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The Worst Song Lyrics Ever

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Derek
(@dc)
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Posted by: Gavin
 
Why on earth were all the people singing "Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na,Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na,Na, Na, Na?

Because she's got the look?


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Jenny Stokes
(@jenny-stokes)
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Posts: 539
 

Whoa dudes. I LOVE Right Said Fred. They're hilarious. Listen to that song often. And I'm not joking. It makes me laugh every time.

Hey Derek. SO cool to see you here. Now I need to go look for your intro post (which I'm sure is here somewhere).

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://evansandstokes.com
https://www.facebook.com/evansandstokes/


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Jenny Stokes
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Hahahahaha! I just got the joke, D. "She's got the look" Lol Though technically, that's "Na-na-na-na-na. Na-na-na-na-na. Na. Na-na-na. Na....et-cetera."

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://evansandstokes.com
https://www.facebook.com/evansandstokes/


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Derek
(@dc)
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When you get a lot of na-na's either she's got the look or it's hey, goodbye.


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Derek
(@dc)
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The One I Love by REM

This one goes out to the one I love
This one goes out to the one I've left behind
A simple prop to occupy my time
This one goes out to the one I love
Fire (she's comin' down on her own, now)
Fire (she's comin' down on her own, now)
 
Repeat 2 more times.

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Jenny Stokes
(@jenny-stokes)
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Ha! Yes, and 20 million views on one channel alone! But what makes it so successful? The beat? The guys distinctive voice?

Oi MAB, any thoughts on this one????

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://evansandstokes.com
https://www.facebook.com/evansandstokes/


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Derek
(@dc)
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They wrote a hook and decided they didn't need anything else.


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Jenny Stokes
(@jenny-stokes)
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Oh totally. But why was it successful. It was successful, right? Commercially I mean

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://evansandstokes.com
https://www.facebook.com/evansandstokes/


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Mabbo
(@mabbo)
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Jenny,

There are probably a few Universal truths you need to realize. The answers to questions that every philosopher,religious leader, psycologist, sage, etc. that have tried to ask from Plato, Einstein, Aristottle, and more. 
"What are the Universal truths?

"Are we alone in the Universe?"

"What is the fundamental reason for our existence?"

"Why is that DAMN SONG I HATE ON THE RADIO EVERY TEN MINUTES AND WHY DOES EVERYONE SEEM TO LOVE THAT CRAP?

"GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!"

 

If anyone could figure out why certain songs work and others don't, they would only do that. And writers, artists, record labels, television and movie networks could figure it out, that is ALL they would do. But considering the fact that ninety-nine out of one hundred projects FAIL, even after spending BILLIONS of dollars in marketing, development, research, no one can really tell anything. But if they could figure it out, they would save a LOT of money.

I can't tell you anymore than anyone. I can offer a guess at least on your "REM" example if you are really serious about wanting my opinion. I will first do a disclaimer.

I COULD NOT STAND REM! I come from a different world the world of rock music with a powerful lead singer, very melodic, music, strong singable songs and memorable music. If you think "BEATLES, EAGLES, STYX, BOSTON, FOREIGNER, QUEEN, BAD COMPANY, SURVIVOR, ROLLING STONES, KANSAS, AC/DC etc. bands of the 70's and 80's, you have me. In the 90's, that changed in rock music. It turned away from that. It got darker, angrier, and what I refer to as "ATONAL" melodies. Lyrics became painful, bitter, angry, confrontational. The angst of youth.  It was led by the Seattle Grunge movement, with people like NIRVANA, pockets of alternative areas, Seattle, Minneapolis, London, thrash metal, and pockets of places like Athens Georgia with REM. Then, that led to rap and hip hop.
I was done. 

At the same time, elements of melody, groove, attitude, and most of all, the FUN, presented itself in American country music. In 1988, I moved to Nashville, got a cut my first night in town, turned my back on rock, and never looked back. I didn't leave rock music, it left me.

I say all that because if you ask me something about REM, I ask, why do people like to drink so much they end up throwing up in the toilet for hours and feeling horrible all day long. Can't tell you. Any more than I can tell you why ANY song of REM attracted anybody. 

But putting that aside, and getting into why I THINK that song and that band worked, I can offer my perspective. In the 90's, hundreds of these little college bands start popping up. There was an "underground" music, mostly in colleges, their radio and local stations started playing this stuff non-ending and they and many others caught on with college audiences. These bands built enormous college followings and sold out shows. They got bigger and bigger and the students (who at that time had started pirating music with things like NAPSTER and it became the "cool thing to do." Many of the bands and artists were not a lot more than the people you hang out with your friends, sorority sisters, fraternity brothers, get really drunk around the beer keg, lock hands or arms and scream the lyrics at the top of their lungs. "THIS ONE IS TO THE ONE I LOVE" Is easy to sing, easy to scream and easy to identify with. 
When trying to analyze why songs, bands, artists, RESONATE with the general public and others don't, you really have to often go BEYOND the song itself and factor in the CULTURAL elements. Certain times in life, the right song, the right time, right reaction. You can't discount it and can't predict it. Possibly released two or three years before, it might have passed like someone passing gas at a party. A couple years later, it might have passed because of the rapid fire, sophomoric lyrical content of rap. Right place, right time. 

As they picked up steam, they were known pretty much every where they went. The "Buzz" on the street with many people telling more people and those people telling other people, and you have what we could call today "GOING VIRAL." Since they were at the beginning of the Internet, it spread like wildfire and suddenly you heard those songs every where, from dorm windows, cars on the street, parties, and it spread to the non-college audiences, who always parrot what the "cool kids" in college do. Younger kids look up to the older generation, parents HATE that generation, and it all converges on a cultural phenomenon.

I would say that "MELODY GETS THEM THERE, LYRICS KEEP THEM THERE." The groove, the guitars, the drums, and singer Michael Stipes, nasal, mumbling voice captivated  segments of a generation. I think part of it was probably because you could only understand about every third word he said, so people actually didn't HAVE to know the lyrics and could make up their own. It didn't take much in the way of talent to create and ushered in the era of "Anyone can do it, pretty mediocre music" that we have today permeating the Internet. To the youth, having something you can get totally wasted to, flip the finger to your parents, and spending your college years in a chemical induced haze is great. And years later you sit back, it comes on some "oldies station" and you can laugh at ever thinking it was any good because you never really heard it sober. "IT HAS LYRICS?"

So that is my take on that particular song and so much more of the "I'M TOO SEXY FOR MY BACK BRACE" etc. A lot of music has made it to huge success, ("the "Macarrena", "Gangham Style", "YMCA" and anything Rap has ever done.) It's only my opinion and it is long. But you asked. That's my take. Why do YOU think it works? You have an opinion too and what I say doesn't MATTER IN ONE WAY AT ALL. I'm just an old dude yelling at kids to get off my lawn!

 

This post was modified 5 years ago by Mabbo

Marc-Alan Barnette


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Gavin
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For what it's worth, I love REM. Probably because they have all those things you list as belonging to an earlier time; "a powerful lead singer, very melodic, music, strong singable songs and memorable music." That made them stand out to me at a time when not a lot did. Probably, this is down to their really strong singable hooks. Everyone remembers those, even if they remember none of the other words. Not that they are unique in that, of course.

Having said that, this song is definitely not one of my favorites.

I may or may not be an enigma
http://mysteriousbeings.com


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Mabbo
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"THE MORE THINGS CHANGE."

Now having said all that, let me tell you how weird things happen. As you know. I have been a writer/artist for decades, have switched my particular brand of music to a southern rock, blues, country hybrid that I refer to as "IN YOUR FACE COUNTRY SOUL." But I write in most every style and I work with a LOT of people. A lot of songs I write I think "man, that is cool" I love it and some people do but a lot just falls flat with people. Same with cuts. I've gotten cuts on artists on songs I thought :"Meh..." not much meaning to me." And others I love, fall flat. 

I just got a cut that pretty much exemplifies that, and plays right into what you are asking. One of the people I have written a few songs with is a man named JIM PETERIK. Now you might not know his name but there is a pretty good chance you know some of his music. He came out in 1970 with a huge horn band song from his band "IDES OF MARCH." There song, "VEHICLE" is an incredible horn section song with the weirdest, most uncomfortable, yet most fun to sing lyrics I've ever sung.:
"I'm the friendly stranger in the black sedan, won't you hop inside my car...
I've got pictures, candy, I'm a lovable man, and I'll take you to the nearest star..."

Ugh! Nothing like a "creepy stalker song" to get your morning going!

It's a pretty strange lyric, but was a HUGE hit and is still all over the place, in commercials, movies, television shows. And played on oldies radio a lot. With Jim, that started a career that still goes on strong. He was/is a huge rock writer, usually writing for bands. He then wrote music for a group named
38 SPECIAL, who lit up the 80's with songs he wrote  like "HOLD ON LOOSELY, SO CAUGHT UP IN YOU, ROCKING INTO THE NIGHT" Again, main staples on classic hit radio. Then he formed, sang with and wrote for a band called "SURVIVOR." in the middle part of the 80's. That led to songs like "THE SEARCH IS OVER", "HIGH ON YOU" and "BURNING HEART." Again, a commercial rock station staple.

One day, Jim got a call that he thought was a prank. It was a guy claiming to be actor/director/star SYLVESTER STALLONE. At first he didn't believe it was this Hollywood icon, but after a little conversation (and a couple extra phone calls) he realized it really was the guy. Stallone had been hearing his music on the radio and wanted him to write something for his new movie coming out, ROCKY III. He sent Jim a short film clip from the movie and asked for "something fresh." Watching it, Jim saw the actor "Mr. T", throwing punches, and timed guitar licks to the punches. He still didn't know what the movie was about, so Sly sent him a rough, unedited cut of the film. That song became "EYE OF THE TIGER" which has become a HUGE WORLD WIDE HIT. the music is in movies, commercials, television shows, and is an ENORMOUS song for political rallies, sporting events. Yes, Jim can pretty much rest on that one. A couple months ago, I counted FOUR simultaneous National commercials that it was on. Yeah, we all wish we had one of those.

Well two years ago, one of my co-writers and friends, hit writer Joie Scott, includes me on a couple of songs she and Jim have worked on, and we ended up with two, one I love, "VINYL REVIVAL", and another, "BLUE STORM RISING", which I kind of yawned through. Just wasn't that interested in, but I did a lot of the music and a couple of lines. I patterned it after the old Allman Brothers song "Whipping Post. We went our separate ways and haven't heard much about it.

Last week Joie called me and told me that Jim was making it the title track and first single of his FIFTY FIFTH ANNIVERSARY ALBUM  for his first band, " IDES OF MARCH."  He has recorded it as a duet with the current lead singer of the 60's band JEFFERSON STARSHIP. And they debuted the song in a performance at TIN PAN SOUTH, our songwriters Festival going on this week here in Nashville. 

GO FIGURE.

So when I tell you, I can't understand WHY somethings WORK AND SOMETHINGS DON'T WORK, I know what I am talking about. In my opinion, I wish they had done the other song. But you take what you can get. I'm lucky to be getting anything and it is pretty cool to have a cut on a guy whose music you idolized and have been playing on since you were 16 years old. Don't have any idea what it will do in the culture, but he and the band have a HUGE following and tour constantly, get radio airplay on many stations, and do a lot in Europe So possibly they'll head to New Zealand before long.

I'm old what can I say? And I get cuts on bands OLDER THAN I AM.

Weird world huh?

 

This post was modified 5 years ago by Mabbo

Marc-Alan Barnette


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Mabbo
(@mabbo)
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Gavin, one man's trash is another man's treasure and multiple people can look at the same thing and get very different opinions.

If you like Michael Stipe, and his vocals, and that works for you, that is great. I gave my reasons and we can dissagree, that is the nature of the beast and I respect your opinions. For me, a guy who has idolized and patterned myself after singers like RAY CHARLES, OTIS REDDING, SAM MOORE, AL GREEN, JOE COCKER, STEVE PERRY, and other really soul and R&B belters, he really doesn't have much of a voice, to me, just grating and irritating. But again, that is why everyone have opinions.

Marc-Alan Barnette


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Gavin
(@gavin)
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Yeah, MAB, I like all those singers too, but there's room for more than one kind of voice. To be honest, I would probably find his voice irritating after a while. But I can enjoy it when it comes on the radio.

Trash and treasure indeed. I can't stand Elvis Presley or Frank Sinatra, but I believe they are quite popular with some people ? 

I may or may not be an enigma
http://mysteriousbeings.com


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Derek
(@dc)
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Music is so subject and in all reality, I'm glad it is.  It makes the diversity so grand!  I like some REM stuff and other's not so much.  I like Alice in Chains, but can only handle Layne's voice for so long.  Tom Petty's voice is sub-par but fits his music like a glove.  Bob Dylan would never make it past the auditions on American Idol  Enjoy what you like and celebrate the differences and diversity.  I can't stand rap or "scream-o"  but the world of music wouldn't be what it is without them.


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Mabbo
(@mabbo)
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Absolutely correct Gavin, different strokes for different folks. And I am the first to admit I have definite biases. When you are in the middle of things in the industry, and then it just all changes, it affects your lively hood your family and friends, your entire world. When music changed, I frankly HATED everything to do with the 90's rock. I didn't like any of it. So the style of singers, the types of songs, and then the CULTURAL effect that happened, when things went much darker, there were things in the culture that got very negative. The people participating in that type of music became more violent and confrontational. Bars, clubs, even bigger venues, had more and more trouble, a LOT of drugs, a lot of fights, a lot of really nasty things. Watching audiences go from a lot of people having a great time, to people coming just to start fights, attack people, rape women in bathrooms, was a really bad change. And seeing those people and their overall attitudes about life, was just not something I wanted to be around. 

So that entire era was one I changed everything on and still don't care for any of it. In someways it was like the "English punk" wave of the 70's in Europe. Where once was a lot of fun, became slam dancing and constant fighting. If you didn't get bloody during a show, you had not had a good time. Self mutilation and continuous confrontation was not anything I was ever interested in. REM was part of all that to me. 

So that is where my biases come from. Not just the music, the entire culture of that time.

Marc-Alan Barnette


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