It is truly an accomplishment for a song to be on this list of the 10 worst songs of the ‘80s. After all, some of the worst music of all time came out in the ‘80s. Between the terrible production, the cheesy synthesizers and the lyrical shallowness, there were many things to dislike about popular songs from that decade. Let’s explore some of them, shall we?
- “We Built This City” by Starship. Starship claims that they built this city on rock and roll. We beg to differ. This song rocks about as much as a cold water enema. It has the awful synths, the insipid lyrics and another element common to the worst songs of ‘80s: a boring, uninspired drum beat with too much echo on it.
- “The Final Countdown” by Europe. Fans of “Arrested Development” may recognize this as the song that accompanies Gob during his disastrous magical act. It was not included in those scenes as a loving homage; it was included because it is hilariously awful. Listening to this song, you will find yourself counting down the seconds until it’s over.
- “Sussudio” by Phil Collins. Phil Collins started his career by ruining Genesis and then went on to have one of the most annoying song catalogs of the 1980s. Perhaps the most reviled of his songs is the nausea-inducing “Sussudio.” The song is so bland and uninspired that it was written into “American Psycho” as one of serial killer Patrick Bateman’s favorite songs to signify how empty he was inside.
- “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys. Even once-great bands had runs of awful music in the ‘80s. “Kokomo” is easily the worst thing The Beach Boys have ever done, and also one of the overall worst songs of the ‘80s. There’s nothing wrong about writing upbeat songs about vacationing to a tropical paradise, but this song sounds like it was tailor-made to be elevator music.
- “Party all the Time” by Eddie Murphy. At some point in time, Eddie Murphy told his friends and family, “Hey, I think I want to try my hand at making music.” Now, if they truly loved him, his friends and family would have said, “No, Eddie, that’s actually a really bad idea.” But unfortunately, people find it hard to say no to celebrities and as a result, one of the worst songs of the ‘80s was born. Also: "Harlem Nights.”
- “Come on Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners. “Toora Loora Toora Loo-Rye-Aye?” Yeah, that just about sums up the level of lyrical complexity in “Come on Eileen.” This is just one of those songs where it is impossible to understand why people actually liked it. At least Dexys Midnight Runners mostly disappeared after this song, never to bother the American music-listening public again.
- “Hip to Be Square” by Huey Lewis & The News. Do you like Huey Lewis & the News? Their early stuff was a little “new wave” for our taste but when “Sports” came out in ’83, we think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. OK, we were really just referencing “American Psycho” again, but man, is this song awful.
- “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison. Just like every cowboy has a sad, sad song, every hair metal band in the ‘80s has an obligatory ballad that’s supposed to prove they are sensitive as well as sexy. This one is Poison’s, and it is terrible.
- “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard. Here’s what we picture ourselves doing every time we hear this song: covering lead singer Joe Elliott in sugar and burying him up to his neck in an ant hill. Then he would be hot, sticky, sweet and eaten alive. It would be his just desserts for creating one of the worst songs of the ‘80s.
- “Please Don’t Go Girl” by New Kids on the Block. It’s because of NKOTB that we’ve had to suffer through later formulaic boy bands like N’Sync and The Backstreet Boys. They released many terrible songs, but this pseudo-romantic turd is arguably their worst. Did you know they released a new album in 2008? It was an entire CD full of the sound of no one caring.
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