Songs that are so bad, they’re good. You know the type; they’re the ‘Sharknado’ of the music variety. Every so often songs come along that are absolute lyrical masterpieces with the ability to change the world. These aren’t those. Sometimes songs are created that are just plain awful. These don’t quite fit into that category either. We’re talking about the songs that are, in actuality, so much worse than the latter; where the song itself or its subject matter are so outrageously shite, that they’re unintentionally amazing due to their perceived entertainment quality or they’re genius in their spectacular simplicity.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - 'Downtown'
This may be a surprising choice to some of you as it’s quite an unsuspecting ‘bad song’. It seems normal enough. It’s catchy, has a great beat and Eric Nally delivers with some nice singing right? Well all of these attributes make it easy to miss the fact that the song is entirely about mopeds. Yep those small motorbike things that you barely need a license to ride. The. Entire. Song. Even the chorus. It is for this reason that the song is literally ‘ridiculously’ good. You can’t help but get caught up and sing along and now there’s an extra layer (tiramisu, if you will) of enjoyment in the form of taking pleasure in catching your mate doing the same & informing them about the silly topic of the song.
“My seat is leather, alright, I’m lying, it’s pleather.But girl we could still ride together.You don’t need an Uber, you don’t need a cab,Fuck a bus pass, you got a moped man!”
Or the romantic:
“If I only had one helmet I would give it to you, give it to you. Cruising down Broadway girl, what a wonderful view, wonderful view.”
Courtney Barnett – ‘Pickles From The Jar’
Richard Kingsmill probably just got a chill as the words hit the (digital) page. Sorry mate but IMO this chick can’t sing and her songwriting is basic AF. I just don’t get the hype TBH but this song is the exception. It’s just so gol’ dang catchy and was on high rotation for a lot of last year, not to mention it came in at number 51 on Triple J’s coveted Hottest 100 countdown for 2014. Admittedly, she had a great live atmosphere at Lollapalooza in 2014 but you need to hear this song to appreciate the ‘so bad it’s good’ tag. Or perhaps you’ll join the horde of people that genuinely and emphatically love her music. Oh well Po-tay-to, Po-tah-to (or Dance/Dance/France/France as she puts it). It also doesn’t hurt that Christopher Walken is badass & (spoiler) it turns out that sharing that opinion is the one thing they have in common.
“You say Christopher, I say Walken.You love, I love Christopher Walken!!!I guess at least we have got one thing in common.”
Rebecca Black – ‘Friday’
Oh Beccy Black. This was both your uprising and your downfall. According to Youtube, her film-clip was number one on its list of most viewed videos for 2011 (granted Nyan Cat was number 5 so perhaps it was a slow year) and yet it has amassed millions of dislikes, thus proving the ‘so bad yet so good’ theorem.
Not only is the song ‘fun, fun, fun, fun’ but it’s also educational. She teaches you that if “yesterday was Thursday, today is Friday, tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes afterwards.” In case you were wondering, she has another song titled ‘Saturday’ and it’s a much better song but with a few obvious nods to this previous gem (and yes, she is still partying).
“Seven a.m. waking up in the morning / Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs / Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal”
Vanilla Ice – ‘Ice Ice Baby’
This is why Eminem was beaten up as a kid. Sorry young Marshall but this song is… well it’s not dope but it is great! Vanilla Ice completely agrees that this song is tops and obviously didn’t have the same aversion to boasting as Milhouse did because the lyrics are extremely and unreasonably boastful. He also didn’t want to give credit to Queen and David Bowie! Perhaps Bowie had a ‘word to his mother’ though because eventually the credit and royalties were paid.
“Quick to the point, to the point, no fakin’ / Cooking MC’s like a pound of bacon”
Then a bit later says:
“Gunshots ranged out like a bell / I grabbed my nine all I heard was shells”
Righto. No faking indeed.
Iggy Azalea and Britney Spears ‘Pretty Girls’
It’s Iggy Iggs and Britney Bitch!
Look, we don’t blame T.I. for jumping ship after this one. How did Iggs go from ‘Work’ to this in such a short period? It took Snoop at least 17 years to stoop to that level! There was also a small beef between the two pretty girls as a result of the song flopping and there’s minimal doubt as to why. Someone’s manager needs to seek another career path after letting this one out but we’re still glad it happened!
Note: the value of this song can only be appreciated if you are viewing the film-clip with it. Listening to the audio alone places it firmly back under the category of being just awful. The film-clip, its concept and the severely sub-par acting are pivotal to the beautiful mess that is ‘Pretty Girls’.
If you’re impatient and wish to skip to the worst (best!) part of the clip, fast forward to 02:05. You’re welcome.
“All around the world, pretty girls / Wipe the floor with all the boys / Pour the drinks, bring the noise / We're just so pretty!”
Written by Kate Carnell