Mar 10, 2008

Can Bad Songs Be Redeemed?

For years, I loathed the song "Africa" by Toto.

But after two years of listening to "Get This" (the brilliant but sadly terminated Tripe M radio show featuring Tony Martin, Ed Kavalee and Richard Marsland), I've developed a keen fondness for it.

The "Get This" boys would often take the piss out of the song, mocking its tragic 80s-ness, and the fact it was a staple on the Triple M play list. It became synonymous with fun for me, so now when it comes on the radio (as it invariably does), I turn it up and belt out with gusto "I feel the RAIN... down in Africa".

Another example is the song "Hold On For One More Day" by Wilson Phillips. A fairly wussy song, I defy anyone who's seen "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle" to not smile and burst out singing when they hear it.

So the question is - can bad songs be redeemed by their use elsewhere? Does the song become cool or gain credibility because cool people like it, or utilise it? Once it's linked with something "good", does that negate the "badness", or simply exploit it?

And do you have any more examples of songs you once hated, but now quite enjoy?


  1. I'm sure there's truth in that.

    I never liked 'Africa' but then it somehow ended up becoming 'our' song in a relationship (not my hubby). I really loved the whole 'it's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you' thing. Turned out didn't take that much.

    Other ones, I'm sure there's tons. I hated 'Gimme More' (the Britney one) until I saw her horrific performance of it at the MTV awards, maybe it says more about my perversity than anything but after that I actually really dug the song. I think I'm just sad.

    I think there's more songs though that I loved that have been destroyed due to association or more often, just sheer overkill on the radio.

  2. PS Just for the record when I say a relationship and not my hubby, obviously I mean pre-hubby.

    I just realised how open-philanderer that sounded.

  3. Hey Jen,

    Yes, I think you're right when you say there are more good songs that have been ruined than the other way around. Being used in ads, etc.

    I think that's why I'm posing the question to see if there are any out there!

    And don't worry, I don't think you're a philanderer. But, hey, if you're open-minded.... ;)