12. The worst song?
I realised only when posting my previous blog that I had committed a blogging sin by missing yesterday altogether. I had a cold, but luckily have now revived enough to do two today.
This is partly prompted by the late Peter Sarstedt’s ‘where do you go to my lovely’ being described by a journalist I normally respect (Michael Henderson) as possibly the worst pop song of all time. The song is silly in many ways but was a big and deserved hit in its day, despite being a waltz in a world of rock.
If you want to hear the worst pop song of all time, the average top 20 singles will contain at least 18 strong contenders. I did not realise until I spoke to an experienced recording engineer that the latest hits are made on a production line. The star may or may not think of a word, and then a set of studios compete toe produce something of a song.
By those standards ‘Where do you go to’ is quite good. It has a memorable second line to the title ‘when youre alone in your bed’. That creates quite a strong image, even though the shopping list of starts and stuff is pretty silly. I checked the top 20 singles: the first two are by Ed Sheeran, not one of my favourites but not really poor. Number 4, by Clean Bandit, is more like the standard top 20 stuff: rather naff. This video is not as bad as the song as the girl livens it up by appearing as about 15 girls at once!
But songs like that are not supposed to be listened to with attention, so its probably unfair to criticise them.
For something memorably wonderful turn again to Fats Waller. This time his ‘Your Feets too big’:
‘Say up in Harlem at a table for two
there were four of us, me your big feet and you
From your ankles up, I’ll say you sure are sweet
but from there down there’s just too much feet’
How on earth did he think up a song like that? And its a good tune too! A pretty good worst.