The 1970s were an unusual time. We had a crisis in Presidential leadership, oil troubles, financial turmoil, an unpopular war, cultural disagreements, racial strife, a war on drugs and plenty of bad pop music to make it all seem so much longer. Not like today when everywhere is, how shall I say, GREAT.
Anyhow, we relive those glory days thanks to the invention of cable TV and its 200 channels that need to broadcast something. And Billy Mays can only endorse so many products! That '70s Show which doesn't strike me as being all that '70s, not when you have Happy Days to show us what the 1950s were NOT like, has more DVDs for sale so you can relive a decade that didn't happen that way all over again. And The Partridge Family, an actual show from the 1970s, also has a new DVD set for you to buy, buy buy!
Imagine what life is going to be like once they perfect cloning.
It was hard to find the 25 cheesiest songs of the 1970s. You'd think the entire decade was melted in Velveeta.
Now before you blow a gasket because one of your favorite songs is on this list, keep in mind, I often LIKE Velveeta. Cheese can be a good thing! Just because something is so nauseatingly corny doesn't mean it doesn't have value. It just has a different value than something that is "good" for you. And, believe me, there's something wrong with music that's considered "good" for you.
So shall we?
Don't Cry Out Loud"--Melissa Manchester: One of those songs that makes you grab a hairbrush and start parading around the room in mock melodrama. Except when you hear it in a mall and you have to stand there and pretend everything's normal.
24) "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head"--B.J. Thomas: Am I the only person who thinks "just buy an umbrella already and get over it"?
Thank God I'm A Country Boy"--John Denver: If this isn't one of the corniest songs to ever become a hit. Wow. With all the tough guy poses and songs about money and "ho's," this seems to come from another world entirely, one that existed when? During Little House On The Prairie?
22) "You Light Up My Life"--Debby Boone: Why is it that songs that are meant to inspire you to discover your inner greatness always leave me wondering where I put that knife? Do people really draw strength from these anthems? "You give me hope?" No, that's not hope you're giving me. It's called a migraine.
I'd Really Love To See You Tonight"--England Dan And John Ford Coley: Half the people I know think the line is "I'm not talking about the linen." And this is one of my favorite songs of all-time. I'm not defending it. I'm not making any great claims, except it always makes me chuckle and I always turn the radio up to hear it. But, boy is this cheesy.
20) "Macho Man"--Village People: At first I chose "Y.M.C.A." and then I thought "In The Navy," but then "Macho Man" came up and I realized these guys were single-handedly determined to ruin music as we knew it. And they succeeded. Except that nowadays this doesn't sound so bad because the stuff on the radio is actually quantifiably worse.
The Happiest Girl In The Whole USA"--Donna Fargo: Another one of my personal faves. But probably because I haven't heard it in years. But in my memory it's a wonderful song that includes something about "Skippidity-Do-Dah-Day" and that's practically Flintstonian in its excitement.
18) "Baby I'm A Want You"-Bread: Who talks like this? I'd dump the jerk and tell him to work on his grammar. But then I'm not a woman. Maybe that's one of the great mysteries of women. They love men who abuse the English language with no regard for proper syntax. Next thing you know I'll learn that spelling doesn't count either. Sheesh.
Me And You And A Dog Named Boo"--Lobo: If this song doesn't make you want to lay down and take a crap in the grass nothing will.
16) "Squeeze Box"--"The Who/"My Ding A Ling"--Chuck Berry: I'm doubling up here because they fit together. Both Chuck Berry and The Who were formidable rockers. Both had their share of hits along the way but these are two of the dumbest, inexcusably cute double entendre songs around. Then again the Who did eventually name an album It's Hard, which I'm not sure but might qualify as a single entendre.
Sweet City Woman"--The Stampeders: Not only does this song and it's insane "Sweet-eet-eet, Sweet City Woman" chorus makes me crazy, but now I learn they're from Canada!
14) "Daddy, Don't You Walk So Fast"--Wayne Newton: Songs written about parenting are so hokey as to be beyond contempt. How's about something like "Daddy, Can I Have My Inheritance Now While the Money is Still Worth Something?" No wonder parents drink.
Baby, Don't Get Hooked On Me"--Mac Davis: "I ain't ready for no Family Ties." Is this anti Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter Birney? Michael J. Fox? Justine Bateman? Oh, I realize it's about a man who doesn't want to settle down and he's just warning his woman because he's so cool like that. It's the "Baby" at the beginning of the title that makes me squirm.
12) "Have You Never Been Mellow"--Olivia Newton John: OK, I know the 1970s were the Quaalude era but this is taking things too far. Enforcing mellowness? Making people feel bad because they like to be active and get things done? On second thought, this might be a philosophy I could rally behind. I need to get mellow. Can I still have my check, please?
Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree"--Tony Orlando And Dawn: All you have to do is look into the eyes of Tony Orlando and you'll know you've seen the apocalypse, the Rapture, whatever you want to call it. The world will not end with a whimper or a bang; it will end with this song.
10) "After The Lovin'"--Englebert Humperdinck: Do I have to explain this one? Somehow I prefer the euphemism of "sleeping together" over anything that calls it "lovin'." And to be making plans for afterwards seems a bit crass. Shall I sing you to sleep so once you're out like a light I can take off and hit the bowling alley for the league championship?
I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing"--The New Seekers: I admit I'm not one of those optimists who believes everyone has talent. I don't think it's a good idea to teach the world to sing. I think singing should come naturally to those who can do it. The rest of us should hum.
8) "Brand New Key"-Melanie: I love Melanie but she always had a reputation for seeming a little airheaded. I don't know if she really was. But this song doesn't help in her defense.
December 1963 (Oh What A Night)"--Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons: I know Frankie Valli was created purely to torture me. That he continued to do so for several decades only makes it more menacing. This song remembers the past so fondly, why couldn't he just stay there and leave us alone?
6) "Your Mama Don't Dance"--Loggins And Messina: Hokeyness just screams from this concept. All kids think their parents are lame but it's not because they don't dance or rock n' roll, that would be embarrassing. In fact, I'd say no matter how "hip" today's parents think they are, their kids can tell them better. Girls, if your mom is borrowing your clothes, stop her. I don't care how much healthy cereal she's eating. It's still gross.
The Candy Man"--Sammy Davis Jr.: One of the first records I ever owned and that's fine. But it's a song meant for six-year-olds and it shouldn't be played in adult company. Or appreciated in adult company. Unless you're a functional idiot.
4) "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy"--Rod Stewart: He rhymes "apartment" with "heart meant." John Ashbery is a hack compared to this. And this falls under the category of "Songs My Father Sang Very Loud In Public In Order to Embarrass Me." You don't want to see a 50 year old man singing "If you want my body and you think I'm sexy" in a hardware store. Most people don't even want to hear Rod sing it anymore. Me? Despite the mental scars, I still like it.
You Don't Bring Me Flowers"--Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond: Putting these two in a room together and without even singing a note the earth will start to implode. Neither one can resist pulling out every stop they know. Show-biz isn't just in their blood, it's in their urine.
2) "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)"--Rupert Holmes: I love this song. And it took me years--as in decades--to listen to the story that's actually going on. I won't spoil it for you. But you don't even have to know the whole story to know all the corniest parts. "If you like making love at midnight?" Actually, people prefer, what, making love at 10:30 pm so they can still catch The Daily Show With Jon Stewart?
(You're) Having My Baby"--Paul Anka: I admit my father used to sing this song out loud in public just to embarrass me. It worked. I'm permanently scarred for life. I won't have children just out of spite.