Before Napster was ripped away from us by the RIAA”s corporate whore-mongers, we could all enjoy the downloaded luxury of that one song, not necessarily a good song, but a song that for some reason or another stuck in our heads. Many songs on our Winamp playlists are simply nostalgic blasts from musical past, early -mid-“90s “radio staples.” Songs like “Cotton Eye Joe” and “Flagpole Sitta” appear instead of actually having a hard copy of Rednex or Harvey Danger on tape. And all of us (yeah, ALL of us) have heard a song on the radio and rushed to some overpriced retail outlet and gotten a copy of the album only to find that the rest of the record sucks ass. We have fallen pray to the deception of the Satan overseeing the record industry, the One Hit Blunder.
The One Hit Blunder is solely responsible for the loss of three week”s allowance (at the Smith family rate of $5/week) on a cassette. (Author”s Note: I stopped getting an allowance when CDs came out, because I had a real job then). A One Hit Blunder is the song we heard on the radio and for some reason or another the damn thing got stuck in our heads and wouldn”t leave till we bought the CD, only to realize how terrible the rest of it was.
The advent and subsequent attempted retraction of musical file sharing has slowed the process and the idiocy of purchasing a Joan Osborne record, however, now with Napster and friends on the fritz we could be soon regressing and falling again into the One Hit Blunder. So, it is with a heavy heart that I remind us all and myself what it could be like and more importantly what it was like in my cassette player and yours, “Back in the Day” (yeah that”s Ahmad, and that”s starting things off).
n “Cumbersome,” Seven Mary Three This single generated a bidding war over what label would get to sign Seven Mary Three, oft hailed in alternative circles as the then-heirs apparent to Pearl Jam”s throne. Yeah, that was a giant mistake. Just like buying American Standard was.
n “Whoomp! (There it Is),” Tag Team Yes, I owned the tape, yes you did too. But only one of us had to look online to see the correct punctuation and spelling of “Whoomp!” in the title.
n “Three Little Pigs,” Green Jelly And the wolf cried “Little pig little pig let me in to your frickin” wallet” and indeed he did. This fad song from a bad band huffed and puffed and certainly blew.
n “What”s Up,” 4 Non Blondes MTV even said enough is enough when it banned one of the worst songs of all time, not to mention one of the worst videos. And it was definitely the worst hat of all time.
n “Fly,” Sugar Ray Atlantic must”ve demanded that Sugar Ray have a single on Floored (their unfortunate break-thru album) and “Fly” was definitely it. The damn song sounds nothing like any other song on the record, a technique since copied countless times by bands at least as bad as McGrath and Co.
n “Roll to Me” Del Amitri MTV seems blatantly responsible for selling a lot of these albums. In the case of Del Amitri they did just that. Full grown men, posing as babies getting pushed around in strollers. Badass. (Read: Sucked ass).
n “MMM MMM MMM MMM,” Crash Test Dummies Once there was this song that, had a shitty singer and then sold some albums, and whe-eh-en he finally came to, he sucked, and sold out all of his friends. (You totally sang along with that.)
n “Everything About You,” Ugly Kid Joe Indeed, although we bought your record, I now hate everything about Joe too.
n “Sex and Candy,” Marcy Playground Sex and candy would be a pretty weird smell I think. Bodily fluids and rich milk chocolate, creamy nuget and bad song.
n “To Be With You,” Mr. Big I”m the one who wants to for the love of God will you turn off the tape player. Never was good, and you still bought it. See Also: Extreme”s “More than Words.”
n “Two Princes,” Spin Doctors It”s almost like this catagory was built for the Doctors. One big hit, that I still hear on the radio, and an album full of filler. Sad, sad, sad.
n “Down,” 311 It”s their world. Congratulations. Are you kidding me? People bought this shit? What”s next, rappers and metal bands forming a new genre.
n “Counting Blue Cars,” Dishwalla “Tell me all your thoughts on God,” OK, well the God I know wouldn”t have let this song ever reach human ears.
n “Standing Outside a Broked Toll Both With,” Primitive Radio Gods I actually think there is even more to this song title, but space is getting filled, and I”ve been downhearted babe.
n “C”mon “”N Ride It (the Train),” Quad City DJ”s Mega-hit. It”s no “Drops of Jupiter” but I do see the word train in the title. And this train is leaving the station. Toot-toot.
Luke Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org