Chuck’s Dirty Dozen

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Today, I listened to Duncan Sheik’s “Barely Breathing,” a song in my “Dirty Dozen.” 

These are songs that radio burned out so badly that it’s still hard for me to tolerate them, even decades later.

I found I could remember its charms.

But I have no desire to hear it again for at least another year.

A public service reminder that Alexa is always listening.

The Dirty Dozen: This is a very different category from songs like:

  • “You’re Having My Baby,”
  • “My Ding-a-Ling”
  • or “Blurred Lines.”

Songs I loathe. It’s easy to turn off the radio if any of those ever comes on.

My “Dirty Dozen,” however, are songs I like … or, rather, liked.

Unfortunately, the rest of the universe did, too, and they have been played to death.

So much so that hearing them now makes me want to rush for the dial or toggle to the next song.

In no particular order, here are my “Dirty Dozen.”

Let’s start with the already-mentioned “Barely Breathing.” It was a huge success on Adult Top 40, a format that jumps on songs weeks or months after they’ve already become a hit on contemporary hit stations. And then once added, the stations wouldn’t let go.

Sheik’s song was so massive that the week it fell out of Billboard’s Top 40, the week of Nov. 22, 1997, it had been on the chart for a full year.

It was a huge success on Adult Top 40, a format that jumps on songs weeks or months after they’ve already become a hit on contemporary hit stations.

(It lasted three more weeks before dropping out of the Top 50, which was the chart’s cutoff at the time.)

Subjectively? I like “Barely Breathing.”

I’ll admit its style of singer-songwriter pop/rock lends itself easily to jokes about its title. But it does fall squarely into my fondness for adult contemporary music.

That said, it’s a no-go for me. Radio killed it. Here are 11 other victims of overkill.

  • The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”
  • The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”
  • Irene Cara’s “Flashdance … What a Feeling”
  • Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You”
  • Eurythmics’ “Here Comes the Rain Again”
  • The Eagles’ “Hotel California”
  • Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop”
  • Andy Gibb’s “Shadow Dancing”
  • LeAnn Rimes’ “How Do I Live?”
  • Madonna’s “Holiday”
  • Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”

I’m sure that last one is due to the fact that it has been a hit three separate times, meaning three generations of massive airplay.

One could make the same argument for holiday tunes such as Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” or Wham’s “Last Christmas,” which I can tolerate between Thanksgiving and Christmas…

… and immediately switch off on Dec. 26.

OK, Alexa. Now you’re just messing with us.

Yes, I realize none of these songs became a hit in the 21st century.

That says more about my listening habits (centered on my record collection and old AT40 shows than on contemporary radio) than on the merits of those songs themselves.

I know that songs by The Weeknd, Harry Styles and others have spent more than a year on the charts, but I’m not as familiar with them as my students are.

What are your “Dirty Dozen”?

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Chuck Small

Journalist-turned-high school counselor. Happily ensconced in Raleigh, N.C., with hubby of 31 years (9 legal).

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Phylum of Alexandria
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May 15, 2023 8:19 am

Hmmm…interesting. So these are songs you like, but were ruined by radio overplay. Not to be confused with songs you like but were ruined by your own overplay, or songs you didn’t like and came to regard as a form of torture due to radio overplay.

There are surely songs that I liked that got overplayed when they first came out, and that did diminish their luster for me, but I’m not sure if the overplay ever got me really allergic to hearing them; the effect lasted maybe a year or so after I got some respite.

Songs like “When I Come Around” by Green Day, “All Apologies” by Nirvana, “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails,”Schism” by Tool–these were all songs I really liked when I first heard them, and then got pretty sick of hearing like every hour on the hour. But I had no problem listening to them just a few years later, and love listening to them now.

But I don’t listen to anything like radio now, so maybe that’s part of it? I did create a nearly-comprehensive Spotify playlist of the songs that I heard playing in the 90s, so that’s the closest I get to the old radio experience. What I found is that there were a lot of songs on there that I disliked at the time, and even came to despise due to overexposure, that now I quite like, or at least can appreciate. Songs like “Come to Window” by Melissa Etheridge, “Hold My Hand” by Hootie and the Blowfish and yes even “One Week” by Barenaked Ladies.

As for songs that I ruin through my own overplaying? My wife would probably say this one, but I disagree; nowhere close to being ruined, for now!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FL-_fqJfAZ8

cappiethedog
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May 15, 2023 1:55 pm

What a charming song and video.

I love the longshot of the boat all lighted-up.

The balloons are a nice touch. It’s as if the filmmaker is reclaiming the balloon as an object of benevolence. The filmmaker might be aware of It. Boats float is a lot nicer than “We all float.”

MTV used to have a world edition. They played a song called “Tell Me Why” by Lorimeri. “Tell Me Why” was on practically every show. Never got tired of it.

cappiethedog
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May 15, 2023 2:01 pm
Reply to  cappiethedog

Just watched it. I misremembered Lorimeri as being French.

Phylum of Alexandria
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May 15, 2023 3:10 pm
Reply to  cappiethedog

If you’re offering a penny for my thoughts on It, maybe they’re just around the coin, as the French say.

Pauly Steyreen
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May 15, 2023 10:20 am

I’m not sure I’ve ever reached that point of permanent dislike of a song I used to like due to overexposure. Sure, I’ve gotten sick of overplayed songs I loved at first (“Hey Ya” being a prime example), but once I got some distance from the saturation zone, I could enjoy them again.

These days I most just listen to my own curated playlists, so I can cull a song that’s getting overplayed. My radio listening habits are mainly around NPR or my son’s throwback R&B station. On the latter, I hear songs I love and songs I don’t care for, but they were all hits at least 5 years ago, more often 10 to 30 years ago (the newest song in rotation is Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble,” a song I adore, but which is so ruined in the radio edit as to be unlistenable). I guess I’m not in the car enough to get driven too crazy by any one song…

Virgindog
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May 15, 2023 10:29 am

I totally agree with “Hotel California.” Loved it when it first came out but now? I never, ever, ever, need to hear it again. Same goes for “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Freebird.”

Living in Nashville, it’s sometimes refreshing to hear a song’s original version. A visit to the honky tonks guarantees you’ll hear “Folsom Prison Blues.” “Free Fallin’,” and “Honky Tonk Women,” and they will be covers of covers. It’s as if the players never heard the original.

thegue
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May 15, 2023 11:34 am
Reply to  Virgindog

V-dog, thank GOD you mentioned “Free Bird”, which I discussed over on the Mothership. Someone in the middle school student body decided the year’s theme would be “Free Bird”, and they played it every morning, and ask, “What is it? What does it MEAN?” and they offered a contest related to the song.

Keep in mind, this was 1980…and “Free Bird” was already six years old.

Same middle school, y’all remember the story of Styx’s “Renegade”. Add these two to the 10 I discussed in my comments…

rollerboogie
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May 15, 2023 10:42 am

This is great. The list of songs I used to love or at least like, and don’t need to hear again because of radio overplay is large enough as it is, but with the advent of streaming, add the songs that I myself have burned out, and it’s now too many to recount. Instead, I give you a list of songs that I once liked or at least tolerated that were basically ruined by being overplayed at weddings in the 90s/2000s by paint-by-numbers wedding deejays-

  1. Shout- Isley Brothers
  2. Celebration- Kool & The Gang
  3. Respect- Aretha Franklin (not totally ruined, that’s impossible. But close)
  4. What I Like About You- The Romantics
  5. Love Shack- B52s
  6. Old Time Rock and Roll- Bob Seger
  7. YMCA- Village People
  8. We Are Family- Sister Sledge
  9. Brickhouse- Commodores (I am partly to blame; I sometimes requested it)
  10. In the Mood- Glenn Miller
JJ Live At Leeds
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May 15, 2023 12:21 pm
Reply to  rollerboogie

Respect as a wedding song?? Fair enough that mutual respect is a firm basis for a long lasting marriage but to my ears its more of a demand due to her man’s foolin’ otherwise he’s gonna come home and find her gone.

Virgindog
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May 15, 2023 12:37 pm

“YMCA” isn’t exactly appropriate either.

Virgindog
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May 15, 2023 12:40 pm
Reply to  cstolliver

And/or the couple.  😎 

rollerboogie
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May 15, 2023 1:15 pm
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My wife and I had two lists for our wedding deejay. One was “if you want to be paid, do not play any of these”. The other was “only play if a lot of people request it”, which included YMCA. I was dumb enough to tell a friend about the list, and he went and told everyone at the reception to request YMCA so the deejay would have to play it. If he was trying to irritate me, it didn’t work. I was okay with it. It got people on the dance having a good time.

rollerboogie
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May 15, 2023 1:11 pm

My experience is that there are many songs that have been overplayed at weddings over the years that weren’t a good lyrical fit for a wedding at all, JJ. Don’t even get me started on Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”.

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May 15, 2023 10:39 pm
Reply to  rollerboogie

Sorry to disagree, Roller, but I will still listen to most of these songs just because of the memories they bring. I will agree about the Romantics (probably because I have no memory associated with the song).

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May 17, 2023 3:18 pm
Reply to  rollerboogie

Unfortunately for wedding DJs, the age and generation gaps are generally so wide as to be unbridgeable, resulting in the overplay of ‘standards.’ I remember making a fifty or so list of songs that we instructed our DJ to play during our reception. He deviated once: Chaka Khan’s ‘I’m Every Woman’ for the bouquet toss. We still tipped him.

As for my own overplay bete noir: anything off Boston’s Boston.

mt58
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May 15, 2023 10:54 am

Many of you remember when the Classic Rock radio format came into play, in the early to mid 1980s. This was pre-Internet, so it wasn’t as easy to find an old obscure recording online and have a listen.

There were so many “oh, wow“ moments, when hearing records that perhaps only barely cracked the top 40. Blame “The Big Chill,” but it sure was a lot of fun.

And then, suddenly, every other record was “China Grove,” or “Hotel California.” It seemed like they were only 200 songs on the playlist. That’s when it all stopped being a delightful diversion, and I eventually gave up.

When the repetition began, I remember actually challenging myself to get through the entirety of some of these vastly overplayed records. Musical masochism: Reason number 737 that I’m a weird guy:

“Yes, I must Listen To The Music. The Doobie Brothers have deserve my loyalty, and full and undivided attention.”

Classic Rock programmers were not the only offenders. When the local oldies radio station began to slowly creep from the 50s, to the 60s, to the 70s, I conducted a dorky experiment. I set up a slow speed audio recording on video cassette, and taped an entire day of their programming.

“Brandy.“

Six times.

thegue
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May 15, 2023 11:45 am
Reply to  mt58

Great call: Sirius XM “Alt Nation” is the WORST. Their playlist is as follows:

  1. Alice in Chains
  2. Soundgarden
  3. A different, mainstream alt rock band
  4. Another different, mainstream alt rock band
  5. Repeat steps 1-4.

I could name TEN bands off the top of my head that NEVER get played on that station, even though they were in the Modern Rock charts repeatedly during that time.

Now I’m fired up. Thanks.

Virgindog
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May 15, 2023 12:39 pm
Reply to  thegue

I just got a new car and Sirius is free for three months, but I haven’t signed up yet. Is it worth it?

lovethisconcept
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May 15, 2023 1:34 pm
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Sirius has a problem with repetition on many of their stations, but there are so many stations that it is relatively easy to find something that you like at any given time.

I do appreciate the repetition sometimes when I am maybe getting a bit sleepy. I find it easier to stay awake when I can sing along with every word to every song, so it’s Classic Vinyl for me. On the other hand, Deep Tracks lives up to it’s promise of playing deeper cuts from the “classic” rock era. When my middle grandniece is with me, I just steel myself for endless “Ozzy’s Boneyard”.

Mr. Plow
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May 16, 2023 8:27 am

The problem with S/XM is that it’s not programmed for constant listening, just short bursts – like on the way to work. Used to work where S/XM was played over the intercom speakers. If you listened closely enough, you could pick out their song patterns. If you heard “Billie Jean”, “Livin’ on a Prayer”, and “Holiday” at 8am today, you might hear them tomorrow at 11 or 12.

TL/DR: It’s good for in-car listening, but if you have it at work it will get old real quick. that said, I did enjoy their weekly countdowns on 80s (Big 80s countdown) and 70s (with Casey Kasem).

mt58
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May 15, 2023 2:22 pm
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Absolutely.

Too much to go into here, but go for it.
Let the trial expire, wait a few weeks, and they will ask you to come back for $5 /month for the next year.

Virgindog
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May 15, 2023 2:44 pm
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Genius.

mt58
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May 16, 2023 11:30 am
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You spelled “cheapskate” wrong.

Virgindog
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May 16, 2023 11:42 am
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Tomato, Tomahto.

cappiethedog
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May 18, 2023 6:34 pm
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Do you remember Christopher Walken on SNL when he satirized “You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato” by pronouncing both with a long “a” sound.

Aaron3000
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May 18, 2023 8:31 pm
Reply to  cappiethedog

Well, they’re spelled the same on the cue cards.

https://youtu.be/3a9BO_BN0Ro

cappiethedog
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May 18, 2023 9:24 pm
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Thanks, Aaron3000. I saw this maybe twice, tops. Hard to forget. I think it was Christopher Walken’s work on SNL, and not his movies, was how Spike Jonze got the idea to cast him in “Weapon of Choice”.

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May 15, 2023 10:51 pm
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i have always stated that my best birthday present from any of my children was my daughter’s gift of Sirius ( now Sirius/XM).
If you go through the channels, there’s something for everyone! My picks are channel 49 (Mostly Mowtown), 50 (grooves from late ’70’s, early ’80’s) and 54 (Disco) also 75 (Elvis) and the 05,06,07,08 (music from those decades).
If you get tired of the music there’s sports 0n 80, 81,82,83,84, 85. So I rotate through depending upon my mood.
If your in the car a lot, it’s a great pickup!

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May 16, 2023 1:49 pm
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Sirius has about 6-12 stations that anybody could like. (your stations will differ from mine). Rotating between those 6-12 stations can be pretty good! The (mostly) lack of commercials helps, too. On a long car ride, it can be fantastic. I’ve had it in the past, but currently don’t. I may again someday.

JJ Live At Leeds
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May 15, 2023 12:30 pm
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This reminds me of the tedium of listening to Century FM, an oldies station in the north-east of England in the 90s and 00s. I didn’t choose to listen to it. It was always on in my parents car when I was back home outside of university termtime and then visiting for weekends. It was all 60s and 70s but the playlist was extremely limited and didn’t feel like it moved on at all.

I particularly remember Four Tops; Bernadette and Tom Jones; You Can Leave Your Hat On being on constantly and wondering why when there was so much to choose from just from those two acts why they couldn’t pick something else for a bit of variety.

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May 15, 2023 1:21 pm
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So true. Our classic rock station in town would occasionally have a “forgotten classics” weekend. “They’re not forgotten”, I would yell at the radio. “You just never play them because you’re stuck on the same old tired songs you keep playing over and over again.”

stobgopper
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May 17, 2023 3:16 pm
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But she’s a fine girl…

thegue
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May 15, 2023 11:21 am

OOO!!!!

There’s a lot to (dis-)like on your Dirty Dozen, and I love this idea. “Barely Breathing” is still one of my favorite catchy songs, especially from that era…but I was overseas until halfway thru 1997, so it never burned out my eardrums.

SIDEBAR: There was another Shiek song that I loved, but only heard once or twice, and was never able to find again. Other artists that are on that list include Primitive Radio Gods.

2x SIDEBAR: I’ll get back to my “Dirty Dozen” in a moment, but from that same era was a song I discovered when my best friend shared Comcast cable radio with me. This was 1998; about 6 years before I dived into it myself, and a song came on that I searched for a LONG time to find, but when I did…oh my. Imagine my surprise to learn Adam Schlesinger was behind them:

https://youtu.be/BxDkyifCtsI

thegue
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May 15, 2023 11:30 am
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After I finished sixth grade, my father put me to work for his company. I made $1.10/hr, but had to pay for my own lunch and coffee break. I made $58 for the entire summer.

In 1983, my dad was refurbishing a dump truck for his company to use. My job? Scrub the entire chassis clean of rush, prime then paint. It took me the summer to complete – I hated that work…and I hated WCAU 98 “Hot Hits” that summer, because they repeated the same dozen songs or so. Songs I can not listen to today include:

“Wanna Be Starting Something” – Michael Jackson
“She’s a Beauty” – The Tubes
“Every Breath You Take” – The Police
“Too Shy” – Kajagoogoo
“Come Dancing” – The Kinks
“Baby Jane” – Rod Stewart
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” – Eurythmics
“Maniac” Michael Sembello
“Puttin’ on the Ritz” – Taco
“I’ll Tumble For Ya” – Culture Club

Songs from that summer that I will NEVER get enough of:

“(Keep Feelin’) Fascination” – Human League
“Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You) – Flock of Seagulls

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May 15, 2023 1:22 pm
Reply to  thegue

I think I had the opposite experience in Summer ’83: just out of 9th grade with a group of close friends, no worries, and an entire city to play in. It was easily the best, most carefree summer of my life. I have nothing but fond memories associated with those songs, and can hear them at any time and be happy.

Except Taco. F*ck him and that song.

And swap out “I’ll Tumble For Ya” with “Time (Clock of the Heart)”.

And add some Def Leppard.

And Duran Duran.

And Bowie.

Virgindog
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May 15, 2023 1:39 pm
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Mr. Plow! Good to see you!

mt58
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May 15, 2023 2:23 pm
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Indeed, Mr. Plow! Glad you are here!

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May 15, 2023 11:57 pm
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Do what I do – sing like Peter Boyle on the chorus. Makes the Taco tolerable every time. 😉

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May 16, 2023 8:29 am
Reply to  dutchg8r

I used to do that at work. Almost made it bearable.

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May 15, 2023 10:43 pm
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“Wanna be Staring Something” was my go to song for years but something is missing now and I don’t get the same vibe I had years ago. Like I told Roller, many of these songs have memories embedded in them and I will still take the time to listen.
I will agree about Taco!

JJ Live At Leeds
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May 15, 2023 12:40 pm

I can’t think of a song that fits the same criteria that I’ve gotten so sick of hearing it that my adoration has turned to apathy. Like others I’ve found that a bit of distance does the trick.

Holiday tunes though are an annual form of monotony. The same songs over and over for a month every year. I’ve heard them too often to recall if I actually enjoyed most of them in the beginning. I love Christmas but I can live without the soundtrack.

lovethisconcept
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May 15, 2023 1:27 pm

We talked about this on a previous post, but it bears repeating here. rollerboogie has put together some Christmas lists on Spotify that will end your Christmas monotony blues. Everything from Celtic-Instrumentals to rock/metal/punk. Check them out next November 24th.

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May 15, 2023 2:10 pm

Lots of my old faves have definitely been soured by Sirius’s tendency to overplay them–and by my own tendency to put the same songs on so many playlists 🙂

“Come On Eileen” comes to mind right away–I often call it “my favorite song of the ’80s” but then when it comes up on a playlist, I often skip it within the first notes.

“When Will I Be Loved?”, by Ronstadt & “Night Moves” are two songs I LOVE to play on jukeboxes (in the rare times I encounter them), but the opening notes on a radio make me roll my eyes.

Several Billy Joel songs probably fit this bill, too.

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May 15, 2023 2:23 pm
Reply to  Fodraz29

Hello and welcome, Fodraz29!

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May 15, 2023 7:42 pm
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Glass Houses has three great album tracks: “Sleeping w/the Television On”, “I Don’t Want to Be Alone”, and “All for Leyna”. The last song was the lead single, but nobody plays it, so for all intents and purposes, it’s a de facto album track.

I’m a Billy Joel fan, but I don’t need to hear “Just the Way You Are”, “You Msy Be Right”, and “We Didn’t Start the Fire”.

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May 16, 2023 8:33 am
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Glass Houses is my favorite Joel album, but I usually hit Skip when “It’s Still Rock & Roll To Me” comes on.

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May 16, 2023 7:06 pm
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Whenever I listen to the extreme forms of metal(death, black, post-black), I think of the line next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways it’s still rock and roll to me.

Because it’s definitely a next phase. My favorite genres are twee and Americana. Officially, If You’re Feeling Sinister by Belle and Sebastian is my favorite albums. But if I was honest with myself, it’s Glass Houses.

Post-black metal is interesting. It has a quiet/loud/quiet dynamic that black metal doesn’t.

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May 16, 2023 12:02 am
Reply to  Fodraz29

Oh, oh, totally agree with Come On Eileen. Ugh, stop it with that song already, radio people!

And I’m sorry I’m too lazy at the moment to bring up Janine from Ghostbusters yelling “We Got One”, but it still counts as an official welcome from me to tnocs.com. 😁

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May 15, 2023 4:48 pm

My list (in no particular order):

B-52s – Love ShackR.E.M. – Losing My ReligionAerosmith – Dream OnThe Eagles – Hotel CaliforniaQueen – Bohemian RhapsodyEddy Grant – Electric AvenueSmashing Pumpkins – TodayDexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On EileenMichael Jackson – ThrillerGlass Animals – Heat WavesElton John – Your SongPhil Collins – In The Air TonightTears For Fears – Shout

Last edited 1 year ago by blu_cheez
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May 15, 2023 4:53 pm
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Counter-list: songs that I should hate, given that I hear them so often, but still love:

Journey – Don’t Stop BelievingEurythmics – Sweet DreamsThe Police – Every Breath You TakeCulture Club – Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?Fleetwood Mac – DreamsMichael Jackson – Beat ItPrince – KissNirvana – Smells Like Teen SpiritFoo Fighters – Everlong (either version)Flock Of Seagulls – I RanQueen – We Will Rock You / We Are The ChampionsSmashing Pumpkins – 1979Boston – More Than A Feeling

Last edited 1 year ago by blu_cheez
cappiethedog
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May 15, 2023 7:43 pm
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Too-Rye-Aye is an artistic success. It’s not “C’mon, Eileen”, and filler.

“All in All(This One Last Wild Waltz)” is a hidden gem.

JJ Live At Leeds
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May 16, 2023 3:01 am
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An upvote scarcely does justice here. Too-Rye-Aye is one of the greatest albums of all time. IMHO.

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May 16, 2023 7:16 pm

“Old” is downright haunting. Another lost gem. I don’t need to hear “C’mon, Eileen” on the radio. But it sounds great in the context of the other songs. Fluke hit. I don’t think Kevin Rowland was purposely trying to write a single. “Knowledge of Beauty” from Don’t Stand Me Down is underrated. I wish it was louder.

Pitchfork reviewed The Rumble Strips’ Girls and Weather. The writer joked that they’re the only band who remembers Dexy’s Midnight Runners. “Oh, Creole” is uncanny. It sounds exactly like a Too-Rye-Aye track.

Edith G
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May 15, 2023 6:46 pm

Great topic Chuck. Shame about “Barely Breathing”, “Don’t Stop” and “Here Comes The Rain Again”, because they’re good songs.

I can’t think about specific dozen for me right now, but “Don’t Speak” could be one, due to overplay, if I can’t switch the station, at least I try to make my mind blank; other song could be “We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions”, because the Queen’s resurgence after the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” led to a certain overplay.

About Spanish songs, the one I used to like and ended up being tired of was “Eres” by Café Tacvba”, because my local radio wouldn’t let go for about the next year, even when the follow up singles had been released.

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May 15, 2023 11:49 pm

Oh, now that’s wrong Chuck. Now I’m not going to get any sleep because I’ll be trying to think of my list, only to get further annoyed that I’ve had to think of those songs again and they’ll probably get stuck in my head ….. 😆

I will literally try and sleep on it and have some titles hopefully tomorrow. But I would absolutely put Bohemian Rhapsody on my list as well. I’ve got one down, lol.

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May 16, 2023 8:49 am
Reply to  dutchg8r

Ok, so in addition to Bohemian Rhapsody, Every Breath You Take, and Come on Eileen, I’d add Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Love is a Battlefield. It seems like radio has has decided for us that certain artists have one song that defines them, and that is the ONLY song in their catalog worth playing. And that’s what causes the burnout.

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May 16, 2023 1:53 pm

“Louie, Louie”
“Freebird”
“Old Time Rock n Roll”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“Hey Jude”
“Brown Eyed Girl”

Every once in a while its ok to be forced to listen to one of these, but hopefully not very often.

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May 17, 2023 12:58 am

“Blurred Lines” is a frightening song.

“My Ding-A-Ling” is a stupid song.

“You’re Havin’ My Baby” is the most interesting song I ever heard in my life.

The song that drives me up the walls from overplay is the island version of “Over the Rainbow”/”What a Wonderful World”. Thanks a lot, Martin Brest. RIP. He heard it while on vacation here, and used it in the closing credits for Meet Joe Black.

The Innocence Mission recorded both songs; they’re sequenced back-to-back on their 2004 album Now the Day is Over. Karen and Don Peris were either fans of Israel Kamakawiaole, or they were going crazy hearing that pair of covers every time the couple turned on the television. It appeared on quite a few television shows and commercials.

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May 19, 2023 6:14 pm

This is a great blog as always, Chuck! Let’s see, based on what I think are most overplayed in particular on radio and elsewhere, my Dirty Dozen would include:
I’m a Believer – The Monkees (thanks for nothing, Shrek!)
Conga – Gloria Estefan (thanks for nothing, Guardians of the Galaxy)
Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll – Bob Seger (thanks for nothing, nearly every other movie and TV show!)
Escape (The Pina Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes (the most obnoxious way to supposedly set a romantic mood on radio)
Sister Christian – Night Ranger (the most irritating way for a movie or TV show to indicated they’re set in the 1980s)

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May 21, 2023 6:25 pm
Reply to  Ozmoe

I don’t like how a song becomes so synonymous with a film, it stops having a life of its own. The best example I can think of is “Unchained Melody”. I was born after the song was first released, so I don’t have any displaced nostalgia.

“Unchained Melody” is the “The Pottery Wheel Song”.

Ghost could have been a stone cold classic if the studio had the guts to let Whoopi Goldberg sublimate Patrick Swayze when Sam dances with Demi Moore. And then Goldberg’s Oscar for Best Supporting Actress would make more sense to me.

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