The 10 WORST SONGS OF THE LAST 25 YEARS has concluded. The winners:

1st, O.F. Jay:

10. cher – believe
9. anything brian mcknight. sorry, your counting skills don’t count.
8. lionel richie – all night long
7. bon jovi – livin on a prayer
6. bonnie tyler – holding out for a hero
5. P. Diddy, etc – *that sting sampler song*
4. Mariah – Can’t take that away
3. Britney – Oops I did it again [first snipe]
2. lolly – Viva la radio
1. Styx – The best of times

While I actually like the Cher song, as much as one could like a Cher song anyway, everything else on the list is pretty awful. I really like Lionel Richie, but some of the stuff from the dance hit a week period were awful.

2nd, Scipio:

Billy Ray Cyrus- Achy Breaky Heart
Starland Vocal Band- Afternoon Delight
(Everybody Do) The Dinosaur
Hall & Oates- Maneater
Vanilla Ice- Ice Ice Baby
Alan Jackson- Chattahoochie
Brooks & Dunn- Boot Scootin’ Boogie
Britney Spears- Oops I Did It Again
Starship- We Built This City
Whitney Houston- I Will Always Love You

Minor deduction for use of “We Built this City,” which was on Mark’s list.

3rd, Eric Lindholm:

10.) “Don’t Come Around Here No More” by Tom Petty
9.) “Waterfalls” by TLC
8.) “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo
7.) “Nothing’s gonna stop us now” by Starship
5.) “Please Forgive Me” by Bryan Adams
4.) “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” by the Crash Test Dummies
3.) “Just a Gigolo” by David Lee Roth
2.) “Broken Arrow” by Rod Stewart
1.) “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston

Honorable Mention, mmunich:

10. Party All the Time – Eddie Murphy -my “actor” vote since Swayze was already taken
9. Muskrat Love – Captain and Tennille – The name alone gets it in here
8. Music Box Dancer – an instramental song that got a lot of play about 15(?) years ago
7. Candle in the Wind – Elton John – Remake of another song I don’t like
6. You Light Up My Life – Debby Boone – Just Eeewwww
5. Seasons In The Sun – Terry Jacks (had to look up the name) A song about suicide that gets stuck in your head?
4. I Got My Mind Set On You – George Harrison – The ENTIRE chorus is these six words repeated over and over and over and…
3. The ORIGINAL “American Pie” by Don McLean (was it in the last 25 years?). This song is WAY overrated, is not about Buddy Holly and is simply irritating
2. Levon – Elton John – I DO like some songs from Sir John, but this one just sucks (Levon wears his war wound like a crown/He calls his child Jesus? Who writes this #$(%? )
1. *ALL* Rap. I would also put “Most Disco”, but I don’t want two disqualifications

*ALL* Rap is a perfectly acceptable answer given that, as best I can determine, they’re all the same song. However, several of the songs on the list are pre-1978. I actually like “Levon” but must admit that some of the lyrics are rather odd. “He named his child Jesus because he liked the name” is actually fairly amusing, however.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Jay Solo says:

    I always thought Seasons In The Sun was a guy regretting having been a black sheep, gotten in trouble with the law, and facing execution. Close enough to suicide, so maybe I just misinterpreted.

    And I always liked it, but it was a formative stage in my life and I can be strange anyway.

  2. Jay Solo says:

    Hold it! 25 years? That was over 25 years ago.

  3. As a minimum, I demand a second place finish because Scipio committed the following infractions of the rules:
    1.) Copied “We Built this City”
    2.) “Afternoon Delight” is from 1976

    Please send me, Eric LinDholm an E-mail when you correct this travesty of justice.

  4. James Joyner says:

    Ah, yes. But the other rules stipulated that all judgments are final and some restrictions applied.

    Also, the sheer awfulosity of “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” and “Acky Breaky Heart” add lots of bonus points. Even “Chatahoochie” (which, I gather, is hotter than a hootchie coochie) is arguably worse that anything Whitney Houston ever did.

  5. Bruce says:

    I like:
    Candle in the Wind – Elton John
    Seasons In The Sun – Terry Jacks
    American Pie – Don McLean

    And face it, the only reason people hate Vanilla Ice is because he is white. 99.9999% of rap songs suck worse than his.

  6. Cricket says:

    LOLOLOLOLOL. I HATED every single song mentioned, but they forgot Joe Cocker’s “You are so beautiful”, Minnie Ripperton’s “Lovin’ You”
    and Paul Anka’s “Having My Baby” and these really, really bad ones by other forgettable artistes: “Beach Baby” “It’s Magic..” and anything by Banana Rama, as well as Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach.” Rod Stewart’s Young Hearts Be Free or whatever it was, and his “Maggie May” songs. Oh heck. Anything by Rod Stewart in his disco phase