That's My Jam: Effed Out

If there's one good thing you can say about awful pop songs, it's that they're inherently temporary. Whether they're describing some new dance move, commenting (or introducing) a popular trend, or whatever -- there's sort of a clock built in to the vast majority of Top 40 music. In other words, awful music is an annoyance -- but the vast majority of it eventually goes away.
In other words, "Soldier Boy" sucks -- but it's pretty much run it's course and
your odds of hearing it any and everywhere you go anymore is pretty much zero.
But what we're talking about today is when the opposite occurs. When a genuinely great song appears on the scene, gets it's proper due and respect, maybe even wins an award or two -- but then either as a result of it's goodness or it's adaptability as soundtrack music for feel-good comedies or chick flicks finds itself literally beaten to death with overexposure to the point where you still love the song because it's good, but if you have to hear it one more time you're going to stab someone in the neck with your car keys.

I had trouble picking just one song for this -- because the list of songs I love that have had their greatness kinda sucked out by overplaying (at least for me) is surprisingly long. In other words, I'll never stand in the way of anyone who wants to tell me how great a tune Aerosmith's "Walk this Way" is, but for the love of God -- please don't make me listen to it again. The same goes for Queen's "We Are the Champions," Billy Joel's "Piano Man," Or any of the collected hits of George Thorogood or Lynyrd Skynyrd ("Sweet Home Alabama" particularly needs to be taken out behind the boathouse and shot as soon as humanly possible).

Even worse, the overwhelming popularity of some of these "hit" songs tends to overshadow even better songs by the same artists to the point where some people don't even realize that Radiohead recorded anything after "Creep."
It's a little something I like to call The Warren Zevon Problem.
The funny thing is that even though I found myself thinking of all sorts of songs that have just become utterly effed out, the answer I came back to was the song that originally got me thinking about this. A wonderful little pop song with deceptively deeper-than-they-appear lyrics that I loved the first time I heard it -- but honestly never want to hear again.
So, what are some of yours?

[Listening To:  Sevendust"Separate" ]


wigsf said…
I thought you knew. Sweet Home Alabama was taken out back and shot. The shooter was Kid Rock. The problem though, is that Kid Rock took the bullet-ridden corpse of SHA and spent most of 2008 parading it around the country. It seemed to me that Kid Rock is proud he killed that song.
Or maybe somebody else killed that song and Kid Rock doesn't want people to know so he's propped up the song like Bernie, with Kid Rock playing Andrew McCarthy's part.
Satorical said…
About six months ago, Amazon started featuring daily mp3 specials, with popular albums of the past discounted deeply. Basically it's a chance to get something you had on tape again for $2 instead of $10. For a couple of days, while they were trying to figure out the business model, they had some crazy discounts. I noticed that for about four hours one day, you could buy Led Zeppelin's entire catalog for $19.99. It didn't last long, and I'm figuring that the junior hotshot marketing whiz who made that pricing decision was quickly fired.

However, I couldn't bring myself to spend a Jackson to get all of Zep's work, even though I don't own any of their music. Having grown up on Jacksonville radio--and giving all respect due--I never need to hear another Zeppelin song as long as I live.

unMuse said…
Speaking of Zep, out at brunch the other day, Hurricane's which is down the strip was blasting some Stairway to Heaven. I had to laugh because the ONLY thing I could remember was it being the last song at every dance in jr high and high school so that we all got one last 9 minute crotch rubbing session.

As far as songs being worn out, I don't listen to the radio. So it's not like I listen to the same pop music over and over. However, if I hear "Last Dance with Mary Jane" one more time, Tom Petty and I are going to have to convo.
unMuse said…
as a post script, here's one for ya
Anonymous said…
Satorical - You're not the first person I've heard say that about Zeppelin. I don't get it. I can still listen to Led Zeppelin every dang day of the week. In fact, if I go a week or so without hearing some Zeppelin, the inevitable next hearing hits me like a punch in the face. WHY WAS I NOT LISTENING TO LED ZEPPELIN!
adam said…
Although I never cared THAT much for it, perhaps "Hey Ya" by Outkast. Or anything by Outkast for that matter!

Also most Led Zeppelin. And Jimi Hendrix!!!!
Hex said…
WIGSF -- I suspect part of this is reigonal, because in the American South (especially here in Jax) Sweet Home Alabama cannot be killed. The unstoppable popularity of that piece of crap Kid Rock song is only further proof of that. I know people who think that song is better than the two original songs. It's all I can do to not slap those people in the head.

Satorical -- I'm of sorta two minds here, because Zep in particular is really annoying about re-releasing the same stuff over and over and expecting fans to pay for it. It's like Jimmy Page had a meeting with George Lucas and said, "I'm not a billionaire yet, how did *you* do it?"

But at the same time I think there's a certain section of Zep that's been stretched too far. I would argue with that band particularly that their deep album stuff is worth the effort (kinda like how I hate the Peter Gabriel song I posted, but LOVE the rest of his work), but if you don't like 'em, you don't like em.

All that being said, I'm still throwing stuff at you. How could you not love Zep!?

Unmuse -- the long song is the DJ's friend. When I worked in AC radio, I saved Dan Fogelberg's "Run for the Roses" (6:05 in length) for those moments when I had to use the bathroom -- Also, that song is so horrible I think it actually helped my regularity, if you know what I mean.

I think it's funny that you're the one pothead I know who isn't immediately fascinated and devoted to songs about pot. Most stoners I know swear by that song -- as if the use of the words "Mary Jane" is a code that the rest of us can't possibly decipher.

It's like I've always said. I don't have a problem with anyone getting high. But I WILL be making fun of you as soon as you get there.

WIGSF -- Yeah, but are you listening to Whole Lotta Love or are you deep into side 3 of Houses of the Holy. I think there's an argument on both sides here. I love me some zep, but I have no problem at all skipping to the next song whenever "Stairway to Heaven" comes up on the iPod. I think this is strikingly similar to your complaint abotu people who love the David Bowie "best of's" without really knowing the rest of his catalog.

Adam -- Here I am trying to be diplomatic and then you come out and say you don't like Hendrix. Because that's just silly.

Sure, Foxy Lady gets old. But there's a song called "Drivin South" that I could listen to all day every day. He's worth the digging into. Trust.
Heff said…
It almost seems like there's a "pattern" to writing a pop-hit, eh ?
The Kaiser said…
Mine are basically all of the popular songs by:
Pearl Jam
Alice In Chains

I think it's probably a regional thing at work, much like Jax and SHA etc, but I swear to god every third song on the radio in Seattle is STILL one of the major hits by one of the bands listed above. As if I hadn't heard all of those songs 5 million times when they came out, you want me to listen to them every day on the way home from work? No thanks.

Hence my excessive NPR intake.
Adam said…
Wait...I never said I don't like Hendrix. I said I can go forever without hearing him again! I chalk that up to a guy named Mike Bliss. Every time he ever came over to my house or anyone else's house (or to a party or anything), he'd put Hendrix on the stereo, computer, whatever and refuse to let anyone listen to anything else. And when that failed... out came the guitar.

So I got burned out. Makes me a bit sad, really, because I used to LOVE listening to Hendrix. I assume if I wait another few years, I can deal with it again. Hopefully.
Anonymous said…
Dude, do you have fancy special version of Houses that has three sides? Or did you get it confused with Physical Graffiti?

And I think you know me well enough to know that I do listen to side three of Physical Graffiti. Sides one and two more frequently though. And when I say sides, I mean it.
Hex said…
WIGSF -- If I tell you that I do, are you going to spend the rest of the day trying to buy it?

Dude, that's just what Jimmy Page wants you to do. You have to RESIST!

How 'bout a nice palate cleanser? Maybe pick up that awful Robert Plant/Allison Kraus album that won all the grammys despite the fact that no one's ever heard of it?

..Yes, I screwed up the title.
Adam said…
Funny.. I was thinking the same thing about that Alison Krauss/Robert Plant album. Who the fuck ever bought that? Why would anyone?
Anonymous said…
From the research I've done since this comment thread, I've been unable to find any reference to a special version of House of the Holy with more than two sides worth of content.

And I'm quite content with Fate of Nations being the only post-Zeppelin Robert Plant album in my possession. Yeah, I'm a sucker for 29 Palms.
Anonymous said…
Then again, I wouldn't be surprised if Zeppelin put some hidden message on an LP by putting a second groove on one of the sides.
Hex said…
Kaiser -- Knowing your love of NPR, I half expected you to answer this with something like, "I'm sooo sick of Terry Gross"

The reigonal music bias thing is what drove me to internet radio.

I escape Florida radio hell by immersing myself in Oregon radio hell.