80 worst songs of the 80s: The Top 10
At last, the top 20 songs from 80 worst songs of the 80s. Don't come looking for me if you start humming these all day long. George and Andrew to the left there are just trying to suck up in hopes they're not tops on the list. (Why does George look like Hilary Swank in that photo?)
And now... the final 10:
10. Walking on Sunshine (Katrina and the Waves)
Band reportedly was horrified that "Katrina" was the name of last year's killer hurricane.
"Now everytime I go for the mailbox, gotta hold myself down"
9. I Wanna Be a Cowboy (Boys Don't Cry)
A one-hit wonder by a British studio band, it topped out at No. 13 on the charts. One reader said "I was asked to turn off by a passenger in my car because it was so painful to listen to."
"My name is Ted. And one day I'll be dead -- yo yo"
8. Sunglasses at Night (Corey Hart)
Perhaps the most overplayed songs of the 80s (along with "Come On Eileen" and "Melt with You"), it's not even Hart's highest charting song -- Never Surrender is; along with "The Future's So Bright..." that makes two songs in the top 20 about wearing sunglasses.
"Don't switch the blade on the guy in shades, oh-no"
7. Fish Heads (Barnes and Barnes)
Fictional brothers Art and Artie Barnes are really artists Robert Haimer and Bill Mumy, who played Will Robinson in the TV series "Lost in Space." Though the song was recorded in 1978, it was released on the 1980 album Voobaha; made popular on the Dr. Demento radio show and Saturday Night Live.
"I took a fish head out to see a movie. Didn't have to pay to get it in"
6. Don't Worry, Be Happy (Bobby McFerrin)
McFerrin creates his music using his vocal range of four octaves and by tapping on his chest to make the bass sounds; he also sang the theme song to the "Cosby Show."
"In every life we have some trouble. When you worry you make it double "
5. Everybody Have Fun Tonight (Wang Chung)
Originally called Huang Chung (Chinese for "perfect pitch"); the band also claims "Wang Chung" is a sound make by strumming a guitar; named 3rd worst song ever by Blender magazine and VH1.
"Across the nation, around the world. Everybody have fun tonight"
4. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (Wham!)
Song is based on a note left in George Michael's hotel room one night from band mate Andrew Ridgeley; popularity soared with the MTV showing the band wearing "Choose Life" t-shirts.
"Jitterbug into my brain. Goes a bang bang bang till my feet do the same"
3. Greatest Love of All (Whitney Houston)
Originally recorded by George Benson in 1977; one of several hit singles off her 1985 debut album; considering Houston's current state of life, the song's themes of self-preservation and dignity might seem ironic; mocked in "Coming to America" and "Say Anything."
"No matter what they take from me, they can't take away my dignity"
2. Hip To Be Square (Huey Lewis and the News)
Band was composed of backup musicians for Elvis Costello and Van Morrison; several other band tunes -- "Heart of Rock and Roll" and "I Want A New Drug" -- barely missed inclusion on this list.
"Don't tell me that I'm crazy. Don't tell me I'm nowhere. Take it from me. It's hip to be square."
1. We Are The World (USA For Africa)
It was the best of the 80s ... it was the worst of the 80s. Originally intended by Harry Belafonte to feature only black musicians; recorded same night as American Music Awards in 1985 to assure artists were available; eighth consecutive year that a Lionel Richie song reached No. 1. Sure, the song was for a good cause. But it wasn't even as good as "Do They Know It's Christmas" by the British artists, from which the idea was stolen. As one reader said, "We had to sing that at a school concert and it haunts me to this day."
"It's true we'll make a better day. Just you and me"