Friday, October 19, 2018

THE FRIDAY FLASH ... This Could Be Either The Greatest (or the Worst!) FRIDAY FLASH Of All-Time!!!

Hey Kent, 
A friend of mine just sent me this list. 
What do you think of it and what the writer said about the singles? 
- John LaPuzza

Honestly?  What do I think???

I think it’s a complete joke!  (And not in a very funny way)

I mean how can ANYBODY take it seriously???  (OK, you’ve CLEARLY got my attention with this one … and riled me up to a point of anger that just can’t be healthy this early in the morning!)

Now granted, ALL lists like this are designed to provoke a reaction ... good, bad or otherwise ... because let's face it ... when you break it down no ONE person's opinion holds any more weight than another's ... it's all subjective at this point ... so him saying "yay" and me saying "nay" really doesn't prove or change anything ... to each his own, as they say.  There simply is no right or wrong.  (Except in this particular case, where this guy is clearly completely wrong and I am completely right! lol)

The 10 Most Over-Rated Hit Singles of All-Time … think about that for a second … of ALL-TIME … and a couple of these are still playing on the radio today, being under a year old?  How can ANYTHING be "of All-Time" when they're still in the midst of their original run???  (And, crazily enough, those two are a couple of the songs I like MOST out of today’s current hit mix.)  So quite honestly, this guy lost ALL credibility with me the minute I read his first few entries.

Now I will admit that the Portugal The Man song was EVERYWHERE for about a year … every radio station, every television commercial, every movie preview … it was virtually unescapable … and yet I listened to it every single time because it was so uniquely different from anything else that’s been out in years … decades maybe, as I tend to liken this track to the unexpected success of “The Girl From Ipanema” some 54 years ago.

“Meant To Be” is one of those that grew on me … so I don’t consider that to be over-rated … just persistent!  (And it was the #1 Country Song for like half a year so clearly I wasn’t the only one who felt this way.)  I suppose I could understand a critic calling the song “annoying” … but not over-rated.  (So I'll buy "an annoying ear-worm" ... but the song hasn't been around to be the most ANYTHING of All-Time at this point ... turn on your radio at any point today and you'll probably still hear it!)

For anybody to EVER include “For What It’s Worth” on ANY type of over-rated list is just plain wrong … my guess is that this guy is probably too young to have lived thru the origins of some of these tracks … this may be the reason that he’s listing CURRENT music as being amongst the most over-rated of all-time.  And to reference this track as simply a “hit single” also proves that he hasn't got a clue … it’s an absolute ANTHEM of that era that has grown into an anthem for all-time.  Now THAT’S a pretty powerful piece of music … and it’s so perfectly executed.  Over-rated?  Not by a long shot!

(Consider this … this same guy also considers “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” and “Irreplaceable” to be songs that deservedly earned their hit status immediately as being undeniably worthy and justifiable ... absolute hit single pillars.  Now I’m not convinced that “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” even belong in the same sentence … and I actually had to look up “Irreplaceable” to see who did it which, in my mind means, it isn’t!  (For those others clueless among us, it was a Beyonce #1 Hit from 2006 … and, once you hear it, you will recognize it ... "to the left, to the left" ...yep, one of the “all-time” greats, for sure!   

“Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey … over-rated?  I guess I never really thought about it in those terms.  Over-PLAYED for sure … no doubt about it … I reached the point several years ago of instinctively changing the channel the minute I heard the very first note as it has simply been played to death ... to the point that I just couldn’t listen to it at ALL anymore.  I guess for me in order for something to be over-rated it has to be held in such high regard by the masses that it needs to be knocked down a peg or two … and I’m just not sure this is one of those songs.  (Although the fact that it is held in such high regard to again be WAY overused in tv, movies and commercials, maybe it IS over-rated in that respect.)

Meanwhile, things like “Stairway To Heaven,” which continues to hold the highest honor amongst classic rock aficionados, would be one that has lost a great deal of its luster for me over the years of repeated play.  In hindsight, I would have to consider this song to be over-rated … yet it continues to top many of the Top 500 All-Time Great lists to this day.  

“Hotel California” is another song that has been played to death so, as I result, I will turn it off more often than I will listen to it these days … but there is no denying that it is a brilliantly crafted song … and when I do choose to listen to it every now and again, I am continually blown away by the total package.  It will never cease to amaze me what an incredibly great track this song really is.

Wanna talk over-rated?  How about Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline."  Who would have EVER thought that this thing would take on a whole new life of its own as a sports anthem?!?!  And it's not even one of Diamond's best songs!  (So Good - So Good ... but not really)  I'm not sure which aspect bothers me more ... the fact that it's become the "go-to" sing-along for every major sporting event, on par with something like Queen's "We Will Rock You," which was specifically designed with this use in mind ... or the fact that it was written about a then  12-year-old Caroline Kennedy ... how sick is THAT?!?!
I could never stand the Nirvana song … personally, I think the whole BAND is over-rated … and I have never seen Kurt Cobain as a tragic hero … so yeah, I guess I’m ok with this one being on the list.  And I just might rank Nirvana as the most over-rated artist of all time.  (More on this later … wait till you see HIS pick!!!)  

To refer to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as an over-rated hit single doesn’t even come close to doing justice to the phenomena this track created.  In fact, it's a full-blown insult.  "Thriller" is so much MORE than just a hit single.  To break it down to such a simplistic denominator again makes me question this guy’s credibility to even deserve a vote in this matter!  It was a landmark long-form music video ... really the first of its kind ... and it set the rest of the pop music world on its ear, impossible not to notice and command attention.  The fact that it was ever even released as a single at all is probably the LEAST important fact about "Thriller" that anyone could name. (And to give this guy the benefit of the doubt and keep things in perspective, let’s face it … Michael Jackson and “Thriller” are not Beyonce / “Irreplaceable”!!!)  You got that right!  (Also, when it comes to creative interpretation visually of these two tracks, I’ll take Michael’s Zombie Extravaganza over Beyonce’s repeated hand-gestures every time!)  

As most of you already know, I am a HUGE Creedence Clearwater Revival fan … but even I will admit that “Up Around The Bend” is one of their weaker tracks.  (Honestly, I don’t think ANYONE ranks this one high enough to even be considered eligible as an over-rated hit … it just wasn’t that great a tune to begin with, from a band that comparatively could do no wrong in my eyes for about four years.)  Simply put, I don’t believe it even qualifies to belong on a list like this … NOBODY rates it all that high in the first place.  But I have to REALLY take issue with the fact that he then goes on to call CCR the most over-rated artist of all time.  SERIOUSLY?!?!?  This guy lost all credibility with me several songs ago … but this is the final straw ... now I’m just going to have to permanently delete his link!!!  

As to his top two picks, I consider “Africa” to be an outstanding piece of music, perfectly crafted to evoke a mood that strikes you every time you hear it.  (Can ANYBODY out there listen to this song and NOT sing along???)  Simply put, it’s brilliant from start to finish … one of the best-crafted songs of our time.  Judging by his inclusion of "Meant To Be" and "Feel It Still," I half-expected this guy to reference last year's Weezer remake version of this song rather than Toto's original.  That's how out of touch this whole list feels to me!  (And sure enough Weezer DOES get a mention at the end of this particular piece.)

I will agree, however, that “Imagine” is over-rated, comparatively speaking.  I think it’s still a pretty powerful song but I will also agree that when you break it down lyrically, it just doesn’t hold up all that well.  I will even concede that John Lennon himself has grown in mythical stature since his death and not necessarily deservedly so, causing HIM to be a little over-rated.  Let’s face it … a lot of what he did looks pretty cheezy in hindsight … and also looks to be a very manipulative way of guiding his fans down a path of his own choosing as their perceived leader … and, as such, “Imagine” becomes a very calculated song in hindsight. Throughout his solo and John and Yoko career, Lennon carefully pushed all the right buttons to create an allegiance of followers, myself included at the time, who willingly drank the kool-aid.  Please understand that this is meant in NO way to diminish all the great music this man created … because there are very few out there who even deserve to sit at the same table … but of all the songs on this Top Ten List, I would consider only “Imagine” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to be worthy of inclusion.

Whew!  OK, I gotta go lie down now!!!  (kk)

[OK ... now somebody out there send this guy Chris Queen a link to MY analysis ... 'cause I just spent a whole day here promoting HIS piece and HIS list, which I totally take issue with.  But then again, as they always say, "There's no such thing as bad publicity!!!"  The calculated ploy worked ... soon we'll ALL be talking about it and making our own critiques ... so mission accomplished!  WTG, Chris!!!]