Weird Stuff

Ten Cheesy Songs From The 80s: Rock Edition

posted by Chris Valentine


Entries 1 through 5

5. Europe – The Final Countdown

We’re leaving together
But still it’s farewell
And maybe we’ll come back
To earth, who can tell?
I guess there is no one to blame
We’re leaving ground
Will things ever be the same again?

It’s the final countdown
The final countdown

Listen to those synths! Thanks, Sweden, thanks for giving us Europe and their triple platinum hit. Really. We love synths with our glam rock! And talk about space and Venus some more… people love that stuff.

4. Asia – Heat Of The Moment

Asia was formed in 1981. They are interesting for a few reasons. One is that they are a mishmash of musicians from other prog rock bands like Yes, King Crimson, ELP, Uriah Heep, Roxy Music, The Buggles, etc. Another reason is that they continue this trend of naming groups after continents (see Europe above). There’s the group America, of course, so when will we see other bands named Australia, Antarctica, and Africa? We’re waiting…

Asia instantly dates themselves with the lyrics:

And now you find yourself in ’82
The disco hot spots hold no charm for you
You can concern yourself with bigger things
You catch a pearl and ride the dragon’s wings

‘Cause it’s the heat of the moment
The heat of the moment
The heat of the moment showed in your eyes

Catch a pearl and ride the dragon’s wings. Gotcha.

3. Poison – Every Rose Has Its Thorn

“Every Rose Has Its Thorn” from the ultimate 80s hair band. It is the band’s first and only number-one hit in the U.S., reaching the top spot on Christmas Eve in 1988 for three weeks. It’s also pretty cheesy.

Bret Michaels wrote the song in response to a failed love affair with a Los Angeles stripper. Bret called the woman at her apartment and heard a man’s voice in the background. Heartbroken, he wrote the song with an acoustic guitar in a laundromat. Aww. That just gets you right there, don’t it?

Here’s something we didn’t know: Dee Snider of Twisted Sister said this: “Hey man, it was them motherf*ckin’ “power ballads”, you know! Brett is gonna kill me for saying this but “Every Rose” completely killed the metal in the pop metal scene man. All of a sudden, all the heavy metal rock bands got rid of their distortion pedals and went f*ckin’ acoustic.” LOL, when you get criticized by Dee Frickin’ Snider you know you’re in trouble.

Though its been a while now
I can still feel so much pain
Like a knife that cuts you the wound heals
But the scar, that scar remains

Every rose has its thorn
Just like every night has its dawn
Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song

Oh my goth!

2. Queen – Radio Ga Ga

Freddie, Freddie, Freddie. Why would you do this to us? Weren’t we right there with you for Killer Queen, Fat Bottomed Girls, and We Are the Champions? We even liked Bohemian Rhapsody! But this… why, Freddie.. why?

So don’t become some background noise
A backdrop for the girls and boys
Who just don’t know or just don’t care
And just complain when you’re not there
You had your time, you had the power
You’ve yet to have your finest hour

All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio goo goo
Radio ga ga
All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio blah blah
Radio what’s new?
Radio, someone still loves you!

Freddie, you didn’t understand that not only was radio dead in 1984 but it was more like an undead corpse. “You’ve yet to have your finest hour.” Really? And when exactly would that finest hour come? Was it during consolidation and 20-song crap playlists repeated over and over? Ok, we’ll let it go this time. Nice lyrics, by the way. We love baby talk.

1. Starship – We Built This City

Starship. Talk about another rock band that forgot their roots and went off the rails. We kinda covered this tune in another post, but let’s do a refresher: Jefferson Airplane begets Jefferson Starship begets Starship. (legal bullshit started by Paul Kantner).

We Built This City” is a song written by Bernie Taupin, Martin Page, Dennis Lambert, and Peter Wolf. Taupin, who collaborated with Elton John, wrote the lyrics. The song features Mickey Thomas and Grace Slick on lead vocals, and the single version reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on November 16, 1985. According to Slick, the song was written about early-1970s Los Angeles. The radio station in a late interlude references “The City By the Bay”, “The City That Rocks” and “The City That Never Sleeps”, meaning San Francisco, Cleveland and New York City, respectively.

In 2004, Blender magazine rated it the #1 worst song ever. Editor Craig Marks said of the song, “It purports to be anti-commercial but reeks of ’80s corporate-rock commercialism. It’s a real reflection of what practically killed rock music in the ’80s.”

Someone always playing corporation games
Who cares they’re always changing corporation names
We just want to dance here, someone stole the stage
They call us irresponsible, write us off the page

Marconi plays the Mamba,
Listen to the radio
Don’t you remember?
We built this city
We built this city on rock and roll!
We built this city, we built this city on rock and roll
Built this city, we built this city on rock and roll

It’s just another Sunday, in a tired old street
Police have got the choke hold,ohhhhh and we just lost the beat

Who counts the money ,underneath the bar
Who rides the wrecking ball into our guitars
Don’t tell us you need us, ’cause we’re the ship of fools
Looking for America, crawling through your schools

When you match the lyrics to the obviously overproduced track, the irony is delicious. The question is – could We Built This City be a clever spoof? The band Lard (Jello Biafra, Al Jourgensen) did a song called 70’s Rock Must Die where the lyrics absolutely slam 70s rock while at the same time delivering totally awesome 70s rock. Cuz face it, if it’s not a spoof, it’s certainly horrifying.

More to come…

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