Kevin Winter, Getty Images T.I. and Lil Wayne are teaming up once again, only this…
- Posted by Pat Pemberton
In 1980, the Police recorded a memorable, reggae-influenced tune about a teacher's feelings for a much younger student. Then, six years later, they released a slowed-down, overproduced version with fake drums. Making matters worse, when they released their greatest-hits album, 'Every Breath You Take: The Singles,' they included the dreadful '86 version of 'Don't Stand' and not the original.
If you wanted to blame one song for the horrid, fluttering melisma you hear from today's 'American Idol' contestants, you could easily pick this 1990 tune. Melisma -- the art of creating many notes from one syllable -- is fine when handled by acts like Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. But in the wrong hands, it's grating. Even more than Whitney Houston's over-the-top "iiiieeee-eye" shrieks that would follow, Carey's melismas inspired a generation of groan-inducing, exhibitionist vocals.
Before Paul Kantner was interviewed by a reporter in 2005, his manager went out of his way to make a clarification: "You know Paul had nothing to do with 'We Built This City,' right?" And who could blame him? Kantner's old group, Jefferson Airplane, was a pioneering psychedelic band with serious rock cred in the '60s. But a reconfigured band put out this corporate dud in 1985, which sounds like the Jefferson Airplane being hijacked to some godforsaken no-man's-land.
While he wasn't a "no-talent assclown" -- as a similarly named character in the movie 'Office Space' described him -- Bolton clearly besmirched this classic Otis Redding tune in 1987 by putting out an overproduced, sappy cover that appealed to adult-contemporary crowds. While he still carried the mullet over from his hard rock past, Bolton became a superstar by chugging Rock Lite.
We're not sure who the bigger turkey is here: Warner Bros., for signing R.E.M. to a record-breaking $80 million record deal in 1996, or R.E.M. for jumping the shark immediately afterward. The second album of the contract, 'Up,' sounded like it was recorded with a cheap Casio with fading batteries. 'Lotus' featured Michael Stipe singing nonsensical lyrics in a robotic voice -- a far cry from the pre-80 million-dollar man.
First of all, this Crash Test Dummies song features a chorus that's nothing but humming. Secondly, the lead singer's baritone voice sounds like a a church choir member gone rogue, possibly after swallowing a frog. Finally, this 1993 song made us all feel dumb when we had to say the title, sounding like our jaws had been wired shut.
Linda Ronstadt used to rock. In fact, they even dubbed her the Queen of Rock. Or, in some cases, the First Lady of Rock. But you wouldn't know that after she became the Royal Princess of Cheese. This song, sung with James Ingram for the 1986 animated movie 'An American Tail,' set a precedent for washed-up rockers who would go on to sing middle-of-the-road songs for cartoon films.
A song can be both successful and a turkey, as proved by this 2005 tune, which sold millions and simultaneously made practically everyone's Most Annoying Song list. Even worse, this Black Eyed Peas song prompted thousands of vain wannabes to post videos of themselves dancing (badly) to 'My Humps' on YouTube.
By the 1990s, Eddie Van Halen got cocky, figuring he was so good it didn't matter who was singing alongside his guitar-god pyrotechnics. But, it turns out, both David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar actually did add something to the band. This melody-depraved cacophony of noise, with ex-Extreme singer Gary Cherone singing lead in 1997, proved Van Halen wasn't all about Eddie.
What goes better with turkey than some reheated pie? In 1971, Don McLean's 'American Pie' was a poetic nod to the Day the Music Died -- the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. Madonna's slowed-down, pop-dance cover from 2000 trivializes the crash -- and cuts out many of the song's lyrics. While McLain said he was delighted to hear Madonna was covering it, we think the release of this cover marked the day his song died.