Stone Best 500 album list as recently as 2012. He gets a bit of a free pass from some older fans I think, but his solo music has dented his reputation for younger fans.

      • Eric Clapton had a hit sometime in the late seventies called Promises which I love and it’s really the only thing he did after Layla that I like. Although I dont think Wonderful Tonight is bad like people are saying.

          • What about Let it Rain? It was before Layla but it’s the best thing he did after Cream. It’s one of my top 100 greatest singers ever. He never topped it.

          • I believe he did the song “irs in the way that you use it” which is in the Paul Newman/Tom cruise movie “the colour of money”.
            Now the same song is in the online series “Rick and Morty” (which is hilarious btw)
            If you YouTube “Rick and Morty- it’s in the way that you use it” you should see it.
            I bet it’s how a lot of young people know Clapton.

        • Jack Bruce’s lucite bass is in the Baltimore Harbour Hard Rock Cafe. No Baby’s, or Toni Basil, or Tiffany?

  12. Oh no, no, no you dint! I like #s 9, 5, and 4. The other ones are horrific probably #1 *is* the worst of the bunch. I would add the following: Seasons in the Sun, Chevy Van, The Streak, The Candy Man, and probably many others.

    • Christopher Cross seems like such a nice guy that I wish I could say he had at least one that I love, but there isn’t. Although maybe Ride Like the Wind I don’t mind hearing.

  13. I think it’s too difficult to make a “worst songs” list like this, since there are so many bad songs. But it’s fun to try….
    Why don’t you try making a list of top ten times where the remake is better than the original?
    Manfred Man “blinded by the light”
    Jimmy Hendrix “all along the watchtower”
    As examples
    And my number one
    Weird Al Yankovitch “living in an Amish paradise”. Tonight we’re going to party like it’s 1699- lol.

    • I agree on both, although you’ll get some flack on the Springsteen song. I also prefer MMEB versions of two other Bruce songs, For You and Spirits in the Night.

  14. Fair!
    Obviously I’m a Bruce fan. But you gotta admit the Man remake is so great – because it was such a daring and inventive departure from the Asbury Park original. And there’s ZERO doubt that lots of ppl rediscovered the original because the Man version got insane airtime.
    It’s easy to cover a song, but a different thing to make it your own-ish or to play homage to it in your own way like they did with “Blinded”.
    Listen to the Weezer cover of Totos “Africa”. Such a massive disappointment- they didn’t change anything.
    Obviously if you are the Beatles or Springsteen there will be thousands of covers of your songs. And simple math says some will be great in their own right.
    Also listen to Natalie Merchant /10000 maniacs cover of “Because the Night”.
    It’s great.

  15. 9 and 10 are worn out I grant you…but there are much much worse…. in mine I would replace them with…Seasons in the Sun and….Moonlight Feels Right

      • Now I feel going to fell self conscious! I have Wonderful Tonight coming up…BUT…I will say this…I HATED playing it in clubs. I have that story in the description…it’s a drag to play live…and I mean drag. I would put obscene words in it to crack the other guys up.
        I don’t mind listening to it but I will never play it again…it was expected of us.

        • I’ve read about Liberty DeVitto (Billy Joel’s drummer) changing the words of Joel’s song. After Joel divorced his first wife, who he wrote ‘Just The Way You Are’ about, DeVitto liked to sing “she got the house/she got the car”.

          • I really just laughed out loud…that is great.
            Our lady in Wonderful Tonight did a few things that some religions wouldn’t allow.

          • Oh…give Moonlight Feels Right…a listen if you dare. It came out at roughly the same time as Afternoon Delight…even as a small boy I would rip the knob off when those two songs would come on.

  16. While I generally like to focus on music I dig, here are some ‘70s tunes I don’t think particularly high of, mostly bad examples of disco:
    – Exile/How Could This Go Wrong (yes, it’s really called that way!?)
    – Racey/ Lay Your Love On Me
    – Smokey/Mexican Girl
    – Leif Garrett/I Was Made for Dancin’
    – Kiss/I Was Made for Lovin’ You

  17. Totally agree with all your selections – apart from Eagle Rock by Daddy Cool. I am very sorry but as an Aussie male of a certain age that song is imbedded in our DNA (plus it is a cool film clip).

  18. A little detail that makes that awful ‘Afternoon Delight’ song even classier and better — I read that apparently the author sought inspiration for and began writing the song whilst “dining” (hmmm!) with a female bandmate…whilst his WIFE underwent surgery for cervical cancer!

    • He’s made a career out of that song and Cheeseburger in paradise. So, good for him. Plus he enjoys his stardom and drinking and Key west – who wouldn’t?
      After that, the only remotely listenable JB songs are covers of Bob Marley and the like.
      Actually his best song is “Weather with you” also a cover (Crowded House)
      But Jimmy Buffet nation is a cult like the dead and Fish and Dave Mathews Band and Metallica. Etc etc.

  19. This is a tremendously bad list. I’m surprised Seasons in the Sun isn’t here, but I can see it’s difficult to exclude any of these. Maybe stretch it to 12, cause I’d like to find space for Sing a Song and Rock Me Gently.
    Also, Clapton would be my number 1 because he really should be better than that. That said, I don’t find Clapton’s music all that interesting at the best of times – definitely overrated. Not sorry for courting controversy with that statement.

    • Seasons in the Sun would probably be a popular choice for one of the worst but to me it’s one of those freaky 70s things that I love in spite of everything. I love the music on it and if it ever comes on I turn the volume way up. That kind of thing. There were a lot of these in the 70s that were kind of like a fine line between awful and great.

    • I don’t think I could find it in my heart to include the Carpenters, even though that song’s schmaltzy as. I think Clapton’s reputation has diminished for people who weren’t there for the 1960s with his lame solo career.

      • For me he was at his best in Cream. You know what’s weird? Even though Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce don’t actually sound alike, I sometimes couldn’t tell which one was singing which song. And I usually got it wrong. I think Jack Bruce was one of the greatest rock singers ever. But Cream were so great that it made both of them sound fantastic.

        • Agreed. I think part of what made Cream so good was Bruce on the bass. I never have trouble telling their voices apart. The trifecta of master musicianship in the group is hard to beat. I also like his music in the other groups (John Mayall, Blind Faith) but also his earlier solo work. 461 Ocean Blvd is fabulous. He’s showing his vulnerability there. Journeyman is good also. Not as much as the early days, but still good. He’s introduced the world to a lot of stellar guitarists with his guitar fest, including Doyle Bramhall II.

          • And Duane Allman of course. Although I’m a Dicky Betts fan when it comes to the Allman Brothers. I like their more countryish songs better than their more blues rock or Southern rock stuff. I’d rather hear Dickey Betts than Duane Allman.

          • I know I enjoy The Allman brothers but not real well-versed in the differences in the two guitarists in the group. Have you heard Doyle Bramhall II? He was in The Arc Angels (with Charlie Sexton) and he also played David Gilmour’s part with Roger Waters on his Live: In the Flesh tour. He’s a solo artist now and has a few really good albums so far.

  20. After going to youtube to check out that Dan Hill abomination (the official video for it) I am in full agreement for it to be #1. The guy looks like a complete twerp and the song is either totally clueless or manipulative, not a good look either way. Plus this was the first comment listed. “I’m here because Elon Musk dedicated this song to Bill Gates.” GAG ME!!

    • Lol!!
      Elon Musk went to university in southern Ontario, but he decided to go to Queens University and not the University of Waterloo (one of the top tech schools in the world) because he would have a greater chance of meeting girls there.
      Bill Gates recently became the largest landowner in southern Ontario (You can face check me on this)
      But as to where Dan Hill comes into the picture IDK.
      It’s very unusual that a true one hit wonders’ hit is so bad.
      It’s not like Dexys Midnight Runners or Modern English where they had only one but it was great.

    • That was a pretty good joke he made actually. Sometimes When We Touch is one of the most ridiculed songs ever because of what people consider its over the top icky-ness . At least that’s a lot of people’s opinion. I imagine people cracked up laughing when he said that.

  21. I was a love-struck teenager when the Dan Hill song came out. I liked it. Once again – so what? Later that year I saw The Jam for the first of ten times and a few months later I was at the front of the crowd watching the Clash live.

    • Just saying Dan Hill is an actual one hit wonder. Play the B side on the “45.
      I’m from toronto so I actually remember it’s called – “still not used to”
      Doubt more than 1000 people ever played it until the end.

        • I’ve been to Quebec City in the winter and it’s really cold . And I live about 60 miles from Toronto in Buffalo New York and if I remember correctly we have an overall colder temperature than both of those cities.

          • You certainly have more snow than we do in Toronto. We used to watch Irv Weinstein on WKBW (“do you know where your children are”) and be thankful that we had neither the snowfalls nor the fires that seemed to rage on a daily basis (“the latest on the fire in Lackawanna”).
            Dan Hill’s song is painful to listen to, but this article from just last week, may soften people’s attitude to the man himself. It is illuminating.

          • I heard Dan Hill talk about that on TV a long time ago on VH1 or something like that. Or some kind of retro countdown show or something.
            I had to look up Irv Weinstein cuz I didn’t know who he was because I didn’t live in Buffalo then. There probably was a lot of fires because of all the deterioration in the seventies and eighties. The city was really depressed economically and everything. A lot of it has really bounced back in the last 10 or 20 years. A lot of neighborhoods have come back and stuff and it’s improving all the time.

  22. Can we do instead the best 10 songs of the past five years? Here’s my humble take. (Actually I stopped at 20)
    1.Declyn McKenna – “Brazil”
    2. Hippocampus- “Way it Goes”
    3. Houses – “Fast Talk”
    4. Mallrat – “Charlie”
    5. X-Ambassadors – “Renegades”
    6. Portugal the man- “Feel it still”
    7. Caamp – “by and By”
    8. Sam Fender – “hypersonic missles”
    9. The Head and the heart – “Honeybee”
    10. The war on Drugs – “Red Eyes”
    11. Cold War kids – “First”
    12. Gus Dapperton- “Posthumous “
    13. Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness- “Ohio”
    14. Matt Maeson- “Hallucinationegenucs”
    15. Banners – “Ghosts”
    16. Bebadobee -“She plays Bass”
    17. Local Natives – “ when am I gonna lose you?”
    18. Brave Shores – “More like you “ (amazing)
    19. White Reaper – “Might be right”
    20. Young the Giant – “mind over matter”

  23. Graham, you asked for my “worst songs” choices – so I’m going to go across the decades for songs by generally accepted “credible” artists that I genuinely cannot abide, as opposed to the comparatively easy target of novelty and/or over sentimental chart songs.
    Here we go –
    Yellow Submarine – The Beatles
    Rocky Raccoon – The Beatles
    When I’m 64 – The Beatles
    Martha My Dear – The Beatles
    The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill – The Beatles
    Octopus’s Garden – The Beatles
    Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 – Bob Dylan
    Waitin’ On A Sunny Day – Bruce Springsteen
    Outlaw Pete – Bruce Springsteen
    Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen
    Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon – Queen
    Don’t Try Suicide – Queen
    Baby Jane – Rod Stewart
    Da Ya Think I’m Sexy – Rod Stewart
    50 Ways To Leave Your Lover – Paul Simon
    She’s Goin’ Bald – The Beach Boys
    Vegetables – The Beach Boys
    Alabama Song – David Bowie
    My Mummy’s Dead – John Lennon
    Isn’t She Lovely? – Stevie Wonder
    I Just Called To Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder
    Mr. Blue Sky – The Electric Light Orchestra
    Another Brick In The Wall – Pink Floyd
    Cook Of The House – Wings
    Let ‘Em In – Wings
    My Sharona – The Knack
    Brass In Pocket – The Pretenders
    Shall I put Mull Of Kintyre in there? Nah, easy target.
    These are all songs from artists that I love dearly, and have done for years and years and yes, I realise that Yellow Submarine and Octopus’s Garden are easy targets too!
    Apologies if anyone loves some of these songs! Then again, I love in The Summertime and in 1977 I didn’t mind the Dan Hill song so who am I to talk.
    I reckon if Sometimes When We Touch was sung by Kate Bush you would hail it as a work of genius:)
    It’s all just our personal, quirky opinions anyway, that’s what posts like this inspire.

    • That’s a daring exercise, but I agree with most- wth the exception of “when I’m 64” and “another brick in the wall part 2”.
      “Mull of Kintyre” is a special case since it’s still one of the best selling songs ever in the UK but famously (infamously?) did NOT travel- unlike everything else Beatles/JL/PM
      Interesting that you have many Queen songs but not “we will rock you/we are the Champions” or (worse still) “another one bites the dust”

    • That’s a good idea for a list – I agree with most, but I think Crazy Little Thing is a pretty good 1950s pastiche, Mr. Blue Sky is great, and Rainy Day Woman and 50 Ways are solid despite being a little gimmicky.

    • I think some of those are great. I like all those Beatles ones you named except for Martha and maybe Yellow Submarine. Love the others. I used to hate Do Ya Think I’m Sexy ?but now I like it because the backing track is awesome. And I love Another Brick in the Wall.

  24. Boy there are some stinkers on this list.
    To be fair I don’t think Wonderful Tonight was the worst thing Clapton did in the late 70s… just ask Rock Against Racism.
    Here in the home of Mungo Jerry that song is now, fittingly, known for its use in a road safety, anti-drink and drive video which was pretty horrific https://www.youtube.com/watch/f5ma_Xv7rGM

  25. I like the Punk Panther’s exercise of finding sub-par songs by otherwise great bands
    The Rolling Stones -“Start me up”. Tatoo you is otherwise a great album, especially “Tops”
    Simple Minds – “don’t you forget about me”
    This gave them fame in the US but they didn’t compose it and they hate that they released it for the “breakfast club “movie.
    The Red hot chili peppers – “give it away now”
    U2 – “Beautiful Day” – not up to the standards of the fab 3
    Kings of Leon – “Sex on fire” – real fans turn their backs to the stage when they play it.
    Green Day – “American Idiot”. Great album otherwise
    The eagles – “Heartache Tonight”
    The Eagles – “ the long run”
    nothing good about this album, actually
    The White Stripes – “seven nation army”. Say “dumb” slowly seven times in a row, then you are singing along.
    Radiohead- “Optimistic.”
    The Foo Fighters “Pretender”

    • I kind of like that Simple Minds song, especially compared to the albums they were making at that same time.
      You’re right about Start Me Up though, but then again I didn’t like Some Girls album either.
      And Beautiful Day is one of the few U2 songs I like to hear.
      You’re also right about American Idiot, but I didn’t much like the rest of the album either except for the great Holiday. which I love.
      You’re right about Eagles too.
      And the rest I can’t say either way really.

  26. It all depends on what you mean by “worst”. Yo seem to include both novelty and cheesy. in my humble pinion there is nothing wrong with In The Summertime, it’s just a good time song by people wanting a surefire hit.
    Afternoon Delight I positively love for the harmonies as well as the subject matter. What other song clearly about daytime sex has ever made the charts?
    On the other hand, wonderful Tonight is a love song from an alcoholic to the woman who woman who drags him out of the party and takes him home, but is that what most people hear when they listen to it/
    i would include Kenny Rogers’s Coward of the County, which romanticises a horrible tale of gang rape. and on a less contentious note more in the spirit of your post, Lady in Red, the most mawkish piece of dross ever committed to vinyl. Even worse than Chris de Burgh’s other “classic”, Don’t Pay The Ferryman. Calm down, mate, you’ll give yourself a coronary.

    • I think it’s a stretch to call “Sometimes when we touch “ soft rock. But if it’s so, then so are Barry Manillow and Engleburt H and even England Dan/ John F Coley.
      So why are they not mentioned in over 200 comments? Instead, people love to pick on “the other Neil”, as we call him in Canada, even though he’s a real musician with amazing songs like “Sweet Caroline”
      Also, the Stephen Bishop song “On and on” is my pick for single worst song of the 1970s.

        • In What place do you hear “you don’t bring me flowers? “. Ever.
          Maybe don’t go there anymore and just tell them it’s a Covid related absence.

  27. Anyhow.
    Just to finish up on the Punk Panthers amazing idea:
    to find sub-par songs released by the top Bands ever (because this way nobody gets insulted).
    The Clash – “should I stay or should I go?”
    I love the band’s genius especially “bank robber” and “train in vain” etc
    But I have always hated this infantile song that you never hear except at the end of drunken weddings.
    And two other songs that are not terrible but are also not good. I only include them because they are the exact same song – and nobody calls them out on it because the 60s/70s are the best music decades ever. (Nope they aren’t )
    The Doors – “Hello I love you”
    The Kinks – “all of the day and all of the night “.
    Play them back to back.
    The Davies brothers are “music geniuses” in the same way that the sex pistols are. – they aren’t.

    • I’ve never minded Should I Stay Or Should I Go? It’s kind of a fun song by their secondary vocalist. That’s a very early Kinks song – I think their stuff from the mid to late 1960s is very good.

  28. G. Can we do a fun list which isn’t at all negative ?
    How about everybody’s Most underrated bands of all time?
    Mine – in no order
    1. Luna/Galaxie 5000. (USA /NZ)
    2, bright eyes / Conner Obrerst. (USA)
    3. frightened Rabbit (SCO). – RIP Scott!
    4. Spoon (TX,USA)
    5 . The Tragically Hip (CAN)
    6. Betty Sverte (SWE)
    7. Powderfinger (AUS)
    8, new pornographers/ Nikko case/ AC Newman – play “I’m not talking” amazing (CAN)
    9. Snow patrol (IRL) – yes I know they are well known but not well enough – play “set the fire to the third bar”
    10. Stars (CAN). Part of the metric/ arcade fire/broken social scene/ etc.Factory.
    Play “Trap Door” – so great

    • Most of the time I try to be positive – I’d say this and the bad lyrics lists are the only real bash-fests.
      I like most of the bands you mentioned – I’m planning to cover Spoon and Stars sometimes, and to cover the New Pornographers solo careers (Destroyer as well as Case and Newman). I don’t really know Betty Sverte at all though. I didn’t used to like Bright Eyes, but I enjoyed his collaboration with Phoebe Bridgers so I should revisit him.

  29. Some people believe that Kate Bush came back to sing and be one of the voices in the Snowpatrol song “ set fire to the third bar”.
    Listen and judge for yourself

  30. Ok way late to this but everyone else seems to have chimed in so. I get what you said in terms of why you selected this based on what was still being played in the decades later. But besides your top 3 choices, none of the other ones would make my list – not that they’re great mind you, but don’t really bug me too much. I enjoy Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville in certain situations – summer time barbecue parties after a few beers (also Cheeseburger in Paradise). Buffet has obviously figured out how to ride this one trick pony to riches, but whatever. And since Wonderful Tonight was my friend Mike’s wedding song, I’ll leave that one alone.
    Being a young teenager during the 70s I experienced alot of drek directly – my list would include in no particular order
    Anything by the Osmonds
    Anything by Tony Orlando and Dawn
    Any of the annoying novelty songs that seemed common in the 70s (Disco Duck, The Streak…)
    Muskrat Love
    Having My Baby
    Half Breed (Cher)
    Afternoon Delight
    Sometimes When We Touch
    You LIght Up My Life – Debby Boone
    Feelings – Morris Albert

    • Your list looks a lot more like other worst 1970s lists out there, which makes sense since you lived through it. Tony Orlando and Dawn are pretty horrendous – just seem out of date by the early 1970s.

      • He actually had a tv show as did the Osmonds as did Sonny and Cher. I remember them all – cheesy opening musical numbers bad jokes some guest star artist and a cheesy ending musical number. Blah. My parents loved them

  31. One could have a list for each year of the decade just from the dreck that made the top 40 alone, in the US!
    I kid you not – a friend of mine filled two cassettes side to side – nothing but song after song of all of the 45s he collected of 70s chart hits and copied over.

    • There’s always a lot of bad music in every decade but in a good decade the good stuff just overpowers the bad stuff. It just overwhelms it. And in a great decade even the bad stuff is better than the bad stuff in a weak decade. The good stuff seems to lift everything up.

    • I tried to choose songs that I had been over-saturated with on the radio – the really cheesy stuff was gone from the airwaves before I started listening, I do know it, and it does suck, but doesn’t fit my personal list. I am thinking about a 1960s list and I will need to dig deeper for that one, because most 1960s songs that still got airplay when I was growing up were really good.

  32. My 10-year-old daughter loves “in the Summertime”.

    I intensely despise Jimmy Buffett. Living proof that mediocrity sells. “Margaritaville” encapsulates one of the worst feelings in the world: being buzzed at 2:30 pm in a cheesy marina bar. It’s warm, humid, overcast, there are 2 other people in the bar and there’s a college football game no one’s watching on the bar TV, just because.

    • Jimmy Buffett is like a lifestyle choice. Like you’re buying into his cheeseburgers in paradise schtick.

  33. This is going to sound strange, but the first time I heard “Eagle Rock” was on The Wiggles’ video titled, ‘Space Dancing.’ Oddly enough, I thought it was catchy, despite how repetitive it was lol!

    • I’m from New Zealand so I know the Wiggles – they have a pretty ace cover of Split Enz’s Six Months in a Leaky Boat.

      • I remember that cover. It was on one of my favorite videos of theirs, ‘It’s a Wiggly, Wiggly World!’ That song took a while to grow on me, but I can appreciate it now cause of the harmonies. That’s cool you’re from New Zealand!

  34. All this list proves is that musical preference is subjective. None of these songs are truly “Worst.” Simply songs this writer (and some commenters) doesn’t care for for whatever reasons. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    If Margaritaville were never played again, on the radio or at a Buffett show, it wouldn’t matter to any Buffett fans. His best stuff is not what the general public knows. Listen to a broader body of his work. He is an extremely clever and talented songwriter and entertainer. His songs aren’t filled with social/political crap and love struggles; it’s purely fun escapism…that’s the beauty.

    Last, put me on the list that likes “In the Summertime;” not only is it not “worst” worthy, it’s a classic, even if a one-hit wonder.

  35. You nailed some stinkers there, although the Pina Colada song really sticks in your head.

    How about:

    Ring My Bell (Anita Ward)
    We Are Family (Sister Sledge)
    Kung Fu Fighting (Carl Douglas)
    Sad Eyes (Robert John)
    Seasons in the Sun (Terry Jacks)

    Kung Fu Fighting was one of many one-off gimicky songs, like Convoy and Disco Duck. There were others, like Shut Up Your Face and Take Off.

    • Thanks for the ideas! I hate Seasons in the Sun, although I never heard it on the radio enough for it to feel like it belongs here. Convoy is a pretty terrible novelty song too.

  36. I was going to comment on this topic anyway. I know Dr Hook’s songs mainly from Youtube. A few of them are nice, but the band looks like a bunch of creepy guys that if you ran into them at night or in a bar you’d want to avoid, and be glad when they finally left. They kind of look like trouble to me. The drummer and lead singer in particular creep me out. ?

    I thought I’d already commented on here, but I’ll post a list now of songs from the 1970s I don’t like:

    In The Summertime by Mungo Jerry. I’ve read this is the 3rd biggest song in history with over 30 million copies sold. I don’t like it. The lyrics are all wrong and kind of offensive.

    All Out Of Love by Air Supply. How desperate were these guys that they had to record this song? It’s supposed to be about missing his girlfriend and wanting her back. Actually, it sounds like they’ve never been on a date in their life!

    1 Bad Apple by the Osmonds. It sounds like they ripped off the Jackson 5 with this song. It sound almost just like them!

    Crazy Horses by Osmonds. I unfortunately came across this on Youtube. I don’t know why they did this song. It sounds like they got high on drugs, developed amnesia and forgot they were a pop band and someone told them they were an Ozzy Osbourne side project instead. Really, really bad!

    Art Garfunkel. I Only Have Eyes For You. If anyone ever needs proof that Paul Simon did all the heavy listing in Simon and Garfunkel while they were a duo … this is it.

    Dan Hill Sometimes When We Touch. The low point of the entire decade. Except for the next song I’m going to mention.

    Barry Manilow Copacabana. They say Disco deserved to die, and this song provided all the ammunition disco haters needed. Boy, is this terrible!

    Sgt Peppers TV Movie Soundtrack. The Musical Abomination Soundtrack to the TV Movie Abomination that was the Sgt Peppers movie. I’ve seen parts of the movie on Youtube, and heard the soundtrack in full. Except for a couple of great covers by Aerosmith and Earth, Wind and Fire, this record explains the Bee Gees record burning bonfires in the streets at the time that I’ve read about. The Bee Gee’s, otherwise, were not to blame for the disco insanity on the late 1970s. They just made great music, and people ran with the whole disco craze. It wasn’t anything the Bee Gees could have foreseen or controlled. They shouldn’t have been blamed so much for the disco insanity. But they are to blame for this absolute garbage, along almost everyone else on the album. This just stinks!

    Feelings by Albert Morris. OMG! Albert says “Dan Hill! Hold my beer!”

    Run Joey Run by David Geddes. This should have been a tense and dramatic song. Instead, it sounds like a song parody. The really awful music video that goes with it only makes it even more hilarious. David’s hopeless attempts to mouth the words on cue while the camera person seemingly throws off his timing by aiming the camera at him before he’s supposed to sing is beyond weird! Ridiculously funny and sad at the same time.

    Heart Of Gold by Neil Young. I despise this song. I love Neil Young, but I’m so sick and tired of hearing this song. Neil has over 40 albums and tons of classic tracks, but this is the 1 that always gets played on streaming and comes up on my Youtube mixes. I wish I could banish it from the Earth! Seriously! I don’t listen to radio at all, but I have heard they play it night and day on there, too. In the 1990s, this was the Most Downloaded MP3 Song in Canada. Why?! Make it stop! Send it back! Please! How can we miss it if it won’t go away?!!!

    I could add several more songs, but I’ll end with Sail On by The Commodores. People say it’s about Lionel Richie’s divorce. But if you read the lyrics, it’s about his walking away from God. He’s giving the Lord back His name. This is the band that actually recorded an epic song called Jesus Is Love. For anyone who doubts’ that this song is about giving up faith in God, they only have to do a search on where Lionel is at in terms of faith right now. Herecently and it’ll be made clear his faith in Jesus is all gone. This might not matter to most music fans, but to me it’s the saddest thing I’ll ever hear on on a hit record.

    • That’s a good list! I don’t mind Heart of Gold – I’m a bit sick of it, and it’s nowhere near my favourite Young, but it’s a robust tune.

      • Thanks so much. The song itself and the whole album is amazing. I just got tired of hearing it ALL the time. It seems to follow me around, lol. I love Harvest Moon, though. ?

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Aphoristic Album Reviews is almost entirely written by one person.

Graham Fyfe is probably the only music blogger to appreciate both Neil Diamond and Ariana Grande. Based in Fleet Street (New Zealand), he's been writing this blog since around 2000. Aphoristic Album Reviews features reviews and blog posts across a growing spectrum of popular music.

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