17 #1 Hits Worse Than ‘We Built This City’

Share This:

When we published an article about Starship’s smash hit “We Built This City,” that reached #1 on November 16, 1985, and which many rock critics have called the worst song ever, we expected to get lots of feedback from classic rock fans both agreeing and disagreeing with the sentiment. What we got was an avalanche! Some of you really, really hate that song! Many others felt that “We Built This City” wasn’t even in the top 100 of worst-ever tunes.

If there are other #1 hits that were at least as bad as “We Built This City,” maybe even worse, what are they? We started tossing around some contenders. Our conclusion: Yes, there were. Many of them! Here are 17 for starters. All of these came out between the late ’50s and the mid-’80s—after that, nearly every other #1 hit could qualify.

Now, a caveat emptor—Best Classic Bands can not be held responsible for any stomach ailments or psychiatric episodes that result from reading this list or listening to these songs. And if you disagree with us on our choices, or can think of others that are even worse, we welcome your feedback but we’re sticking with what we’ve got. (If you convince us though, we may do a part two.)

Please keep one thing in mind before you comment though: This list consists solely of songs that went to #1 on the Billboard singles chart. We’re not interested in songs that went to #2 or #78. There’s plenty to trash without ever leaving the top of the pops!

17. Starship—“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” (1987)
So you thought “We Built This City” was the worst song ever? Wrong! It’s not even the worst Starship song! And you know who agrees with that? Grace Slick, who sang the lead on “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” with Mickey Thomas. She now regrets having anything to do with this song, co-penned by Albert Hammond and Diane Warren. In her blunt, poker-faced manner, she once said, “I know what will stop us. A Mack truck will stop us!” In an interview, I asked her to elaborate: “I don’t like to sing songs where I don’t believe the lyrics. Diane Warren is an amazing pop songwriter and she, I’m assuming, believes in that state, where…you’re in love, you get kind of crazy. But I’m older now. I [was] damn near 50, and I’m singing, ‘Nothing’s gonna stop us now.’ I know goddamn well how fast a relationship can come apart. So I’m getting up onstage and I’m thinking, yeah, right. It’s distracting and disconcerting to me.”

16. Chuck Berry—”My Ding-a-Ling” (1972)
Roll this around in your head for a little bit before you go back to the actual song in question. Chuck Berry, the Chuck Berry! Inventor of rock guitar. America’s true poet laureate. “Johnny B. Goode.” “Roll Over Beethoven.” “Sweet Little Sixteen.” “Little Queenie.” We could go on all day. None of those songs made #1. Then, more than a decade after his last top 10 single, after every band in the world had covered him, he comes out with this bit of embarrassing middle-school silliness filled with double entendres about playing with his dick. Written and first recorded by Fats Domino’s right-hand man Dave Bartholomew, Berry had actually recorded it once before, as “My Tambourine.” But here, recorded live (with two members of the Average White Band among the backing musicians), he found his one and only ticket to the top of the charts. And after that, he was never able to not perform it at one of his gigs. That might have been OK with Chuck, but it makes us upchuck.

15. Bobby Goldsboro—“Honey” (1968)
This Floridian, one of many Bobbys who took over the charts between the downfall of Elvis and the arrival of the Beatles, managed to place a whopping 37 singles onto the Billboard chart. This treacly ballad was his only #1 though and, as has been pointed out, may very well owe its success to the fact that its rise coincides with a time when America was in mourning over the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and about to lose RFK. But yuck, what a sappy sentiment: “Honey” is one of many songs about the loss of a loved one, “kind of dumb and kind of smart,” who, while home alone one day, was taken by the angels. “Now my life’s an empty stage, where Honey lived and Honey played and love grew up/And a small cloud passes overhead and cries down on the flower bed that Honey loved.” Dude, did it ever occur to you that she just couldn’t take you anymore and begged the angels to end her misery?

14. Terry Jacks—“Seasons in the Sun” (1974)
Did you ever look at a list of the songs that were huge hits in 1974? Some classics, to be sure, but some unbelievably awful ones. This falls into the latter column. Jacks and his wife Susan started out with the Poppy Family (1970’s “Which Way You Goin’, Billy”) but Terry found his rocket ship to the top with this tune. It was composed by the Belgian Jacques Brel, given English lyrics by Rod McKuen and then worked up pop-style by this guy. Interestingly, its lyrical sentiment is nearly identical to that of “Honey,” and it’s sung in a similarly adenoidal whine: “Goodbye, Michelle, it’s hard to die when all the birds are singing in the sky/Now that the spring is in the air with the flowers everywhere/I wish that we could both be there.” Yeah, well Michelle doesn’t—move on.

13. Christopher Cross—“Sailing” (1980)
Grammys for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist? For what? Cross had a nice enough singing voice and sure, sailing is a great way to spend the day. But this self-penned ballad is so saccharine and devoid of edge that we’d probably be hurling off the side of the sailboat if he made us listen to it on the open sea.

Related: 11 surprising 1970s radio hits

12. Falco—“Rock Me Amadeus” (1986)
Fusing rock with classical music can sometimes be a wholly rewarding experience (Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Procol Harum, Yes). Or it could be this. The Austrian’s synth-pop tribute to Mozart might have worked if he’d treated it as the novelty it is, but somehow you can’t help feeling he was dead serious, even when he sang: “Amadeus, Amadeus, Amadeus/Amadeus, Amadeus, Amadeus, Amadeus, Amadeus/Oh, oh, oh, Amadeus, come and rock me Amadeus!” Rock this.

11. Starland Vocal Band—“Afternoon Delight” (1976)
Hey, it was the ’70s; sex was on everyone’s mind, all the time. But maybe if you know how the song came about you’ll have more insight into why it’s still sort of creepy. From Wikipedia: “The title came from the happy hour menu at Clyde’s restaurant in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., where Bill Danoff was eating with fellow band member Margot Chapman while his then-wife Taffy Danoff was undergoing surgery for cervical cancer.” Hey, my wife might die but here’s what’s on my mind: “Rubbin’ sticks and stones together makes the sparks ignite/And the thought of lovin’ you is getting so exciting, skyrockets in flight.” It’s a wonder she didn’t take an overdose of morphine in her hospital bed.

10. Zager & Evans—“In the Year 2525” (1969)
Who were these two bozos (answer: Danny Zager and Rick Evans) and why did they think we wanted to hear their apocalyptic predictions? Well, at least the world will be around until 8510, long after any memory of this pretentious drivel is erased from consciousness. That is, “if man is still alive, if woman can survive.”

9. Pat Boone—“Ain’t That a Shame” (1955)
Look, it would’ve been easy to populate this entire list with this icky white boy’s scrubbed-to-death covers of R&B hits. But let’s just use his first #1, a rollicking tune made famous by Fats Domino, as our example, and leave it at that. It’s a wonder he didn’t change “ain’t” to “isn’t.” Ain’t it a shame this wasn’t the end of his career?

8. Donny Osmond—“Go Away Little Girl” (1971)
When Steve Lawrence sang this Goffin-King ballad in 1962 (and took it to #1), a 27-year-old man addressing a younger woman, it was kind of sweet: “I’m not supposed to be alone with you/Oh yes, I know that your lips are sweet but our lips must never meet/I belong to somebody else and I must be true.” But when Donny Osmond sang it in 1971, he was 14. Just how young was this little girl? Ever think that you should’ve been the one to go away, Donny?


7. Paul Anka—“(You’re) Having My Baby” (1974)
Where to even begin. How about with Paul Anka’s past? He had already logged two typically wimpy ’50s #1 pinup-boy hits (“Diana” and “Lonely Boy”), had written “My Way” and the theme from Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and was considered a respected performer as he matured into his thirties. But by the mid-1970s he hadn’t had a big hit in well over a decade. Enter the truly nauseating “(You’re) Having My Baby.” Written by Anka and sung as a duet with Odia Cotes, on the surface it’s a beautiful sentiment: this couple is so in love and what better way to solidify their relationship than making a kid? “You’re a woman in love and I love what’s goin’ through ya,” Anka sings. So sweet. But it’s sooo sweet that it will make your teeth fall out. And what does he mean by “my baby,” anyway? Does he own it? How about “our” baby? She’s the one who’s going to do the hard work. In fact, that weird parenthesis around the word you’re makes us wonder if she was an afterthought. You’re? Who else was going to have this baby, the dog? Does he want to clarify that he’s not giving birth to it himself? CNN chose this as the #1 worst song ever.

Related: BCB’s interview with Paul Anka

6. Stars on 45—“Medley” (1981)
Smart, inevitable concept: Take a load of hooks from Beatles classics—“Nowhere Man,” “Drive My Car,” “We Can Work it Out,” etc.—and then, for no apparent reason, toss in the Archies’ “Sugar, Sugar” and Shocking Blue’s “Venus.” Put it over a boring disco beat. Go to #1. Then come back with “Medley II,” “More Stars” and a couple more before you finally, mercifully, go away.

Related: Our feature story on the medley phenomenon of 1981-82

5. C.W. McCall—“Convoy” (1975)
Do you remember CB radios? Let’s just say they were like early cell phones, except way more annoying. You needed to speak a secret jargon to use them. This country singer managed to wrap a bunch of CB radio slang and a story about truck drivers into one talky little bit of silliness that swept the nation and was then instantly forgotten. Breaker, breaker. You can drive off a cliff now, good buddy.

4. Debby Boone—“You Light Up My Life” (1977)
We already mentioned the execrable Pat Boone above. You know what was even worse than listening to Pat Boone? Hearing his daughter’s one big hit—10 weeks at #1!—over and over and over again. Apparently a lot of people loved this excruciatingly sappy  ballad—and still do; it’s a wedding perennial—but at least a few of us felt that it darkened our lives every time it came on.

3. Rupert Holmes—“Escape” (The Pina Colada Song)” (1979)
Sure, I like a pina colada as much as the next guy—can’t beat that refreshing, tropical combo of pineapple and coconut. But I really don’t need to hear how the protagonist of Rupert’s biggest hit likes them so much he works them into his personal ads or, conversely, how, “If you’re not into yoga, if you have half a brain/If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape/I’m the love that you’ve looked for, come with me, and escape.” Really, that “half a brain” line actually got you chicks? And now you want these lonely women to escape with you? You sound like a serial killer with that b.s.

2. Phil Collins—“Sussudio” (1985)
Phil Collins really was some kind of phenomenon: After putting in a good number of years as drummer and then vocalist for Genesis, he found the magic ticket to superstardom as a solo artist. He ultimately racked up seven #1 singles, of which “Sussudio” was the fifth. Some of the others were actually pretty great, some were abysmal, but this one, with its fake funk and mindless lyrics (“Ah, she’s all I need all of my life/I feel so good if I just say the word/Su-Su-Sussudio)—its commercial success aside—should have stayed on the st-st-studio floor. What kind of name is Sussudio for a girl, anyway?

1. Paul McCartney/Stevie Wonder “Ebony and Ivory” (1982)
How was this even possible? Are there two more talented individuals in the music world than Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney? Then how could they, together, come up with such a crap song? “Ebony and ivory, live together in perfect harmony/Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh Lord, why don’t we?” OK, it’s an admirable sentiment. We all want to live together in peace. So why, then, does this song make some people want to strangle everyone in sight?

Jeff Tamarkin

95 Comments so far

Jump into a conversation
  1. Kissmyasd
    #1 Kissmyasd 9 January, 2017, 20:51

    Convoy is/was an awesome song.

    Reply this comment
    • Jeff Tamarkin
      Jeff Tamarkin Author 10 January, 2017, 09:10

      10-4 good buddy!

      Reply this comment
      • Gene
        Gene 18 May, 2019, 07:23

        I’ll catch that song on the flip flop, I’m outta here.

        Reply this comment
      • carlsaganlives
        carlsaganlives 7 April, 2021, 12:01

        We’re still keeping our eyes out for ‘smokies’, lol.
        BTW – “Convoy” was also made into a movie, jumping in on the unlikely CB/redneck phenomenon starring none other than Kris Kristofferson, who wrote “Me &Bobby McGee”, which is a great driving song…….

        Reply this comment
    • Hollie
      Hollie 5 April, 2020, 11:15

      For me one half of these songs are the worst songs of all time. The others, some I actually like or appreciate for a particular reason. Such, as Afternoon Delight. Great vocals. Horrible as it is, Nothin’s Gonna Stop It Now has great vocals. I would say Ebony and Ivory is the #1 worst song. How come These Boots are Made For Walkin’ didn’t make the list?

      Reply this comment
      • Jeff Tamarkin
        Jeff Tamarkin Author 5 April, 2020, 16:06

        Because it’s a great classic song!

        Reply this comment
      • Coaster
        Coaster 13 May, 2020, 23:47

        Ebony Ivory-disgraceful. What were they thinkin’? I guess the other question is…what were buyers of this sycophantic drivel thinkin?

        Reply this comment
        • BWails
          BWails 5 April, 2021, 03:20

          Mull of Kintyre deserves a mention. Sentimental dross.

          Reply this comment
          • Jeff Tamarkin
            Jeff Tamarkin Author 5 April, 2021, 07:26

            While it was a huge #1 hit in many countries around the world, it didn’t even make the Billboard top 100 in America. The highest it charted was #45 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

    • Alison
      Alison 5 April, 2021, 12:12

      I agree! Any song that CW McCall released is fun . Listen to Crispy Critters and try not to smile!

      Reply this comment
  2. RJ in CA
    #2 RJ in CA 10 January, 2017, 02:21

    There are only two songs on this list that I would place below “We Built This City” – they would be “Having My Baby” and “Sussudio”. Most of the rest of these songs are staples of my (relatively boring) childhood.

    Reply this comment
  3. DrQuist
    #3 DrQuist 10 January, 2017, 10:29

    You left out a song by the non group STEAM ..

    Reply this comment
    • Jeff Tamarkin
      Jeff Tamarkin Author 10 January, 2017, 20:01

      Do you mean that one “Na Na Hey Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye”? Eh, not one of the worst.

      Reply this comment
      • Steve
        Steve 3 May, 2018, 20:58

        I agree, Jeff. There were some pretty cool lyrics in the song besides the catchy “Na Na Hey Hey” refrain. And sung wonderfully by the late Gary DeCarlo.

        Reply this comment
  4. Nick Krewen
    #4 Nick Krewen 10 January, 2017, 14:16

    You haven’t convinced me – “We Built This City” is still the worst song ever, with the knife edge still twisting in my gut because Bernie Taupin, who I’m a big fan of, co-wrote it. Maybe Clint Holmes’ “Playground In My Mind” is a close second, but my body physically wretches every time “City” is in close proximity. I don’t even have to hear it – I have finely-tuned sonar that acts up if it’s played within a 10-mile radius.

    Reply this comment
  5. Vic
    #5 Vic 11 January, 2017, 02:06

    Happy to relate that Patti Smith said she wished she’d written You Light Up My Life.

    Yes, THE Patti Smith….

    Reply this comment
    • Gene
      Gene 18 May, 2019, 07:26

      For the $ I’m sure, a lot of weeks at #1 and even a movie where it played several more times.

      Reply this comment
    • wlllljoyyyyy
      wlllljoyyyyy 17 November, 2019, 00:31

      … I remember something like that comment by Patti Smith about ” You Light Up My Life ” too!!! I recall her saying that YKUML and INJ and Travolta’s ” You’re The One That I Want ‘)” being currently in the radio at the same time (As I guess they were) were a sign that Too 40/chart music was in good shape. I recall, IIRC, hearing of her covering YLUML live at the time…

      Reply this comment
      • Gordo
        Gordo 2 August, 2020, 06:37

        Thanks for this list. Terrifying to think how many total hours I suffered listening to all of these.

        Thanks also for having the courage to include Sussudio. Phil C is best singing drummer ever but please… Stop! It is still played too often on classic rock radio.

        And why not Band on the Run? We love you for eternity Paul but OMG!? AWFUL.

        Thank you Best Classic Bands for your fabulous rock journalism!

        Reply this comment
        • Peter M
          Peter M 22 November, 2021, 00:31

          Band on the Run is one of the greatest classic rock tunes ever…take another listen or two

          Reply this comment
    • Duck Bharma
      Duck Bharma 5 April, 2021, 01:22


      Put her money where her mouth was. Or vice versa?

      Reply this comment
    • Kass
      Kass 2 August, 2022, 00:20

      Sorry, I simply don’t believe she said that.

      Reply this comment
  6. Mike Cote
    #6 Mike Cote 11 January, 2017, 07:44

    A memory from hell: My high school buddies and I are cruising downtown in his parents’ car with just an AM radio, the old-style punch button kind, and every station at the same time is somehow playing “The Pina Colada Song.”

    Reply this comment
  7. LM
    #7 LM 12 January, 2017, 05:28

    “In the Year 2525” came hot on the heels of the original “Planet of the Apes”, which made it much more relevant at the time.

    Reply this comment
  8. Ben
    #8 Ben 13 January, 2017, 11:08

    You Light Up My Life and Afternoon Delight are # 2 and #1 on my list…number 1 with a bullet….Morris Albert with Feelings. The 1974 stinker was #6 on the pop charts!

    Reply this comment
  9. Bob
    #9 Bob 6 May, 2017, 12:25

    The #1 worst song of all time – is never on anybody’s list – “McArthur Park” by Richard Harris. “Someone left the cake out in the rain – I don’t think that I can take it – because it took so long to bake it – and I’ll never have the recipe again.” THE WORST!

    Reply this comment
  10. PowerPuffDad
    #10 PowerPuffDad 18 May, 2017, 19:34

    “Disco Lady” by Johnny Taylor was the worst #1 ever. Many other bad ones, but that one was clearly the worst.

    Reply this comment
  11. craigers37
    #11 craigers37 13 August, 2017, 21:31

    The commentary for the songs gives them ll the more reason to suck so bad! Funny synopses of each song made this a great read. Well done!

    Reply this comment
  12. ChrisTheScubaGeek
    #12 ChrisTheScubaGeek 4 November, 2017, 21:37

    A few thoughts:
    1. My Ding-A-Ling was not only Chuck Berry’s only #1 but it also held the far superior Burning Love by Elvis off the top spot. Also, I would put this at the top of this list, just because it’s Chuck FRELLING Berry we’re talking about!

    2. Sussudio was the result of Phil sort of singing nonsense words while trying to work out what the vocal melody was going to be, when that word sort of came out of his mouth. He couldn’t find anything that made any sense to take it’s place, so he made it a girl’s name. David Letterman asked him once if he had ever met a girl named Sussudio, and Phil replied, “No, but give it 9 months time!”.

    3. CW McCall was actually a fictitious truck driver, portrayed by singer/songwriter Bill Fries. Originally, Fries and his songwriting partner Chip Davis (who later gave us Mannheim Steamroller) originally created the character for a series of bread commercials, which became so popular in whichever region in the South they were from, someone had the idea they should do an actual record with the character.

    Reply this comment
    • Billy K.
      Billy K. 4 December, 2017, 14:30

      Grace Slick bowed out from performing the song at one of the awards shows(not sure if it was the Grammys or the AMA)……and Gloria Estefan ended up singing Slick’s part on the show instead.

      And didn’t some folkie outfit do “Honey” before Goldsboro got a hold of it? I want to say Kingston Trio, but that’s likely not the correct group.

      Reply this comment
      • ToddE
        ToddE 29 April, 2018, 00:27

        You’re one-third correct. The original recording of “Honey” was by the Kingston Trio’s Bob Shane, issued on Decca under his own name. It’s on YouTube, should you dare.

        Reply this comment
        • Levi
          Levi 5 April, 2021, 00:59

          Fabulous what about
          “ We are the world “
          “Annie’s Song “
          “Ben “

          Reply this comment
    • Peglegpete
      Peglegpete 16 November, 2020, 11:52

      The south??
      Try Omaha

      Reply this comment
  13. supercap
    #13 supercap 5 December, 2017, 01:49

    the worst ever song for me..”The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band..a load of absolute crap with childlike lyrics, bland nondescript playing..an insult to any normal music lovers intelligence..

    Reply this comment
    • BettyPetty3233
      BettyPetty3233 29 April, 2018, 01:24

      Thsnk you! You just said what I have thought, for my entire life of this Steve Miller song and the band as a whole. Please add “Abracadabra” to a new list called, PURE CRAP!

      Reply this comment
      • Lisa
        Lisa 17 November, 2019, 01:07

        Yes! Abracadabra is one of the worst songs of all time wherever it came in on the charts. I nominate everything Bobby Goldsboro ever did as absolutely horrible (check out A Butterfly for Bucky for real putridness). Also: Muskrat Love by Captain & Tennille, Can I Touch You…There? by Michael Bolton, Break My Stride by Matthew Wilder, and everything Meatloaf has done. And so much more…

        Reply this comment
    • jefflynnerules
      jefflynnerules 17 November, 2022, 15:55

      Thank you, thank you…THANK YOU!!!!! Finally, I no longer feel alone regarding this song. In fact, when you consider how good a group The Steve Miller Band is, I half-suspect they were trying to make a bad song.

      Reply this comment
  14. Terry G
    #14 Terry G 4 February, 2018, 14:26

    I know it didn’t make #1, only top 10, but since you mentioned Bobby Goldsboro- worst song ever is Summer (the first time) . Try to beat this couplet

    We sat on the sand, and the boy took her hand
    But I saw the sun rise as a man


    Reply this comment
  15. WLD
    #15 WLD 4 February, 2018, 14:30

    For what it’s worth, I have always had a more benign interpretation of the use of the word “my” in Mr. Anka’s tune. I remember how I felt when my wife told me that she was willing to try and have a baby with me. I felt very honored and flattered to be personally trusted that much. So, I was very happy that she wanted to have MY baby, as opposed to some other guy’s baby. I don’t think, in this instance, that the use of “my” necessarily connotes an unhealthy, disrespectful attitude of ownership.

    Reply this comment
  16. GG
    #16 GG 29 March, 2018, 18:28

    You nailed this!!! I agree COMPLETELY!!!

    Reply this comment
  17. TK Arnold
    #17 TK Arnold 29 April, 2018, 00:10

    The line I still can’t believe in “Having My Baby” is the one where he commends the pregnant lady friend for not having an abortion: “Didn’t have to keep it/Wouldn’t put you through it./You could have swept it from your life/But you wouldn’t do it/No/You wouldn’t do it./And you’re having my baby.” This line is to pop music what the AMC Pacer was to automobiles. The worst.

    Reply this comment
    • MRodifer
      MRodifer 16 November, 2020, 12:39

      THIS. Risible. Transparent. Deeply offensive. I believe Paul Anka has a special chair set aside for him in songwriter’s hell. IMHO.

      Reply this comment
  18. B- rad
    #18 B- rad 29 April, 2018, 00:15

    Ebony and Ivory at number one is not even the worst McCartney duet. How about the girl is mine with Michael Jackson? Let’s not even talk about Say say sy

    Reply this comment
  19. Spike
    #19 Spike 29 April, 2018, 00:53

    So, what about, “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I’ve Got Love In My Tummy?”

    Reply this comment
    • Gene
      Gene 18 May, 2019, 07:28

      Love in the Tummy…better title for Paul Anka’s Having My Baby, and let the girl sing it

      Reply this comment
  20. chrisfloydfan
    #20 chrisfloydfan 29 April, 2018, 03:39

    You missed out Mr blobby what the hell is wrong with you ?

    Reply this comment
  21. Tubetone130
    #21 Tubetone130 27 May, 2018, 10:58

    Oooga chucka oooga chucka ooga ooga ooga chucka!

    Reply this comment
  22. howard38
    #22 howard38 6 July, 2018, 08:24

    The problem with starting w/a specific premise, i.e. so & so song is not the worst ever, is that you are forced to declare that certain songs are worse. If this list was made honestly We Built This City would be at or near the top. It’s surely worse than Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us (although I will grant that Rock & Roll is Good Time Music by Starship is probably their worst).

    Reply this comment
  23. Mediaace
    #23 Mediaace 10 May, 2019, 08:30

    You left out “Disco Duck” by Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots, which is obviously the WORST #1 single of all-time!

    Reply this comment
  24. Mortal Man
    #24 Mortal Man 14 May, 2019, 01:08

    Late to the party but…
    Dude, your comments are hilarious!!! That is some seriously funny reading. I see how you arrived at your list. Lol. I’m not here to debate but I know Winger had that perverted “She’s only seventeen” and the notorious “Final countdown” by Europe. Those not only hurt your ears but disturb your intestines. Come up with a new list. I just want to read what you have to say. Lol – Awesome Job!

    Reply this comment
    • Jeff Tamarkin
      Jeff Tamarkin Author 14 May, 2019, 08:12

      Ha, thanks! Yes, “The Final Countdown” is definitely up there.

      Reply this comment
      • moik
        moik 5 April, 2020, 08:22

        we had a guy at work that played this incessantly. we had to kill him and stuff his body into an empty 50 gallon drum. It was either that or poke my ears out

        Reply this comment
  25. BeatleizingBabe
    #25 BeatleizingBabe 17 November, 2019, 00:10

    I think Ebony and Ivory is absolutely lovely.

    Reply this comment
  26. Bananas Foster
    #26 Bananas Foster 17 November, 2019, 03:13

    I can no longer restrain myself. I’ve been reading—and loving—Best Classic Bands for about three years but have never commented before.This is such a great way for some of us over 60 to indulge in a loving look back at the songs that accompanied our lives. But reading the list of Worst Songs Ever aroused my need to add to that list. “Sugar, Sugar.”

    Reply this comment
  27. Dave-a-reeno
    #27 Dave-a-reeno 17 November, 2019, 09:06

    You got your comments backwards on “Pina Colada” – it wasn’t him trying to get chicks, it was her trying to find a dude…

    Reply this comment
  28. Micky
    #28 Micky 17 November, 2019, 09:32

    And I went thru the desert on a horse with no name, And there aint’ no one for to give ya no pain, blah blah blah. You hit it but there are so many,many more. Shake, shake, shake…..
    Makes me want to poke my ears out.

    Reply this comment
  29. stereo
    #29 stereo 17 November, 2019, 11:56

    OK, it topped out at #3 but someone has to mention the Dan Hilll song “Sometimes When We Touch”. Unbelievably,Tina Turner did a remake of it. Best line- ”
    sometimes when we touch
    The honesty’s too much
    And I have to close my eyes
    And hide
    I want to hold you till I die
    Till we both break down and cry
    I want to hold you till the fear in me subsides

    Reply this comment
  30. v2787
    #30 v2787 18 November, 2019, 12:57

    I actually liked “We Built This City.” It’s a mindless piece of pop fluff, but it’s nice ear candy. And Grace and Mickey could really sing. I do agree that Dan Hill’s “Sometimes When We Touch” makes me grit my teeth and want to puke. What an awful song!

    Reply this comment
  31. Bill
    #31 Bill 5 April, 2020, 08:28

    I’ve always considered “Billy Don’t Be a Hero” – The Heywoods as the worst record. Maybe it didn’t make #1 to qualify for your list. It should be on the Dishonorable Mention list.

    Reply this comment
  32. Woody.51
    #32 Woody.51 5 April, 2020, 11:38

    Are we forgetting American Pie by Don Mclean “Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry” over and over. Shoot me now!!.

    Reply this comment
  33. Pinball666
    #33 Pinball666 16 November, 2020, 10:22

    All of these are miles better than ANY rap song

    Reply this comment
  34. J Pierre
    #34 J Pierre 16 November, 2020, 15:35

    …”Hello I love you “by the Doors deserves to be in this list….!

    Reply this comment
  35. Jim
    #35 Jim 16 November, 2020, 19:06

    While it probably never made it to Number 1, “Daddy, Don’t You Walk So Fast is my personal choice for worst ever. Just so very bad, IMHO.

    Reply this comment
  36. The Captain,but not that one.....
    #36 The Captain,but not that one..... 17 November, 2020, 01:07

    I know Rupert is a talented man, and cheers mate, but “Escape” is my walk-up song for performing colonoscopies.

    Reply this comment
  37. Zenguy1213
    #37 Zenguy1213 17 November, 2020, 15:12

    I’d have to put “I’ve Never Been to Me” by some woman who went by “Charlene”. It was out in the early 80s and is the woman’s bragging about all the adventures that she has had but how she’s suffered because she’s never found what she was looking for which seems to be barefoot and pregnant. I cringed whenever it came on.Z

    Reply this comment
  38. Mack
    #38 Mack 18 November, 2020, 08:13

    Shake shake shake, Shake shake shake, Shake yer bootie. Try getting that out of your head.

    Reply this comment
  39. Mike N
    #39 Mike N 23 November, 2020, 20:45

    Many many years ago, the great New York station WNEW had a feature called …the Dreaded Midnight Oldie…and one night played Having my Baby with an incredible laugh track over it. Hysterical!! I thought that solidified it’s spot as worst record ever. All the selections are terrible……great list….

    Reply this comment
  40. Leon Armstrong
    #40 Leon Armstrong 12 December, 2020, 00:47

    I’d remove “Seasons in the Sun” and “Rock Me Amadeus” from this list to make room for Carl Douglas’s “Kung Fu Fighting” and Mary MacGregor’s “Torn Between Two Lovers.”

    Reply this comment
  41. v2787
    #41 v2787 4 April, 2021, 12:33

    I hated “Honey” when it came out and I hate it even more today. What an absolutely horrible, horrible song! And “You’re Havin’ My Baby” isn’t far behind. Wow, those were some stomach-churners.

    Reply this comment
  42. Skipper T.
    #42 Skipper T. 5 April, 2021, 07:28

    I had to play most of these as a radio DJ… In the world of hit radio, you played the HEAVY rotation of 7 to 9 songs within a 90 to an hour and fifty minute window (that was a long rotation over the 60’s and early 70’s HEAVY rotation of 55 to 70 minutes… Now you get requests to sing them from younger generations for the novelty… Yeesh!!! But, it does put a fond memory in your head of who you were dating at the time…. :))

    Reply this comment
  43. Hook
    #43 Hook 5 April, 2021, 08:10

    Billy, Don’t Be a Hero-Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods. Originally recorded by…Paper Lace AND went to #1 in the UK!

    Reply this comment
  44. songwriterz
    #44 songwriterz 5 April, 2021, 08:31

    The ironic part of Ebony and Ivory – the worst song ever regardless of chart position – is that McCartney recorded his part in London while Wonder recorded his in LA. An engineer then melded the two parts together. They weren’t even side by side when they recorded it! There’s a much better song about black and white relations recorded by Three Dog Night: Black and White! One of the best of the 70s!

    Reply this comment
  45. Jim
    #45 Jim 9 April, 2021, 10:18

    I actually enjoy “City” as well as several of their other songs, but Billy Don’t Be A Hero could make your “worst” list, IMHO.

    Reply this comment
  46. Stella Blue
    #46 Stella Blue 4 August, 2021, 18:01

    Great list. Except for In the Year 2525. That song really captured my 7-year-old imagination.

    Reply this comment
  47. hi i'm emily
    #47 hi i'm emily 27 October, 2021, 14:20

    No mention of “Ballad of the Green Beret”? Not only was it a #1 hit, it was the biggest hit of 1966, and it is absolutely repugnant pro-war propaganda from the early days of the Vietnam War, a period best remembered for the exact opposite. Not to mention the dude who made it was a murderer.

    Reply this comment
  48. Lorelei
    #48 Lorelei 17 November, 2021, 04:09

    The Sucky Song Fest! And I agree with all of those – they all bit the big one!

    Reply this comment
  49. VinylJunkie
    #49 VinylJunkie 17 November, 2021, 20:03

    Vincent by Don McLean. I think it’s my sanity that was suffering.

    Reply this comment
  50. beatseeker
    #50 beatseeker 24 November, 2021, 09:03

    ok, who put “sometimes when we touch” in my head? now i gotta tune up my guitar and play a beatles song…

    Reply this comment
  51. Frostozzy
    #51 Frostozzy 26 August, 2022, 13:32

    I sometimes a song comes out at a time in your life that brings back great memories and you love it for life. 2525 and especially my ding a ling is 2 of those songs. 2525 came out when a great friend and I were having a lot of fun playing basketball hiking with our friends and listening to this song and others of that year. Ding a ling was being played a lot the year I became an official license driver and did a lot of cruising with my buddies. Then we. Listen to this giant radio I had at night while partying. I have great memories of these songs. True. If the came out today or even five years later I would have felt the same thing you did about them. As for convoy they made a movie based on that song that was even worse than that song basically ended the film careers of Kris Kristofferson and Ernest Borgnine. Also had the bad actress Ally McGraw

    Reply this comment
  52. jefflynnerules
    #52 jefflynnerules 17 November, 2022, 16:35

    Come on, you can do better. How about “Leader of the Pack”? Or “Lady Marmelaide” (sp?)? Or “Let’s Hear it for the Boy”? Or “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”? Or “Careless Whisper”? Or “Greatest Love of All”?

    Reply this comment
  53. Pete F
    #53 Pete F 19 November, 2022, 20:12

    Where’s “Muskrat Love” by The Captain and Tenille? Strangely, I really like most of the songs on this list but then again I was a kid when most of them came out.

    Reply this comment

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.