Monday, May 2, 2011

Music Monday

Day 2 — Your Least Favorite Song

Like the first day, it's hard for me to choose a stand-out least favorite because that will change with time and taste as well. For example, right now I want to drown puppies every time I hear Adam Lambert, but only because the adult contemporary station plays that godawful single on a daily (sometimes twice-daily) basis. So again, like the first day, I'm going with a song that has the longest track record of annoying me:

Not because of anything wrong with the song itself (even though it was intended as a B-side filler and the songwriters themselves thought it was mediocre), but because this single has the worst production quality I've ever heard, ever. I remember hating this song when I was single digits in age, because the tracks are so poorly mixed—and even now I could barely stand to listen to more than five seconds in the video up there, just to confirm that it still bothered me. You can barely hear Tommy James over the scratchy and mind-numbingly boring rhythm guitar part; it's Phil Spector's "wall of sound" technique gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Because otherwise I enjoy Tommy James and the Shondells. There is a staggering gulf in the distance of production quality between singles like "Crimson and Clover" or "Sweet Cherry Wine" and...this. According to James:

I don't think anybody can record a song that bad and make it sound good. It had to sound amateurish like that. I think if we'd fooled with it too much we'd have fouled it up.

No. You wouldn't have fouled it up. You would have made it tolerable. Of course, when you record it at a radio station, you take what you can get. But I can't deal with this song at all, and I think if I had been working during the summer when this came out, I would have wanted to rip my ears off.

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