The Five Worst Bands to Listen to at Work
Joe Walsh of James Gang and the Eagles, consistent purveyor of bullshit.
Photo by Bob Ruggiero
The doldrums of the day job. Everyone knows this struggle, including all your favorite bands. Chances are if you're reading this, you like more than a few bands who simply can't make enough money to fund themselves through touring, record sales and merch in 2015, so they work day jobs, too.
Yes, we all feel the suffering of the boring day job, and the one thing that's a respite for many is the radio. If you're lucky, you can tune in to whatever you like. If you're like most of us, you have to listen to a preordained playlist created by a company like Pandora, or, even worse, commercial-supported radio. Either way, there's probably some songs you like, and probably a good deal you hate.
However, no bands are better for ruining an already terrible day at work than these five. These are the bands we'd all love to hear leave the airwaves forever, regardless of what chart they managed to top 30 to 40 years ago.
Steve Miller Band I'll cop to this: "Fly Like an Eagle" is a cool song. However, anything else this band ever put out is straight hot garbage; you know, the wet and sticky kind you see and smell outside of fast-food restaurants. That's the only thing comparable to stale, moldy tracks like "Take the Money and Run," with its obnoxious "ooh lord" refrain, or "Jungle Love."
Everyone knows the only good "Jungle Love" is by Morris Day and the Time. You never hear Morris or Jerome on the kind of radio stations we're subjected to at work, though. You only hear crap like "Rock'n Me" or "Jet Airliner." Ever notice how all these songs basically sound the same, too? Fuck Steve Miller.
Bachman Turner Overdrive BTO is pretty much the same band as Steve Miller Band. If I didn't possess this vast wealth of useless musical trivia, I'd probably be hard-pressed to tell you which band did "Takin' Care of Business" or "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet." It's the same tripe: same awful lyrical content, same terrible guitar tones and same bland "'70s rock guy" vocal melodies.
This is an era that possessed luminaries like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, pushing forward against the boundaries of rock and roll and inspiring generations upon generations of amazing music. But instead we're subjected to this kind of gratingly inoffensive love-makin'-in-the summertime shit. BTO is the worst thing Canada has ever done to the United States, and that includes Justin Bieber. At least he's interesting.
James Gang Look, the Eagles border on joining this list, but they possessed some additional ingredient that made them more interesting. Maybe it's Don Henley using the word "goddamn" in "Life in the Fast Lane" that made it seem like they had more balls, or the mysterious, potentially satanic overtones of "Hotel California."
Either way, the Eagles were the only band where Joe Walsh wasn't a stupidly annoying prat. His solo work was at least tolerable, but go back to James Gang, and you're in trouble. Tasteless riffs, those same vocal melodies Walsh uses in every song he's ever written, and useless drum fills that served to exacerbate how masturbatory the whole project was.
That retch-inducing white-boy funk of "Funk #49?" Get the fuck out of here, Joe Walsh.
List continues on the next page.
Grand Funk Railroad Hey, speaking of bullshit "funk," try on Grand Funk for size. Has there ever been a worse arena-rock hit than "We're an American Band?" They're comin' to your town to ruin your whole day. These guys tried to have a little more boogie than the others on this list, a little Hendrix if you will, but they lacked a vital component: actual songwriting talent.
Free Finally, finally we arrive at the anti-King Midas of classic rock, the man who ruins everything he ever touches, Paul Rodgers. It would have been bad enough if we were simply forced to listen to "All Right Now" for 40 years running. I could win the lottery, walk outside, hear that song and immediately just blow my damn brains out. Even though I won the lottery, I had to hear "All Right Now" for the 10,000th time and life just would not be worth living.
But this guy just wouldn't go away. Next came Bad Company. Give him this: The song "Bad Company" is actually pretty badass. But even Styx had "Renegade." Everything else they did was like "Feel Like Makin' Love." In other words, more of Paul Rodgers's ability to take anything and turn it into the same old crap.
His sins against rock just kept going, though, even into this century, as he joined and subsequently disgraced Queen, of all bands. Queen replaced literally the greatest front man of all time with the worst. Paul Rodgers turned gold to ashy ruin once again, and the cycle continued. Now he continues to mar our workdays with his awfulness every single hour, on the hour, thanks to classic-rock radio and Pandora.
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