Songs ruined by cornball lyrics/vocals at dramatic moments

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Speaking of spoken words/lyrics in general : the whole Doors catalogue if you’re not a teenager !

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 07:17 (two months ago) link

Love them. Not the poems, obviously.

How to Book Michael Fish (Tom D.), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 07:20 (two months ago) link

The Doors lyrics are fine. It's become some hipster received wisdom thing where people love to hate them, but at their worst they're not that much worse and in most cases quite a bit better than their contemporaries.

☮ (peace, man), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 09:43 (two months ago) link

Ray Manzarek was if anything more of a cornball than Jim Morrison

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 09:46 (two months ago) link

Hum I dunno. I used to love them but I’m not sure I could enjoy « The End » spoken part anymore, for instance...

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 09:47 (two months ago) link

Doors were good though, I like to view them without their cultural baggage as a slightly embarrassing but still pretty decent American equivalent to The Soft Machine.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 09:50 (two months ago) link

Actually « The End » is a perfect answer to this thread for me !

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 09:53 (two months ago) link

I never take too much notice of lyrics anyway, so Jimbo's more egregious clunkers don't tend to register but his good lines do.

Euripedes' Trousers (Tom D.), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 09:54 (two months ago) link

I'm not immensely perturbed by it myself but that I understand quite a few find the "James Brown!" bit in "Genius of Love" close to unbearable.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 10:05 (two months ago) link

I hated the Doors before it was cool

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 10:07 (two months ago) link

I loved the Doors when everyone hated them before it was cool.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 10:14 (two months ago) link

I can't tell if it's the lyric or the performance, but "aaaaaaa wham bam thank you ma'am!" always grates on me extremely in "Suffragette City".

― flamboyant goon tie included

No way, that bit's great!

chap, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 10:44 (two months ago) link

Anyway loads of decent techno bangers are spoiled by a robot german man popping up to say "Time on an infinite loop" or something like that in the breakdown.

chap, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 10:46 (two months ago) link

Like Das Boot

Siegbran, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 11:59 (two months ago) link

I like the corniness and bombast of "Live and Let Die," but "this ever-changing world in which we live in" is insuperable

Brad C., Tuesday, 6 August 2019 12:09 (two months ago) link


Well, perhaps he can clear up at least one tiny mystery of several decades standing: What exactly is McCartney's maddening lyric in "Live and Let Die"? Is it, "In this ever-changing world in which we live in"? Or "in which we're living"?

McCartney considers and seems genuinely puzzled. "Yeah, good question," he says. "It's kind of ambivalent, isn't it? . . . Um . . . I think it's 'in which we're living.'"

He starts to sing to himself: "In this ever changing world. . . . ' It's funny. There's too many 'ins.' I'm not sure. I'd have to have actually look. I don't think about the lyric when I sing it. I think it's 'in which we're living.' 'In which we're living.' Or it could be 'in which we live in.' And that's kind of, sort of, wronger but cuter. That's kind of interesting. 'In which we live in.' In which we live in! I think it's 'In which we're living.' "

☮ (peace, man), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 12:12 (two months ago) link

Not helpful, Paul.

☮ (peace, man), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 12:13 (two months ago) link

we're verging into ungrammatical territory rather than strictly cornball here but on a similar tip my favourite of these is:

"concrete jungle where dreams are made of"

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 12:15 (two months ago) link

the spoken word part of Everlasting Gaze by smashing pumpkins. thread won.

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 12:29 (two months ago) link

xxp regardless of how it ends, it starts with if, not in - otherwise it makes no sense: 'But IF this ever changing world in which we're living makes you give in and cry, say live and let die"

The Pingularity (ledge), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 12:31 (two months ago) link

Sounds like Sir Paul doesn’t want to offend any part of his fanbase, which might be comprised of individuals loyal to various different lyrical readings.

Another Fule Clickin’ In Your POLL (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 12:33 (two months ago) link

End of that New Radicals song.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 12:53 (two months ago) link

"concrete jungle where dreams are made of"

i'll never get over this tbh, it's appalling

Criss Angel Raw: The Mindfreak Unplugged (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 12:59 (two months ago) link

End of that New Radicals song.

― Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, August 6, 2019 12:53 PM (ten minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

The part about Beck and Marilyn Manson, etc?

☮ (peace, man), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 13:04 (two months ago) link

When you've got movies like Tom Cruise in them, you can't lose.

Liberals are insane in the mimbrain!!! (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 13:05 (two months ago) link

I think REM's 'You' counts here. I'm into it right up until the tuneless 'YEEEEEWWWWWWW, YEEEWWWWWWWWW, YEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW' that closes it out. Just another take or two until you hit the right note, Michael. That's all it would've taken.

Liberals are insane in the mimbrain!!! (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 13:06 (two months ago) link

Extended version of Bluebird by Buffalo Springfield features some prominenet grunting by Stephen Stills that could have been omitted.

kornrulez6969, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 13:42 (two months ago) link

In "Easy" by the Commodores, when Lionel Richie gives that big "UNNGH!" right before the guitar solo.

enochroot, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 14:09 (two months ago) link

(also +1 on the "shake it off" moment referenced by mfktz -- that has always felt particularly cringey)

enochroot, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 14:10 (two months ago) link

"This sick beat" is Elizabeth Barrett Browning compared to "Hey kids/Spelling is fun!/Girl, there ain't no 'i' in team/But you know there is a 'me'".

☮ (peace, man), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 14:17 (two months ago) link

I'm not immensely perturbed by it myself but that I understand quite a few find the "James Brown!" bit in "Genius of Love" close to unbearable.

― Nag! Nag! Nag!, Tuesday, August 6, 2019 5:05 AM (four hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

It's mostly ignorable in the studio version but the delivery in Stop Making Sense is...unfortunate.

Liberals are insane in the mimbrain!!! (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 14:25 (two months ago) link

counterpoint, the james brown part is the best part of the song

jakey mo collier (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 14:37 (two months ago) link

the entire live version of genius of love on stop making sense is off-putting, though

jakey mo collier (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 14:38 (two months ago) link

ELP's "Still...You Turn Me On"

Every day a little sadder
A little madder
Someone get me A LADDER!!!

frogbs, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 14:43 (two months ago) link

A game of HORSESHOOOES!

Liberals are insane in the mimbrain!!! (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 14:45 (two months ago) link

Anyway loads of decent techno bangers are spoiled by a robot german man popping up to say "Time on an infinite loop" or something like that in the breakdown.

― chap, Tuesday, August 6, 2019 6:46 AM (three hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

omg yes this

Paul Ponzi, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 14:47 (two months ago) link

When "Ramble On" reveals itself as LOTR cosplay.

dinnerboat, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 14:51 (two months ago) link

Did you forget you were listening to Zep or

Liberals are insane in the mimbrain!!! (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 14:54 (two months ago) link

The Live Rust version of Cortez the Killer

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 15:00 (two months ago) link

xpost I blame Andy Serkis.

dinnerboat, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 15:02 (two months ago) link

On "Yellow Gold", E-40 is rapping a raga to riches story over a dark slappy beat, then he says

"I started off a dollar-naire
Doodoo stains in my underwear"

i'd rather zing like a man, than FP like a coward (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 15:08 (two months ago) link

'Black Country Rock', twice towards the end. Once where Bowie inexplicably does a bad French accent for no reason other than the lyrics include the word "adieu", and then a second time immediately after where he takes his Marc Bolan impersonation a bit too far and sounds like a laughing goat.

just another country (snoball), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 15:09 (two months ago) link

I join the « this sick beat » team.
How come nobody in the process told her it was unfortunate ?

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 17:30 (two months ago) link

OK I know nobody listens to 12 Rods but the Gay? EP is pretty nice and understated- the only awful part about it is when he does that irritating whiny nasal "nothing's worse than a finger pointed" break during Revolute.

Evan, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 17:39 (two months ago) link

I did half a Xan
13 hours 'til I land
Had me out like a light, ayy

bookmarkflaglink (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 17:39 (two months ago) link

the beatboxing and acapella singing 3/4 thru Dr Dre's "Genocide" always ruins the song's spell

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 17:55 (two months ago) link

Someone’s made an album called “raga to riches” right?

The Live Rust version of Cortez the Killer

― Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes)

Otm

The newscaster in OutKast’s “Synthesizer”

JoeStork, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 20:03 (two months ago) link

The one that sounds lime they've never spoken before?

i'd rather zing like a man, than FP like a coward (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 20:25 (two months ago) link

I guess I shouldn't be surprised to see a lot of Doors discussion in this thread, but my first thought was "Runnin' Blue" which kind of has the opposite problem of being ruined by Jim's histrionics. Robby Krieger singing bluegrass is pretty jarring in the middle of an otherwise standard LA Doorsy rock song. Don't think those sections would sound any better with Jim singing though, so maybe the song just needed a rewrite.

Just googled the song and learned that it was intended as an epitaph to Otis Redding ("dead and gone"), which makes the line "I've got to find the dock of the bay" pretty cornball in its own right

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 21:22 (two months ago) link

Kacey M: you can have your space, cowboy
me: aw cool pun, now I get the title's other meaning
...
Kacey: you can have your space, cowboy (x 17)
me: (begs for death)

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 21:28 (two months ago) link

Don't think those sections would sound any better with Jim singing though

Pretty sure they would, Krieger has a terrible voice.

Euripedes' Trousers (Tom D.), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 21:52 (two months ago) link

Fair enough but Morrison was onto something imo refusing to sing them... very much outside his milieu. Maybe with a different arrangement that tones down the bluegrass thing, but I can't quite hear in my head what that would sound like.

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 23:33 (two months ago) link

"This sick beat" is Elizabeth Barrett Browning compared to "Hey kids/Spelling is fun!/Girl, there ain't no 'i' in team/But you know there is a 'me'".

There's nothing to ruin in the second case, though.

"Party, party, party, party all the time" does this for me in Sonic Youth's "Self-Obsessed and Sexxee", a tune I really like otherwise.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 23:39 (two months ago) link

The Doors lyrics are fine. It's become some hipster received wisdom thing where people love to hate them, but at their worst they're not that much worse and in most cases quite a bit better than their contemporaries.

― ☮ (peace, man), Tuesday, August 6, 2019 2:43 AM (thirteen hours ago)

the doors are bad

bookmarkflaglink (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 23:40 (two months ago) link

I love the doors so much

brimstead, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 23:47 (two months ago) link

The rap in the middle of "Eyes Without A Face" by Billy Idol.

3×5, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 23:52 (two months ago) link

The sorta-rapey spoken bit over the final verse of Parliament's otherwise unfuckwithable "My Automobile"

Paul Ponzi, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 00:04 (two months ago) link

I don’t know about “ruined,” but I think Stipe’s cornball little hipster monologue in the middle of “Stumble” is a bit less awesome than the rest of the song.

60... 90... 120 Minute IPA (morrisp), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 01:30 (two months ago) link

Neither cornball nor ruined, but I could do without the bit in "Monkey Man" where Jagger sounds like he's puking.

Lily Dale, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 01:40 (two months ago) link

I've never been a big fan of Dev's rap on Some Things Never Seem to Fucking Work by Solange.

kitchen person, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 01:58 (two months ago) link

I fucking love Bill Withers, one of my favourites

But I would happily go the rest of my life without a note of his music in it if it meant I never had to hear the ending to "Lovely Day" again

LOVELY DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY
LOVELY DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY
LOVELY DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY
LOVELY DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY
LOVELY DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY

Awful

flamboyant goon tie included, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 03:27 (two months ago) link

The rap in the middle of "Eyes Without A Face" by Billy Idol.

I'm on a bus
On a psychedelic trip
Reading murder books
Trying to stay hip

I love that

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 03:33 (two months ago) link

Nevermore's "Poison Godmachine" gets to this really intense riff at the bridge and then the spoken word begins

"Poison...
Is a word

God...is a word
Used for fear"

As usual, cheesily on the nose and sucks the air out

i'd rather zing like a man, than FP like a coward (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 03:38 (two months ago) link

omfg Mykki Blanco's atrocious feature on Charli XCX's gleaming, brilliant "Femmebot" absolutely destroys the track for me

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 04:03 (two months ago) link

John Foxx yelling "underpants!"

The Pingularity (ledge), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 07:16 (two months ago) link

If we're talking live, Hetfield to thread. YOU BETCHA!

chap, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 09:42 (two months ago) link

you must be joking re: "lovely day" !

Good morning, how are you, I'm (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 11:49 (two months ago) link

i've grown to love morrison's terrible poetry because it keeps me from taking the songs too seriously. when he starts in on "indian summer on dawn's highway bleeding..." i bust into laughter most times. same with stuff like "there's a killer on the ROAD/his brain is squirming like a TOAD". also his forced enunciation of "take a long holiday" in the next line is classic

lionel richie's "UNNGH!" in "easy" sounds like it's pre-made for the faith no more cover, where mike patton's rendering of it is all-time

kind of surprising that there's already been dead discussion and nobody has talked about donna on live versions of "playing in the band"

i rather like a lot of stuff by the police despite the fact that sting is the absolute worst lyricist in history

and since we're talking live, i don't object to "does anybody remember laughter?", but plant's nonstop gurning on the rest of the song does it no favors.

Abigail, Wife of Preserved Fish (rushomancy), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 13:06 (two months ago) link

I am an apologist both for Doors lyrics (which, as someone said upthread, are certainly no worse than those of 90% of his contemporaries and are in some cases quite good) and Donna's banshee wails on "Playing In The Band." I also don't get what's so terrible about Sting's lyrics in the Police.

If we're going to talk about conspicuous "raps" in songs that aren't rap songs, we'll need an entire new thread. That said (and I expect to be crucified for saying this), I thought "The Hook" by Blues Traveler was a totally decent and maybe even enjoyable pop song, but that rap in the middle remains one of the single worst things I have ever heard.

Paul Ponzi, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 14:07 (two months ago) link

I like some of Morrison's lyrics but the tortured syntax of the first verse does get in the way for me on "Light My Fire". "I'm finding it hard to believe we're in heaven" in Bryan Adams's "Heaven" always seems really off since that phrasing suggests scepticism rather than incredulous wonder to me and I find it hard to believe that that is what he wanted to express.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 14:17 (two months ago) link

The first verse of "Light My Fire" was written by Robby Krieger.

Euripedes' Trousers (Tom D.), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 14:22 (two months ago) link

Ah

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 14:22 (two months ago) link

Jimbo only wrote the 2nd verse iirc.

Euripedes' Trousers (Tom D.), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 14:23 (two months ago) link

"I'm finding it hard to believe we're in heaven" in Bryan Adams's "Heaven" always seems really off since that phrasing suggests scepticism rather than incredulous wonder to me and I find it hard to believe that that is what he wanted to express.

lol, never thought about that, but you're right. Like "This is it? This can't be it."

Paul Ponzi, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 14:30 (two months ago) link

My first encounter with "Genius of Love" was having it pop up in the middle of Stop Making Sense. I was maybe 9 or 10 at the time, and even then, the cringe factor was quite intense.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 14:35 (two months ago) link

kind of surprising that there's already been dead discussion and nobody has talked about donna on live versions of "playing in the band"

I love Donna's singing in "Playing," always. Of course she's loud: she's the only vocalist on that stage with the ability/knowledge of how to project her voice.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 14:40 (two months ago) link

the "why don't you piss off" in "Your Silent Face" is an example of a song *made perfect* by cornball lyric/vocal at a dramatic moment.

fits, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 14:41 (two months ago) link

Jimbo only wrote the 2nd verse iirc.

On the spot, in that awful film.

chap, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 14:49 (two months ago) link

That said (and I expect to be crucified for saying this), I thought "The Hook" by Blues Traveler was a totally decent and maybe even enjoyable pop song, but that rap in the middle remains one of the single worst things I have ever heard.

"Suck it in, suck it in, suck it in / If you're Rin Tin Tin or Anne Boleyn"

I always assumed I was mishearing that. Nope, that's what they sing (according to the internet). Brutal.

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 16:23 (two months ago) link

“A fool who’ll waste his life, GOD REST HIS GUTS.”

Mr. Snrub, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 17:38 (two months ago) link

Ian Gillan's hysteric wailing in Child In Time although I'm sure many people love that part.

Siegbran, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 17:53 (two months ago) link


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